Does this happen to people? You’re working on something, and listening to certain tunes and that informs the way you go about your work. I’ve never had a real job in my life, so I don’t know how this works for those. Does a toll collecting juggalo listen to Insane Clown Posse while working and violently throw change back at drivers? Is this why a building’s roof caves in because the construction crew was listening to Because I Got High by Afroman? Or if you were to suddenly change a hitter’s walk-up music from say Next Episode by Dr. Dre (which seems to be at least one hitter’s song on every team) to The Pina Colada Song would that change everything? I don’t know, but I’m a deep thinker, and I saw Johnny Cueto‘s start yesterday and thought he had to be listening to the Silver Jews, specifically this one section, because that gets me so jacked I could jackhammer a driveway with my foot. I took a hammer to it all! *banging foot on cement* Right?! Okay, maybe it’s me. That’s why we’re having this one-sided conversation, to better understand each other. Yesterday, Cueto threw a farkin sparkler — a farkler, if you will — 9 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA down to 2.61. Cueto’s the bomb dot gov. He’s almost exactly in line with what he was doing last year when he had a 2.25 ERA in 243 2/3 IP. And, if anything, he’s actually pitching better this year, lowering his walk rate from 2.4 to 1.7. For whatever reason, he seems to stay out of the conversation for the best pitchers in the major leagues, but yesterday he took on Max Scherzer (4 2/3 IP, 5 ER) and took a hammer to it all. A hammer to it all! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Jayson Werth – Hopeful to start rehab after the All-Star break. He has been swinging a fungo bat. Fun fact! In France, it’s spelled fungot.
Denard Span – Going to see a specialist for his back spasms. I believe they’re called chiropractors and Jon Cryer is one.
Andrew Miller – Ready to return to the closer role. Bye bye, Betances! Seriously, Miller will be the closer again. Plus, Betances has been inconsistent of late. By the by, Miller just finished a rehab assignment in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Going from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to the Bronx is like training our soldiers by sending them to the Middle Eastern restaurant in Epcot.
Billy Butler – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer. Total rage homer. After Nathan Eovaldi was done (5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.45), Butler homered off Shreve because Butler was pissed Eovaldi left before he could dip focaccia into him.
Brett Lawrie – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer. I actually own this schmohawk on one team and the nicest thing I can say about him is I don’t think about dropping him. The less nice thing is I forget he’s on the team until he actually does something and waivers has no options.
Sonny Gray – 7 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.20. This was his first start since his bout with salmonella. On a related note, Cougs bought me an Izod that is salmon-colored and I was like, “Hella no.”
Khris Davis – 1-for-3, 1 run as he was activated from the DL and shoved Parra to the bench. On the fo’reallies, Segura leading off and Davis in the middle of the order makes more sense for the Brewers lineup. Parra, Gomez or someone will be traded from their team soon to make room, so don’t fret, you worrywart!
Adam Lind – 2-for-3 and his 15th homer. Now has the same number of homers as Braun, three less RBIs and 25 points in average. I’d say we have a competition again!
A.J. Pierzynski – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. Hot schmotato and guess where he goes this week to hit.
Manuel Banuelos – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners (3 BBs), 1 K. More walks than Ks doesn’t walk the dog. It doesn’t butter the biscuit. It doesn’t tell your girlfriend that you were just texting a prostitute to see how she was doing.
Dan Haren – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.34 vs. Wade Miley 6 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 9 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.50. I might be remembering this wrong, but I feel like every start Haren makes leads to the boringest (totally a word!) pitcher’s duel ever. Like every time. He could be facing Doc Ellis on LSD and it would be boring.
Cole Gillespie – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI. He’s moved into an everyday role with OZUNA picking daffodils in Triple-A. Gillespie plays the sax, but he shouldn’t be playing on any of your fantasy teams.
Hunter Pence – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs as he was activated from the DL. YTMBND!
Gregor Blanco – 3-for-4, 1 run, hitting .314. Mmm, pie.
Robbie Ray – 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA down to 2.34. I’m glad I only own him in leagues so deep that I had to start him, because I was on the fence about it. This brings up a good point. People comment asking if they should start so-and-so, and it’s usually, “Yes, in some leagues.” Starting a guy in NL-Only is a lot different than starting him in an 8-team league. Specify, people. Anyway, Rob Ray is otay.
