It never turns out the way you really want it to, does it? You hope, you dream, you pray, but somehow there’s always a curveball thrown in there that you don’t really expect. Once again, that’s the way it went for fantasy owners who were anticipating a dream match-up of young studs – future all-stars – on the mound on Tuesday night when uber-phenom Trevor Bauer took the hill for the Arizona Diamondbacks opposite the young flamethrower, Andrew Cashner, of the San Diego Padres. The unconventional ways of Bauer mixed with the 100-plus mph fastballs of Cashner built expectations of a low scoring, fast moving, strikeout-laden game that was sure to eventually land in the “classic games” archives of the MLB Network, right? Whoops! Not so fast there, Skippy.
What was supposed to be one of the most enjoyable games to watch on the schedule turned into one fo the worst, especially if you were a fantasy owner of either pitcher. The first inning went exactly as planned. Bauer struck out the side in the first while Cashner needed just 11 pitches to dispatch of the D-Backs in order. But after one out in the second, Bauer started to unravel a little as he served up the game’s first hit and followed it up with what looked like a meatball down the middle that Yonder Alonso parked somewhere in the right field seats. He rebounded with a strikeout, but then issued a pair of walks, one of which was to Cashner himself. He escaped the inning finally, but was already down 2-0.
Then it got ugly for Cashner and his owners. The young right-hander came out for the third inning and on his final warm-up toss, put the ball in the dirt, reached for his shoulder, and waited as the trainers came running out of the dugout. Given the number of injuries to some of the top, young pitchers in the game this season, this was a worst-case scenario unfolding before our eyes. He was promptly removed from the game and those watching were left in wait as we awaited the results from the expected barrage of tests. Ultimately we were told that he suffered a strained lat muscle, but that information was still a few innings away from where we were.
And during those tense moments of wait, we sat there and watched our other hopeful completely fall apart. Not immediately, as he managed to make it through the bottom half of the third unscathed, but come the fourth inning, Bauer’s owners watched helplessly as the supposedly light-hitting Padres played the role of a vintage Mike Tyson and Bauer, along with his fantasy owners’ ratios, took on the role of the tomato can heavyweight that never should have been in the ring in the first place. Four hits, one error and another five runs later and Bauer hit the showers early, leaving his owners with a 16.20 ERA and 3.00 WHIP for the day.
“Ugly,” doesn’t even begin to describe it. There are so many other adjectives I’d like to use here, but I’m sure my editors here at Fantasy Alarm would prefer that I leave this with a PG rating. So I’ll just leave it at “disappointing,” how’s that? Nothing left to do now but sit and wait. Wait for three weeks before Cashner is even allowed to throw the ball again and wait another five days to see how Bauer recovers in time for his next start. Hopefully you’ve got some hurlers on your bench that can help pick up the pieces after this pre-holiday carnage. Now it’s time to just move along. Nothing left to see here.
Before I start to cry again (you wouldn’t believe how many points I lost in WHIP and ERA in one league), let’s just check out some highlights…
|Chipper Jones, 3B ATL||5-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI, SB|
This really is sort of a storybook ending for Chipper Jones, isn’t it? Very fitting for him. On the day where it’s announced that he has been selected to participate in his eighth All-Star Game (screw the Final Vote, right? Just put the guy in already), the 40-year old third baseman, in his swan-song year, registers his first five-hit game in over a decade. I’m not going to sit here and get all sentimental or anything, but I do have to give this guy some major props on a stellar career and doing everything he can to go out both on top and in style. I won’t own him in fantasy because I hate the perpetual injury risk at a somewhat thin position, but I can still respect the guy for a job well done.
Since it’s the holiday here and everyone’s looking to head out to their 4th of July festivities, we’re just going to list the top and bottom performers of Tuesday without much fanfare. We’ve got an early start for the Giants/Nats game and I’ve got some last-minute meat shopping to do before I fire up the grill and spend my entire day shoveling hot dogs, burgers and brats into my stomach. I’m sure you understand…
|Kevin Youkilis, 3B CHW||3-6. 3 R, HR, 4 RBI|
|Joe Mauer, C MIN||3-5, 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI, SB|
|Alex Rios, OF CHW||3-4, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI|
|Jonathon Niese, SP NYM||W, 1.13 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 3 K|
|Chris Sale, SP CHW||W, 1.23 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 4 K|
I mean, is there even a name on this list that you need me to elaborate on anyway? I didn’t think so. Big day for the White Sox, huh?
|Brian Dozier, SS MIN||0-5, 3 K|
|Cody Ross, OF BOS||0-4, 3 K|
|Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK||0-4, 3 K|
|Heath Bell, RP MIA||L, BS, 27.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, K|
|Tim Lincecum, SP SF||L, 18.90 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, 2 K|
The only thing I feel the need to add here, which I will happily continue talking about tomorrow and for weeks, is what I already posted on Twitter early Tiuesday night. In case you missed it, it went like this: My 14 yr old nephew just called to complain about his fantasy team. "You warned me about 'Lince-Bum'," he said. #ProudUncle
Will Middlebrooks, 3B BOS – hamstring (questionable)
Scott Rolen, 3B CIN – back (questionable)
Dexter Fowler, OF COL – lat (questionable)
Chris Johnson, 3B HOU – back (doubtful)
Andre Ethier, OF LAD – oblique (doubtful)
Juan Uribe, 3B LAD – ankle (questionable)
Hanley Ramirez, 3B MIA – knee (questionable)
Giancarlo Stanton, OF MIA – knee (questionable)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF NYM – hand (questionable)
Pedro Alvarez, 3B PIT – leg (questionable)
Alex Presley, OF PIT – concussion (doubtful)
Andrew Cashner, SP SD – lat (could land on 15-day DL)
Hideki Matsui, OF TB – hamstring (questionable)
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 email@example.com.
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