Since it was an afternoon game, Ted and I settled in to watch Max Scherzer vs. the Marlins.  First inning and the slider was working.  2nd, 3rd, 4th innings and the Marlins had no chance.  5th inning and Ted demanded I take him out and play catch with him.

115 degrees in the shade and we’re back in for the 6th inning, and Scherzer hasn’t missed a beat while missing the bats.  Everyone knows everything there is to know about Scherzer.  He is at least the 3rd best starter in baseball, and likely second best, though who’s first?  Sale?  Then Kershaw and Scherzer?  I don’t know, Kershaw’s looked pretty human at times this year.  Sale, Scherzer then Kershaw?  Sounds about right, but need to search for other things to talk about with him.  Hmm…Well, there’s always his android eyes.

Now back for the 7th inning and it’s more no-hitter, and, Jesus Christopher Ramirez, the Nats announcers are a bore.  Let’s go mute for the 8th inning, and Dietrich gets, uh, diet rich of sliders.  Now, Ellis and goodbye no-hitter.  Of course, that was the point Dusty should’ve lifted Scherzer since even the announcers said Scherzer says he doesn’t want to ever throw past 120 pitches.  You guessed it, he went past 120 pitches, and lost the lead, but, once again, a dazzler — 8 IP, 0 ER, 3 baserunners (2 hits), 11 Ks, ERA at 2.09.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Ryan Raburn – 2-for-3 with his first homer and RBI on the Nationals.  After the game, Raburn did an interview with his brother, Danny, who he drowned in the Keys.  I’d say spoiler alert, but I just saved you so much time.

Dan Straily – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.43.  Totally commendable start vs. The Beastzer.  Unfortch, it was like the five-star, top of his class, sushi chef from Indiana is sharpening his knives when Nobu walks in.  Dude puts ceviche on a turtle head and it tastes better than your catch of the day.

Freddie Freeman – Will return as a 3rd baseman.  Five months ago, “My dietician says the world will open up for me if I stop having thirds, fourths and even fifths of cheesecake.”  Matt Adams’ dietician was right.

Matt Adams – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer.  Inscribing a baseball, “Jillian Michaels, you changed my life.”

Matt Kemp – 1-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 12th homer.  For those not following along with the most obvious, Kemp has the same number of homers as Adams.  Zoinks!

Eduardo Nunez – MRI revealed hamstring inflammation.  He’s considered day-to-day as of now.  As Al Gore would say, hot smoldering earth to Giants, come in Giants!  There’s a 10-day DL now.  DL him and ask questions later.

Sean Newcomb – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 1.96 after three starts.  Wow, time to take another look at him.  *reading Pitcher Ralph’s Sean Newcomb breakdown*  The stuff kinda dazzles, huh?  Hard to argue with the results so far, and, since he gets the Padres next, I’d loosen the reins and grab him, while going one start at a time.

Luis CastilloReds are calling him up for Friday’s game vs. the Nats.  He’s a speedy, 2B who will eventually lead the Marlins to both of their World Series championships–*intern whispers in my ear*  It appears he’s a Reds pitcher.  Not the same Luis Castillo, who has reinvented himself?  No.  I’m told he’s not.  Prospector Ralph told me, “Control guy, could be a solid mid-rotation type. I’m unsure of what his K upside is. Fastball is nasty, sits 96-97, throws downhill, slider is above average, but it’s up and down, change is junk.  He’s one of those guys that should strikeout a lot more batters with that fastball.  At least that’s what I know off the top of my head.”  That’s like, “I’m going to recite to you Crime and Punishment,” does exactly that then, “At least that’s what I remember, but haven’t read it in 30 years.”  I’m very interested in Castillo, but more for 15-team mixed leagues and deeper for now.

Homer Bailey – Will return on Saturday.  Laura Holt just gave you her Homer Bailey fantasy.  There she said, “He’s looked great…he has two no hitters….as high a ceiling as anyone…”  Like seized chocolate, I may not have tempered that correctly.

Scott Schebler – 2-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer.  Someone asked yesterday if they should pick up Schebler.  Guys and five girls, when a guy is on pace for 45 homers and we’re almost halfway through the season, it’s kinda time to trust him.

Trevor Plouffe – 1-for-3 and his 8th homer.  Plouffe goes the dynamite!

Steven Souza – 3-for-5, 1 run, 2 RBIs, hitting .272, with three homers in the last week.  Yes, hot, but beyond that he is the 28th best outfielder on our Player Rater.  Above Benintendi, Yelich, Kemp and Adam Jones, to name a few.

Taylor Featherston – 2-for-4 and his 2nd homer.  Featherston sounds like an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp, open secret or professional manager Mike Scioscia.

Colby Rasmus – Day-to-day with hip soreness.  If he made it through that impossibly gross beard period in his life, he’ll get through this.

