While the Fourth of July was celebrated on Thursday, Friday saw a whole lot more in the world of fireworks on the field. Nine teams plated six or more runs with three of those teams hitting double-digits. Meanwhile, teams that didn’t post a high run total were victims of some dazzling pitching performances and fantasy owners who make their living off streaming starters seemed to come out unscathed for the most part. But the best part of the fireworks that we saw on Friday was the fact that it was all about the role players and not so much about the marquee superstars. It was a night for some very unlikely heroes, so let’s get to it.
Well I certainly hope this column finds you well; with a belly full of beer and brats and all appendages still attached. While many of us were able to take some time off to spend the holiday with family and friends, those who play professional baseball for a living still had to punch the clock on Thursday and put in an honest day’s work. Some did a real nice job of it, some, not so much. Since my hangover is currently the size of the great state of Montana, allow me to be brief here when I dish out the highlights.
To say that Tuesday’s slate of games was loaded with excitement would be an obvious understatement. From Homer Bailey’s second career no-hitter to Leonys Martin becoming the newest owner of baseball’s longest current hitting streak there was enough action to keep fantasy owners drooling over the jam-packed box scores. You know Bailey’s got a little Rounding the Bases award coming his way, so before we get to that, let’s hit a few of the other big-ticket news items first and then hit the statistical highs and lows of the evening.
We’re not going to waste much time here with a lengthy intro but we will acknowledge some of the streaks we discussed the other day. First off, Rockies Michael Cuddyer, who owned the longest streak in the majors, extended his to 27 games but he needed Madison Bumgarner removed from the game first. After posting an 0-for-3, Cuddyer stepped to the plate in the eighth with Sandy Rosario on the mound and promptly singled to center and finished with an innocuous 1-for-4 as the Rockies fell 5-2 to the Giants. As for the other three streaks of note, Pedro Alvarez lost his at 12 after an 0-for-6 in a 14-inning Pirates win, Hanley Ramirez extended his to 12 games with a fourth-inning RBI-single and Jason Kipnis got the day off Sunday so his stays at 12 and counting.
You’ve got to love the excitement a day of baseball can bring. And with that joy comes the obvious elation that fantasy owners have when they get to sit and re-watch it all on the highlight reels and stare at the screen as their players pound the ball with their bats or make others look silly at the plate, unable to hit their offerings from the mound. Saturday was no exception as the games were loaded with outstanding moments. Here’s a glance in case you missed and then we’ll hit the statistical highs and lows.
While at the Oakland game Wednesday, watching A.J. Griffin twirl a masterpiece against a hard-hitting Reds team, I couldn’t help but hear the two guys in front of me talking incessantly about their fantasy teams. They rattled off statistics to each other, compared deals they had made and sat there staring at their smartphone screens rather than watch the game. There was barely a pause in their conversation which lasted a good five innings before I mentioned to them that Griffin had just retired the last nine batters he faced and looked like he was pitching on another level, hoping to get them to shut up and just watch the game. When they didn’t take the hint, I was forced to give them each my card with free Fantasy Alarm update promo codes written on the back as bribes and finally they quieted down and just watched the rest of the game. But it got me to thinking about people’s obsessions with fantasy.