We are halfway through the fantasy season and it’s another week, another closepocalypse. Didn’t Smokey predict this back in March?! Andrew Bailey’s job was outsourced, Jose Valverde was sent packing, Heath Bell is absolutely stuffed and the Mariners closer by committee is as uncertain as a child’s bottom. That’s a straight up Ulysses quote my literate homies. SAGNOF! While in the real baseball world it has become quite obvious that saves are overrated, in our fake baseball world closers are one of those necessary evils. Kind of like root canals and prostate exams. Fortunately, I get both taken care of at the same place. One-stop shopping. Thanks ObamaCare! While closers can be a pain in the fanny perpendicular, I’m not one to punt a category. Even one as frustrating as the save. Who invented this dastardly stat? Apparently the dean of baseball beat writer’s, Jerome Holtzman is to blame. He invented the save in 1959. There wasn’t much to do in the late 50’s except “like Ike” and cower in the bomb shelter with a tin of beans and a deck of nudie cards. According to Razzball historian Paulie Allnuts, the very next year the term “Sagnoff” was first uttered by one Winston Greystone Albright II after drafting Moe Drabowsky with his first pick in the inaugural drunken fantasy draft at The White Horse Tavern in New York’s West Village. An ‘ol fashioned donnybrook soon ensued, but not a mustache was harmed according to reports. Thanks Paulie. This week let’s run down some candidates for saves that just could mean the difference between fantasy glory and fantasy defeat. Time to jam it or cram it. Dr. Pfister, I’m ready for my… Do you really need to wear the dive watch?Please, blog, may I have some more?
When I told you to pick up Joaquin Benoit yesterday, I was 85% sure he would close games until the Tigers traded for Papelbon, who will be known in Detroit as a Papelbonneville. Then, because Leyland reads Razzball between smokes, he named Benoit closer by not naming him the closer. He said, “I’m not naming anybody closer. I’m just saying if Benoit was available right now, I would try to close with him.” Thanks for clarifying! Managers deciding on a closer is like debating euthanasia. Valverde’s done, pull the plug! The Yelp reviews for Benoit are through the roof, but there’s a lot of five star reviews from fantasy baseballers with only one other closer. I’d grab Benoit in all leagues and hope he can hold the job and make the thought of trading for Papelbonneville absurd. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The afternoon started with Matt Harvey. He pitched a stellar 7 innings with 13 Ks, but Terry Collins sent him out there in the 8th after throwing 110 pitches, which lead to two singles and a walk, three runners that the bullpen let in. After the game, Collins said, “I felt bad for Duda (who blew a chance for a Harvey no-hitter by not covering first base on Heyward’s infield single). I couldn’t let Duda make the only Metsake of the game. I was going to keep pitching Harvey until he screwed up. He’d have started the nightcap, if necessary.” Fortch, it wasn’t necessary, as the nightcap brought on Zack Wheeler‘s debut with a line of 6 IP, 0 ER, 9 baserunners (5 BBs), 7 Ks. To summarize, it was shaky as all get-out at first. He looked like he couldn’t hit the broadside of Precious. Then he either calmed, or realized something — if he could locate, no one could hit him. He can easily be as good as Harvey, but I’m guessing it won’t be until next year. Last night was the best you could’ve hoped for. To summarize that summary, he was shaky, then solid. To summarize the summary’s summary, Zack good. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So Donnie Baseball finally read all those free pamphlets that Mensa has been sending him. I mean it was written on the urinal wall next to that for a good time call, insert Nick Capozzi’s home phone number, message on your favorite swill factory you frequent.. Please, blog, may I have some more?Please, blog, may I have some more?
The name YoGa conjures peace, calm and sneaking looks at girls in yoga pants. On the mound, YoGa conjures stress. Starting him is like asking him to be your designated driver. You really have no idea what you’re going to get. He’s become more predictable as of late, but not in the good way. Every game this year he’s looked like someone put him in the fridge for an hour, then poured Magic Shell over him, then chiseled him out and left the fake-choco shell on the mound. I was already to drop him. I had hit my brink. So, how does he reward me? Does he pitch terrible and allow me the freedom of dropping him? You think anything’s that easy with YoGa? Yesterday, Yovani Gallardo was regularly hitting 93 MPH, and looking the part of the guy that finished 11th in Cy Young voting two years ago and won 16 games with a 3.66 ERA last year. A guy that has been a solid number two fantasy starter for the last four years. He threw a near-flawless 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (1 BB), 4 Ks game. Of course, it was against the MIA Marlins and only 4 Ks. Still, I can’t drop him after that, but I also can’t start him for his next game in Great American Ballpark. So, for now I’ll hold a guy that I can’t start or bench confidently. Ugh, more stress! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Every good conga line needs a caboose, so the Miami Save Machine is bringing up the rear this week. Feel the rhythm of the beat getting stronger. No? Me either. Moving on. The Midwest is getting mauled by injuries, it’s like that time the flu virus swept through the cast of Laverne and Shirley, you know the one where the Big Ragu, sneezed on everyone and it spread all the way to Squiggy and Pop. Well I guess I am the only one that remembers that stuff. Chris Perez, and not to be outdone, Jim Henderson, both came up lame just in time for the Belmont Stakes, looks like horse meat is back on the menu. Perez’s shoulder came up gimpy after his pitching came undone over the last week. He is expected to take a week off, try to throw and then work on curling his mullet. Vinnie Pestano is the heir in Cleveland, he himself isn’t healthy, and personally I have stashed Cody Allen everywhere in preparation of the H, for hurt.Please, blog, may I have some more?
