No surprise that Johan Santana pitched well yesterday. Everyone pitched well yesterday (except relievers). Now I know what it was like to play fantasy baseball during the dead ball era. “Hey, Scoots, I got me a base hit from my second bagger! I’m so excited, but maybe that excitement is from this Coca-Cola that’s made from cocaine! I love me some fizzle! I’m gonna boil this Coca-Cola, then smoke the leftover brown soot. You want in, Scoots? Huh?!” Can’t everyone do the juice and then use FedEx? I miss the shrunken ball era! Did anyone even hit a ball out of the infield yesterday? Someone lower the mound six inches and use aluminum bats. Please! I need Justin Masterson looking like Bob Gibson like I need another hole in my head (I already have four; one of my ears closed up after listening to the Cleveland Indian announcers). Can’t say I wasn’t unpleasantly surprised to see Johan pitching. It would’ve been straight pleasantly, but I don’t own him anywhere. He’s not the pitcher he once was. He’s not going back to that, but he looked like he could be a fairly competent number three fantasy starter if — and this “if” is the size of Gilbert Grape’s mom — he can stay healthy. Though, after yesterday, every healthy pitcher may be a competent number three. Now go smoke some Coca-Cola soot! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Frank Francisco – A perfect inning save. It’s safe to drop Rauch and/or Parnell. If you want, pretend you’re going catch Rauch in a trust exercise, then let him drop. It’s more fun that way.
Jason Bay – 0-for-3. I’m putting the over/under at 24 months for how long until he’s out of baseball.
Andres Torres – Left the 7th inning with a calf strain. He’s headed to the DL. Boo. Or, I guess with an injured calf, it’s moo. Scott Hairston should now see starts against lefties. Jerry Hairston Sr., you named the wrong one after you! (And, really, how do you not name one of your sons, Harry?)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – He sounds like a piece of furniture at Ikea, but don’t sleep on this guy! See what I did there? Yeah, I’m not sure either. Nieuwenhuis has double digit speed and power and should see the righties in the outfield platoon with Hairston. In NL-Only leagues, I’d definitely grab him because if he hits, he may push Bay to the bench.
Ian Desmond – 3-for-5 with a steal. I know he’s not going to hit .600 this year (though he will maintain his 162 steal pace), but can everyone stop putting a mirror up to his nose to see if he’s dead?
Brad Lidge – 1 IP, 0 ER as he got the save yesterday (though it wasn’t pretty. Though II, The Return of Though: Lidge hasn’t had a pretty save in three years). Davey Johnson said he’s going to alternate back and forth between Lidge and Rodriguez for saves. In other words, he’s doing the highly scientific method of Eeny Meeny Miney Moe.
Stephen Strasburg – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks. Worked through seven innings with only 82 pitches. He dispatched of the Cubs Thirty Days’ War-quick. Woot, woot, House of Strasburg, raise your pith helmets!
Tommy Hanson – 5 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks. Saw glimpses of Hommy Tanson yesterday, but also saw glimpses of why I avoided him this year. He seemed to labor a bit through five innings only throwing in the upper-80’s, then luckily was bailed out by Kris Medlen, the newest flat-billed pitchypus.
Jason Heyward – 0-for-4, as he batted 7th against a lefty. I imagine he’ll move up to 6th vs. righties, but he needs to hit his way out of the bottom of the order, like, quickfast.
Ryan Dempster – 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks. I don’t think I drafted him anywhere (Grey have too many teams), but I did like him in the preseason (member that phase of our life? It was seventy-two hours ago, which sounds like a bad action-thriller).
Bryan LaHair – Missed the opener because his back pain was too much to LaBear.
Alfredo Aceves – One game, one inherited runner allowed to score for the Tigers’ walkoff win. So far, so good! I thought Bobby Valentine was hitting the sauce when he put Alfredo in as the closer, but he wasn’t creamed yesterday (that was like a triple pun point), so I doubt anything’s changed with the bullpen situation. If anything, Melancon just made himself look worse. “Do I have to stand in the corner? Big Papi farted over there.” That’s Melancon after being scolded.
Ryan Sweeney – 2-for-4 with a triple. He’s in this afternoon’s Buy/Sell. His sister, Julia, is not.
Jay Bruce – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs, 1 run. One B, one R, one C, one E and eleven U’s, what do you get?
Zack Cozart – 2-for-4, 1 run. Bu-da-ba-bah-dah! Bu-da-ba-bah-dah! That’s Cozart’s Out Of The Minors Concerto played from the two hole.
Chris Heisey – Launched a double in his only at-bat. Might be the best 4th outfielder in baseball. Wait, that would mean Ludwick is better than him. Yeah, Heisey’s the best 3rd outfielder that is currently a 4th outfielder. Hopefully, Dusty and his toothpick get on the same page and move Ludwick to the pine. On a real baseball note, the Reds are gonna be tough this year.
Johnny Cueto – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks. He came up against a Miami club that left Crayola Canyon late on Wednesday and had to play again early on Thursday. I’m not reading too much into Cueto’s start (actually, I guess I am). I’m still not going in on Cueto.
Scott Baker – It takes a certain kind of mettle to get injured while rehabbing from an injury and Baker’s heavy with that mettle.
Jack Hannahan – Hit a 3-run HR, his 3rd opening day HR. It’s too bad closing time at Hannahan’s is April 30th. Enjoy the happy hour specials while you can.
Justin Masterson – 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 10 Ks, but no win. Let’s see if you can guess the theme? Morroccan! No, Random Italicized Voice. The theme is great start from the starter followed by hideous relief.
Chris Perez – 2/3 IP, 3 ER and the blown save. Cleveland isn’t known for BBQ, but their closer sure looks like smoked meat. He should let Masterson go Brutus Beefcake on his mullet for blowing his awesome start. Perez owners – if you haven’t done it already – grab Signore Pestano.
Jose Bautista – 3-for-4 with his first home run (since I started believing him — I’ve been backwards dunked in Bautista’s waters!).
J.P. Arencibia – 1-for-7, 3 RBIs and a home run. Sounds about the going rate for Arencibia — he’s a one spicy catcher!
Brett Lawrie – 0-for-6. Drop him!
Roy Halladay – 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 5 Ks. Since Spring Training is still fresh in everyone’s brain, do you remember how ridiculous it was when people were saying Halladay’s lost velocity and getting pounded? I mean, it’s not like he was going against the 1988 A’s yesterday, but c’mon. Don’t aggravate Grey. You disrupt his mustache’s sheen.
Jose Valverde – 1 IP, 2 ER….and there goes the suspense for whether Valverde could go perfect in save opportunities for a 2nd year in a row. The last guy I remember being perfect was Lidge in 2008 and he had – gulp – 11 blown saves the next year. Anyway, in summary, Valverde sucked but owners can’t be mad because he got the conshellation prize, Verlander owners can’t be mad because he threw an awesome start, leagues with QS instead of Wins have already programmed out any Blown Save-related anger like a robot who can’t feel emotions.
Justin Verlander – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks. Of course, he pitched well. Dan Cortese from Rock ‘n Jock Softball could’ve pitched well yesterday.
Kenley Jansen – 1 IP, 2 ER. I’m not sure there’s anything more frustrating than a middle reliever you know isn’t going to get saves that you own for ratio and strikeout help that gives up runs. It’s like you make an arrangement with a girl that it’s strictly a sexual relationship and then you meet her parents. During sex.