I’m going to look right in your eye and say, “I don’t know where Jacob deGrom‘s coming from.” Don’t turn away from me. *turns your face by chin* Look at me. I don’t know everything. I’m sorry. I know that upsets you like finding out that Santa Claus is really just a drunk man in a costume. I apologize profusely if you didn’t know that about Santa too. It hurts me to ruin your naivete more than anything. Your child-like innocence is what originally drew me to you. Alas, we’ll find something else. Like deGrom, for instance, we can discover him together. In Triple-A, deGrom had a 6.8 K/9 this year, and 7.5 last year. Always had nice control, but he has a 9 K/9 in the majors. You don’t see guys often jump up a pedigree when they go from the minors to the majors. He’s always featured nice command, which is the key here. When a guy can command his pitches and then learns how to throw a new pitch that is special, he can use it effectively. So, what did he learn? Supposedly, Johan Santana gave him the secret sauce recipe for The Change. Another key is his velocity. This isn’t a guy who is adding a new pitch with 89 MPH velocity. He throws his fastball in the mid-90’s. Throw one pitch in the mid-90’s and another dropped in around 84 and you have a recipe for Ks. As was the case yesterday — 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners, 13 Ks — when the Marlins were like Farmer Ted striking out at deGrom. Still think he’s closer to a high-7/low-8 K-rate guy with a mid-3 ERA, but it’s still a lot better than I thought he was when he came up. Now let’s move past this lapse of judgment by me and try to enjoy ourselves. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Matt Harvey – Threw off the mound at Metco. A batter stood in the box, but didn’t swing. Okay, so he’s ready to face the Mets, but what about everyone else? He should be able to report to camp in February and have a normal offseason. A baseball player’s normal offseason: drink beers, game fish. A football player’s normal offseason: lift weights, kill someone.
Jarred Cosart – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks. I cannot tell a lie (I can); I streamed Cosart yesterday. Hey, it’s September and I need starts. Stop looking at me like that! The Stream-o-Nator didn’t like the start all that much, and hates his next one, so I dropped him prior to the game even ending. Hit ’em and quit ’em, right? Fist bump me, I insist.
Adeiny Hechavarria – 2-for-4, 1 run, 2 RBIs. Has a hit in every game but one in September, hitting near-.350 in the last week. Hechavarria hot or Heckuvaverylongshottostayhot? Good question, Mumbles. I’d go with the latter, but if you’re desperate it seems you could do worse.
Masahiro Tanaka – Went five scoreless in his rehab start and may return this weekend. Tanaka said through a translator, “I feel good, and translators should get generous gratuities from reporters.” I don’t know, his translator seems like he’s pulling a fast one. Tanaka pitched well in that rehab start against no one special, and I wouldn’t go near him in any leagues, unless extremely desperate.
Chase Headley – 0-for-2 as he returned to the lineup after being hit by a pitch in the mouth. Headley said, “Next time a pitcher starts singing, Put It in Your Mouth by Akinyele, I’m gonna call time out.”
Alex Colome – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks. I like Colome, and not just because it sounds like Rhett Miller should be singing his name. I don’t love him for this season, unless extremely needy. Hard to predict what he’s going to do or even when he’ll start next.
Anthony Rizzo – 2-for-4 and his 31st homer as he returned from his injury. HR to the Rizzo! Kevin from ESPN’s “Get Him In Your Lineup” Department said, “I just took peyote, so what does it take to get fired from here anyway?” Rizzo’s return was inauspicious until he hit a 9th inning homer and then it became auspicious (I could be switching those two). If you benched Rizzo to see how he’d do on his return, it looks like you should get him back in your lineup. Right, Kev? “Oh, look a Key Lime pie,” as Kevin eats a green urinal cake.
Travis Wood – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA down to 4.86. Stream-o-Nator sorta liked this start, but honestly, I’ve had a hard time pulling the trigger on starts vs. the Reds. I know they’re terrible this year, but everything I’ve learned about the Reds for the last seven years tells me danger. The Ghost of Dusty Baker must be haunting my thoughts, could be why I wanna to go out and throw 220 pitches too.
