The doubleheader in the Bronx started with Ohtani taking on Nestor. The hype, the excitement, the mustache! It was all there. Then the nightcap, what could it do to top such intrigue?! What, I scream at my ceiling. The nightcap ended up being a very stiff shot of Jameson. Did I do that, right? I haven’t drank in, like, ten years, I forget the terminology sometimes. Jameson Taillon took a perfect game into the 8th inning, ending the game with the line — 8 IP, 1 ER, 2 hits, zero walks, 5 Ks, ERA at…What’s his ERA? Go ahead. Guess! You know him! Let’s hear your best guesses! Please, indulge me! Imagine dopey guesses as little chocolate truffles. Roll them in cocoa powder and pop them into my mouth for my consumption. WRONG! He’s got a 2.30 ERA. You were two runs off. At least! No? Then you’re rostering him. So, Taillon is doing it with pinpoint control — 5 BBs in 58 2/3 IP — and that’s coming with almost identical stats from previous years minus some Ks. Elite command can carry a guy pretty far. Maybe not as far as a 2.30 ERA in 170+ IP, but won’t be much worse than 3.50 if he holds that kind of command. That Jameson can scotch tape together a lot fantasy staffs if you’re looking to Taillon. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
DJ LeMahieu – 1-for-7 and his 4th homer. “Hey, DJ, pump this potty!” That’s LeMahieu flushing a toilet.
Aaron Judge – 2-for-7 and his 19th homer. Aaron Judge should try a new home run trot where he crosses home plate and mimes the teacher from A Christmas Story, but instead of A++++, Judge skips around adding zeros onto his next contract.
Matt Carpenter – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer, and his 3rd homer in six games. Hot mustachioed schmotato!
Shohei Ohtani – 3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.99, 1-for-4. He only induced three whiffs on 41 swings, which was his 2nd lowest rate of his career. Some speculated that Ohtani was tipping his pitches. Maybe the Yanks were cheating. Who’s to say?
Nestor Cortes – 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 1.50. Based on no scientific research, this feels like that one random Cy Young year R.A. Dickey had with the Mets. Is Nestor this good? I have a better question for you. Is anyone? The preseason Nestor Cortes sleeper call by Coolwhip is an all-timer, by the way.
Marcus Semien – 1-for-4 with his 2nd homer.
His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s what we’re hoping is vomit on his fantasy team, Marcus Semien.
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin’.
Will Marcus Semien now forget to forget to drop bombs? That sure would be nice. I click on Marcus Semien’s Statcast page and it says, “Some images are not suitable for children or people who have drafted Semien.” He has a .205 xBA, .319 xSLG and .265 xWOBA. Those are so hilariously bad. They can be described as, “What if David Eckstein returned for a season?” Now, if I somehow reverse jinxed him to come out of this awful early-season rut, well, you’re welcome.
Corey Kluber – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.73. Kluber seems tailor-made for a Streamonator call every time out. Good matchup? Start him. Bad matchup? Drop him. In shallower leagues, of course.
Ryan Thompson – 1 IP, 0 ER, and his 3rd save, ERA at 6.50. Leave it to Kevin Cash to use his worst reliever as the closer. What a troll. Thompson won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy, because it could be one of seven guys getting the Rays’ next save.
Graham Ashcraft – 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 1.53. I was about to say he had decent speed, then I realized I was looking Thairo Estrada’s player page. Thank God, I’m handsome! Any hoo! Ashcraft is a 97 MPH fastball, nasty slider and cutter, and that’s about it. He’s being lifted by lots of ground balls and decent command. Old friend, Geoff, now with Baseball America, told me to grab Ashcraft a week before he was promoted, and I’m glad I did, but it’s NL-Only and, honestly, I can’t see going after him in mixed leagues at this point.
Kyle Farmer – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and a slam (5) and legs (3), hitting near-.500 in the last week, and a 2nd homer four games ago. I grabbed him in my RCL a few days ago, and he will be in this afternoon’s Buy.
Joey Votto – 1-for-2, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer. Guess what his batting average is. Nah, c’mon, higher than that, he’s Joey Votto, guy who never hit a pop-up; guy who never fouled the ball; guy–okay, I’m gilding the lily. He’s hitting .179.
Josh Bell – 2-for-4, and his 5th homer, hitting .309. The wild thing is Bell’s become a contact guy this year. His peripherals look downright Ty France-ish. A Bell that’s France-ish? Gotta call him, Quasimofaux.
