Oh boy, I hope you like cheese puns! I mean, not to sound Luccheesi, but Joey’s always been my cheddar half. That’s right, Joey Lucchesi was grate Friday night pitching a career high seven innings, allowing just six base runners (four hits, two walks) and striking out nine San Francisco Giants for his first win of the year! Joey hasn’t pitched in the bigs in two years, after requiring Tommy John surgery in June 2021 so this is a nice fuzzy story to begin with, but Friday’s start was arguably the best by a New York Mets pitcher so far this year. He looked dominant at moments, finishing his outing by striking out the side in the seventh, and he’s the first Mets starter to even make it into the seventh inning this year! Crazy for a team that rosters Max Scherzer. But yeah he looked good! I may be slightly biased, as I mentioned I have been a Luccheesi simp for a while now. I mentioned a few weeks ago, Joey of the Mozzarella di Parma Luccheesis hosts huge Sunday family dinners at the compound, and Jordan Romano of the Locatelli Pecorino Romanos and his entire family are invited guests, along with Detroit pitchers Beau Brieske of the Ile de France Bries, Ashton Goudeau of the Sargento Smoked Goudas, and of course Cardinals Ace Jack Flaherty of the Tillamook Pepper Jacks. The chianti is flowing, the gravy is *chefs kiss*, and don’t even get me started on that cheese plate! Save room for cannolis! But back to Friday’s start, Joey had already put together three strong starts at AAA Syracuse with a 2.30 ERA, 1.15 WHIP  and 16/7 K/BB in 15 2/3 innings, so this is not completely out of nowhere. And with Carlos Carrasco out with elbow issues, Max Scherzer unable to wash the glue or rosin or semen off his hands, and Justin Verlander just having way too good a time hanging out at home with Kate Upton (fair), Luccheesi is a good bet to get at least a few more spot starts, the next of which lines up to be a real tasty match up with the Washington Nats. Joey Fuego would not be the first pitcher to have a successful comeback after Tommy John. Jacob deGrom and Adam Wainwright come to mind, which on second thought aren’t the best examples as they’re both hurt right now but still, they ain’t Stephen Strasburg! Regardless of if he can keep this up, Luccheesi’s comeback is a feel good story I think everyone can get behind, and even spot starting for this loaded Mets team makes him worth a look in most leagues. He’s a molto bene paisan, talk about a gouda comeback, I swiss him the best!

Here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball Friday night.

Pete Alonso – 2-for-5, HR (10), 4 RBI. Albombso wasn’t about to let Patrick Wisdom hold the home run lead with him, even a few hours. Ten albombsos is an albuncho! Albouquet-o of albomsos! An albondance of ’em!

Anthony DeSclafani – 5.0 IP, 7 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Antman ran into his first real test of the year, whether or not to defend Jonathan Majors aka Kang the Conqueror. It looks bad, bruh, not gonna lie. Why’d you release the texts again? Back to the start, you expect Pete Alonso to get his and he very much did, so I’d put this start behind DeSclaz and hope for  a brighter MCU future with GOTY vol. 3 and a cushy home start versus St. Louis.

David Bednar – 1.0 IP, K, SV (7). He’s saved half the Bucs games so far. If he continues at this rate he could have like…calculating….calculating…30 saves this year!

Brandon Lowe – 1-for-4, HR (6). Time to give you the Lowe down: Brandon walked the Rays off with a 374 foot massive shot, and props to the broadcaster for fully calling that one. Must be the napalm if he could smell that bomb coming a mile away. Meanwhile, not really brother in blood but brother in spirit Josh Lowe was 2-for-4, run with a run, 2 RBI and his 4th stolen base. Grey told you to BUY JLowe. Ain’t it funny! He’s batting close to .450 with 3 steals and a homer in the past week.

Harold Ramirez – 2-for-3, HR (4). I mean, if it wasn’t clear by now, if you read that Cubs blurb and saw all those categories they’re leading the NL in, you know who leads the league? No, not the A’s. It’s the Rays! Basically, own all the Rays. Yes, even him.

Eloy Jiminez – 1-for-4, HR (1). This was pretty shot. His .196/.275/.304 slash and five RBI? Not so pretty. Wake up, Eloy! You’re killing me here!

Michael Kopech – 5.0 IP, 6 hits, 5 ER, 4 BB, 9 K. OK, to be honest, I was out on Kopech after his first three starts, maybe it’s the seven home runs allowed maybe its the 10 walks, maybe its just that smug ass look on his face. Whatever it is (it’s the home runs), he struck our nine Rays Friday night (33% CSW) and I don’t know you guys, Ks do a weird thing to my brain where I can’t think straight and he gets Toronto next week in Canada and you’d be crazy to start him but StreamONator is lukewarm on the start and I am nothing if not an absolute madman. I will call him, Michael K-pech.

