Texas finally caught a glimpse of MLB’s best Japanese starter as Hiroki Kuroda went 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks vs. the Rangers. Did they play this game in the Old Yankee Stadium? The one that was 700 feet to center and had Red Ruffing’s mausoleum in dead left? In new Yankee Stadium, usually a few balls get around the Pesci Pole in right. Kuroda’s ERA is now at 3.06 and I’m still not a believer as you’ll hear in this afternoon’s podcast, but he’s done everything to make any rational man a believer. Henceforth, ergo, vis-a-vis, I’m not rational. Kuroda’s K-rate fell a tad this year, but he really hasn’t been any different than previous years when he was in the NL West. Tell celebrity hairstylist, John Frieda, to color me an autumn shade of shocked with those Kuroda highlights. (Sorry, I’m trying to expand our lady readership.) Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Nick Swisher - 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer in as many games. He makes me almost want to add sideburns to my facial hair accoutrements.
Matt Garza – Sveum said he’d be surprised if Garza returns this year. Only he announced it “svurprised.”
Jayson Werth – 1-for-3 as he started yesterday, after having an MRI on his ankle that came back negative. He said it was no big deal. Oh, it was one of those MRIs. Eye roll, index finger roll by my ear, prolonged blinking, head nodding forward, snoring, shooting head up… What happened?!
Michael Morse – Out yesterday with a banged up thumb, which in Morse code is: dot, dot, doh.
Ian Desmond – Nats are saying he could return as soon as Friday. Desmond’s got one fast-healing oblique. I can’t be any more specific than that.
James McDonald – Pirates are talking about moving McDonald into the bullpen so they can keep Kevin Correia in the rotation. Yesterday, Correia threw six innings and gave up five earned runs. Yet, that was still better than what McDonald would’ve gave you. If you were thinking about dropping McDonald, now’s a good time. And now. Now still. And… now.
Kelly Shoppach – The Red Sox traded him to the Mets, so Shoppach will go from backing up Salty to backing up Thole. His value goes sideways, and I’m not drinking any Merlot!
Ryan Lavarnway - Will take over the back-up role behind the plate in Beantown. Lavarnway’s power was down this year in the minors, but his approach looked as good as ever with a .376 OBP. He could be much better than Salty as of right now, but he probably won’t have a chance to show that until next spring. Outside of AL-Only or deep two catcher leagues, I’d continue to ignore. Though, I’d love to see Lavarnway get a starting job next year. Do it for all of his fans. You know, the Lavarnwayians. Who are not related to Damon, Marlon, Kim, Keenan, Shawn, Damien, Baby Keenan, Marlon Jr. Jr., Prince Charles, the III, Little Doo Doo Man and Ralph.
Josh Beckett – 5 1/3 IP, 6 ER. Two tears in a bucket, BECKETT!
Joe Kelly – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA is now at 3.41 with a 1.43 WHIP. Doesn’t he sound like a city councilman from the Boston area? Joe Kelly says, “Era, there will be no town hall meeting, era, if the Sawx are playing the fahkin’ Yankees.” Yeah, Joe Kelly’s still not someone I’d pick up in mixed leagues.
Jon Jay – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs with a homer. Damn, the Cardinals have a bunch of blue-blooded-sounding guys. Guess that would be Damn Yankees. I’d absolutely pick up Jon Jay. He’s hitting over .450 in the last week with a homer and 2 steals.
Josh Johnson – 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, and ERA is now at 3.73. I picked up Josh Johnson in one league, had him for about 3 starts, he looked like hot garbage that metaphorically vomits out other hot garbage and I dropped him. Now, he has a 1.59 ERA over his last 34 innings. Yup.
Yuniesky Betancourt - A Betancourt was released by Kansas City for the 2nd day in a row. Personally, I think it’s more newsworthy that Rafael’s favorite Asian masseuse in Denver is named “Kansas City” but maybe that’s just me.
Andy Dirks – 2-for-3, 2 runs and a solo homer. Member when I told you last Friday to pick him up? He’s hit in every game since, except for one. Dirks, I digg ya!
Doug Fister – 8 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, and four unearned runs. I was thinking of a good giveaway for the Tigers. You know those modern art chairs that are in the shape of a hand? To the first 1,000 fans, the Tigers should give a bar stool that is in the shape of a fist. I’d want a Fister stool.
Matt Moore – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 9 Ks. When his ERA was 5.07 at the end of May, I wouldn’t have thought he was going to be drafted highly again in 2013, but he’s turned around the ship in a big way and his post-All-Star break ERA is under a 1.50.
