After Rafael Soriano once again looked like his apologetic alter ego, Sorry-yo, Matt Williams said the Nats won’t have a set closer. Let’s backtrack to August 18th, it was a day after the fourth time Soriano had given up runs in the matter of two weeks. At that point, I wrote there was a problem, and I grabbed Drew Storen. That was three weeks ago, and things haven’t gotten better. So, why was I able to spot there was a problem with Soriano three weeks prior to the Nationals manager, Matt Williams? Terrific question. There’s a few possible reasons A) Matt Williams’s Oakleys are worn to shield TV cameras from showing he’s actually asleep. B) Matt Williams can’t find steroids that make him smarter. C) There’s no C. D) In a secret meeting in Bud Selig’s wood-paneled basement in Milwaukee in 1999, Major League Baseball declared that every team must have at least one Mark McGwire. Matt Williams was elected to be Arizona’s Mark McGwire. (Sosa was elected to be the Cubs’ McGwire, which is why he bleached his skin.) The experiment to have a McGwire on every team was a success at first, but soon the players that were elected to be McGwire began to say, “I’m not here to talk about the past,” every time any question was asked. The biggest offender of this was Matt Williams, so, rather than risk being found out, MLB made him the Nats manager. Any of these reasons could be right, but it’s probably D. So, with Soriano in trouble, the Nats could go to Storen, Tyler Clippard or Matt Thornton. My guess is it’ll go in that order, and yesterday Storen got the clean save, helping his case. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:
Adam LaRoche – 2-for-4 and two solo homers (22, 23). Papa LaRoche would be so proud. Papa Roach wouldn’t care. That’s okay, no one’s cared about Papa Roach in ten years either.
Gio Gonzalez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks, moving his ERA to 3.78 and his record to 8-9. 8/9 is August 9th, which is Jason Heyward’s birthday, but he was born in 1989, the same year Nathan’s Hot Dogs opened in Moscow. Since Russians weren’t familiar with the concept of hot dogs, there was a steady stream of dogs running out of Moscow for fear of being eaten. Those dogs were called streamers, which is what Gio Gonzalez is. Coincidence? Doubtful.
Pedro Alvarez – Went to be examined by a foot specialist. His name is Dr. Scholl’s.
Neil Walker – 3-for-5, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and his 19th homer. I apologize profusely for everything bad I ever said about you, Walker. Put down your bat, and let’s talk. C’mon, you don’t have to keep hitting homers to prove me wrong. We can be adults about this!
Jordy Mercer – 2-for-5, 2 RBIs and his 11th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games and his 4th homer in the last eight games. Not sure if there’s much here long term, but who cares about long term? There’s three weeks left, just worry about now and grab Mercer!
Desmond Jennings – Likely out for the season. He’ll have a hard time getting anyone excited about him next year, which, of course, will mean he’ll finally live up to his hype.
Evan Longoria – 1-for-6, 2 runs and his 19th homer. Thank God for the occasional ground ball that he gets under.
James Loney – 4-for-6 and his 8th homer. It’s a bad sign when I regret not dropping Longoria for Loney. Like a street in New Orleans, I rue you, L0ngoria. I rue you.
Kevin Kiermaier – 3-for-4 and his 10th homer. With Loney and Kiermaier having big days, Tampa’s local sports news could’ve done a bologna tie-in.
Nelson Cruz – 4-for-5, 7 RBIs and his 38th and 39th homer. Scott Boras heard on the radio that Cruz hit two homers and he started singing along with Juice Newton, “Just call me angel…” but didn’t like that, so he switched the station and landed on Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’, which he totally rocked out to.
Casey Janssen – 1 IP, 0 ER and his 22nd save, after blowing a save on Friday. Jays have a funny way of moving on from Janssen. This is like when your best friend is dating a girl that he always fights with, so when you go out with them there’s lots of awkwardness and afterwards he tells you they’re breaking up. Then, next time you go out with him, there they are again fighting. Jays need to just get laid by a different girl so they can make a clean break. In fact, I have a new girl to fix them up with that is easy on putouts, Aaron Sanchez.
Jose Bautista – 2-fro-4, 3 RBIs and his 31st homer. He’s like Brigham Young to Dwayne Murphy’s Joseph Smith and Adam Lind (3-for-4) just won’t wear the magic underwear. I swear that made sense in my head before I wrote it down.
R.A. Dickey – 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 4 Ks vs. Rubby De La Rosa (4 IP, 3 ER). Lots of arguments with parents in the stands at this game. Mom, “You took our kid to a game of Rubby/Dickey?” Dad, “Our boy is old enough to handle it.” Mother, “You better not be trying to make a pun there.”
Mookie Betts – 2-for-4 and his 5th steal, hitting over .350 in the last week with a homer. Still doing his schmotato thing, you Betts believe it.
