The night was humid in San Diego. Some fans in the front row brought their own Chardonnay, a mix of floral and fruity notes, which could’ve also described the crowd’s apparel. Tommy Bahama as far as the eye could see. One Padre fan stood up, three glasses of wine in, screaming to let Templeton play. Most of the fans that night were there for a picnic that was billed as ‘the best picnic mom’s ever packed.’ One thing these picnickers never expected was to become a part of history. Whispers amongst the Padre fans began in the 1st inning. “It was going to be a long night.” Not because of Tim Lincecum, who began his quest to throw the 700th-something no-hitter in the last ten years. Tonight would drag for these Padre fans because the picnic brie was forgotten at home. Tonight these Padre fans groaned in the first inning because when Lincecum took the mound they thought the game was being preempted for a k.d. lang concert. So, Lincecum wasn’t economical in his 148-pitch no-hitter, walking 4 guys and K’ing 13. He’s the first pitcher to throw more pitches in a no-hitter than he weighs. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Lincecum doesn’t look bad in his peripherals this year. His K-rate and walk rate are pretty close to the numbers he put up when he had a 2.74 ERA in 2011. He didn’t make the top 100 for the 2nd half that is coming tomorrow, but I considered it for a long time (about 25 seconds). The unknown right now is whether or not the 148 pitches is going to tire his arm. Obviously, he’ll have the All-Star break to rest and I wouldn’t be against giving Lincecum a chance on my fantasy team. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Cole Hamels – 8 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks. If you were to throw out his first two starts of the year, he has a 3.55 ERA on the year. And if you were to throw out the time you divorced your wife, you’d still be married. So, it’s a slippery slope cherrypicking, but there is something that Hamels has settled down as the season has progressed.
Alejandro De Aza – 2-for-5 and his 12th homer, hitting over .400 in the last week. Alejandro’s hot like Mexico!
Alex Rodriguez – Met with MLB on Friday and heard he’s facing a 150-game suspension, then A-Rod went AWOL and Cashman just shrugged, AKA STFU, you shouldn’t have BYOB’d your own steroids. Now it’s CYA wouldn’t want to BYA, while everyone else, including Berry Gordy’s son, LMFAOs.
Ichiro Suzuki – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. I don’t need to watch SportsCenter because I have the MLB package and watch the games, but yesterday, for the first time all year, I watched a part of it. You’d swear that it was 2001 with how they give you Yankee highlights. “CC just didn’t have his best stuff today…” He has a 4+ ERA on the year. Today? “Ichiro continues to (insert corny pillow is too hot metaphor).” Ichiro’s pillows haven’t been hot in 4 years!
Kyle Gibson – 5 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 1 K, 6.45 ERA. You have nuts the size of Mr. Peanut if you started Gibson anywhere. You know, between his legumes.
Chris Archer – 9 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks vs. the Astros. There wasn’t much more of a sure thing than a guy who strikes out hitters, but struggles with his command going against a team that swings at everything. To literally put the cherry on top, the Astros batted Carlos Pena leadoff (I’m not joking). Note to Astros management: when your fans aren’t sure where your eighth, ninth or leadoff hitter will be in the lineup, there’s a problem. I don’t mind Archer in certain matchups, but I have no idea who he’s facing next, so open mouth, insert grain of salt, close mouth.
Desmond Jennings – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, hitting .268. And the ESPY for Outfielder That You Kinda Wanted To Drop A Few Times In The First Couple Of Months But Ended The Half As A Fantasy Number Two Outfielder goes to… Desmond Jennings! Hopefully you were able to read that better than the athletes struggling to read the teleprompter at the actual ESPYs.
Wil Myers – 2-for-4 and his 2nd steal in as many games as he bats third. Steals aren’t a huge part of his game, but he’s young, aiming to please and not Won’t Myers.
Denard Span – 3-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs as he hit 7th with Bryce moving to the leadoff spot. Who am I to question a baseball team’s decision? Well, actually, that’s exactly what I do. I’m 96% snark, 4% question irrational decisions by baseball teams. Denard Span batting seventh is ludicrous, Harper leading off is about as infuriating as Alex Gordon doing the same for the Royals. Is it that hard to fill-out a lineup? Fast Guy, OBP Guy, Run Producer, Run Producer, Run Producer, All Or Nothing Power Guy, Catcher, Defense-First Hitter, Pitcher. That’s it!
Steve Cishek – 1 IP, 3 ER and a blown save. That makes it easily for Loria to sell low, his specialty.
