Hishashi my dashi — slurp SLURP! Yesterday, Hisashi Iwakuma threw the AL’s first no-hitter since 2012, a span of three years (nice math skills, Grey stache!) This wasn’t an easy, rollover and let me scratch your belly, Padres club he was no-hitting either. This was no “Get out your Slinky and drop it from the top of the stairs and it’ll go all the way to the bottom,” this was more of a “Drop your Slinky and watch it get two stairs down, and then Chris Davis comes up and flattens one into the Pike’s Market concourse, and then one of the fish guys throws it back and then Machado comes up orders a Flat White with almond milk and he hits one over one of the 16,000 Starbucks* in the greater Seattle area.” Wow, I got totally lost in that analogy. Iwakuma’s ERAs are all over the place in his time in the states, but I’ll say this, everything else is nearly identical. His K/9 is always within point five, his xFIP is 3.29 now and it was 3.28 in his 2nd major league season, his fastball velocity was 88.9 last year; it’s 88.9 now, his walk rate is 1.5, it was 1.1 last year. This year, he’s given up more homers, that’s been the difference. You’d have to assume in Safeco homers would come down and Iwakuma would go back to being a mid to low-3 ERA pitcher. *I did the Segway Seattle tour during the All-Star break counting them. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Nelson Cruz – Out on Wednesday, dealing with neck spasms. Cruz said he wasn’t able to turn and look without moving his whole upper body. That never stopped Ken Patera!
Kevin Gausman – 7 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks. “Gausman, Taijuan, Matz, Rodon, Erasmo, Hutchison, etc.” “Alex, what are reasons why I may not draft a starter in the top 150 next year?” I love that Jeopardy started adding subjective questions.
Matt Wieters – His hamstring will be re-evaluated on Friday. He could be re-evaluated on Thursday, but he needs to stretch out the level of stress he puts his owners through.
Chris Heston – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners (4 BBs), 4 Ks, ERA at 3.38. I streamed him yesterday. You, “How did you know, Unkie Grey? Are you fantasy baseball’s Ms. Cleo?” No, or I never would’ve drafted Sandoval. I followed the Stream-o-Nator and Heston’s home track record.
Nori Aoki – Likely headed to the 7-day DL. How is it that everyone is now getting concussions? Fatty Arbuckle once gave Babe Ruth a concussion after hitting him on the head with a Coke bottle when he pulled it out of tight spot too fast, and Ruth never needed a concussion DL.
Carlos Gomez – Didn’t start yesterday due to a sore knee. Could have the two Cargos peed in the same fountain and accidentally switched bodies?
Colby Rasmus – 1-for-3 and his 15th homer, hitting .239. He’s going to get to .250 with 20 homers and look like he should be drafted next year, and you’re gonna draft him and want to drop him three days into the season. Every year with this guy.
Jed Lowrie – 1-for-4 and his 5th homer. If Lowrie hits another home run in the next few games, he will become the last player with middle eligibility to make it on my teams.
James Shields – 6 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 10 baserunners, 7 Ks in Petco, ERA at 3.89. He should be ashamed of himself. Harang had a 3.64 ERA in his year in San Diego. Effin’ monkey face!
Matt Kemp – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer. We should start an All-Star team of guys that were once amazing and got old at the age of 29, the Andruw Jones Also-Rans. You better believe Kemp is a starter.
Joey Votto – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and a slam (20) and legs (7). Not only did I make Votto my preseason NL MVP pick, but I also placed a bet in Vegas on the Reds winning the World Series. Man, I wish I didn’t put my money where my mouth is.
Raisel Iglesias – 6 IP, 3 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.70. Fun fact! His name translates to “raise the roof in a church.”
Jacoby Ellsbury – Didn’t start yesterday for a mental day of rest. Coincidentally, his owners are going mental.
