As they say in Anaheim, “If you can’t get to see the Cherry Blossoms in Japan, you should get to see the Gin Blossoms in concert at the Hard Rock or Shohei Ohtani.” One Anaheim-born woman, Gina, was so excited about Ohtani that she got a tattoo of the Japanese symbol for strength, that she later found out was a tattoo of Calvin pissing on a Grateful Dead logo. Gina did it in honor of Ohtani, so it’s still close to her heart, though mostly because it’s covering a third nipple. Yesterday, Ohtani became the first Japanese born player to hit for the cycle, going 4-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs with his 8th homer. The closest previous Asian cycle was Kurt Suzuki. When Ohtani becomes Hot-tani, there’s few players that can match him for sheer excitement, though Ian Kinsler wears sheer pantyhose under his uni, if that counts. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Albert Pujols – 1-for-3, 2 RBis and his 12th homer. It is so disrespectful the way Pujols takes his good old time around the bases on a home run, calling an Uber to go from 2nd to home–Oh, I’m being told he gets a senior citizen exception. All good then!
Ryan Yarbrough – 6 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 5.59. Apparently, I wasn’t supposed to stream him. Loud and clear, Yarbrough. *makes hang loose hand gesture with pinkie and thumb*
Zack Greinke – 7 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 2 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 2.65. Conspiracy Theory Alert! You know how every pitcher is humping the speed gun? It’s true. Everyone wants to throw the hardest. It’s like every pitcher was raised on Nolan Ryan noogies. Velocity is where’s at! Dot dot dot. Or is it?! Damn you, Reversal Question! You nearly gave me a heart attack. If everyone’s throwing hard, then what it is it that hitters see a lot of? No, not the inside of cages. I mean, maybe, but not where I was headed. Hitters see a lot of fast, um, fastballs. What do they not see a lot of? Zack Greinke’s 88 MPH sludge. Of course, if it was meatballs, it would be another thing, but it’s not. For many years, Greinke has pinpoint control. So, his K/9 is barely 8 and his velocity is a throwback to another time, if it were in a DeLorean, but his command (1.3 BB/9) is impeccable and it’s all coupled with a 73.7% O-contact rate. That means he’s close to leading the league with pitches thrown exactly where he wants them, outside the zone, and hitters are making contact. As you can imagine, hitters don’t make good contact with balls out of the zone, even if the ball could be beaten to the plate by the Ghost of Bob Feller riding a moped.
Erick Fedde – 6 IP, 5 ER, ERA at 3.68. Might have to rethink changing my fantasy team’s avatar to party streamers and the name to “Con Fedde.” Maybe I’ll put up an orange jumpsuit because he victimized me.
Nicky Lopez – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 1st home run, hitting .216. Before yesterday’s game, the scene played out like this in the Royals’ clubhouse. “Hey, Nicky, you should start swinging the bat forward.” *slam cut, close up, Lopez’s eyes slowly widen with recognition*
Matthew Boyd – 4 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.35. Well, we had about four straight starts when it was Matt Boyd, but yesterday it was back to Matthew, rhymes with snafu.
Cavan Biggio – 2-for-4, 3 runs and his 2nd and 3rd homer, hitting .178. Lil Biggio looks to be heating up into a schmotato. Two homers will go a long way for that. Also — and this means legitimately nothing — less than nothing — it’s like an empty Coke Zero can it’s so nothing — but Craig Biggio’s rookie year average was .211.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer, hitting .280. He won’t be in this afternoon’s Buy column, but he’s here now, if you wish to fall on one’s Lourdes.
Anthony Santander – 3-for-4, 2 RBIs, hitting .385. Wish it was coming with anything other than just singles, but if singles are good enough for the world famous stripper, Crystal Meth, it’s good enough for us.
Chance Sisco – 1-for-4 and his 2nd homer, hitting .273. Even more remarkably, the O’s have made him their number one catcher recently. The O’s doing something smart; it is a special day! And simply because it’s National Frank ‘n Beans Day. Watch your zippers, fellas!
Manny Machado – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs and his 11th and 12th homers. The only reason why I believe these homers happened, even though I didn’t see them, is because they were in Coors. Not saying to do this, because it would be illegal and I would implicated as a co-conspirator, but, if someone wanted to flood Petco so the Padres had to play their home games in Coors, I wouldn’t hate that.
Matt Strahm – 3 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.66, as he returned from the IL. Usually hitters work on their timing, but, when you return from the IL to start in Coors, Strahm needs to work on it too.
Charlie Blackmon – 4-for-5, 4 RBIs and his 13th and 14th homer, and four homers in four games. It’s almost like Chazz Noir likes to hit in Coors.
Jon Gray – 6 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.39. Honestly, in Coors with the juiced balls, that’s like a perfect game. Let Len Barker sign the game ball.
Kyle Schwarber – 2-for-4 and his 15th homer. This is partially aided by the Coors series that’s in his rearview, but, on our 7-day Player Rater, Schwarber’s a top 5 hitter. Joe Buck’s biting his lip right now.
Jon Lester – 5 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.08. It was a bad week to quit barbiturates.
Cody Bellinger – 3-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 21st and 22nd homer, hitting .358. Heading into last night’s game, he hit .182 with zero homers in June, i.e., Frio which is cold bye-linger.