Derek Dietrich – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer, batting .218. Looks like the Marlins finally found a 2nd baseman to replace Uggla.
Yadier Molina – 4-for-6, 3 runs, 4 RBIs and his 7th homer, hitting .341. He shouldn’t be hitting .341, but I wish I had him hitting better than he should be on every team.
Allen Craig – 4-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI. Cardinals are like the A’s of the NL. Not sure where it’s coming from in their offense, but it always be coming, which sounds like a line from the porn production of Glengarry Glen Ross. They’d call it Glen, Garry Femme Sauce.
Matt Adams – 2-for-6, 1 RBI. We own Holliday in two leagues, but I still kinda hope Adams gets a chance for a few weeks to show stuff. Brucely, he needs at least two weeks to show all his stuff.
Darwin Barney – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 6th homer. The Purple Evolutionist isn’t much with the bat on most days, and it’s hard to say if he’ll still be hot after the break, but he does have two homers in the last week and tends to get hot for a week or two at a time. You’d think he’d get hot for three or four weeks, due to evolution.
Jeremy Bonderman – Signed on with the Tigers. Toby Harrah wasn’t too please, but Leyland assured him that Harrah would continue to pitch batting practice.
Justin Verlander – 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hit, 3 BBs, 3 Ks, 3.50 ERA and his 10th win. Left with a tight quad, but should be fine to go on the other side of the break. Still think he has an outside chance to have a sub-3 ERA by October and make all his 1st half struggles seem minor in the big picture. Big picture as in whether or not you’re going to win your fantasy league, not big picture as in there’s 2% of the population controlling 99% of the wealth.
Torii Hunter – 2-for-3, 2 runs, and his 7th homer, hitting .315. If Tony had the kind of protection Hunter has in the lineup, the Sharks never would’ve messed with him.
Jhonny Peralta – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .303. Solid 1st half conclusion for Superfluous H, but he did enter the game hitting .222 in July and he’s nowhere near the hitter he showed in May when he hit .362.
Martin Perez – 5 2/3 IP, 5 ER. I could sit here and say, “See, I told you not to trust Perez,” but this game was against the Tigers, so of course, you weren’t trusting him here. Plus, I’m not sitting. I’m standing. Right behind you. Hey, what’s for lunch?
Chris Davis – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 37th homer. He’s gonna be absolutely shocked when he finds out the Home Run Derby hasn’t started yet.
Adam Jones – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer, hitting .296. Ended the half as the fourth best outfielder on our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. Here’s what I said in the preseason when I ranked him as the 7th best outfielder and in the top 15 overall, “I lurve 27-year-old hitters entering their prime. Big time lurve. My lurve doesn’t have a painting of the Mona Lisa, it has a painting of Adam Jones. Here’s what we know for absolutely sure. Over the past two seasons, he’s averaging 28 homers, 14 steals, .284 average and 156 games. He is now in the prime of his career. Even if we only got an “average” year from him, you have a number one outfielder.” And that’s me quoting me!
Jose Reyes – 2-for-5, 1 run and his 8th steal. Third steal in the last ten games, which is a good sign that his ankle is feeling good, but three steals every ten games the rest of the way takes him to about 19 steals in the 2nd half. It’s a’ight. Not a’ight a’ight and not what people think of with Reyes.
Josh Johnson – 6 IP, 7 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, 5.16 ERA. Having J.J. on your team is like exploding your ratios with dyn-o-mite.
Ian Kennedy – 6 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 5.42 ERA. Kennedy legacy hasn’t taken this big of a hit since…Well, choose any time the Kennedy family’s been in the news in the last 50 years.
Wily Peralta – 7 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 8 Ks. Now has only given up one earned run in July in 21 1/3 IP. He should take on the Padres in his first start on the other side of the break, which is a start I’d gamble on in some leagues.
Jean Segura – 3-for-3, 1 run. He’s now batting third for the Brewers, which actually makes sense for how good he’s been. Guess where Segura is gonna be on the top 100 for the 2nd half that is coming tomorrow. Nope, think higher.
Logan Schafer – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Could be an interesting name if Braun is suspended for an extended period of time and The Heblew Hammer actually takes his punishment.
Lorenzo Cain – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 10th steal. He’s now hit in nine of his last ten games, but it’s been a one-hit per game type of streak. Cain…Sugar! has also been benched for Dyson on occasion and homers have been only on special ‘zo Cain-sions.
