He’s done it! He’s done it! He’s done it! Aaron Judge (2-for-7, 2 runs) has hit his 62nd homer, and moved within 11 homers of Barry Bonds’ home run record! Incredible! Honestly, I’m kinda surprised no American League hitter had hit 60+ homers all during the wild, raucous 90s and early aughts when players testes were at their smallest and their biceps were at their biggest. The most shocking record still of the steroids era? With all the juicing going on, Bruce Bochy still had the biggest head. As mentioned before, this is one of the greatest seasons of all-time. Even Rudy was looking at the historical Player Rater the other day and was like, “This is the best season since the depression!” I didn’t ask him if he meant 2008, because I don’t like when he mutes me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Gerrit Cole – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.50, and his 257th strikeout on the year, as he takes sole possession of the single-season Yankees’ record for strikeouts. All the incredible Yankees pitchers through the years, it’s shocking no one ever got to 250 strikeouts or higher. Well, Steve Howe got higher, but they didn’t count that.
Giancarlo Stanton – 1-for-3 and his 31st homer. Almost as shocking as 62 homers — okay, not quite that shocking — but Giancarlo hit .211 this year with a .297 OBP. You know I love this guy, but that is so stinky.
Oswaldo Cabrera – 2-for-6 and his 6th homer. For real, this is Atlanta Braves baseball. This is what they do so well. Why is it so hard to figure out? The game is dominated by young 20-something players who are crazy talented. Yanks should’ve been playing Cabrera since the 1st half of the season over Aaron Hicks. Or over Donaldson, as Cabrera played 3rd yesterday. This isn’t hard to understand.
Oswald Peraza – 2-for-8, 2 runs and a slam (1) and legs (2). See what I said for Oswaldo, subtract an O.
Jameson Taillon – 6 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.91 vs. Jon Gray – 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.96. This start was labeled as a “Meh going in” and was a “Meh going out.” A two-way meh.
Adolis Garcia – 2-for-6, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 27th homer. How is it that people in 5×5 leagues look at everything Adolis Garcia does well and think, “Meh, he doesn’t take enough walks?” Seriously, how? How, he screamed at the reflection of himself. Only it wasn’t his own reflection but himself at the age of 85.
Brandon Belt – He’s optimistic for next year after having knee surgery. Not at all related to how he’s feeling, but he’s also a free agent. That is totally and completely unrelated.
Wil Myers – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer in two games. Guess how many homers he has. C’mon! Two homers in two games! Guess! Wrong, seven. He has so few homers I still need to spell the number out.
Marco Gonzales – Mariners said Marco would be left off the playoff roster, which means he will pitch as many innings today as he can go. This might be the only actionable fantasy advice you get today. Go forth, young man, and prosper, while bizarrely covering your bald spot.
Mitch Haniger – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer. You cannot predict injuries. I’m not predicting injuries. With that said, I don’t know how you can ever predict Haniger for more than 100 games.
Victor Reyes – 2-for-8, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games. One last hot schmotato alert!
Spencer Torkelson – 5-for-9, 4 runs, 3 RBIs and his 7th and 8th homer. How much punishment is too much punishment so I don’t draft a guy next year? Whatever it is, Torkelson did it this year. That’s your answer.
Justin Verlander – 5 IP, 0 ER, 1 walk, 10 Ks, ERA at 1.75. Astros throwing a no-hitter thru 8 innings vs. the Phils is such a brutal wake-up call after the Phils clinched. It’s like, “Congrats on making the playoffs, maybe we’ll see you in the World Series,” then a patronizing pat on the back. Verlander also stamps his Cy Young ticket in one of the more improbable pitcher seasons. If you say it’s not that improbable, then why weren’t you drafting him until 100th overall?
Jeremy Pena – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 22nd homer, 2nd homer in the last three games. For no particular reason, let me point out for the last time Correa has 22 homers.
Kyle Tucker – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 30th homer, hitting .258. Of course, Mr. H2H in all his consistent glory got his 30th homer.
Brendan Rodgers – 2-for-4 and his 13th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games. Good to see the Rockies making do with Rodgers. The Rockies actually make do with everyone. “Making do” as defined by Merriam-Webster’s seventh definition, as in doing poop.
