J.A. Happ threw a complete game shutout yesterday with only 6 baserunners and 10 Ks vs. Jorge de la Rosa’s 5 IP, 7 ER, 3 Ks line. I pretty much saw this matchup going almost exactly opposite. Maybe I had my contacts in backwards. dlR had won seven games in a row. Happ was coming off two losses. dlR’s a lefty, the Phils don’t hit lefties well. Maybe I underestimated Happ’s desire to stay in the rotation with Pedro breathing down his neck. This was a solid case for that, but if the Phils don’t pull Happ from the rotation they’re jeopardizing his 2010 (when people take flying cars to the ballpark). Happ should be moved to the bullpen and Pedro should be put into the rotation. Even if that means Pedro throws a bunch of 4 inning, 3 run games and Happ comes in in the 5th inning and throws three dominant innings. It’s the right move for everyone and I think that’s the way the Phils should/will go. To clarify, this is not an endorsement of Pedro. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
David Wright – HR yesterday. As I said yesterday in the comments, “(The Mets play-by-play man, Cohen, said) that was (Wright’s) first opposite field homer in the new park. For a guy that goes that way, that’s not great. After all, we’re in August.” And that’s me quoting me quoting Gary Cohen! Cohen also said the humidity may be helping the ball carry. So now Metco is Yellowstone instead of the Grand Canyon. Sah-weet.
Jon Niese – Out for the season. Surprisingly, the Mets trainer had time to help him off the field.
Gary Sheffield – Left the game with an injury. It’s The Curse of the Shirtless Bernazard.
Pablo Sandoval – 3-for-4, .334 on the season. I think the average comes down a bit by the end of the season (not much). But Pablo’s been an absolute revelation this year — .374 on the season as a righty. .314 as a lefty. .382 in home games. 17 homers. 4 steals. Catcher eligibility. Same weight as Kyle Blanks and seven inches shorter. In the beginning of the year, I mentioned that I thought Sandoval looked a lot like Edgar Martinez. I still think it. And he’s affectionately nicknamed Kung-Fu Panda because he’s athletic and fat. (I would’ve went with the other athletic, fat person nickname — The Fabulous Moolah.)
Chad Gaudin – 3 1/3 IP, 6 ER. I should’ve made a bigger deal of this when I did it, but the other day I dropped Gaudin in all of my leagues. He’s consistently been better in road games. A HodgePadre who can’t pitch at Petco makes no sense to me. I don’t know what to do with that. Makes me feel like Rainman when he can’t watch Jeopardy.
Will Venable – Another HR. Okay, sorta on topic, sorta not, but I’ve been meaning to address this. There’s no reason to ask me something like, “Venable or Velez for the rest of the year?” The rest of the season? These guys may not be good by the middle of August. The rest of the season only applies if you play in a league where you have a limited number of moves or you’re marrying a von Bülow. Don’t get attached to anyone in your UTIL spot, MI or fifth outfield spot. I have Kyle Blanks, Wigginton, David Murphy, Velez, Venable, Beckham, Robot Jones and Gomes on different teams (thankfully). I can guarantee you I won’t have 90% of those guys in two weeks. In fact, I just dropped Gomes. Play the hot guy and move on. Especially at this time of the year. Okay, school’s out, Alice Cooper.
David Murphy – 2 HRs yesterday. As mentioned above, I own him on a few teams.
Kevin Gregg – Returned from a tired arm. Piniella was annoyed that Gregg didn’t mention he was suffering from a tired arm over the weekend when he blew two saves, saying, “I can’t just read somebody’s mind. I can look at the stuff, but by the time I look at the stuff, it’s a little late. The ball’s out of the ballpark and the mojito doesn’t taste as good.” He sounds like LaRussa.
Francisco Liriano – 5 IP, 4 ER, 12 baserunners vs. a team that was selling at the trade deadline. You’re really wasting your time with Liriano.
Aaron Laffey – 8 IP, 0 ER. If you pick him up, you will be Sobby.
Edwin Jackson – 8 IP, 2 ER, 8 Ks. As you can imagine, I don’t root for players I don’t own, but I’m kinda rooting for Edwin. He’s been at the game ever since honeys been wearin’ Sassoons. Nice that he’s finally making good. Man, I really love prospects who fail at first.
John Lannan – 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 Ks. He can just as easily get shelled in his next start out vs. the Braves. I’m pessimistically cautious going forward.
Gerardo Parra – 2-for-5 and a steal, as he bats almost .400 over his last 7 games. I’m picking him up in a few leagues, though his lack of legit speed bores me so he may not stay on any team too long.
Ryan Roberts – Now has 3 homers in the last two days. I still don’t think this is going anywhere you wanna go, but if you’re hurting at MI, it won’t hurt to grab him.
Erik Bedard – His shoulder is still sore and he’s headed for an MRI. Punt!
Justin Upton – Strained oblique (vague!). Hopefully it’s not too bad, but unfortunately these are the sort of injuries that linger like poorly chewed jalapenos.
Adam Dunn – Hit his 29th homer yesterday. Country strong.
Jim Thome – 2 HRs yesterday. Country stronger.
Gavin Floyd – 8 IP, 1 ER. Absolutely incredible the year he’s putting together in his home park. Around a two and a half ERA at home, while over 5.50 ERA away.
Jason Bay – HR yesterday. It was his first one since July 7th. Good sign! Reaggravated his hamstring injury. Bad sign!
Marc Rzepczynski – 6 IP, 4 ER, 7 Ks. Only one walk, which is a good sign for The RZE, but I still wouldn’t own him this year.
Justin Lehr – 9 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks. Here’s what you do with Justin Lehr. Photoshop Justin Lehr’s name onto Stephen Strasburg’s college stats page, then screenshot it and post the .jpg in your league messageboard.
Prince Fielder – Stole a base yesterday. After the game, he said he pictured Mota’s face on the 2nd base bag.
Garrett Jones – HR yesterday. You know how you love a guy for a week or two when he’s out of his mind, hitting homers every game, then he goes through a week slump and you’re ready to drop him. Then the day you prepare to drop him, he hits a homer. Now are you excited by this latest homer or annoyed? I kinda get annoyed. I just want him to fail one more day so I can drop him. I gotta talk to my shrink about what that means.