Danny Salazar – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners (5 BBs), 8 Ks, ERA at 3.26. Who’s better, Carrasco or Salazar? On pure stuff, I’m gonna say Carrasco. On being a pitcher, which sounds like some nonsense you hear from John Kruk, I’m taking Salazar.
Jake Odorizzi – 6 IP, 6 ER vs. the Braves. I’ll send you five over-the-internet dollars if you can figure out who on the Braves knocked in four runs off of Odorizzi. If you said The Lithuanian Bathroom, you’re warm, he hit eighth and right in front of the culprit. Yes, Odorizzi was undone by the Braves nine hole hitter.
Asdrubal Cabrera – 2-for-4, 1 run, hitting over .500 in the last week. I know he’s not sexy, but he’s been schmotato’ing all around town for the better part of August.
Grady Sizemore – 3-for-5, 2 runs and his 6th homer. Now has four homers in his last nine games. No, I wouldn’t pick him up either.
Curt Casali – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 8th homer. You’re a son like Elroy, you wish you had a record deal, and Casali’s got Maas appeal. RIP Guru.
Edinson Volquez – 7 IP, 5 ER, 10 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.27 vs. Daniel Norris 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 2 Ks. This was a matchup of one guy you don’t want that you should and one guy you do want that you shouldn’t, but the one guy you should have you didn’t want yesterday. That sounds like the Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want translated into Chinese and then translated back.
Jose Iglesias – 2-for-5, 1 run, hitting .305, and batting 2nd. Joe Church!
Trayce Thompson – 2-for-3, 1 run and a homer on Tuesday. I hesitated mentioning him yesterday because he’s a platoon guy, facing lefties. That essentially kills all his value in mixed leagues, except for streaming. I’ve seem him compared to an old Razzball favorite, Jason Lane, but Richard Linklater never filmed Trayce. The comparison was meant prior to Lane becoming a herbathrowdite. Thompson might have some value streaming vs. lefties, but not much beyond that.
Drew Stubbs – Designated for assignment. Don’t worry, Rockie fans (do these exist?), Weiss kept Brandon Barnes.
Lucas Duda – Sat out again with a stiff back. On a related note, a frequent commenter, Nick the Dick, looks just like Duda. I know this because the other day he posted his family roast. It’s completely NSFW, but also awesome. If you want to see Nick, fast forward to the 28 minute mark, but his other family members are just as outrageous and well worth watching.
Jacob deGrom – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA down to 2.03. Member how the Hosmer-hawk became a thing because Fox beat it down our throats during the playoffs? Could this postseason be the Autumn of the Mullet?
Juan Lagares – 1-for-4, 1 run as he’s hit leadoff for two straight days. I noticed he was batting leadoff on Tuesday, but I figured it was just a snafu by Terry Collins, but now we only need one more day for it to be a trend. I would wait until he’s hitting to add in shallower leagues, but if he’s leading off his value goes way up for deeper leagues.
Aaron Brooks – 1 2/3 IP, 8 ER. Dam, the Brooks, he’s gushing!
Danny Valencia – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 10th homer. This homer came against his former team. Okay, I cheated, every team is his former team. He does have three homers in the last six games and it hitting near-.375. Hot schmotato alert!
Chris Colabello – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 11th homer. Look at Cola showing pop! Pun points!
R.A. Dickey – 6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.96, but since June 1st his ERA has been 2.71. And I still wouldn’t pick him up. I just don’t trust knuckleballers. Or ballers. Or players. And I hate the game, too.
Marcus Stroman – Cleared to start rehab on August 21st. Okay, that’s it in the way of Stroman updates. He’ll return for a few games and be a streamer. In keepers, y’all need to stash him.
Starling Marte – Left yesterday’s game with hand discomfort, which sounds bad, but if we form a prayer parallelogram, hopefully he’s fine.
Gerrit Cole – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA up to 2.48. It’s a miracle that he was able to keep the Cards to only this many runs with the defense behind him. Watching Pedro Alvarez bumble balls in Busch, I’m reminded of my 15-year-old self.