Grayson Rodriguez – Has a lat strain. You thought we could have nice things. No we can’t, nerd!
Travis d’Arnaud – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 6 RBIs and his 5th and 6th homer, hitting .262. The French Terminator said, “I’ll be back-back-back-back,” then paused and added, “I was imitating the ball.”
Sean Manaea – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.77. Absolutely solid. 100% fine. Would be lying if I didn’t say I want more.
Taylor Rogers – 0 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.27, and his 3rd blown save, and has given 7 ER in the last 1 2/3 IP. Not great, Bob! Yesterday’s was sorta fluky, because of two hit-by-pitches and one bases-clearing triple. Padres will want Rogers to close, assuming no injury, but, yeah, he could use a bounce back.
Keegan Thompson – 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 1.99. Even if the Streamonator liked Keegan, I’m not sure I’d stream him. He’s going to get absolutely Hammer’d at some point, and I can’t touch him.
Willson Contreras – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer, and 3rd homer in four games. Look at this: 2017, Willson hit 21 homers; 2019, Willson hit 24 homers; 2021, he hit 21 homers. The even years: 12, 10, 7 and 9 so far. Patterns! Yes, I just put on a tinfoil hat but I want you to know I’m no longer looking for crop circles in my cereal.
Frank Schwindel – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 7th homer. Also, in this game, Ian Happ (2-for-4) hit his 6th homer. Not sure if this is more an indictment of my RCL team, but I’ve had Happ and Schwindel for a bit.
Harrison Bader – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer. This one came off Givens, which I guess makes Bader “Takens.”
Sonny Gray – Hit the IL with a pectoral strain. I grew up in the Garden State, so I know how lovely the pectoral strain is this time of year. It’s where you get the best tomatoes.
Chris Archer – 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 3.89 vs. Alex Faedo – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.09. This matchup was billed as, “Faedo sounds like a Shakespearean character who would be an Archer.”
Emilio Pagan – 1 IP, 2 ER, and his 3rd blown save, as Jhoan Duran (2 IP, 0 ER) entered in the 6th. Twins seem to prefer Pagan as their closer, no matter what the stats are. The devil you know, I guess.
Sandy Alcantara – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 1.81. He was at 104 pitches as he took the mound in the 6th inning and I was like, “This is our modern-day-non-modern-day starter.” Who’s Sandy Alcantara? A 90’s starter, for sure. Kevin Appier? Only with more giddy up, call him Happier. Sandy doesn’t strike out a lot (neither did the 90’s guys) but is a bulldog. Wait…Is he Orel Hershiser? Nah, Orel didn’t strike out anyone. I’m open to suggestions, Sandy is definitely a throwback.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – Back to the IL after undergoing an MRI on his forearm. That’s the bad news. The good news is this will be his ninth stamp. Only one more for a free MRI!
Teoscar Hernandez – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 3rd homer. “We could just prop him up against the bookcase and place a lamp on his head–Oh my God! He moved! Teoscar is alive!”
Alejandro Kirk – 2-for-3, hitting .301. At one point, the Jays’ announcers said, “For those who haven’t seen a ton of Kirk, they come away impressed.” Can you see Kirk and not see a ton of him? Okay, okay, even Mitch Haniger would consider that a low blow.
Santiago Espinal – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs, hitting .272, and hitting leadoff. I told you a Jays’ middle infielder would be great this year *dodges tomato* What? *ducks away from a flying axe* Okay, kidding aside, Bo Bichette was around 75th overall on the Player Rater yesterday. That’s without one hot streak, and, with one hot streak, he’s a top 30 guy. Jays are just starting to get hot, too. So, chillax!
Alek Manoah – 7 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 1.98. Just had a dream that I drafted Alek Manoah instead of Robbie Ray, and it was the best dream I’ve ever had. And, not to brag, but I once had a dream about Marisa Tomei.
Reese McGuire – 1-for-4, 1 run as the DH, because, of course, you have to play McGuire in Toronto. It’s part of his probation. Not sure if I’m talking about McGuire’s or La Russa’s probation though. Mean’s while, Pollock homers on Wednesday and he gets benched for no reason on Thursday. Oh, and Vaughn hits 7th with Moncada, who is hitting .138, in the three hole. Moncada who has, I believe, two hits all year. Wait, don’t forget Leury Garcia, who is hitting .194, as the leadoff guy! La Russa’s not drunk; he passed out with the lineup card in his mouth, and the ink all bled together, so no one can read it.