They say that one bad apple can spoil the bunch and while I’m still trying to figure out who “they” are, they are a thousand percent right. I made 12 very specific phone calls on Wednesday evening, all to people with whom I discuss baseball, both real and fantasy, on a regular basis and waited for them to introduce baseball to the conversation to see which topic they would touch on first. I got 11 Melky Cabrera suspensions and just one Felix Hernandez perfect game. Both seem to be a semi-regular occurrence these days, granted, but why do we gravitate towards the negative?
The Melky situation is an aggravating one on multiple levels. His actions aren’t just costing him millions of dollars on the free agent market next year; they’re costing the Giants a possible playoff berth and they’re costing fantasy owners an important cog in the machine they’ve built to win a championship, just to name a few. It’s another black eye for the game and it is building frustration in those that are watching their rival fantasy GMs profit from his indiscretion. How many points would a team lose in a roto league if they didn’t have a juiced up Melky in their lineup?
For more on that, and a possible solution to the problem, you can check out what I wrote over here. In the meantime, I’d like to talk about bigger and better things and that begins with everyone’s favorite award…
|Felix Hernandez, SEA||9.0||0||0||0||0||12||0||0.00||0.00|
Obviously it’s Felix Hernandez. Who else? King Felix threw the 23 perfect game in MLB history, and while the event might be a little commonplace now – Philip Humber in April, Matt Cain in June – it’s still amazing to watch. I was fortunate enough to catch it from the seventh inning on. I’m not sure what more I can add to the whole thing. The performance really speaks for itself. He threw 113 pitches (77 strikes), induced eight ground ball outs and struck out a dozen. Masterful. Absolutely masterful. Or maybe it isn’t. Maybe it’s just the Rays. Three perfect games against them in four year? That’s just nuts. But so not to detract anything from the real story in baseball on Wednesday, we’ll just leave it at masterful.
|David DeJesus, OF CHC||4-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB|
|Todd Frazier, 3B CIN||3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, SB|
|Josh Hamilton, OF TEX||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI|
|Mike Leake, SP CIN||W, CG, 1.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 4 K|
|Max Scherzer, SP DET||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 10 K|
So Mike Leake blew the Reds streak of 28 consecutive scoreless innings on Wednesday night when the Mets plated a run on a double play ground ball in the fourth inning. Of course, that one inning was the only blemish as Leake went on to throw the complete game, holding the Mets scoreless the rest of the way. It was a particularly impressive outing since Leake has struggled here in the second half, allowing four runs or more in three of his seven starts with none of those outings going past six innings. He does make for an interesting start against the Phillies next week though.
Reds teammate Todd Frazier did his part to contribute to the win for Leake as he was part of a back-to-back home run binge off R.A. Dickey in the fourth inning. Frazier has been on fire lately, hitting safely in six straight with five multi-hit performances. In that span he’s 13-for-23 (.565) with five runs scored, two home runs, seven RBI and a stolen base. Not bad coming off a 2-for-20 run, huh? Streaky? Yes. But helpful? Definitely.
David DeJesus sure enjoyed a big night and those that have the inconspicuous outfielder in their lineup probably noticed that he was active for them for the first time in a while. He’s just not a flashy guy and when you play in a deep league and DeJesus ends up being your fifth or sixth outfielder, you tend noit to notice. He doesn’t hurt you in any way, but he barely helps you at the same time. He just makes for a good body to leave in there as he occasionally brings you a little bit of fantasy joy.
Josh Hamilton continues to do his thing as he has now hit safely in six of his last seven games with eight runs scored, five home runs and 10 RBI in that span. Fantasy owners are back to loving him again as he’s heating back up at just the right time.
And then finally, there’s Max Scherzer who continues his Jekyll and Hyde ways. This time it’s a great outing but then you leave him in next week against the Blue Jays and watch how many runs he gives up. As great a pitcher as he can be at times, I never trust him in my lineup, especially this late in the season when one night of getting Scherzer’d can roast you as your ratios spike to a level so difficult to come back from.
|Colby Rasmus, OF TOR||0-5, 4 K|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B PIT||0-4, 4 K|
|Cody Ross, OF BOS||0-4, 3 K|
|Jim Henderson, RP MIL||L, BS, 54.00 ERA, 9.00 WHIP, K|
|Bud Norris, SP HOU||L, 16.20 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, 4 K|
Feel that breeze? That’s a lot of whiffing going on here. Nothing like getting Colby Rasmus back after a week off with a groin problem, huh? Whoops! And speaking of whoops, welcome to the party, Jim Henderson. Can’t be a Milwaukee closer without blowing some saves.
Orlando Hudson, 3B CHW – toe (questionable)
Jonathan Broxton, RP CIN – shoulder (questionable)
Bud Norris, SP HOU – foot (questionable for next start)
Jarrod Dyson, OF KC – ankle (questionable)
C.J. Wilson, SP LAA – hand (questionable for next start)
Justin Ruggiano, OF MIA – back (doubtful)
Denard Span, OF MIN – shoulder (questionable)
Robinson Cano, 2B NYY – neck (out)
Josh Reddick, OF OAK – tooth (questionable)
Travis Snider, OF PIT – hamstring (questionable)
Neil Walker, 2B PIT – finger (questionable)
Yadier Molina, C STL – back (questionable)
***Just a heads up to all of you that I'll be taking the next few days off. Hopefully we'll have someone in here taking you through the weekend. I'll be back on Tuesday!
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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