David Lough – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 2nd steal, hitting .294. I’ve probably talked more about Lough than any other fantasy baseball ‘pert because I know he has solid speed somewhere in there. Then yesterday, it appears — Lough and behold.
Jason Kipnis – 2-for-2, 1 run, 2 RBIs and five for his last five. One of the guys I’m most interested seeing in the 2nd half, and whether or not he can continue his first half. To be continued or not to be continued, which is also how HBO ended Carnivale.
Hisashi Iwakuma – 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks, 3.02 ERA. Hisashi my dashi is hot again!
B.J. Upton – Hit the DL with a strained groin. Makes sense since he’s been playing like a total jack-off all year.
Freddie Freeman – Decided he wasn’t going to play in the All-Star game after jamming his thumb, and thumbing his nose at the fan vote. They should pick one lucky fan and let that man, woman, boy or girl choose the entire All-Star team. If it’s a 12-year-old girl, then let them choose who they want. Doesn’t even need to be players. Let their 5th grade teacher play first base and Carly Rae Jepsen pitch. It’ll make it fun!
Evan Gattis – 0-for-4 as he was activated. With the Braves outfield a mess with injuries, I’d grab Gattis for some power and his catcher eligibility.
Julio Teheran – 5 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks. Julio got schooled, downed by the ball going yard.
Jose Constanza – 0-for-5, playing in place of Heyward. Constanza has crazy speed, but hasn’t done much with any opportunity in the major leagues. His name translates to Joe With Poem so here’s one in his honor. On my team, I’m playing Eric Young/Boy, that man can run/I’m sick of saying, Heyward, I need help here/Barbara Billingsley used to yell the same to the boys’ overseer.
Andrelton Simmons – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 8th homer. Just be careful about telling him, “You’re out of this world!” He could take it as a command.
Jay Bruce – 3-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer. Know how your mom used to tell you to frost all the cupcakes and you used to eat all the icing, then regurgitate it onto the cupcakes? In the end, the job got done. That’s Bruce. Huge valleys and peaks, but the cupcakes get frosted at the end of the day.
Shin-Soo Choo – 2-for-3, 3 runs and his 13th homer. Hint to Braves organization: get a lefty for your playoff series vs. the Reds.
Dillon Gee – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks. His home ERA is below 3, and the Mets start the 2nd half at home, then go against a few junky teams on the road then go back home. I.e., own Gee!
Marlon Byrd – 2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. I tried to stay away from saying this or that guy was hot today, because there’s about to be a break and guys can go cold during that time, but Byrd’s been hot for about a month straight. He wouldn’t go cold on a cross-country flight sitting next to David Freese.
Gerrit Cole – 5 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. Not a hideous start, but you can find this kind of start off waivers. For instance, Eric Stults (6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks and the win) yesterday was a better start than Cole.
Josh Donaldson – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer. Imagine the pressure this year is putting on Josh Donalddaughter.
Carlos Quentin – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer. This was his 3rd homer in the last ten days. Is this a Quentin that you should say yes to? Once in your life, maybe tonight, I’ve got a Quentin for you. Sure, Rhett Miller, if you need some power.
Will Venable – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer. The Padres offense on Sunday was like what Chris Elliott warned Ben Stiller about and why you should always flog your dolphin before going on a date.
Michael Cuddyer – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer, hitting .330. So asinine that the Rockies are playing Helton at 1st base rather than protecting Cuddyer from injury at 1st. Those Rox are in Walt Weiss’s head.
Jhoulys Chacin – 6 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks. I’d own and start him in road games. On a unrelated note, this weekend I went to a party where I had a conversation with the best celebrity sighting of my life. I’ll give you what the celebrity said and see if you can guess. Me, “You look good.” Her, “Boo-boo, I haven’t eaten in two days. I’m training for a flamenco show.” Me, “My family used to watch The Love Boat just for you.” Her, “Coochie coochie coo!” That’s right, I was at a party with Charo! You better watch out, Cougar. I’m eyeing the Cougaracho.
Zack Greinke – 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, lowering his ERA to 3.49. I wasn’t aware of this until I looked yesterday, but benching him in my 12-team league when he’s had less-than-favorable matchups (two starts in Coors) has produced a 2.89 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 74 2/3 IP for my team with 7 wins. Looking at that, I’m not even sure why I was ever stressed by Greinke. His ERA is below 3 outside of Coors. What’s the problem?
Yasiel Puig – Sat out this weekend with a hip issue that happened on July 3rd when he ran into a wall. Thank God Bill Veeck’s revolutionary glass fences never caught on.