Opening a gift, “Aw, geez, Kershaw, you didn’t have to give me your arm.”  That’s Ross Stripling at the office Christmas party.  “Don’t mention it.  Hey, Tommy Lasorda, could you get off my lap, my back is starting to hurt.  Also, you’re not wearing pants.”   I forget if I ever told you — the royal you since you’re wearing that Burger King crown — but a friend of mine told me Lasorda still goes to the Dodgers’ clubhouse to use the showers and likes to walk around naked.  How’s dem visuals!  By the by, I’ve reached the age where I forget if a friend of mine told me that, I heard it on the radio or if a commenter told me.  Welcome to your 40’s, you don’t look a day older than 27.  No, really, I don’t.  Anyhoo!  Last night Stripling did what he’s done all year — 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 1.52.  The slightly bizzonkers thing is his peripherals say he’s nearly this good — 11.1 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 2.63 xFIP.  Don’t love he throws only 92 MPH, but he’s dominating with the curve.  He credits pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt, with his newfound success, saying he told him to throw the curve as hard as he can.  I see no velocity difference in his curve, according to the stats, but stats-schmats, Honeycutt-Schmoneycutt, whatever works.  At this point, hard to ignore the results(schmults).  Anyway, here’s what else I saw in fantasy baseball yesterday:

Cody Bellinger – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer as he was dropped to 7th in the order.  Dave Roberts nurtures young bucks like whoever it was that shot Bambi’s mom.  Sorry, spoiler alert.  By the way, bigger mystery:  who shot Bambi’s mom or who shot Tupac?

Joc Pederson – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer, hitting .261.  At some point, Roberts fell in love with Muncy and bestowed all his confidence in him, but Pederson has been hitting well recently, though it was coming off a Coors series.

Yasiel Puig – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer, hitting .253.  Pound for pound, the Dodgers might have the best bottom of the order vs. top of the order.  I wonder if Roberts is holding the lineup card upside down.

Justin Turner – Sat out with a sore wrist.  Podcaster Ralph and I discuss Turner on the latest installment of “What the hell did Grey just say?”

Joe Musgrove – 5 IP, 3 ER, 7 baserunners (1 BB), 5 Ks, ERA at 1.89.  The game ERA doesn’t look terrific for this start, but he looked solid from what I saw.  He was never a sub-1 ERA guy anyway, so not much has changed.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – The Blue Jays said they’ll promote Vlad Jr. in the next month….don’t read after the ellipse….it’ll drive you insane…I’m warning you…okay, you’re insisting…promoting him to Triple-A!  Vlad Jr. and Sr. are gonna be the first father/son combo to play 15+ years in the majors and the minors.  If the always-aggressive-to-promote Tigers sign Vlad Jr. Jr., we might see him first!  Obviously, this is a blow to Vlad Jr.’s 2018, and we might not see him until September.  Sigh.  He’s a drop in most redraft leagues.

Teoscar Hernandez – 1-for-4 and his 9th homer, hitting .254.  Somehow this guy has remained on my 12-teamer since the moment he was called up.  He hasn’t been bad, but he gives me such a case of the mehs I kinda wish the bottom would drop out so I can just drop him.

Kevin Pillar – 1-for-3 and his 5th homer.  Might be coming out of his funk, but he was hitting .077 in June.  I’d say, “Don’t just stand there, Pillar, and do something,” but I’d worry someone would hear me and think I was filming a Mannequin remake with my iPhone.

Marco Estrada – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (0 BBs), 6 Ks, ERA at 5.29 vs. CC Sabathia 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 3.59.  This matchup was billed as, “Ponch vs. Ate All The Chips.”  Not a fan of either pitcher, but I would stream if the Stream-o-Nator gave its robotic blessing.

Jordan Montgomery – Will have Tommy John surgery, i.e., Jo-Mo no mo.  Or slo-mo Joooooooooo-Moooooooo nooooooooooooooo mooooooooooooo.

Miguel Andujar – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 7th homer, hitting .305.  Usually hold hot schmotato alerts for guys who are owned in less than 50% of leagues, but was shocked to see Andujar is only owned in 51% of leagues.  Your league can’t be that shallow.

Aaron Hicks – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer.  Hitting near-.450 in June, but could say that about the entire Yankees team, except for Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo.

Todd Frazier – 0-for-4 as he was activated from the DL.  Kevin from ESPN’s Get Him In Your Lineup Department said, “Ever find it weird that it’s sexual harassment if you walk around with a hot dog sticking out of your fly?  I mean, it’s just a hot dog.”

Ervin Santana – Could resume throwing on Thursday.  Just has to get over the hump day.