Randal Grichuk – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer, as he hit leadoff. 161 games in and Bud Black looks at Grichuk and thinks, “He’d make a good leadoff guy.” Absolutely incredible.
Nathan Eovaldi – 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.87. A complete game shutout! Wow, what a way to end the year. If a baseball pitcher from the early 1900’s read any of this, it would be as foreign as a different language. Though, I guess they had rain in the early 1900s. Maybe. What, I’m a historian now?
Xander Bogaerts – 1-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 15th homer, hitting .305. Yo, has Bogaerts become a light-hitting average-only guy? Not to answer, but to ruminate for the next three months.
Willson Contreras – 2-for-3 and his 22nd homer, hitting .243. Been working on the top 20 positional recaps that will start coming out next week, and in the catcher one, there’s two Contrerases (Contrarii?), two Braveses (Bravii?) and two Royals (and no King Charles).
Jake Odorizzi – 5 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 4.40. Streamed this schmohawk yesterday — Tigers Woods fist pump — but also streamed his opponent, Braxton Garrett (4 2/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 3.58), because I’m streaming literally everyone. Each night for the last week, I’m like Harrison Ford on Air Force One screaming, “Get off my team!”
Jesus Sanchez – 1-for-2 and his 13th homer. There’s my preseason sleeper! *dodges tomato* Hey, so it didn’t work out. *dodges another tomato* Okay, I get it! *tomato hits its mark, my head* Ow!
Javier Assad – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.11 vs. Luis Cessa – 5 IP, 1 ER, 2 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.57. You have one more day to exploit what I keep saying. I’m not sure what the Streamonator is saying, but the Reds and Cubs raised the white flag about four months ago, and it wasn’t like a normal-colored flag that their mom just washed with bleach.
TJ Friedl – Hit the IL. Then change his name to FrieIL. It’s gross how he uses DL.
Eric Lauer – 6 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, 4 walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.69. I have to set an iCal reminder for next year to remind myself that hitters all check out a few days before the end of the season. I mean, even Sean Manaea, Giolito and Berrios looked good in the final few days!
Garrett Mitchell – 2-for-4 and a slam (2) and legs (7). How about a cyclops with a monocle? Oh, wait, there is no time for that. Sigh.
Brandon Nimmo – 6-for-8, 6 RBIs and his 15th and 16th homer. Nimmo found two!
Jeff McNeil – 3-for-8, 2 runs, and his 9th homer, hitting .326. Looks like he will win the NL Batting Title, and, he’s got a career average of .307 in over 2000 plate appearances. McNeil’s quietly been That Guy for a while. That Guy doesn’t get much acclaim. That Guy doesn’t tip very well. That Guy doesn’t sound great. Maybe McNeil’s not That Guy. Can he be That Other Guy?
Francisco Alvarez – 2-for-2 as he hit his 1st major league homer. How tall is this guy really? He’s listed as 5′ 10″, but is that on his tippy toes? He was wearing the Mets’ pinstripes yesterday, which should lengthen him, and he still looked super tiny.
Lucas Giolito – 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.90. Oh, heck yeah, very cool how he’s now making it seem like we were all crazy for hating him all year. Who are you, Lucas Gaslighto?
Elvis Andrus – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (17) and legs (18). Elvis Andrus being the best fantasy White Sox hitter in the 2nd half might just say a bit about the White Sox hitters more than it says about Andrus.
Luis Arraez – 1-for-4, hitting .315. With talk of Luis Arraez having a comfortable lead in the AL batting race, I was trying to remember what year Carney Lansford won the batting title, so I went to his Wikipedia page and I didn’t expect to find such a robust personal life:
Reporter, assigned with catching up with Carney, “I really love Bo Bichette too, Carney. The way he stays on each pitch–” Carney, unamused, interrupts, “I didn’t say Bo Bichette, I said Boba Fett.” Also in Carney’s Personal Life section, there’s this doozie, “He claims to be a direct descendant of Sir Francis Drake, who died with no known children.” The “no known children” is the absolute chef’s kiss. Now I want Carney Lansford on the podcast! I have a great track record with Oakland A’s players from the 80s into the early-90s.