Reynaldo Lopez – 0.0 IP, 3 hits, 3 ER, 2 HR. Gave up bombs to Betancourt and Lowe. How do we get Liam Hendricks back sooner? Cure cancer, you say? Hmm, well that sounds like something everyone can benefit from right!? Can we get some scientists on that then? Papa needs some saves!

Ryan McMahon – 1-for-3, HR (4). The advanced stats *dodges tomato* NERD! say McMahon has been one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball. That doesn’t exactly mean I’m telling you to add him, but he does have a five game hitting streak!

Kyle Schwarber – 2-for-4, HR (5). Schwarbomb! You can continue to bat .215 as long as you hit 40 homers.

Jose Alvarado – 1.0 IP, SV (3). BUY. The Phillies have found their closer? You’d like to think so but $20 bucks says Craig Kimbrel gets the next save chance. How about $10? $5? Now that gambling is legal everywhere I will literally bet on anything. Gimme that action!

Aaron Nola – 7.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Has not been all parades and mardi gras for Nola despite some king cake match up. Velocity is down and he gets a scary match up in Houston next week. Might get worse before it gets better for A-aron.

Tyler Wells – 7.0 IP, 3 hits, 0 ER, BB, 5 K. All Too Wells, Tyler’s Version. Not to be confused with Taylor Walls or Austin Wells or Tyler Glasnow, Tyler Wells was fantastic Friday night holding the sad sack Tigers to just four base runners and a CSW of 24%! Someone’s excited for the ERAs Tour! Little much on the Joe Alwyn rebound much? I’ll take it, he’s rocking a 2.70 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP through four starts with a 16/2 K/BB and gets the Red Sox next week. If you can get through that start then You Belong With Me, Tyler. Is that too dated a TaySway reference? I’m sorry, don’t come at me, Swifties!

Felix Bautista – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, ER, K, BS, W. Adam Frazier drove in the GW run after Felix blew the save and Bautista is buying Adam’s Natty Bo’s for the next month. Couldn’t you spring for a nicer beer, though?

Yusei Kikuchi – 6.0 IP, 4 hits, ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3rd win. Lisa Loeb’s favorite pitcher has been more good than bad, and take out on outing in Anaheim he’s only allowed a run in each start and sports a 20/5 K/BB. He’s also allowed six home runs, but let’s not focus on the bad parts. He’s “Waiting for Wednesday” as he takes on the White Sox at home. What? Was that too much of a Lisa Loeb deep cut? I thought you guys were LL fans.

Domingo German – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. Danke schoen! German remains a match up play but more often than not, starting for the Yankees is a solid match up. He’ll get the same Twins he struck out 11 of last week  and I might consider the prospect of maybe thinking about mulling over the possibility of contemplating whether or not I should review the option of potentially picking him up. I still don’t know for sure though!

Vlad Guerrero Jr – 2-for-4, HR (4). Vlad has started a bit slow…you should probably trade him to me? What do you say? Come on!

Hunter Brown – 4.2 IP, 7 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Hunter entered the gauntlet that is facing the Braves right now and came out with 4 ER, 7 strikeouts and his life in tact. We’ll call that a win, just not in fantasy.

Bryce Elder – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, BB, 6 K. The Hunter survived, but Bryce the Elder (which I’m pretty sure is an Elden Ring boss battle) had an even tougher challenge versus the Astros and fired his mightiest fastballs at the beast. He lowered his ERA to 1.14 and even though the bullpen blew it for him he’s this years break out Braves pitcher and needs to be owned everywhere.

AJ Minter – 1.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 ER, L. Gave up the walk off 2-run home run to Yordan Alvarez (5), his only hit of the night and only hit that mattered. Look how gorgeous. Sweet sassy molassy, folks! I don’t understand why people still pitch to him. Is he not the most clutch hitter in the league?

Mauricio Dubon – 3-for-5, 2 runs, RBI, SB (1). 15 game hitting streak!  He stole a base, too! M-Dubs does not offer a lot in the way of power or speed, things that us fantasy owners hold so dear, but he does lead off for one of the highest powered offenses in baseball and has scored seven runs in the past week. He was a BUY, and as long as he’s leading off he’s worth a look, but he’s no Yordan Alvarez.

JP Sears – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 2 BB, 11 K. The not-so-honorable honor of being the Ace of this A’s team is still up for grabs but Sears made a case Friday night. After all, JP is short for Just Punchouts.

Jeurys Familia – 1.0 IP, K, SV (1). I could see Jeurys getting the next save chance when Oakland gets another opportunity in a couple weeks. He’s got that coveted “closer experience” Managers love. You could says he’s very Familia-r to them?