Gregory Polanco – 3-for-4, 1 run. Yes, you should own him. Yes, now.
Jung-ho Kang – 2-for-3, hitting near-.325 in the last week with a homer. There was Big Donkey, Mini Donkey, Mini Mini Donkey, El Burro and now…Donkey Kang!
Matt Garza – 7 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.82. You have bigger trouser oranges than me if you even consider owning Garza.
Ryan Braun – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 20th homer. Yeah, but what did Lind do?! Oh, nothing. Moving on!
Kris Bryant – 1-for-4 and his 16th homer, hitting .249. As I said when he first came up, he might be lucky to hit .240. In the last month, we’ve been seeing the effects of having a 30+% K-rate. I still like him with his speed and power, but he won’t hit for a high average.
Hector Rondon – 1 IP, 0 ER and the blown save as Braun scored on a wild pitch. You can’t fault Rondon for that, though Maddon might.
Jason Hammel – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.11. Hammel’s now failed to get out of the sixth inning in every game since July 3rd. I wonder if he’s hiding an injury. Or onomatopoeic, hmm. Or if I were Graham from MasterChef, I’d remove my glasses.
Aaron Hicks – 4-for-5, 4 runs, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer. On Friday, I made him my lede Buy. Today, I say uh-huh.
Miguel Sano – 3-for-3, 6 RBIs and his 6th and 7th homer, hitting .295. *you whimpering* What’s the matter? “I just finished reading The Sanotebook and I don’t get him in the end.”
Justin Turner – Likely to return on Thursday or Friday. Ah, yes, just what Mattingly needs, choices.
Clayton Kershaw – 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.39. It’s almost unfair. No, actually, it’s totally unfair.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 5 IP, 8 ER vs. the Marlins and gave up a leadoff homer to Dee Gordon. This was the moment that the Red Sox pitching staff threw the towel in right as Apollo Creed’s dead head hits it. The Red Sox pitching staff is so bad…How bad is it?! It’s so bad that, due to trips to the mound, the pitching coach’s FitBit turned from 999,999 back to zero.
Hanley Ramirez – Sat out again Wednesday even though he was supposed to return. This will push his re-injuring to Sunday.
J.T. Realmuto – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 6 RBIs and his 7th homer. On our Player Rater, Realmuto has been more valuable than Lucroy, Gomes, d’Arnaud, Wieters and Molina. How’d that ‘not punting catcher’ work out for you?
Giancarlo Stanton – Hasn’t yet been cleared to take batting practice. The doctors said, “Your hand looks like it’s healing–Who is that mustachioed man in the dumpster outside of the window?” And that was all I heard.
Maikel Franco – Sat out Wednesday and is sporting a splint. The good news is his splint has room for an 18-line poem by Prospect Mike.
Aaron Nola – 5 IP, 4 ER, 10 baserunners, 2 Ks, but scored the conshellation prize as his ERA sits at 4.25. I still like Nola a lot long term and in deep leagues, but in most shallower mixed leagues, you need to start looking elsewhere.
Cesar Hernandez – 2-for-5 as he continues to leadoff and hit. Speaking of hitting, did that Domonic Brown thing end already? What happened to that young brother? Asking for a friend, a friend who pierces his nipples and goes by the name of Tehol.
David Peralta – Out until Friday with a tight quad. You best hurry because beeyatches by Wally Pipping in the Diamondbacks lineup. I’m gonna guess I just caused a Googlewhack with beeyatches and Wally Pipping.
Aaron Hill – 2-for-3, after a big game on Tuesday. Not sure if he’ll play every day, but if he does, he looks to be schmotato’ing.
Chase Anderson – 5 IP, 5 ER, ERA up to 4.31. Chase just couldn’t do it in Chase Field. Similarly, FDR once threw out the first pitch and bounced it three times in the dirt in the Polio Grounds.