Fernando Romero – 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 baserunners (0 BBs), 4 Ks, ERA at 3.96 vs. Reynaldo Lopez – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners (4 BBs), 4 Ks, ERA at 3.42. This matchup was billed as, “Two guys I don’t want any part of,” and you can imagine not a ton of people call it by its official name.  Just me and my Cousin Larry.  He’s a good cousin.

Nate Jones – 2/3 IP, 4 ER and the blown save.  Jones came into the game in the 8th inning, because it was a doubleheader and he was tuning up for the 2nd game.  Kidding.  Got no clue.  Just usual dubya tee eff with a bullpen.  Then, of course, to murk up shizz, Joakim Soria threw 1 1/3 IP, 0 ER and got his 5th save in the nightcap.  Speaking of nightcaps, where the eff is Waldo?

Yoan Moncada – 3-for-9, 3 runs and a slam (8) and legs (7).  He’s cooled a lot since April which is either him thumbing his nose up at Al Gore or it’s just because he was never really a .275 hitter.  Prolly lats.  Instead of ‘probably later” I saved 1.2 milliseconds, though just threw all that saved time away.  Stupid, Grey, stupid!

Madison Bumgarner – 6 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners (0 BBs), 3 Ks as he was activated from the DL.  As fun as it is to think you can trade him away and say, “I got Mad-Bum to give,” like you’re Method Man serenading Mary J. Blige, I’d guess Bumgarner is in the best shape of his life right now.  Last year the random BMX accident cut his innings and this year he was sidelined with a pinkie injury.  Again, another injury that sucked, but kept innings off his arm.  Maybe he’ll be rusty, and I don’t love owning top pitchers, but there seems to be a lot pointing to Bumgarner’s ability to come back to full effectiveness.

Patrick Corbin – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.87.  Give him the Razzball award, “Even When He Regressed He Was Still A’ight,” right now.  Just give it to him!

Andrew Heaney – 9 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 1 walk, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.12.  All right, Stream-o-Nator we’re good now.  Not to sound like Murray Chass or some old-timer who bah humbugs a pitcher’s peripherals, but Heaney’s xFIP actually went up after last night’s game.  Bah humbug!  Fun fact!  Humbug is also what termites say when they’re getting oral sex.  Any hoo!  Heaney’s a must own, but I’d be wary in tough road matchups.  Or weary, if you need a nap.

Bradley Zimmer – Demoted to Triple-A.  Late night talk show and sneaky billionaire, Greg Allen (0-for-3, hitting ninth), will take over for Zimmer in center.  Hopefully Allen hits as well as he accumulates money from somewhere no one knows.

Lonnie Chisenhall – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs as he was activated from the DL.  I.e., Lonnie no longer gonnie.

Jose Ramirez – 1-for-4 and his 19th homer, hitting .298.  Steamer projected him in the preseason for 22 homers.  Might get there by this weekend.  I was excited and believed in Jo-Ram, and I only projected him for 25 homers!  Jo-Ram is basically the moment Denzel starts screaming he’s King Kong in Training Day for the entire season.

Anthony DeSclafani – 5 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners (1 BB), 5 Ks, as he was activated from the DL.  As previously mentioned on the aforementioned tip, I’m low key interested in seeing what DeSclafani can do if healthy.  He was solid last time he had his health ducks in a row.

Scott Schebler – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 8th homer, hitting .264, and hitting over-.400 in the last week.  He’s owned in 11% of leagues, which makes me roll my eyes like an owl getting asked if it wants to get some sleep.  Yo, an owl can decide when to sleep!  Hence, night owl!  Schebler is a 27-homer, .260 hitter, kinda silly he’s not owned in more places.

Chris Iannetta – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer.  Terrific, more reason to not promote Tom Murphy.  Free Tom Murphy, you Rockholes!

Carlos Gonzalez – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 6th homer.  At some point, Raimel Tapia is going to get traded and be a star for another team, and the Rockies are going to drop Shruggy the Emoji and I’m going to explode into a fireball.

Addison Russell – Underwent an MRI on his middle finger.  The MRI technician was highly offended.

Zach Eflin – 7 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 9 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 3.74.  After two straight terrible previous starts, I’m now just watching Eflin like I’m at a donkey show in TJ.

Kyle Seager – 1-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer.  Any ideas what he’s hitting?  Nope, way lower.  Keep going.  Not a negative number, c’mon!  He’s hitting .224.  I own him, and I didn’t realize things were that much of a struggle.

Mike Zunino – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 9th homer.  Who’s Zunino’ing who?!

Dallas Keuchel – 6 2/3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 4.13.  There was only one Astros starter I told you not to draft.  So far, I picked the right one to avoid.