Jordan Diaz – 1-for-1 HR (1). Grey told you to BUY and he hit a pinch hit home run in the ninth inning. Jordan got some Air on this one, Ben Affleck! His first career home run in just his third career at bat, dude didn’t even start this game like, who do you have that’s better? Jace Pederson? Jordan has now won more games for the A’s than most of their starters.

Jon Gray – 5.1 IP, 5 hits, 3 ER, 5 BB, 2 K. 996 career Ks entering the game and he couldn’t get to 1000 even versus the A’s who have pretty much packed all their stuff and moved to Vegas already. Gray will get another chance at 1000 next week in Cincinnati.

Jonah Heim – 1-for-3, HR (4) slashing .313/.393/.604 and has now homered in back to back games. Heim licked this one!

Nick Pivetta – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, BB, 7 K, 1st win. Just when I think I’m out you pull me back in. Glass House. White Ferrari. Live for New Year’s Eve. Sloppy steaks at Truffoni’s. Big rare cut of meat with water dumped all over it, water splashing around the table. The waiters coming to snatch ’em up, we had to eat as fast as we could. We had some good times. He put together one of the most dominant stretches in baseball last May/June, winning five in a row and eight of nine starts. He is a piece of [expletive deleted] though. He still ended the year with a 4.50 ERA. Gave up close to thirty home runs. But now the velocity and movement is up! I’m back in! I know he’s gonna burn me. He is a piece of [expletive deleted]. Or at least he used to be.

Alex Verdugo – 2-for-5, HR (3), 3 RBI slashing .341/.407/.524,. You know I love me some Nine Nine. The Real Nine Nine. Mostly because he’s all I have to show when they traded and took from me my best friend, my only true pal, my only bright star, Mookie Betts. Anyway, Dugie could score 100 runs leading off for this team, and if he hits over .300 everything else is cake! Also, double fbombs on NESN!? Legend. Keep doing you, King.

Kenley Jansen – 1.0 IP, 2 K, SV (5). Has let to allow a run and has an 11/2 K/BB in just seven innings, and has been arguably the most dominant closer in baseball so far. Along with Cody Bellinger, with all these former Dodgers looking like their old selves some one should probably check on Hyun Jin Ryu!

Rowdy Tellez – 1-for-3, HR (6). I still don’t forgive you for choosing Team Mexico over Team Israel but if you keep hitting home runs, maybe buy me lunch, a nice pastrami sandwich with a cold, refreshing Dr. Browns? We can be mishpocha again.

Joey Meneses – 1-for-4, HR (1). I’m Mr. Meneses, look at me! Shut up, Morty!

Joey Gallo – 1-for-4, HR (5). If you held Gallo through his IL stint good on you cause dude has not missed a beat. He’s homered in half the games he’s played and is slashing .296/.406/.889. Yes, that Joey Gallo! He’s really got his shift together! Opposing pitchers are scared shiftless! They are shift out of luck! Should I keep going?

Tyler Mahle – 6.1 IP, 3 hits, ER, 4 K. T. Mahle was red hot and spicy through six, then in the top of the seventh the sabermetrics demons came for him. Go away, Fat Jonah Hill! I’m cruising!

Kyle Finnegan – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, K, SV (4). Lowered his ERA to 8.59. Woof, and that comes after five scoreless appearances. He is very much the closer yet still out there in most leagues. When you’re depsrate but you’re not Kyle Finnegan desperate. I get it.

Keibert Ruiz – 1-for-4, RBI. Moved up to the two-hole in the order in what might be the sorriest line up in baseball. He is batting .350 over the past week and plays catcher, that at least deserves the eyes emoji, right?

Shohei Ohtani – 7.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 3rd win. Shohei of course gave KC the royal treatment with his best start of the year. Not sure other Ohtani owners like me (humble brag) can relate, but I love when I start Ohtani at pitcher and he has just a “meh” night at the plate. I chose wisely! Some experts say the 15 walks are a red flag and its time to sell high, but let’s be real you’re not selling Ohtani unless you’re trying to lose. You’re not a loser, are you? Now say it with me Jerry, SHO-HEI OH-TAAAAANI!! I bought a samurai helmet so I could feel like Shohei but samurai helmet does not a Shohei make. I struck out.

Jose Quijada – 1.0 IP, 1 hit, 2 K, SV (4). Carlos Estevez was the BUY and pitched a scoreless inning for his second hold, but–Plot twist! OK, so maybe Wild Thing Carlos Estevez is not the closer. Four of seven saves have gone to Quijada and he has let to let up a run. Both should be owned, but I’d rather own Quijada right now.

George Kirby – 6.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 5 K, 2nd win. The 1.06 WHIP makes me want to inhale the world into my stuffed pink cream puff body, and swallow it all to morph into hyper-cutesy versions of every day things! Nintendo is pretty trippy when you overthink it. Take me to Dreamland, Kirby!