Mallex Smith – 2-for-5, 1 RBI and his 9th steal, hitting .352.  My degree from the Fantasy Baseball College of Charleston forbids me from ignoring Mallex any time he steals a base.  To be exact, it was the course curriculum in Cheap Steals On Waivers 201 taught by A.J. Mass while in Mr. Met costume.

Jose Bautista – 0-for-3, 1 run, hitting .219, as he hit leadoff.  Oh, no, it’s the New Whirled Order.

Darwin Barney – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and a slam (2) and legs (3).  The Purple Evolutionist hasn’t died, he’s evolved into a sixth man off the bench.

Joe Biagini – 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.45.  But there was so much promise and Biagini sounds like a flat bagel!  S to igh.  Two bad starts in a row and I’d lose him in most mixed leagues.

Joey Gallo – 3-for-4, 3 runs and his 19th homer, an inside the park home run, hitting .201.  Elias Sports Bureau said Gallo is the first person to hit the longest and shortest home runs of a season since Skippy Molitz of the White Castle Scorpions in Pee Wee Baseball, though Skippy’s shortest home run seemed to include six errors that were overlooked because Mr. Molitz was keeping score.

Tyson Ross – 3 IP, 7 ER.  Exhibit A why I refused to pick up Ross.  There’s no more exhibits, and the prosecution rests.

Doug Fister – Opted out of his contract with the Angels.  Weird, I thought Fister would’ve fit in perfectly in the Big A.

Martin Maldonado – 3-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 6th and 7th homers.  Maldonado is my least favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  He’s not exactly a favorite of mine in fantasy either.  Around a 15-homer, .240 guy.  Good 2nd catcher, terrible TMNT.

Andrelton Simmons – 3-for-4, 2 runs and his 13th steal, hitting .280.  Andrelton now putting together his 2nd out-of-nowhere serviceable fantasy year, separated by three years and 4.5 trillion light years because he looks like an alien.

Didi Gregorius – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, hitting .321.  Contact!

Matt Holliday – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 15th homer, hitting .275.  Whenever I see him lifted late in the game, as he was yesterday, I immediately have visions of DLzebub on my shoulder like an evil Great Gazoo.

Jeff Hoffman – 3 2/3 IP, 9 ER.   When the Regression Fairies have to come to Coors, well, margies, pinas, daqs, but Coors?  Yeah, they’re not happy.  Sucks you got swallowed up by Hoffman’s regression, and it’s easy to see it in hindsight, but hindsight is wearing glasses on your butt, and no one does that.

David Peralta – 4-for-5, 4 runs, 1 RBI, hitting .332.  Yes, he was in Coors, but where do you think he plays his home games?  It’s not exactly a pitcher’s park.

Brandon Drury – 4-for-6, 1 run, 6 RBIs, hitting .304.  If you can’t go wrong with Rockies hitters — shut up, Story owners — you can barely go wrong with Diamondbacks hitters.

Domingo Santana – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer.  Maybe this is the start of something, but Domingo’s done un gotz recently.  On a side note, Josh Bell also homered in the same game.  Bell have more or less homers than Domingo?  It’s not a trick.  Dot dot dot.  Okay, maybe it is a trick, but not because they have the same amount of homers.  It’s a trick because Bell has more.  I found that surprising, so maybe I only tricked myself.  It’s an illusion!

Junior Guerra – 6 IP, 3 ER, 12 baserunners (5 BBs), 6 Ks, ERA at 3.11.  Guerra, HUH!  What is he good for?  Absolutely nothing, if he’s walking that many batters.

Zack Wheeler – Headed to the DL, because:  Mets.

Rich Hill – 5 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.73 vs. Tyler Pill – 6 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.00.  Fun fact!  A pill and a hill are the same things to an insect.  For fantasy, I’d use the Stream-o-Nator for Hill, and avoid the Pill, it will knock you out.

Yasmani Grandal – 2-for-4 and his 8th and 9th homers, and three homers in two games.  Apparently, dropping Grandal for Murphy was not the move.  My b.

Yasiel Puig – 1-for-3, 3 RBIs and his 13th homer, as he appeals his one game suspension for flipping off fans.  MLB should give the finger to any player protesting a one game suspension.  What are you hoping for?  A half-game suspension?  Get the frack out of here.

Jose Berrios – 8 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 2.67.  If I could kick myself in the lower nad region, I would for dropping him.  “We’re glad you can’t!”  That’s Maballtu, the President of my Republic of Southern Nads.

Miguel Sano – 1-for-3 and his 18th homer, hitting .291.  Basically, if you’re expecting people to stop hitting home runs, stop expecting it.

Nick Pivetta – 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.46.  I strongly considered streaming Pivetta yesterday.  Before you scoff, you scoffer, he has a 9.8 K/9 and the stuff to back it up.  His command is a little wonky, but I said stream, not own.  Though, I might consider that in deeper leagues too.