Miguel Cabrera – 2-for-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs and his 22nd homer, after hitting two homers on Saturday. Somebody’s redeeming themselves with all of their H2H owners.
Andrew Romine – 2-for-4, 2 runs and two steals (8, 9). Doesn’t play every day and is known primarily for his defense, i.e., Romine knows how to paint the fence.
Kyle Lobstein – 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA is at 2.78. Oddly enough, my level of interest in him is at 2.78 too, but that’s out of 100.
Julio Teheran – 5 1/3 IP, 4 ER as he was outdone by Brad Hand (6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 3 Ks). The punishment for Teheran losing that badly to Hand should be a hand. The Hand shouldn’t be able to Ty, win or come close to competing with Teheran. Ugh, so disgusted I’m close to dropping Teheran. Be cool, Grey, be cool! I can’t, Voice of Reason, there’s not that much time left and I just need good matchups.
Michael Cuddyer – Will be activated from the DL on Tuesday. I can guarantee you he won’t go on the DL again. Rosters expanded, so when he gets hurt in three games, he’ll just sit on the bench for three weeks.
Nolan Arenado – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 17th jomer. Damn, so close. I was typing that with my drool and almost typed it out.
Masahiro Tanaka – Threw a bullpen session on Saturday and Joe Girardi said, “You have to get him in games to resolve the situation. That’s the bottom line because you can’t wait until next spring to resolve it. So it needs to resolve, and we’ll do everything we can to get him in games before we leave.” Here I am making an incredulous face. You have to get a guy with a wonky elbow into a game? Is this medical advice as seen on The Knick?
Brett Gardner – Day-to-day with abdominal pains. He’s hoping to return early this week. He said, “Just like you can’t stop a crazy ho, you can’t keep a good Gardner down.”
Shane Greene – 5 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA down to 3.57. Juicy gotcha krazy!
Danny Duffy – Threw one pitch, then left with an arm issue that’s requiring an MRI. This is neither here nor there, since I don’t own him, but I would’ve been po’d, to the nth P degree if I had a starts limit and lost a start after one pitch because he couldn’t tell he was sore during warmup pitches.
Greg Holland – Had some triceps tightness this weekend, but he says he should be fine moving forward. Sure, just sit on a conveyor belt. Wade Davis got the save yesterday, and will continue to see chances while Holland’s tilting at windmills. If you’re in a league where Davis is available, I’d grab him. Feel free to get in a deeper league next year too, since Davis should’ve been owned in every league by around May 1st.
Yordano Ventura – 6 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners (4 BBs), 2 Ks. So, you’re saying I shouldn’t have dropped him? Message received. I just didn’t love this matchup on the Stream-o-Nator, but I don’t mind his next and could grab him again, in that non-sexual fantasy way.
Juan Lagares – 1-for-3 and three steals (10, 11, 12). I just went over my Juan Lagares fantasy on Friday. The essence of that post: Terry Collins challenged Lagares like Lee Majors challenged Gabe Kaplan in the Battle of the Network Stars, and Lagares accept the challenge.
Curtis Granderson – 2-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 18th homer, hitting .215. I told you he didn’t retire in July. *poorly covering the microphone to talk to my intern* We’re sure he didn’t retire in July, then come out of retirement yesterday for one game? Okay, I’m told he did not retire at any point this year.
Anthony Recker – 1-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 6th homer, and his 2nd homer in as many games…that’s he played. The Mets had played a week of games since the last time Recker played. Recker’s homered three times in his last five games, but that’s dating back almost a month. Okay, you get the point, don’t want to be a broken Recker.
Zack Wheeler – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 6 Ks. Has more Ks than innings in the 2nd half and a batting average against that’s around .210, and an ERA around 2.50. Gonna be hard to not like him going into next year, as I liked him this past March. If he disappoints in the beginning of the year again in 2015, might have to write him off as a 2nd half pitcher like I write off every meal with Cougs. Here’s us at dinner, “Okay, we need to talk about business for 30 seconds so we can write this off…Ready…and…go!”
Mat Latos – 6 IP, 0 ER, 8 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA down to 3.25. Member when Great American Ballpark was a hitter’s paradise? Who knew Dusty Baker’s toothpick was like the Indonesian butterfly making everything click.
Jay Bruce – 1-for-4 and his 16th homer. Only twenty more in the next two weeks and we’ll be good.
Leonys Martin – 3-for-4, 1 run and his 26th steal, and three steals in the last two days. Maybe now that the Rangers told Ron Washington to go blow and he said, “YES, PLEASE,” they will play Leonys every single day as he should be.
Derek Holland – 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks. Hmm, okay, I’m willing to put aside past reservations and gamble, which sounds like a commercial for Mohegan Sun. Stream-o-Nator likes Holland’s next start, and I’d stream him in most leagues.