Corey Kluber – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 3.45. Maybe since he didn’t strikeout two dozen hitters the lows won’t be as low next time out. Moderation with the Crazy Hot Girls, please.
Bryan Shaw – 1 IP, 0 ER and the save because Cody Allen was unavailable due to a stiff back. Tito Francona says Allen should be fine to pitch today, but I still grabbed Shaw where I could because I’m a save whore and it’s embarrassing.
Michael Brantley – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 5th homer. Brantley’s illustrating why it’s hard to trust a 17-homer, 17-steal guy. Just a little off the top and you have a 12-homer guy and you’re wondering why you didn’t just draft Lorenzo Cain.
Preston Tucker – 2-for-4. I’m cyclops’ing him because the Astros seem to like him and keep putting him in the lineup in places to succeed. On a side note, frequent commenter, Fred Garvin MP said, “Preston Tucker sounds like an offensive term for a transvestite.”
Brandon Beachy – Mattingly said Beachy is an option for Saturday. When a reporter pressed him if Don meant he might go “to the beach” or if he meant he might “go with Brandon Beachy,” Mattingly stared into space for five minutes then burped. Since Beachy has had more Tommy John surgeries in the last two years than starts, it would have to be at least an NL-Only league where I’d be looking at starting Beachy.
Yasmani Grandal – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 14th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. A hot catcher that should be owned, that’s what he is. See, OBPwulf is a whole lot easier to understand than Beowulf. Actually, everything is.
Cesar Hernandez – 1-for-4. When asked if Utley was the club’s 2nd baseman, Phillies GM Ruin Tomorrow Jr. said, “Not for me he’s not. Cesar Hernandez is our best second baseman.” Okay, this is true, and I appreciate that for my fantasy team, and usually Kanye’s singing I’m Heartless, but really? Just like that the Phils are done with Utley? I mean, he wasn’t bad last year or the year before, and, brucely, he hasn’t been bad any season he’s healthy. Also, he’s done a lot for the organization to be that boldfaced on (Yes, it’s a verb now). I know, it likely sounds hypocritical since I make fun of GM and manager doublespeak on the daily, but if you’re them, you have to do that, don’t you? I mean, imagine Cashman would’ve said that about Captain Jetes when Eduardo Nunez had a good 2011. Hernandez has Maas appeal right now, but he’s really nothing special. Damn, I’m so touchy-feely I should start doing pajammy jam parties with Caitlyn Jenner. “I hate Lord Disick too! Pass me a Snickers and let’s sob!” Any the hoo! For fantasy, this is obviously huge, grab Hernandez everywhere.
Jeff Francoeur – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer. The Frenchy fly!
Kevin Gausman – 3 2/3 IP, 7 ER. *shakes head disappointingly like your mother when you dyed the dog blue* Gausman, you’re too old for roofies.
Aaron Hicks – 1-for-3 and his 7th steal, which comes after two back-to-back games with homers. I smell a hot schmotato cooking and it smells like tin foil!
Joe Mauer – 2-for-4, 3 runs. He’s about as glamorous as your grandmother picking a wedgie, but he has been hot (hitting over .450 in the last week).
Jose Quintana – 8 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.69. Perennially underrated. Speaking of which (terrible segue), Paul will be announcing later today which pick was the best for ADP over the last five years. Someone did guess the right player. They will be receiving a Razzball t-shirt to impress all of their friends*! *Friends not included.
Mike Trout – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 22nd homer. In this game, Albert Pujols (1-for-5, 3 RBIs) hit his 26th homer, Matt Joyce (1-for-3) hit his 5th homer and Chris Iannetta (1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) hit his 4th. One guess where they were playing. The only way you shouldn’t guess it the first time is if you instead guess the moon. It’s not only that Coors is insane, which it is, but you also get to face terrible pitching.
Andrew Heaney – 7 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 1.77. Sonavabench! Damn impressive start in Coors, and I’ll take that sonavabench any time because the alternative is thinking you can start guys in Coors and then picking up your lower intestine at the dry cleaning.
Drew Stubbs – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer. Yup, he’s back. And, yes, you should own him. Immediately. It’s Coors, doode!
Taijuan Walker – 6 IP, 5 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks. Well, that was the cat’s me-ouch, but he’s stringed together a bunch of good starts and I’d try to hold onto him for another few.