Teoscar Hernadez – 2-for-3, 2 runs, HR (4). Your Uncle Oscar may tell racist jokes at Thanksgiving, mis-gender all your friends, refuse to drink Bud Light, and mistakenly participate in an insurrection, but when important life moments occur, your Uncle is always there to weirdly take lots of photos of his nieces on their prom night.

Fernando Tatis Jr – 1-for-4. It’s Fun the Jewels but I’m not having any fun yet. Can you like–be the best player on the planet or something, or everyones gonna hate on you forever. You can?! Cool thanks! I’ll be waiting!

Xander Bogaerts – 2-for-4, HR (5), 2 RBI. Awesome X! I miss you bestie! Let’s Top Golf together next time you’re in town. My treat! What’s that, you make $25 million a year now? Okay, your treat.

Matt Carpenter – 1-for-1, HR (2). Not going to sugar coat it–there’s a pretty good chance he hits two or three more of these this weekend.

Zac Gallen – 7.0 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 11 K, 3rd win. Is it just me or is Zac Gallen transforming into a top five starter right in front of our eyes. In his past three starts he’s 3-0, with zero runs allowed, surrendering just seven hits, with a 29/1 K/BB. His 39 Ks leads the league, and that 0.80 WHIP ain’t too shabby either. The Joisey native is looking like the Cy Young front runner, fuggedaboutit! Grey is constantly saying why draft top starters when you can snag someone like Gallen later and to pile on that, there are so many pitchers on waivers I want to roster but can’t since I don’t have room, why would I ever draft a Cole or a Burnes, or in 2024, a Zac Gallen.

Seth Lugo – 6.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, BB, 6 K. The starter experiment has gone well so far, but he gets the Cubs next week who are hitting all the baseballs. Tread carefully!

Ketel Marte – 3-for-5, run, RBI. Gabriel Moreno was 3-for-4, run, 3 RBI. Marte is batting close to .500 in the past week and has four straight multi-hit games. Gabe Moreno got in on the actions adding three hits himself. And Geraldo Perdomo was 2-for-4, run, 2 RBI. Looks like the DBags got the hits on lock, now they just need a big dumb Donkey to knock some balls out of the park. You awake Christian Walker?

Julio Urias – 3.1 IP, 7 hits, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. This might be the first time I’ve ever seen Urias get lit up like this, and as far as getting bombed this is not-so-bad. Still, Urias owners are accustomed to that 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 K start and this was definitely not that. Hopefully he can deliver a six inning gem next week in Pittsburgh.

Nico Hoerner – 4-for-5, HR (1). Yes, he does make me Hoerner, Mike Myers, Nico’s got a four game hitting streak, with four multi-hit games in that stretch. He also leads the league in steals with 9, and is second in hits with 31! He’s looking like one of the best lead off hitters in baseball. That’s why you drafted him right? Right!?

Cody Bellinger – 2-for-4, HR (5). I believe “Cody Bellinger is him,” is what the Gen-Zs on my Tiktok would say. Or is he daddy? Either way, another ding dong for the Bellinger! It’s a little unclear how much of what Cody’s doing right now is revenge and how much is the terrible A’ss pitching staff but your boy’s batting .407 with 3 bombs, 9 runs, and 2 steals in the past seven days. He’s also reached base in 11 (ELEVEN) straight games, he’s homered off the Dodgers in three straight games and took a small three game break to toast the Oakland A’s. He certainly looks back to me, yeah like, MVP season back.

Patrick Wisdom – 2-for-5, 3 run HR (9). Can’t let Pete Alonso hold that home run lead all by himself! Wisdom was a BUY and if you’re wise you’d pick him up!

Trey Mancini – 3-for-5, HR (2), 3 RBI. This Cubs team as a whole has been on absolute en flames. The had Cubs had 17 hits Friday, this coming off the heels of a 20 hit performance on Monday, but they’ve been hitting all week. Top to bottom, no one has struggled, even Trey Mancini is hitting dingers now! Chicago leads the NL in runs, SLG%, and OBP, and have the highest batting average in baseball at .290! All this from a team with Eric Hosmer at first and Ian Happ batting third! Take that, Rays!

Drew Smyly – 7.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 2nd win. Six outs from perfection and…cue the Benny Hill/Curb Your Enthusiasm music. Honestly, this is the most Cubs way to lose a perfect game ever. Emoticon’s rocking the *frustrated eye rolling emoji with weird sexual squiggle coming out of his mouth.*  I’m not really sure I understand the tackle move by Yan Gomes, it does seem like it was Yan’s ball to field, but you can 100% argue with me in the comments. Either way they had six more outs to blow it so yeah we can’t completely blame Gomes for ruining what could have been the most important and defining moment of the Smyly’s career. Just do it again next week, Drew.

Thanks for reading! Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!