Hector Neris – 1 IP, 1 ER, and his 3rd blown save, which isn’t terrible until you realize he only has six saves on the year.  You ever have this feeling:  I went to pick up Neshek to handcuff Neris, and I was happy he wasn’t there.  Neris is likely the closer, but Neshek might see the next few saves, which, the way Philly’s getting saves, might be over a couple of weeks.  By the way, this is a silly thing, but it’s weird that box scores don’t make note of a Blown Save until after a game.  Even if the Phils would’ve won this game, Neris blew the game once he let the Cards tie it.  No reason to wait.  Okay, a silly and boring thing.

Howie Kendrick – 3-for-5, 1 run, and his 8th steal, hitting .350.  With everyone and Yelich’s mother hitting a home run, some of the players who are just hot schmotato’ing could get lost.  Howie is one such player.

Tommy Pham – 2-for-5 and two homers (8, 9), and third homer in two games.  You may be hungry for homers, but Tommy is Phamished.

Jedd Gyorko – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games.  Essentially, the Cards’ bats are hot, and the Phils’ pitching is top in majors for allowing homers.

Jean Segura – 1-for-3, 2 runs as he was activated from the DL.  Welcome back; Motter’s Good Times are over, not to get all Maude’lin.  And that’s just CBS on Wednesdays in 1977!

James Paxton – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 11 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA up to 3.54.  Bad news, everything.  Good news, he’ll likely hit the DL again.  ‘Member all of those people that wanted to trade for Paxton with a top ten bat?  Yeah, they’re no longer around.  Sorry, I wanted to believe the breakout in early April too, because his stuff can be so live when it’s on, but he never puts together multiple months, let alone a full season.

Justin Verlander – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 4.52.  I guess it’s something, but keep in mind you’re excited about a guy whose game ERA yesterday was 4.76.

Ian Kinsler – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in the last two games.  Finally starting to show some l’chaim!

Andrew Moore – Will be called up by the Mariners for this weekend series vs. the Astros, and, if all goes well, could be in the rotation until one of the M’s starters returns.  Moore looks similar to Tomlin:  great control, not great Ks, peaked in the 80’s, both were a cunning linguist.

Francisco Lindor – 2-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 14th homer, hitting .256.  He’s on pace for 30 homers and will likely hit .280.  Yeah, he’s really struggling.  Y’all better sell low super fast before you’ll only be able to trade him for a 1st or 2nd rounder.  Ow, eye roll headache!

Carlos Carrasco – 6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.99.  The average ERA this year is like seven billion, so here’s a shorthand:  if your starter is within sneezing distance of 3.00, you can start him anywhere.  This is directed to the person asking yesterday if they should start Carrasco.

Bradley Zimmer – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 7th steal.  I picked him up as soon as he was promoted, and have held him ever since, only benching him vs. lefties.  In my active stats, Zimmer has 54 ABs, 3 HRs, 3 SBs and a .389 AVG.  Maybe he’s not doing that poorly.

Kevin Gausman – 5 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks.  That’s nice, super, adjective, but his ERA is 6.47.  Try me again when it’s under Andre The Giant’s weight.

Carlos Correa – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 14th homer, hitting .301.  Don’t take this the wrong way, I like Correa, but I get the sense people like Correa so much more than Lindor.  Because he has an extra fifty points in average?  This early in the season that’s a nothingburger.

Ian Happ – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .221.  This was his fifth homer in his last eight games.  I remember when I was young the MLB collective bargaining agreement didn’t include giving every rookie hitter 30 homers.

Jose Pirela – 2-for-5, 1 RBI and two steals (2, 3).  See Smith, Mallex for further reading on the subject.

Erick Aybar – 1-for-3 and his 5th homer, hitting .218.  How low is the bar for the Padres to give a guy 500 ABs?  About Aybar.

Austin Hedges – Still out after getting snowplowed by Rizzo.  The bench ‘n Hedges are being reacquainted after a long couple of years where skull and crossbones were put on cigarette packs and ‘big government’ started breathing down Big Tobacco’s neck near its throat hole.

Salvador Perez – 3-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 15th homer, hitting .292.  I saw those numbers and I was like, “Yawn, rerun, what else is on,” then I remembered he’s a catcher.  Fifteen homers and a .290+ average with almost half the season gone?  As I expected, he’s the top catcher right now on our Player Rater, and it’s not that close.

Drew Pomeranz – 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.07.  In general, I’m pretty meh on Pomeranz — Pomehranz? — but he gets the Twins next and the Stream-o-Nator likes it, so I will too.

Hanley Ramirez – Out with shoulder trouble.  The Red Sox manager, White Bread, said there’s a physical reason for Hanley’s injury.  I think they might be onto something!

Xander Bogaerts – 1-for-2 and his 5th homer.  Or 11 innings from Scooter.

Andrew Benintendi – 1-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting .274.  I imagine March Grey would’ve loved to see Benintendi on pace for 20+ homers, but then Gody Launchangler showed up, farted a thunderbolt into his hand, used it as a bat, and cracked said thunderbolt in half while still hitting the ball out!  You don’t look so good when Gody Launchangler homers with a cracked fartbolt!