Alfredo Simon – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks. Hard to imagine how he got only 3 Ks vs. the Cubs. Throw twelve balls in the dirt to Baez and Arismendy and you have four Ks alone. On a side note, didja you hear about the game out of the Dominican Republic called, Alfredo Simon Says? You pull out a gun and everyone has to do what you want.
Bryce Harper – Exited the game due to lightheadedness. Could be because his hair is spiked and there’s less pushing down on his skull.
Stephen Strasburg – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 3.34. Good start, I like Strasburg, so don’t take this the wrong way, but how on Al Gore’s green earth does he have an ERA of 3.34 when he’s pitching against so many NL East teams? The Mets, Phils, Marlins and Braves have two hitters between them. Not two on every team, I mean two hitters for all of them.
Wilson Ramos – 1-for-3, 2 runs and his 11th homer. That’s in like 30 games if you remove his “My hamate bone is made of peanut brittle” games. Not too shabby!
Evan Gattis – Missed yesterday’s game and has now missed a full week with what the Braves are calling strep throat. As anyone who has gone to high school knows, if someone misses a full week with what they’re calling a ‘sore throat,’ they’re actually pregnant.
Ervin Santana – 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks. He’s automatic! That’s automatic to show up at the park on his scheduled day to pitch. Stupid caveat.
Marcus Stroman – 6 IP, 5 ER. I’m going to leave my drink here for this nice man with a machete to watch while I go to the bathroom. *five hours later* Hey, what’s up nice man with a machete? Whoa, that’s weird, my voice is coming from over here, but my body is over there. AH!!! Roofie!
Jose Reyes – 3-for-5, 2 runs and his 27th steal. Only 13 more days to make your stats look good, Reyes!
Steve Pearce – 2-for-2 as he stays hot. You know why? Because he demands that of himself. Actually, I have no idea. But that’s what I always say when I don’t have an answer. “Why is your cousin such a jerk?” “Because he demands that of himself.” See? Works every time.
Collin McHugh – 6 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA down to 2.66, but left the game after taking a comebacker off his forearm. He says he’ll make his next start. That would be McHuge!
Zach McAllister (6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks). The matchup of McHugh vs. McAllister led to a gentleman’s bet where the loser would have to dress up like a leprechaun and take a picture with Jose Altuve (3-for-4, 2 RBIs). Me tinks amn’t just a wee bit of craic!
Jake Marisnick – 1-for-3 and his 10th steal. Still a bit of a stretch to say hot schmotato for him, but he does have two steals and a three-game hitting streak.
Gregorio Petit – 2-for-3, 1 run, and hit a homer on Sunday. Petit is a 29-year-old rookie. Hey, I’m not an ageist. For crying out loud, I married a cougar! But a 29-year-old rookie is not good. For the Astros? Very bad.
Alex Avila – Missed yesterday’s game after taking a foul tip off his mask on Sunday. Avila said he should be ready to go on Tuesday, but he was also dressed like Peter Pan and flying around on invisible wires, so he may not be all there.
Max Scherzer – 7 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks. I saw the game score with how many runs the Twins scored (6 total), and I immediately thought Verlander was pitching again. Watch Verlander throw a no-hitter in the postseason and everyone next year is like, “Verlander is good because of that one random game in the postseason, Grey, get with the times, but keep the seventies facial accoutrements.” Wait, why am I talking about Verlander, this was Scherzer’s start. Um, he’s great, not so much yesterday.
Miguel Cabrera – 3-for-5, 3 runs and his 23rd homer as he moved in front of the 22-homer J.D. Martinez (3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI). Their averages are also only separated by .003. This is better than a Triple Crown race!
Torii Hunter – 2-for-5 and his 16th homer. Variety announced that Tony Todd would be playing Hunter in The Night of the Living Zombinos. No word yet on who will play Victor Martinez. I’m hoping for Luis Guzman.
Joakim Soria – 1 IP, 0 ER and the save. Nathan had worked the previous two days and Ausmus isn’t smart enough to make a change in closer. So, four ladies and gentlemen, not your new Tigers closer, Joakim Soria!