James Paxton – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 1.87, on an undercover cop. His next start is vs. the A’s at home, and I get the feeling the Regression Fairies are going to be waiting for him there, but that’s based on my gut and I just ate chilaquiles.
Eric O’Flaherty – Didn’t pitch yesterday when the A’s finally actually adverbially had a save opportunity. Turns out his back tightened up on Thursday. Ugh, someone couldn’t mention this on, I don’t know, Thursday?! Ryan Cook received the save opp, but promptly blew it. Doolittle should be back any day now, so it might all be moot. Love when I pick up a closer and he gets one save in 2 weeks. Love it!
Dallas Keuchel – 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 9 baserunners, 3 Ks vs. Jason Hammel (6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 7 Ks). The Stream-o-Nator hates both of their next starts, and since there’s very little time left, I could see dropping both of them in shallower mixed leagues. You have to be that heartless, not as sung by Kris Allen.
Carlos Gomez – Could be ready to start on Monday. Hey, that’s today. You snuck up on me!
Adam Wainwright – 9 IP, 1 ER, 8 baserunners, 3 Ks vs. division rival Brewers and Jimmy Nelson (5 IP, 4 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks). Exhibit A, why the Brewers don’t have a chance in the playoffs. Exhibit B-Z was Ryan Braun (1-for-3) leaving the club during a crucial series, then threatening to sit out all weekend because he had a sore thumb. Aw, poor Braun, did you get a metaphorical grease stain on your Ed Hardy t-shirt?
Jhonny Peralta – 3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 20th homer, hitting .268, and 2nd homer in the last three games. Cardinals have your choice of unsung heroes, which isn’t the same as what David Bowie asked of The Wallflowers. That’s to unsing Heroes.
Kolten Wong – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 20th steal. Pardon the wording, but Wong’s been jerked around all year, and for him to still have 11 homers and 20 steals is pretty remarkable. Yeah, I like him.
Oscar Taveras – 3-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, and a homer on Saturday. Hasn’t been playing every day and don’t think he’s anywhere near his potential yet, but looks like a slight hot schmotato.
Matt Adams – 0-for-3, 1 RBI after homering on Saturday. Turned out he didn’t have an oblique problem, he accidentally swallowed a spare rib. Once he passed it like a gay porn movie being rewound in slo-mo, he felt good as new.
Glen Perkins – An MRI showed no damage on his neck. The MRI did show a lovely décolletage, which made Perkins blush. Jared Burton was supposed to act as the closer in media res, but had quick owners that grabbed him cursing like Elizabeth Taylor at Burton after he gave up three earned on Saturday. Perkins could miss a few games (or more), but it’s not readily apparent who will fill-in for him. I grabbed Burton, since I am Desperado, but it could be Casey Fien, who has been more F-I-E-N than F-I-N-E.
Kennys Vargas – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer. Kenny +1 is definitely getting a sleeper post this offseason. He may get one for each one of him.
Howie Kendrick – 3-for-4, 2 runs, 4 RBIs and his 6th homer, which comes after a huge Saturday (4-for-5, 1 run, 3 RBIs). Maybe I shouldn’t have dropped him on Thursday. *dresses up like a soggy pasta noodle and walks onto the set of MasterChef to be berated by Joe Bastianich*
C.J. Cron – 2-for-3, 2 runs and his 10th homer. Had a couple of hits on Saturday too, but he’s platooning with Efren Navarro (2-for-2, 1 run) and Albert Pujols (2-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI). Cron’s and Pujols should be messy and painful, but they’re not that bad. Tests are still being conducted on Efrenylalanine.
Josh Hamilton – Was a late scratch from Sunday’s game due to his shoulder soreness. Third game in a row he was scratched. Unfortunately, the first two scratches revealed a cherry, but then there was a seven under the third scratch. Damn.
Carlos Carrasco – 8 2/3 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 8 Ks. Pretty simple what’s going on here. He has a 95 MPH fastball and a pitch black slider. Oops, shouldn’t have used a thesaurus on lights-out. His slider is ridunk. It’s on par with Kluber’s slider, that has been called “killer,” “deadly”and “damn, ninja, you ain’t jokin’.” Your astute questions, “I mean, he’s had this slider for a while, no? Why is Carrasco suddenly so bad-ass-mammie-jammie?” Good questions. Cause he’s throwing his lights-out slider more, and throwing everything for strikes. You throw a pitch in the zone that induces a ton of swings and misses, and it’s a recipe for success. I’ve been saying for about a month now you should own him, that obviously hasn’t changed.
Jake Petricka – Missed the weekend’s games due to his wife giving birth. The obstetrician knew Petricka had roots in Russia, but was very impressed during labor with his wife’s glasnost.