I was craving sashimi last night, so I sauntered to my local sushi joint. When I walked through the door, I heard the familiar, “Irrashaimase maido,” from the chefs behind the counter. As I nodded my head down reverently, I realized there was a new member of the crew. I like to live dangerously, so I sat down at the bar in front of him. I usually ask the chef, “What’s good today?” but last night it was just, “Prepare what you think is best.” Like I said, I like to live dangerously. If I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation, I would’ve knocked my chair backwards and banged my head on the floor from the show I was presented. It was all so un-Benihana-esque. The skill. The grace. As he wiped the sweat from his forehead after slicing and dicing the manta rays placed before him, I asked him one simple question. “Who are you?” He looked me in the eye and responded, “I am Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees.” Tanaka was perfect for five innings Friday night. He ended up allowing two hits, one earned run, did not walk a batter, and struck out 14 in eight innings. 77-of-109 pitches were thrown for strikes. That’s how you earn a big tip! Now, keep in mind that Tampa Bay strikes out the fourth-most frequently against RHP and the huge night knocked down his ERA to 5.09 for the year. He did give up four, three, and five earned runs in his prior three starts and got pummeled in his two previous starts against TB. As Friday night showed, though, Tanaka does have the ability to absolutely dominate. When I eat raw fish, I know there’s always the risk that I could be eating some three-eyed monster from Fukushima. That’s how I feel about starting Tanaka. As I said before, I like to live dangerously.
Here’s what else I saw from Friday night’s action:
Robbie Ray – Ray had to leave the game in the second inning after taking a direct hit to the head on a screaming comebacker. Really scary stuff. Fortunately, he was able to sit up and wave to the crowd after being placed on the cart. Seriously, isn’t it time pitchers wear some kind of protective gear? If it’s nothing to worry about, why is there a screen for the pitchers in batting practice?
David Price – Missed the start and was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Elbow inflammation. From MLB.com, “Manager John Farrell said the plan is for Price to attempt to play catch early next week. ‘I do not know if he’ll miss the season. I’m not anticipating that at this time,’ Red Sox president of operations Dave Dombrowski said.” Whoa there fella. TMI. First off, why can’t Price play catch tomorrow? Someone could throw him the ball and he can catch it right? Then the ball boy or whomever can take the ball out of his glove and throw it back. Rinse and repeat. Oh….you mean he can throw the ball next week? Well, then if he can throw the ball next week, why the <bleep bleep bleeeeeep> is Dombrowski saying he doesn’t know if he’ll miss the season? Something ain’t jiving here. I’m suddenly craving turkey.
Michael Wacha – Wacha Wacha Wacha. Six innings, three hits, zero earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts for the win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Since July 1st, here are the earned runs he’s allowed: zero, two, zero, five, and zero. If I remember correctly from my early childhood, the next number should be eight, right? Well, his next start is in Milwaukee, a hitter’s haven. In addition, in three career games in Miller Park, Wacha has a 5.91 ERA and has allowed four home runs in 10 2/3 innings. Do I really believe that he will get shelled next start? Of course not, but if he does, I’m mortgaging the house for his next start.
Tommy Pham – God Pham! I love this man! 1-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. His 14th on the year! That’s with 14 home runs and a .311 average. You know how many players have both double digit steals and homers? 17. And only five have a batting average north of .300. Hot Pham! I wrote about Pham here earlier this month.
Brent Suter – Gets the win over the Cubs by going seven innings, allowing four hits, zero earned runs, walking one, and striking out five. Do the Cubs suck or is Suter good? Why everything gotta be black or white? Suter has a K/9 of 7.58 and throws 87 mph from the left side. With that said, he’s great at inducing ground balls (48.7%) and limiting hard contact (27.2%). Some like their men/women fat, while others like ’em skinny. At the end of the day, it’s about what you enjoy and whether or not he/she can get you off. I usually like my pitchers to throw hard, but if that soft-tossing lefty can give me production, I’m down. Yes, I’m a whore.
Jose Quintana – Six innings, four hits, two earned runs, three walks, and six strikeouts against the Brewers. The move to the NL is obviously an upgrade, but I’m not sure if the strikeout rate is sustainable. The K/9 is 9.82. It’s never been above 8.00 is five previous MLB seasons. The swinging strike rate is only 8.8%. Does not compute.
Javier Baez – 1-for-3 with a home run, batting eighth. Baez can launch balls out of stadiums, play good defense, run like a gazelle, and make panties of women wet. So, what’s the problem? Is Joe Maddon a freaking racist or something? Clicks on fangraphs. com. Scrolls down to plate discipline numbers. 18.8% swinging strike rate, 65.7% contact rate, 45% swing rate on pitches outside the strike zone, and 51.4% on contact on pitches out of the zone. I apologize Joe Maddon. You sir are definitely not a racist.