Max Muncy – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 16th homer, hitting .278. Since he was back in Dodger Stadium, Muncy wasn’t able to hit that ball into any body of water, but attending the game was Turtle from Entourage.
Julio Teheran – 6 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 2 Ks, ERA at 2.92, an ERA of 0.81 over his last eight starts. For the first time in a while, I watched Teheran and I can see why his peripherals say he’s not supposed to be great. He doesn’t really overpower people as much as throw junk, off the plate, and hope they make weak contact. And, more times than not, they have been. Far from a flashy add, but the Streamonator doesn’t hate his next start.
Yusei Kikuchi – 5 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 4.78. Well, it’s baby steps, Bob, but when this sorta of line equates to “finally a solid start from Kikuchi,” are our expectations this low? Do we sit around a Friday night and watch 29 and Pregnant or Car Key Hunters? Okay, yes, but we deserve better!
Nelson Cruz – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 12th homer, hitting .285. Mentioned Cruz yesterday on the Donkey Teeth & B-Don podcast as a guy who will hit 30+ homers every year until he doesn’t, and I expect no less from him. (It was part of my diatribe about the differences between schmotatoes and Zombinos and after my lengthy story about visiting a sperm bank. You should give it a listen so you get the willies about me giving myself the willy.)
Marwin Gonzalez – 2-for-5, hitting near.350 in the last week. He’ll be in this afternoon’s Buy column, mostly because I just love his position eligibility. Don’t you? He has everything! Talk about a great guy for your bench. He’s saved me in so many pinches when a guy has a random off day. I just love that! No, I’m not trying to convince myself! Screw you! *turns to mirror* You handled that with great aplomb.
Michael Pineda – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 5.04. Can an ERA be awful and also within a half run of the league average? Rhetorical! Pineda was hitting higher on the speed gun than he had been (93.3 vs. 91-92 prior to the IL stint), and he had a no-hitter thru 3 IP. Okay, he’s not Johnny Vander Meer, but it’s something.
J.A. Happ – 5 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 4.66. I’d say yesterday was especially brutal day for streaming, but I feel like the last five days are all running together in my head.
Tim Anderson – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 10th homer, hitting .317. He had six homers in April and two homers in May and June (obviously more days in June to go — good info, Grey). Also, hitting around .250 in the last six weeks. I know, big surprise, he’s not a .380 hitter. Don’t think he’s even a .300 hitter.
Aaron Bummer – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 1.37, and his 1st save. More like A. Bummer for the other teams, amiright?! Huh? No? Okay. Colome was resting and is supposedly fine. Would be A. Bummer, if not. Right?! Still no? Okay.
David Price – 1 1/3 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 3.52. Insert GIF of Adam Sandler fighting Bob Barker, only instead of Adam Sandler, it’s me, and instead of Bob Barker, it’s me. So, to recap what you’re seeing, I’m screaming, “The Price is wrong, b*tch,” and punching myself repeatedly, then winding up and punching myself some more. That’s the kind of nightmare performance from Price that makes me think something is wrong with him, which means an IL stint. Or worse, something’s wrong with him and he pitches again next time with equally terrible results.
J.D. Martinez – 1-for-4 and his 13th homer, hitting .299. Just Dong because home runs are meant to be celebrated!
Jackie Bradley Jr. – 2-for-4, 3 RBIs and his 6th homer. About a month again, I mentioned that JBJ was coming out of his funk, and I grabbed him. He was hitting .148 at the time, and now he’s hitting .205.
Rafael Devers – 1-for-4 and his 10th homer, hitting .296. For the hype of Boston, Devers feels like he’s very quietly moving into the conversation for a top 25 hitter. Lot of baseball still to be played, but I’ve liked everything I’ve seen from Devers this year. And from a cynic that means something.
Josh Smith – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 5.84, and his 1st save. Not only does Alex Cora not have a closer, but his closer is now, ‘whoever is left in the pen.’ “Hey, I need you to start warming up.” “Um, skip, I was hired to make sure no one has sex on the special Ted Williams seat.” “Don’t care, kid! Get your mitt, you’re our closer!”
Adrian Sampson – 5 IP, 6 ER, ERA at 4.21. Had four of five outstanding starts entering this game. Now: *sound of a balloon animal loosing its air*
Paul DeJong – Hit his 11th homer. Colonel Mustard in the back of a Chuck E. Cheese with concrete rat nose!
Jack Flaherty – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER, 8 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 4.28. If flattery gets you everywhere, I’m not sure where Flaherty gets you. He’s a bit like adding ‘considering’ to a compliment. “Your band sounded awesome, considering you were playing on the deck of the Titanic.”
Jacob deGrom – 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 8 Ks, ERA at 3.38. As good as deGrom was and as bad as Price was, their ERAs are still nearly the same. Pitching is quite the wonderful thing this year!
Jed Lowrie – Mets said Lowrie is not close to seeing game action. Since he signed for $20 million, I’d watch my back if I was him. The Mets love to collect insurance money on their contracts. For fun, Fred Wilpon watches a double feature of, “Zero Dark $30 Copay and PPOltergeist.”