How did baseball survive over two months without a Boston/New York match-up? It’s barely a rivalry these days as the Yankees took an 8 1/2 game lead over the Red Sox with the big win last night. It was your typical NY/BOS game, i.e., nearly 4 hours long, 18 runs scored, 28 hits, and plenty of dirty looks and “bad calls.” One thing we can always count on in these match-ups is plenty of fantasy implications; in fact, I was debating even covering the other games. Last night was no exception, so here goes: both pitchers were lit up early with Josh Beckett going 5.0 and Hiroki Kuroda lasting 5.2 innings, each surrendering 6 ER. David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez chipped in three hits apiece for the Sox, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit his 17th home run, but the Yankees’ offense was too much for the Sox pitching staff this time. Mark Teixera (2-for-4, 4 RBIs, SB) hit a 2-run go-ahead triple in the 7th. I imagine this is a preview of what the All Star game will be like (with fewer Red Sox).
AL East aside, here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:
Brian McCann — 1-for-4 with the grand salami, has now homered in back to back games. Big Mac put his special sauce all over this one (special home run sauce!)
Kyle Kendrick — 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Ks. Antonio Bastardo replaced Kendrick and gave up 5 ER in 0.2 IP. Oh my God, you blew Kennydrick’s game! You Bastardo! (Ten years ago this joke would have killed.) Timmmmah! Hudson threw 7.0 scoreless in to grab his 7th win.
Ryan Howard — 2-for-4 in his return from the DL. I ain’t buyin’ Ryan just yet, but if Howard’s still out there on the waiver wire, I’d grab him.
Andrew McCutchen — 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs. The Dread Pirate continues to pillage opposing pitchers and now has 11 hits in the past 5 games. McCutchen has been this year’s Jacoby Ellsbury, except with much better hair and much worse teammates.
Melky Cabrera — 2-for-4 with his 8th home run, now batting an insane .358! Remember that clueless guy in your league that showed up late to your online draft only to grab M. Cabrera thinking he was Miggy? You hate that guy right now.
Sergio Romo — 1.0 IP with his 5th save. Got the save with Santiago Casilla unavailable with a callous. Unlike Tony, this Romo doesn’t choke.
Tyler Colvin — 3-for-4 with 2 home runs! This is now the second week in a row the player Grey has highlighted as top BUY has gone on to hit 2 HRs that night (Dez Jennings hit 2 last Friday). Hey Grey, can I send you a link to my team page? There’s a couple players there I want you to BUY next week.
Ryan Zimmerman — 1-for-4 with his 8th HR. The Zimmer Man has been absolutely on fire since the cortisone shot. See kids, sometimes steroids are a good thing!
Anthony Rizzo — 4-for-5 with a 3-run HR. Yeah, this kid’s gonna be real good…(My original joke before I realized Carlos Lee had been traded Wednesday: My sources tell me the Cubs are looking to make a deal with Houston. A package of prospects and cash for Carlos Lee and Jordan Lyles. They can continue their rebuilding process with a nice core of Rizzo, Lee and Lyles.)
Lucas Duda — 1-for-5 with a HR. Fella I wanna tell ya about. Fella by the name of the Duda. Duda continues to abide on Friday nights so I’ll continue to quote Lebowski. OVER THE LINE!
Adam Lind — 2-for-4 with his 7th home run. Don’t pick him up, Grey! But please continue to tell the rest of us to pick him up.
Jake Peavy — 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks. Remember that clueless guy from 2007, who woke up from his coma and showed up to your draft late only to draft Jake Peavy? You hate that guy right now, too.
Norichika Aoki — 2-for-4 with his 5th home run. Nori (can I call him, Nori?) now has a 13-game hitting streak and has brought his average up to .303. Grey’s been telling us to buy him, he hits a homer, natch. See what I’m saying?
Francisco Liriano — 6.2 IP, 6 Ks, 6 BBs. The 6 walks are ugly but it was the Mighty Texas Power Rangers, so I’ll cut Francisco some slack. Truth is, since his returned to the starter role he’s been solid, and the strikeouts are there. You have a right to be a bit Leary, I know, but he should get Oakland next week, and I say he’s definitely worth a flier at this point.
Drew Smyly — 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Ks. It was Emoticon’s best start of the year and 4th win of the season. Smyly was all like :XD, while the Royals were all like : ( …but to be fair most of the Royals look like this every day.
Luke Scott — 1-for-5 with a 2-run homer. Broke his 0-for-41 hitless streak with the homer in the 5th. Whew. We can all carry on with our lives now. Ben Zobrist also homered in this one and B.J. Upton added three hits as the Tampa Bay scalped the Indians 10-3. Perhaps they used a Rays-zor?
Tommy Milone — 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 9 Ks. Milone has been awesome lately, last night’s game was his 4th quality start in a row, and the Ks have been a nice bonus. He’s worth an add while he’s hot. Kevin Millwood was just as solid (0 ER, 7 Ks) on the other side as the two worst teams in the AL battled it out for title of second-worst team in the AL. Now that’s what I call a rivalry!
Zack Cozart – 2-for-4 with his 9th home run. You could do a lot worse than Cozart as your shortstop. For example, Brendan Ryan, Cody Ransom, Clint Barmes –all a lot worse than Cozart.
Bronson Arroyo — Complete-game shutout with 8 Ks to get his 4th win. Bronson was ON last night and completely shut down the Pissshaw-dres. I still probably wouldn’t pick him up, and I definitely wouldn’t buy his album.
Clayton Kershaw — 5.1 IP, 5 ER. Ker-shanked! I guess that’s what you get for starting him against that feared Arizona line up, whatchoo know bout Aaron Hill?
Justin Ruggiano — 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 9 games. He is a hot little schmotato right now! And that’s me quoting Mugatu!
Mike Trout — 1-for-4 with a home run. My fantasy hero now has 11 home runs and 26 SBs batting .348. Oooohhh, you know you make me wanna…SHOUT! Kick my heels up and and TROUT! Throw my hands up for TROUT! Stealing bases! TROUT! Hitting home runs, he’s TROUT! Hits high average, it’s TROUT! Come on now! TROUT! A little bit louder now! Mike Trout! HEY-HEY-A-HEY!! HEY-HEY-A-HEY! Enjoy the All Star Break! Enjoy your All Star Break! HEY-A-A-Hey! MIKE TROUT!