Danny Salazar – Six innings, three hits (one home run), two earned runs, two walks, eight strikeouts, and the win over the White Sox. Since returning to the starting rotation, Salazar has pitched 13 innings, allowed two earned runs, struck out 16, and walked only two. He’s always had the ability to rack up strikeouts, but that walk number is key, as that has been his weakness. Mine is radiation-laden fish. Anyways, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cleveland staff put Salazar under the knife and implanted some kind of chip into his brain. You’re telling me that we can drop bombs from 40,000 feet in the sky and guide them to within 10 feet of a target with a chip but can’t do something to get a pitcher to throw a baseball accurately from 60′ 6?”
Derek Holland – 4 1/3 innings, nine hits (one home run), six earned runs, five walks, and zero strikeouts. Holland makes $6 million. He’s given up 25 home runs, which is third-worst in all of baseball. Kids, this is why you teach your kids to throw left-handed. If you’re a White Sox fan, thank goodness he’s only signed for one year. When Holland pitches, they should just put the batting practice screen in front of him. We all about realism, right?
Carlos Santana – 2-for-5, two runs scored, a HR, and a walk. Oh Maria Maria. She reminds me of a west side story. Growing up in Spanish Harlem.
Francisco Lindor – 2-for-5 with a run scored. Ding dong….Ding dong. Who’s at the door? Roommate answers, “Lin is at the door.” Who’s at the door? “Lin is at the door.” Who? “Lin’s at the door“…”Linsat the door“…”Lins the door“…”Linsdor“….”Lindor.” I just balled my eyes out.
Michael Brantley – 2-for-5 with a HR. All he does is hit home runs! He only has eight on the season? Hmmmm….Hey! Look over there! On July 23rd, Brantley hit a home run. He hit his next home run two games later. Then he hit his next one three games later. See where I’m going with this?
Jose Ramirez – 4-for-5 with a HR, four runs scored, and three RBI. Jose is the 17th OVERALL player on the Player Rater. He had an ADP of 100. .316 average, 17 home runs, 67 runs scored, 52 RBI, 10 stolen bases, with an 8.2% walk rate, 11.3% strikeout rate, and .242 ISO. Is it wrong for me to have an erection right now?
Even Brandon Guyer (2-for-3, one RBI, and one walk), Yan Gomes (2-for-5 with two RBI), and Giovanny Urshela (1-for-5 with a RBI) got into the action. That’s when you know things are bad…or good, depending on your perspective.
Edwin Encarnacion – The only Indian to not record a hit, but he did draw a walk and score a run. Squawk. Polly want a cracker. Squawk.
Yoan Moncada – 1-for-3 with a double, run scored, a walk, and two strikeouts. He did get caught trying to steal. They need to get rid of that phrase Stealing is Wrong. In baseball, although SAGNOF, those dudes get paid the more they steal. Same for basketball. The rich steal from the poor all the time and it’s fine. I’m just saying. By the way, Moncada hit fourth in the lineup. He good.
Andrew Cashner – Seven innings, five hits (one home run), one earned run, two walks, and four strikeouts. Dude truly is Houdini. I remember when Cashner used to throw mid-to-high 90s. Man, long time ago. Now, he’s just a groundball inducing machine (50.5%). The K/9 is 4.50 while BB/9 is 3.93. The swinging strike rate is 6.2%. I learned very early in the year that it’s not advisable to stack against Cashner in DFS. He’s allowed multiple home runs in a game just once this season. He’s given up seven home runs all year. While he hasn’t struck out more than five batters in a game, he hasn’t allowed more than five earned runs in any outing either.
Jonathan Schoop – 1-for-3 with a HR and walk. For the season, he’s batting .303 with 23 home runs and 73 RBI. The ISO is .247, wOBA is .374, and OBP is .349. Salt-N-Pepa would be proud.
Chris Tillman – 4 1/3 innings, nine hits (one home run), eight earned runs, two walks, and six strikeouts. Tillman is the anti-Houdini aka anti-Cashner. He’s the guy that tied himself up in a straitjacket, locked himself in a box, told his assistant to dump the box into the water, and attempted to escape before he drowned. There’s a reason why you never heard of “that guy.”
At least Shin-Soo Choo collected a hit, walked twice and scored two runs.
Elvis Andrus – 2-for-4 with a HR, two runs scored, and two RBI. Elvis did leave the building. I’d hope so because I’d imagine that they wouldn’t leave the lights on all night at the stadium.