Fernando Rodney – Blew his 2nd save with two unearned runs to lower his ERA to 0.81. Yes, even when he’s bad, he’s good.
Jay Bruce – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and another homer. It’s an early Christmas miracle! Bruce is hot again. Now just stay hot for the H2H playoffs. Please.
Chad Billingsley – 8 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks. The Stream-o-Nator chose this stream while preparing to watch Judge Wapner. One minute to Wapner!
Jose Quintana – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks. His Ks are so non-existent that he’s relying on a hard Q sound, but his 2.77 ERA/1.12 WHIP is pretty enough to overlook that. Kuroda, Quintana… Ooh, I wanna I take you… Pre-All Star Break Nova, Samardzija, c’mon, pretty mama… Gallardo, Bartolo, baby, why don’t we go?
Dan Uggla – 1-for-4 with his 14th homer. As Dan’s owners will attest, they haven’t felt much love for him all year but yesterday was free Huggla’s for everyone.
Tim Hudson – 6 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 4 Ks. Or as portrayed by Hollywood: Tim Hudson 0 IP, Scott Hatteberg 200 IP, 200 HRs. Speaking of Moneyball, not sure how many of you are watching Newsroom by Sorkin, but it makes me want to stab my eyes out with my remote control. That is all.
Ben Sheets - Said that after his last start his whole body felt dead. He said, ”I was like ‘Weekend at Bernie’s guy.” Sweet, let’s see him do his new dance. For fantasy, this is terrible news. I was rolling him out there without any discretion, but now I’m concerned and may bench him in some leagues for his next start before he Sheets my fantasy bed.
Madison Bumgarner – 9 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 6 Ks. Thank God Monday’s Vogelsong didn’t get stuck in Bumgarner’s head.
Brandon Belt – 3-for-4, 1 run, 3 RBIs as he stays torrid. And I’m torrid-up inside suggesting you pick him up again. Why do you cause me such pleasure and such pain, Belt? Hmm, sounds like a childhood scar talking.
Eric Young Jr. – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs with a homer. If you ask your shrink, she’ll tell you you just don’t know how to be happy. If you ask me, you just won’t pick up Eric Young Jr.
Dexter Fowler – 2-for-3 with a run as he hits near .350 in the last week. Okay, how about you just pick up all Rockies when at home and all hitters going against the Rockies?
Norichika Aoki – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs. See 1/10th of an inch above about hitters in Coors or rewind your life 12 seconds.
Lucas Harrell – 8 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks. First rule of Razzball is never talk about Razzball. Second rule of Razzball is never talk about the Astros. Harrell has 10 wins and a 3.81 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and a just-over 6 K-rate. He kind of looks like Wandy without the name value (name value for Wandy? Ha!). Harrell is not really much outside of matchups for the rest of this year.
Jarrod Parker – 4 2/3 IP, 4 ER. You really shouldn’t own him anymore. This is your last warning. I’m not going to talk about him again this year. Jarrod’s a turkey. BTW, my cougar grew up next door to Jared from Subway. I asked her if she ever got into his famous oversized pants that he carries around everywhere. She declined to comment. I’m not sure how to take that.
Wei-Yin Chen – 6 IP, 1 ER, 10 baserunners, 4 Ks. If I may Wei-Yin on Chen (Rosco P. Coltrane laugh), it’s nice and all if you want to pitch well against the Sawx, but when it comes right after pitching terribly against the Royals, it does no one any good. Sonavabench!
Mark Reynolds – 2-for-4, 4 RBIs and 2 homers. He can still salvage this season (if he hits 20 homers in September and goes 87-for-90).
Kyle Kendrick – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. Eh, not much to see here. Last time out, he was smacked around like a mule who won’t take a laxative.
Yorvit Torrealba - The Blue Jays caught the Torrealba vapors and signed him. The Jays are going to try and fuse together Yorvit Torrealba and J.P. Arencibia to be one solid catcher: Jorpvit Torrealbia.
Rajai Davis – 3-for-4 with 2 steals. Now has 5 steals in the last week. He hit .325 with 30 steals in the 2nd half of the year in 2009. It’s the Rebirth of SAGNOF, cuz Rajai’s cool like dat.
Colby Rasmus - Didn’t start yesterday as the Jays wanted his groin to rest one more day. You know what’s good for a resting groin? A banana hammock.