Sean Manaea – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners (4 BBs), 2 Ks, ERA at 3.59.  Only two Ks against the Rangers?  Before every game, the Rangers promise a good game to “Deer Leader,” at a poster of Rob Deer.

Tim Lincecum – Released by the Rangers.  At this point, his doppelganger, k.d. lang, has a better chance of a successful major league career.

Robinson Chirinos – 1-for-4 and his 8th homer.  Uh-oh, Chirinos!  Also, in this game, Adrian Beltre hit his 2nd homer; Jurickson Profar hit his 4th; Joey Gallo hit his 16th and Shin-Soo Choo hit his 10th.  However, not enough strikeouts for Deer Leader.

Jordan Lyles – 4 1/3 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 4.70.  Someone bid $335 for him in my Tout Wars league.  There’s not enough blinking white guy memes for my reaction to that.

Julio Teheran – Hit the DL with a thumb bruise.  The Reflex here is to think Teheran Teheran has Come Undone.

Sean Newcomb – 6 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.49.  I mean, I like him a lot, but, well, yeah, dur, he was in Petco.

Dansby Swanson – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer (3 homers in last five games).  He’s been great recently, but Dave Roberts must be ghost-managing, because replacing Acuña at the top of the order has been Camargo.

Freddie Freeman – 4-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .339, and a triple short of the cycle.  Too bad, the fans like those sort of oddities.  Hey, I know what pleases a crowd.  *makes fart noise with hand under armpit*  You’re welcome.

Drew Pomeranz – Hit the DL with biceps tendinitis.  He said he felt it after his last start, but, with how he’s been pitching, I bet he’s felt it for a while now.  That’s right, calling him a liar.  Whatcha gonna do about it?

Jalen Beeks – Being called up to replace Drew Pomeranz.  I agree with Prospector Ralph’s assessment of him, “He’s a 24-year-old undersized lefty with a mediocre fastball, a decent breaking ball, and a good change.  So far in 2018 he’s been simply awesome.  He’s going to get a shot at a spot start sooner rather than later, and could find some re-draft relevancy if he gets a longer look due to injury.  Speaking of injuries, anyone want to hurt Grey for me?”  Aw, c’mon!

Steven Wright – 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 6 Ks, ERA at 1.57.  Damn, Steven Wright is no joke.  I was about to say the Tigers, his opponent, aren’t that great but I just looked up their stats, and they’re actually not that bad.  Don’t fully trust Wright, but I could see the stream in the right matchups.  Check the Stream-o-Nator, yo.

J.D. Martinez – 2-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer.  Just Dong, because a ball ain’t gonna dong itself.

Xander Bogaerts – 1-for-3 and his 9th homer.  Might reach a career high in power this year, on pace for 24 homers, and his career high is 21.  However (damn, Grey, let me bask in that wonderful!), Jose Ramirez is gonna have 24 homers by June 15th!

Brian Anderson – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 3rd homer, hitting near-.400 in the last week.  Hot schmotato alert!

J.T. Riddle – 2-for-4 and his 2nd homer, hitting .242.  This is far from a reason to grab a guy, but on my most charmed team, where everything I touch turns to gold, I own Jerry Tomato Riddle.

Yadier Molina – 1-for-4, 1 RBI as he was activated from the DL.  Not saying C-Mart also came back from the DL because there was nothing left to fix with Yadier’s groin, but, ya know what, just said it!

Carlos Martinez – 4 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners (5 BBs), 5 Ks, ERA at 1.83 as he returned from the DL.  The Cardinals pitchers come back from the DL screaming, “COMING IN HOT!”  Then go skidding off the aircraft carrier.  Then as the plane sinks into the Caspian Sea, the pilot sticks his head up and, “Maybe I needed another rehab start.”

Max Scherzer – 8 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA at 1.95.  Honestly, if he were to test positive for PEDs, I’d still be like, “There’s no way PEDs can make him throw that well.”  He throws better than I can imagine for someone using performance-enhancing drugs!

Matt Adams – 1-for-3 and his 13th homer, hitting .255.  Somehow, he’s out-slugging Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper, and he’s not playing every day, or maybe because of that.

Nathan Eovaldi – 5 IP, 4 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.27.  “We saw that you threw six no-hit innings your last time out, but we’re gonna have to send you back to earth now.”  That’s ICE on the moon.

Chris Archer – Hit the DL with an abdominal strain.  He experienced tightness in his core.  When is the first known occurrence of “tightness in one’s core?”  I’m gonna say no earlier than 2003.  Imagine someone in the 1950’s saying tightness in their core.  1850’s?  1750’s?  “I think you have gorgeous tightness in your core.”  That’s Benjamin Franklin complimenting Betsy Ross.