Nomar Mazara – 3-for-4 with three doubles, two runs scored, and two RBI. Do you lift, bro?
Adrian Beltre – 2-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI. Two more hits and he gets to 3,000 for his career. Only 30 players in MLB history have reached that mark. Yo, Adriaaaaaaan…You did it!!!
Travis Wood (six innings, two hits (one home run), two earned runs, one walk, and seven strikeouts) outdueled Chad Kuhl (5 1/3 innings, four hits, two earned runs, five walks, and four strikeouts) in a game in which no one outside of Pittsburgh, San Diego, and gambling degenerates cared about. My bad. No one outside of Pittsburgh and the gambling degenerates. Damn. Ok, everyone cared about this freaking game.
Corey Spangenberg – 2-for-3 with a double and triple, a walk, two runs scored, and a RBI. Spangenberg batting against Kuhl got me thinking about Dunkirk, which makes sense that the game was played in San Diego with all the military there. Just remember that Spangenberg is a Padre so. He has eight home runs and six stolen bases on the season, but strikes out 26.7% of the time and his .266 batting average comes with a .344 BABIP. Peace.
Andrew McCutchen – 2-for-3 with a HR, two RBI, and a walk. USA! USA! Cutch has 18 home runs and nine stolen bases with a .285 average and .216 ISO. USA! USA! Make America Great Again Cutch.
Ariel Miranda – Six innings, five hits (two home runs), three earned runs, one walk, and 10 strikeouts. 10 strikeouts?! Did I studder mother [email protected]#[email protected]#!? Don’t go crazy here. Miranda has a 6.89 K/9 and 9.9% swinging strike rate. The Mets strike out the 10th-most frequently against LHP.
Rafael Montero – 4 2/3 innings, three hits (one home run), five earned runs, five walks, and five strikeouts. You couldn’t just get one more out and give up two more hits?
Mike Zunino – 2-for-3 with a home run and a walk. He’s a catcher that has a .247 ISO with a 38.1% strikeout rate. Oh, the swinging strike rate is 18%. Did I mention that he’s a catcher?
Michael Conforto – 2-for-5 with two HRs. Conforto is so good. It’s nice to see him take a lefty yard. Hey Mets! The only way to learn how to hit lefties is to actually go up against them. I forgot. This is the organization that invested with Madoff and is still paying Bobby Bonilla. Conforto has a .343 BABIP but the wOBA is .402 and ISO is .279. I’m blowing the kiss that DeNiro does in all the gangster flicks when he approves.
Jay Bruce – 2-for-3 with a HR, two RBI, and a walk. Bruuuuuuuuuce….
Jaime Garcia – 6 2/3 innings, eight hits, three earned runs, three walks, and seven strikeouts for the win. Move from the NL to the AL? Pssshhawww says Garcia. Granted, the A’s strikeout the 2nd-most frequently against LHP, but an impressive debut for the Twins nonetheless. Garcia has a 6.77 K/9 and 3.27 BB/9. He can be serviceable in the right matchup, but will provide the surprise enema from time to time.
JT Realmuto – 3-for-4 with a home run, a walk, and two runs scored. Dee didn’t want his stash to get wasted, so he pawned it off to JT. His career-high in home runs was 11 in 545 plate appearances. He’s got 11 in 350. Damn, I forgot about the juiced ball thing, but answer me this? Where did Dee put his stash then, huh?
Billy Hamilton – 0-for-3 with a walk, run scored, and stolen base. That’s 44 stolen bases for the season. See, stealing is good. If I’m not already, I’m going to be a terrible father. I have two kids (6 and 2) by the way. May God have mercy on their souls.
Adam Duvall – 1-for-3 with a HR and two RBI. Hee haw.
Rick Porcello – Seven innings, six hits (two home runs), four earned runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Porcello was 22-4 last season. He’s 4-13 right now. The strikeout rate is actually better than last year, but he’s walking more batters and allowing more home runs. The hard contact rate is an obscene 41.8%.
Jason Vargas – Six innings, five hits, one earned run, two walks, and two strikeouts. The Red Sox stink. As a team, they’ve hit 102 home runs for the year. Only the Pirates and Giants have hit fewer. Comically, the Giants have hit 79 home runs. Four teams have stolen more bases. Anyways, back to Vargas. He’s 12-4 on the year with a 6.63 K/9 and 2.37 BB/9. The ERA is 3.08 while the xFIP is 4.90. Screams regression but he may be a magician like Cashner.
