The rich keep getting richer and the poor get poorer. The middle is being squeezed. When I Google, “What happened to the middle class?” I found some socioeconomic theories on Yahoo Answers, and ads to get rich quick and stop having to “steal food from Whole Foods.” Okay, I have no idea how they know about that, but, if you switch a price tag, it is not exactly stealing. It’s redistributing “gummies made with real fruit juice.” All of this is fascinating and all, but I was trying to find out what is happening to the middle class of starters! Aaron Nola (8 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 9 Ks) and Max Scherzer (7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks) faced each other, and both pitchers have ERAs of 2.13. Not surprisingly, the police code for fantastic use of arms is 2.13. Again, there’s top starters with a sub-3 ERA, and there is a ton of starters above 4.00 ERA that I don’t want, but where are the 3.50 ERA pitchers? Doesn’t it feel like this middle class of pitchers has shrunk? *coming across something on the internet* Hmm, maybe this article by a Harvard professor in The Economist will explain it to me. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Odubel Herrera – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer. After watching a few years of ODB, watching a Wu Tang documentary on Amazon Prime and painting a Wu symbol on my face, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, Odubel is the type to go from incredibly cold to crazy hot in a blink of an eye. If he was dropped in your league, I’d go back in.
Pat Neshek – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 4th save. I need saves, so I picked up Neshek. Do I think he’s getting the next save or pitching with one out in the 6th inning? I’d say it’s about 50/50.
Jacob deGrom – 6 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners (4 BBs), 10 Ks, ERA at 1.71. I nearly put deGrom in the opening lede with his opponent, Madison Bumgarner (8 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.88), but I’m super OCD about not mixing two games in the lede. Occasionally, the circumstances call for it. Like if Acuña were to hit three homers in a game and elsewhere in the country, Jose Urena were to be hit by three lighting bolts, I’d prolly mention them both, but it’s best if you keep things very focused. And, over-the-internet friend, I’m focused like a hummingbird on three packets of Sugar in the Raw. Any hoo! DeGrom (cap in the beginning of a sentence) and Bumgarner did a Swayze-spinning-Jennifer-Grey-above-his-head bit of Dirty Dancing and it was gorge. DeGrom has been all year, and Bumgarner is just a has-been.
Todd Frazier – 1-for-4 and his 14th homer, and 2nd homer in two days. What Frazier is doing right now we call in the biz, “Holy crap, doode’s so freakin hot, grab him now.” There’s only one cure, which is, ironically, us grabbing him, but we do it anyway. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy column. You can hardly wait! No, you!
Jay Bruce – Set to return today. He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, because I’m not casting a performance piece called, The 2011 All-Star Game!
Evan Longoria – 1-for-3 and his 14th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games. Not really a fan of older players (ageist!), but Longoria does appear to be a hot schmotato too.
Artie Lewicki – Headed for Tommy John surgery. If you’re wondering why I’m mentioning a character from the original The Odd Couple, I’m not sure. I’m told Artie plays baseball.
Welington Castillo – Returned from suspension but went straight to the DL with a shoulder injury. Now, you know where’s the boeuf.
Nick Castellanos – 2-for-4 and his 19th homer, hitting .293. The Greek God of Hard Contact stands on a mountain of Greek diner gravy fries and bloviates about his hard contact.
Ronny Rodriguez – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 1st homer. Someone better check him for Ron-Ron juice! He had solid Triple-A stats, but he’s also old for the minor leagues, and presumably a Quad-A player.
David Price – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.50. *knocks on lede* “Hey, you guys think I could get mentioned with Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer?” “No.” As bad as, say, Verlander has been in the 2nd half, Price has been that good. His 2nd half ERA is 1.09 in 41 1/3 IP. Zoinks.
Yu Darvish – Expects to be fully healthy for 2019. Hopefully, he’s a better psychic than he was a pitcher this year.
Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-2, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 21st homer, hitting .270. HR to the Rizzo!
Cole Hamels – 9 IP, 1 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks and his ERA on the Cubs is 0.79. Don’t want to say this is a total shock, because I literally said on the Trading Deadline podcast that Hamels could easily be a 1.50 ERA pitcher on the Cubs, because it’s a small sample size — that’s what she said!
Ronald Acuna Jr. – 1-for-4 and his 21st homer, an absolute bomb to left-center that broke a concourse wall. Tildaddy says you better caulk that hole! Of course, then Acuña immediately got hit by a pitch in his next at-bat. If the Marlins are going to hit Acuña after every home run, he should homer, then go to the plate in his next at-bat dressed like a waiter at Medieval Times.
Charlie Culberson – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer. He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but Culberson has been hot for a few weeks, and I like him a little bit. Guess that means I have a Chubberson.
Ender Inciarte – 2-for-4, and his 8th homer, to go with his 24 steals. Not in this game, but you can’t spell Rickey Henderson without Ender.
Trevor Cahill – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.44. The Ghost of Sherman Hemsley, “It’s gonna take a whole lotta tryin’ to get over that, Cahill.”
Khris Davis – 1-for-5 and his 39th homer. If in about five years, a 40-homer-hitting Kris Davis comes along, I’m gonna swear all Chris Davises are Russian nesting dolls.
Mallex Smith – 3-for-4, 27th steal, hitting .307. Mallex P. Stealin a capitalist because he’s capitalizing on weak catcher arms, so maybe he could explain the shrinking middle class of starters.
Corey Knebel – Demoted to Triple-A. Knebel will have time to think about why his Twitter history isn’t more incendiary.
Christian Villanueva – Likely done for the season with a fractured middle finger. Ton of middle finger injuries this year, huh? I haven’t seen this many problems with middle fingers since the sign language convention seminar, “How To Properly Sign A Rap Concert.”
Hunter Renfroe – 1-for-4 and his 15th homer, and 3rd homer in the last week. Renfroe! Or as Scooby Doo would say, “Renfroe!”
Kyle Freeland – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 7 Ks. I’m a big proponent of avoiding starters in Coors, but I’ve owned Freeland for about a month, and he’s been one of my best pitchers. His ERA is 2.96, and it’s even better at home! His ERA in Coors is 2.27! Holy Marla Gibbs!
Matt Holliday – 0-for-3 as he was called up by the Rockies. The scouts say he has a quick stroke to the ball and severe male pattern baldness from either years of steroids, being hella old or a combination of both. The Rockies are such idiots to sign Holliday and now who is he going to take time from? Dahl? Desmond? What a jizzoke. I don’t even like CarGo, and Holliday shouldn’t take time from him either! This is almost as bad as the Mets benching guys to get Bautista, Bruce, Reyes and the rest of the 2011 All-Star Game roster some at-bats, but at least the Mets are out of the playoff hunt. Hey, Rockies, maybe bring back Larry Walker too. Where’s he? In his backyard doing a pickup Hunger Games?