Oswaldo Arcia – 1-for-3 and his 18th homer. Now has two homers in the past three games, and four homers in the past eight games. Don’t you love when you win your H2H matchup because of a random hot schmotato?
Danny Santana – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 16th steal. Continue on to the next blurb, I just want to ask myself something. “Hey, handsome, when you call Santana a sleeper for next year, how bad will he bomb?” “Jerk!”
Joe Mauer – 2-for-4, 1 run, 4 RBIs. Well, if that one day wasn’t worth a 1st round draft pick, I don’t know what was.
Wade Miley – 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks. Damn, Stream-o-Nator liked this start, but due to his last start that was flippin’ off the walls with too many balls, I didn’t have the requisite courage to stream him. Stupid lily-livered constitution!
Mark Trumbo – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 9th homer. That 5th round draft pick isn’t look so bad anymore, is it?! Oy.
Brandon Belt – Activated from the DL, but he won’t play every day. He could platoon and pinch hit while he gets in game shape. “Just get the Nachos Libre combo at Tacoteria.” That’s Sandoval explaining one way to get into game shape.
Joaquin Arias – 3-for-3, 1 run, now hitting near-.350 in the last week with no homers or steals. It’s the Age of Arias, but unless Beverly D’Angelo’s reading, I can’t fully recommend him.
Juan Uribe – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI. Let’s just say this about Uribe in Coors. I’m currently stockpiling Diamondback hitters that go into Coors in a few days.
Matt Kemp – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 21st homer and 2nd in as many games. Hitting homers in Coors is like picking on the little kid on the playground. Hitting homers off Christian Bergmann is like picking on Little Stevie from Malcolm in the Middle. (Side note: Don’t look up to see what Stevie looks like now. He has not grown into Steve Harvey.)
Nolan Arenado – Headed for an MRI on his sore ribs. Aw, shooty lou! You’re supposed to get injured when on road trips, not on home stands. That’s Rule Number One thru Ten for Rockies players. It’s actually the only rule!
Wilin Rosario – 3-for-4 and his 11th homer. Only 18 more homers and he’ll be right in line with preseason projections!
Norichika Aoki – 4-for-4, 1 run. It’s telling that he has the most boring four hit night. He could rain on a bukkake party.
Avisail Garcia – 2-for-4, 1 RBI, hitting over .300 in the last week with three steals. Not really known for steals, but a guy playing like he wants to prove something in the final two weeks ain’t so bad.
Hisashi Iwakuma – 3 1/3 IP, 7 ER. Oofa. Bad day to quit barbiturates. Since he’s been hit around multiple starts in a row, I wouldn’t be surprised if Iwakuma’s battling through an injury. If you have other options, I’d lose him in all leagues. No time to let a guy figure shizz out.
Josh Hamilton – Hoping to return on Wednesday. I hope he does too, just so I can go back to ignoring him.
Albert Pujols – Grabbed his hamstring as he ran into 2nd base on a double. Angels have playoffs locked up + Pujols has a hamstring cramp = Dr. Brown’s Celery Soda. Okay, math’s off there. Was supposed to equal ‘Pujols may sit a bit in the final two weeks.’ Angels are saying it’s not serious, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sit for a few games. Lowercase yay.
David Freese – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer. *reaches into bad Dr. Freeze pun hat* Looks like winter is coming early!
Brennan Boesch – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 1st homer. I told you he was a sleeper (in 2008)!
Matt Shoemaker – 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA down to 3.04. Don’t need him to be bombed, just want his ERA above 3.00 to help him fly under the radar next year. C’mon, do it for Unky Grey! That Unky as in ‘we’re familiar enough to be family,’ not as in Australian slang for crackhead.
Jonathan Papelbon – Ken Giles will be the closer for a week, because Papelbon was suspended for seven games for motioning to fans as he grabbed his crotch. Papelbon explained, “That’s how people greet each other in Philly.” Someone was having a good day when they came up with the idea for cream cheese.