Salvador Perez – 1-for-4 with a HR. I don’t understand why anyone throws Perez a strike. His walk rate is 3.6% and he chases 47.8% of pitches outside the strike zone. The narrative has been that Perez fades in the second half due to fatigue. I’m beginning to think he fades because games start to mean more towards the end of the season and that’s when he starts getting more junk thrown at him.
Mike Moustakas – 1-for-4 with a HR and three RBI. Moose has 30 home runs on the year. That’s either the sign of juiced balls or the Apocalypse. Since I’m still able to type, I’m pretty sure it’s the juiced balls.
Eric Hosmer – 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Hosmer has a 2.26 GB/FB rate, which is the seventh-worst mark in baseball. He’s a freaking first baseman. Even James Loney is shaking his head.
J.A. Happ – Six innings, five hits, three earned runs, four walks, and five strikeouts for the L against the Angels. Happ struggles against righties and he’s not as effective at home. Anyone shocked about yesterday’s result, especially since the Angels sent out eight righties against him?
Parker Bridwell – 7 1/3 innings, three hits, one earned run, one walk, and four strikeouts. Bridwell must be getting too much action down in the OC because he’s been terrible at home and almost unhittable on the road. .180/.263/.318 line on the road in 25 innings and .313/.342/.500 at home in 29 innings.
Andrelton Simmons – 2-for-5 with a run scored and a stolen base. That’s 14 stolen bases on the season to go with 11 home runs and a .300 batting average. He’s the number six shortstop on the Player Rater. He may be an alien, but so was Alf, and we loved him too.
Julio Teheran – 4 2/3 innings, seven hits (three home runs), eight earned runs, two walks, and five strikeouts. The Ayatollah was not a happy man last night, as Teheran got bombed by the Phillies not once…not twice…but three times. Oh, if only that great symbol of American freedom, the Liberty Bell, wasn’t cracked. Teheran’s K/9 has plummeted while both the BB/9 and HR/9 have skyrocketed from last year.
Aaron Altherr – 2-for-3 with two HRs and a walk. Aaron hits ’em way Altherr.
Cameron Rupp – 2-for-4 with a HR. Another freaking catcher that strikes out 32.9% of the time. You’d think that catchers would be better hitters than they are, no?
Tommy Joseph – 1-for-4 with a HR and three RBI. How did Joseph become a last name? One day, some random dude just declared that my last name will be Joseph from now on? As you can see, it’s very late now and I have nothing to say about Tommy Joseph.
Freddie Galvis – 3-for-5 with two runs scored, two RBI, and two stolen bases. He has 11 home runs and nine stolen bases on the season and is projected for six home runs and four stolen bases rest of season. He’s batting .255 and plays for the Phillies.
Kurt Suzuki – 2-for-4 with a HR. Tied for the 10th-most home runs for a catcher with 10. Only has 171 plate appearances on the season. Shit happens.
Brett Gardner – 1-for-2 with a HR, three runs scored, and a walk. Gardner has 19 home runs and 13 stolen bases on the season. He has a .211 ISO and .354 wOBA. Roids and/or juiced balls. Don’t tell me it’s neither.
Clint Frazier – 1-for-4 with a HR and three RBI. The power is obviously real, but he’s striking out close to 30% and walking 2.5%. The swinging strike rate is not bad at 11.6%, he’s chasing less than 25% of pitches outside the zone, and the contact rate in the zone is elite. Plus, he often hits second in the lineup. He’s only had 81 plate appearances so we need to see more.
Aaron Judge – 1-for-4 with a HR. All rise….
Lucas Duda – 1-for-3 with a HR. Zip-a-dee-Duda. Zip-a-dee-ay. Duda will more than likely platoon with Trevor Plouffe at first base.
Alex Wood – Seven innings, eight hits (one home run), four earned runs, and five strikeouts for the win over the Giants. Wood is now 12-1 on the season and sports a 10.07 K/9. The HR/9 is a paltry 0.46. I have wood just thinking about Wood.
Matt Moore – 6 1/3 innings, three hits (one home run), three earned runs, four walks, and six strikeouts. Are Matt Moore and Mandy Moore related? They kind of look similar to me. They have both had similar career tracks as well. Young and promising in their early days. Washed up and irrelevant as they got older.
Corey Seager – 2-for-4 with two HRs and three RBI. Corey hits both lefties and righties well and he’s only 23 years old. Ladies and guys, he has a girlfriend.
Brandon Crawford – 1-for-4 with a HR and two runs scored. Corey hit his HR in the bottom of the first. Brandon was like, “I’m a good looking shortstop that can hit home runs as well,” and deposits one into the seats in the top of the second. Then Corey was like, “I don’t think so,” and cracked one in the seventh. As he fondled his flowing hair, Crawford answered reporters with an, “I tried.”