On a scale of one to ten for most surprising starters, Patrick Corbin is a one. One being the best. When you beat your high score in Mario Kart you never scream out, “I’m number ten,” do you? Okay, so don’t question my numbering. On a scale of one to ten for how likely it is Corbin keeps this up, it’s around a 5, the number made famous by Short Circuit. Didja know before Short Circuit people would count 1, 2, 3, 4, 6? It’s also why Marilyn Monroe left Joe DiMaggio. Corbin’s not a 1.44 ERA pitcher, but he’s not what he seemed like coming into the year either. His fastball has jumped in velocity, which has helped all of his pitches. I don’t own him, which butters my grr’s. I know most of you must’ve benched him in Coors yesterday for his 10 K, 9-inning, three-hitter gizzem, so I’ll say it for you, sonavabench! Luckily, you own him for the whole season and he looks like he can be a mid-3 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 7 K-rate guy, i.e., a fantasy two to three. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Paul Goldschmidt went off again last night, collecting four hits with two 2-run home runs and scored four times. Awww Schmiiiidt! Goldy has been locked in at the plate lately. Over the past two weeks, he’s batting .400 with 5 home runs, 12 RBI and 2 stolen bases. As a result the D-Backs sit at the top of their division, winning three straight games and seven of their last 10. Paul is currently on pace for over 40 home runs, 15 steals and 120+ RBI. Although he will likely come back down to earth some, he remains the number one first baseman on the player rater and is looking like a lock to finish in the top three. He also is the number two player overall behind only mean Jean Segura. To quote Mike Myers second worst film, “I love…Goooold.” We all do, Johan van der Smut, you horribly offensive Dutch stereotype. We all do. If you read Razzball faithfully, there’s a good chance you own Pauly G. on a team or two. If so, you are lovin’ life right now, so enjoy this. Bask in it. Take. It. In. You earned it. I had a goldfish named Goldy but I never loved that dumb fish as much I love owning Paul Goldschmidt. So thanks Grey. Thanks Rudy. If you ever need a kidney, I’m your guy.
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The other day Don Mattingly said something like this, “When your closer can’t close, but you need games closed and you have a closer in name and a non-closer closer, who’s your closer? The guy who’s closing games? I don’t know. I’m seriously asking. I would think it’s the guy you call closer, but we call Brandon League the closer and he can’t close, so the closer must the guy we don’t call closer but can close games named, Kenley Jansen. Warmer… Warmer… No, now you’re getting colder. Go back the other way.” Kenley Jansen got the save. YAY!…But…BOO!…It was on the tail end of an 8 2/3 IP, 11 Ks, 6 baserunners stunning performance by Clayton Kershaw, so it wasn’t a stereotypical save. I would’ve preferred to see a standard “closer enters to start the 9th inning” save before telling people to drop League. I’d hold both for now, but a new era (not the hats) may be upon us. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well, last week I said the Boston situation would go swimmingly, results so far have been 2 drowning victims and an all-Asian rescue team. First, Andrew Bailey went down with triceps injury, then Joel Hanrahan said, “anything you can do I can do better,” and has a forearm strain. Now, I’m no doctor, I pretend to play one at 2 AM and it’s last call, different story, but you get my point, but isn’t it only one arm, not fore? So to the rescue in their tight red water panties are the best combo since Chico found the man, Koji and Junichi. The eighth and ninth innings for all games on NESN now will be in full anime, and Rem-Dog will be eaten. I fully expect Tazawa to be the focal point of save situations until either Bailey or Hanrahan return. He was closing for a tick last year at Pawtucket, which is like me fishing and saying I’m Gordon’s fisherman. The numbers this year are pretty outstanding (18 K’s in 14 In) so he has momentum, his only flaw is he is a fly ball pitcher and that tends to bite ya in the oshiri…sometimes. Stay tuned to see what else I see/saw or foresee coming up in the world of conclusionary pitchers and the gents that set them up.Please, blog, may I have some more?