Why do I keep hearing in my head Deniece Williams?   “Let’s hear it for the boy!  Let’s give that ball a hand!”  Am I the only one hearing that?  Recently, Jameson Taillon mentioned that he always smells the ball before playing catch.  What is with guys smelling balls?  Don’t pretend I’m the only one!  Is that a carryover from our gorilla days?  I’m like John Scopes with a monocle!  Speaking of evolution, I was recently thinking about how we’ve managed to stand upright, but thousands of years and we’re not using our feet as hands yet?  Like you wouldn’t take three hands and hop on one leg all day, please.  Any hoo!  Jameson Taillon threw a gem yesterday — 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.24.  I’m going to like him in 2019, as I’ve liked him for the last few years, but I can’t say I’m as excited about his 8 .4 K/0, 2.2 BB/9 and 3.56 xFIP as I wish I were.  His fastball velocity of 95 MPH should be producing a tad more.  I think there’s a 10 K/9 in there somewhere, but since he’s basically repeated his previous year’s stats, it’s hard to expect that much more in 2019.  Still, have to give the ball a hand!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Jose Abreu – Out with an infection due to an ingrown hair.  This is why in 2019 I’m only drafting players who use Nair.

Daniel Palka – 1-for-4 and his 25th homer, and his 3rd homer in the last two games, but still doesn’t play every game.  Why do I get the feeling I’m going to like Palka a lot next year, and I’m going to be greeted with the second coming of C.J. Cron.  Call him Tantric Sex Cron.

Carlos Rodon – 7 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.30.  Don’t you dare regress now!  You’re supposed to have an artificially low ERA to fool drafters next year!

Corey Kluber – 8 IP, 3 ER, 10 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.93.  Right now, I’m in the process of recapping all the positions that will be posted after the season ends.  Kluber is creeping into the top 5 starters on Player Rater, but it’s helping him that Chris Sale is simply an Opener.  Granted, a better opener than Louis CK’s, “Wanna come back to my hotel room?”

Rajai Davis – 0-for-0 and his 20th steal.  The King of SAGNOF is 21st in the league for steals and has less than 200 ABs.  Feed him grapes and tell him how much you love him.

Jason Kipnis – 1-for-3 and his 16th homer, hitting .228.  Watching a player turn 31 years old is a lot like watching a dog turn 10.  They’re still able to do some of the old tricks, but it’s also a little sad.

Trevor Bauer – Faced live hitters and feels great.  It’s those dead hitters you gotta watch out for and their penchant for eating brain custard!  Bauer could return as a middle reliever by the end of the week.

Michael Fulmer – Diagnosed with a torn meniscus, and now will go see Dr. James Andrews.  “Do you think I should get a banana-colored yacht or hunting-season orange?”  That’s Dr. James Andrews moments before seeing Fulmer.

Jake Odorizzi – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.35.  The Stream-o-Nator was gently into this start, but loves is next one, and if he’s available in my leagues, I’m going in on him.

Brandon Morrow – Shut down for the season.  I.e., there’s no Morrow.  *Little Orphan Annie starts bawling*  Stop, you were going to find out sometime.

Daniel Murphy – 2-for-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, and Javier Baez (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 33rd homer.  Diamondbacks gave this game away starting a bunch of mediocre bullpen arms, then pulled their regulars, because they only need to win every game the rest of the way, but…Well, I’ll let Shruggy The Emoji tell you what I think:  Shruggy shrugs.  Thanks, Shruggy!

Hunter Pence – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and a slam (3) and legs (5), hitting .215.  The Gangly Manbird should get his car, stick his head out the sunroof, pickup David Wright and ride off into the sunset.

Derek Holland – 5 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.57.  Could’ve sworn this start vs. the Padres was going to work out better.  It can’t because I’ve owned Holland for so long that I’ve forgotten that I’m a prisoner of his.  Stockholm isn’t even in Holland.

Joey Lucchesi – 5 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.74.  Solid Ks, but if you would’ve told me before the game Lucchesi would give up three runs in Petco to the Giants, I’m not sure I could’ve told you who would do the damage.  Pence wouldn’t have been my guess, I can tell you that.  I would’ve guessed Kelby Tomlinson before him, and before last night, I thought Tomlinson played football and I don’t know any football players.  Our fantasy football writers do though!  (Segue that shizz!)

Freddy Galvis – 4-for-5, 2 runs.  Get dem licks in now, Galvis, you have ten more games before Tatis takes over!  (Prolly more like 60 games.)

Tyler Skaggs – 3 IP, 0 ER, 0 hits, 2 walks, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.69, as he returned…from where again?  The Angels pitchers disappear so often I get confused where they went.  Was this a ripped tendon or a wonky shoulder?  Well, either way, it’s a decent sign for him going forward, which is great if he’s a shark, but I’d still ignore in fantasy for this year.

Peter O’Brien – 2-for-2 and his 3rd homer, and 3rd homer in a week, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but hot schmotato alert.  151 got me drunk AF.  That’s game 151.