Robinson Cano – 2-for-6, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer. How many homers does he need to hit in the 2nd half to salvage this season? 15? 20? Would you take 10? Because ten seems doable and realistic.
Austin Jackson – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and the grand slam, his 4th homer. It’s time for some action, Jackson!
Nick Castellanos – 1-for-5 and his 6th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games. I don’t think it will last, but it’s worth a flyer to see how far it goes.
Yoenis Cespedes – 1-for-5 and his 12th homer. Man (or five girls), I’d love for Yoenis to get to 25 homers this year. Are we in the realm here? Are we? Please.
Rafael Soriano – Tossed a scoreless inning in Double-A Tennessee. He showed no sign of Arrested Development.
Jason Motte – 1 2/3 IP, 1 ER and one save and two appearances, but came into the 1st game of the doubleheader as a closer would, and has saved all Cubs games for the last month. In other words, I’m wishing Hector Rondon well in most leagues. This will almost surely backfire on me and don’t call me Shirley. Apropos of nothing, Rondon bears a striking resemblance to this guy.
Jake Arrieta – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 4 Ks. His ERA came into this game at 2.80 and left the game at 2.80. That feels like betting black or red and zero comes out.
Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 16th homer in the 1st game of the doubleheader. HR to the Rizzo!
Mark Reynolds – 2-for-8, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer, hitting .226. I enjoyed Reynolds more when he was hitting .185 with prodigious power. I blame all you left wingers, making him into a pansy boy that hits for a still-terrible-but-not-that-terrible average! Now, I’m going to unwind by cloaking myself in the Confederate flag and watching some Paula Deen as I apply an extra thick coat of bronzer.
Kolten Wong – Left the first game of yesterday’s doubleheader with a mild concussion. I’m not surprised! No good ever came out of a Wong in a doubleheader. A doublehander can be tricky too. A mild concussion is like being a little dead. Oh, Wongie Bear, why this?! Why now?!
Tyler Lyons – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 12 baserunners (5 BBs), 3 Ks as he steps into the rotation for Jaime Garcia. I wouldn’t go near Lyons, even if the Stream-o-Nator is “better than ugly” on his next start.
Alex Gordon – 7-for-9, 6 RBIs and his 11th homer in the 1st game of the doubleheader. Damn, maybe he is worthy of starting the All-Star Game (if 29 other teams’ outfielders came down with the mumps.).
Alcides Escobar – 4-for-8, 3 runs, 3 RBIs. I have a fun All-Star Game activity for the night before. Bring Mackey Sasser out of retirement and see if Alcides can steal a base on him.
James Loney – 2-for-7 and his third homer in the first game of the doubleheader and his 2nd steal in the 2nd game. The Ernie Banks slam & legs!
Evan Longoria – 2-for-9, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer. Nice to see he’s on an almost 20-homer pace. Put in your earplugs for a second. ALMOST 20 HOMERS?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! EVA LONGORIA WAS LESS OF A SLAP HITTER ON DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES! I HATE YOU!
Brad Boxberger – 1/3 IP, 4 ER as he gave up a home run to the ultimate batty call Paulo Orlando (2-for-8, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 2nd homer). Well, Paulo is the ultimate batty call if you’re a middle-aged woman and you have Lorenzo Lamas as your computer screensaver. Who loves you, baby? Paulo loves you, baby. As for Boxberger, he gave you runs. What do you expect from meat in a box? Jake McGee would be the handcuff.
Steven Souza – Hit the DL exactly twelve hours after I locked my weekly lineups, and for that I say, “Thank you,” as I jam my finger into an electrical outlet. Can’t clubs make team decisions on effin’ Monday before games! Am I asking for too frickin’ much?! Rhetorical!
Grady Sizemore – 0-for-8. I’m convinced no good ever came out of streaming a crappy hitter in a doubleheader.
Jake Odorizzi – Tossed a solid start in High-A Charlotte. A good sign, even if High-A Samantha is a lot looser with bats.
Matt Moore – 4 1/3 IP, 4 ER. For those that own him, you’re not getting sympathy points for standing by a guy while he tries to come back from major surgery. Like, for instance, owning him won’t get you laid. Unless maybe pity sex from that gross guy in your league that puts boogers under his desk. Okay, fine, that’s every guy in every fantasy league!