Sandy Alcantara – 4 IP, 3 ER, ERA at 2.35.  His perfs (that’s what the kids call them) are barfs.

Stephen Strasburg – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 3.83.  I’m always down for a little palindromic ERA, especially from someone who anagrams to “He reps bung starts.”  As the sign reads above Scott Boras’ desk reads, “Scott Boras doesn’t rep starters making bung starts.”

Jose Peraza – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 13th homer, hitting .292.  Because only cold hard facts will sway you in the morning with The Wake Up Show, Peraza is a top 10 shortstop on the Player Rater, and the top ten shortstops are no joke, which is less of a fact, but still true.

Paul DeJong – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 19th homer.  Chicken Park DeJong!

Austin Gomber – 5 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.63.  No Cardinals pitcher has ever had a 4+ ERA.  This is of course not true, but it feels it.

Ronald Acuna Jr. – 1-for-5 and his 26th homer, hitting .295.  Tildaddy gives you your allowance, you will sit with your hands folded!

Anibal Sanchez – 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 3.01.  He has the 12th best ERA in baseball.  Zoinks!

Willy Adames – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games.  I’m currently starting Adames over Segura in one league, which I hate doing.  I hate benching ‘my guys,’ but, ya know what, Adames is my guy now and you’re not, Segura.  Yes, that sentence started talking to you and ended talking to Segura.  Excuse me, Strunk & White!

Blake Snell – 5 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, ERA at 1.97 and his 20th win.  I hope the Rays shut him down and put the ball in the baseball writers’ hands for the Cy Young vote.  It’s not like you can fault Snell for stopping a week and a half early, Sale hasn’t really pitched in six weeks.

Joey Wendle – 4-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI, hitting .298.  Go ahead, Mr. Wendle!

Josh James – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.81.  On the Prospect-o-Nator, his projections look purdy.  Maybe it’s the 100 MPH fire emoji.  I just had a vision of the future, where he pitches in the postseason and is absolute lights out in middle relief, and becomes a household name.  Some people have visions of moneymaking opportunities; I see clean middle relief innings.

Cedric Mullins – 1-for-4 and his 4th homer, and hitting near-.325 in the last week, hitting leadoff for the O’s, and could be a hot schmotato.

Dylan Bundy – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 5.48 vs. Aaron Sanchez – 4 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 4.97.  This matchup was billed as, “Once promising guys who I have even a hard time starting if the Stream-o-Nator likes them.”  Okay, not many people called the matchup that.

Jorge Alfaro – 2-for-3, 3 RBIs and a slam (10) and legs (3), hitting .259.  The Phils traded for a top five catcher in baseball (who is hitting .391 on the Phils) and, due to Kapler needing to make everything more difficult for himself, has started Alfaro about 50% of the time.

Steven Matz – 5 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.03.  If I had my druthers and knew what the eff druthers were, I ‘d shut down all the Mets starters except Vargas.  Let Vargas start every game the rest of the way!

Aaron Judge – 0-for-4 as he returned to the lineup.  Damn, wish I would’ve made that bet at My Bookie about Judge getting at-bats this year.  A few weeks ago you could’ve bet whether or not he’d see at-bats again this year, and it was so obvious that he would, and this is how it starts and, before I know it, I’m betting a customer on the Starbucks line whether the barista will spell Grey with an A or E.

J.A. Happ – 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.98 vs. Nathan Eovaldi – 6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.62.  This early October sneak peek of the two best teams in the AL East was heralded as, “Everything that’s right with baseball,” by the Yankees, Red Sox and manager and front office of the Marlins.

Neil Walker – 1-for-2, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer.  That homer came off Brasier, so he unclasped a 3-run homer.  Think technically he was supposed to stop at 2nd base.

Aroldis Chapman – Should be activated in the next day or so, and Dellin Betances, Zach Britton and David Robertson should go back to holding each other in the middle innings.  Cuddle Boys, the lot of you!

Mookie Betts – Sat out yesterday and the Red Sox said his side soreness “is nothing serious, and he’s out due to weather conditions.”  Which is what they say in May right before someone goes on the DL for three weeks.  I hope I’m wrong; I really do.

Clayton Kershaw – 7 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners (5 BBs), 3 Ks, ERA at 2.45.  Kershaw tied Sandy Koufax for games started with remarkable similar stats.  It’s a Yom Kippur miracle!  Which used to be finding a piece of hard candy in your pants in shul.

Chris Taylor – 2-for-4 and his 17th homer.  He will now hit another homer today, then get benched for Pederson, who will then homer.  I’m onto you, Dodgers!

Trevor Story – Could return in a few days because, and this is where it gets good, his “ulnar collateral ligament is still intact.”  O’really.  Wait, wait, wait, one more…O’really.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard in my life my ulnar collateral ligament is still intact.  If I had a nickel, I tell you!  “Hey, Grey, could you hand me the remote control?”  “Certainly!  My ulnar collateral ligament is still intact!”  I minored in BS at the College of Fantasy Baseball at Charleston, so I hope the Rockies aren’t BS’ing the number one BS’er.