Well, with no feel-good story, no big rookie call-up, and no big trade to report, it makes me just want to sit here and start gushing about Mike Trout some more. I happened to be watching Friday’s Angels/Mariners game and again, this kid just does it all. The Angels are down 5-0 in the third because for some inane reason they still let Ervin Santana start games, and in the bottom half of the inning, Trout steps up with two men on and BAM! Smacks a three-run shot over the fence to put the Angels back into the game.
Somehow, Santana manages to keep the mighty bats of Seattle (did you get the sarcasm there?) subdued for another two frames and in the bottom of the fifth, guess who comes up with the bases juiced? Yup, that’s right. Only he doesn’t hit a grand slam. That would have put me over the top. No, instead he flies out to deep right, enough to call it a sacrifice and get a run in.
But somehow Eric Thames, the Mariners right fielder, bounces the throw on the outfield grass, it scoots past relay man Brendan Ryan and dribbles towards shallow left field. All I could think of was that Mike Trout’s bat is so mighty, his sacrifice flies plate not one but two runs. Yeah, I know it was some lousy little league fielding on the M’s part, but it goes down as a two-run sacrifice, so my explanation is better.
So now with that line, I’m feeling a very long run of Trout-isms, much in the style of the words we here spoken about Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris doesn’t do push-ups, he pushes the Earth down. That sort of stuff. All I have is the sac fly one right now, but I’ll be coming up with a full list by season’s end. If you’ve got one for me and it’s a good one, we’re talking prize action for you here. Maybe it’ll be a free subscription, a free iPhone app or maybe we’ll bring you onto the Fantasy Alarm radio show and I introduce you as the funniest person I know…or at least the biggest Trout fan, next to me that is. Either hit me up on Twitter or send me an email – the contact info is at the end of the article.
Now let’s hit the highlights…
|Paul Maholm, ATL||9.0||3||0||0||0||5||0||0.00||0.33|
I can’t even believe I’m doing this here. Really? Paul Maholm? I hate Paul Maholm. How the hell is Paul Maholm’s name even an option right now. Don’t I have a very special metaphor I consistently over-use to stop something like this from happening? Unfortunately, not today. Because prior to Friday’s complete-game, three-hit shutout, Maholm threw five consecutive quality starts, going 3-1 with a 2.21 ERA and a 29:9 K:BB ratio. He’s got double-digit wins for the first time in his career and his 3.50 ERA is at it’s lowest this late in the season since his initial rookie year. I still won’t trust him, but for those that streamed him in on Friday, kudos to you.
|Chase Headley, 3B SD||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI|
|Manny Machado, 3B, BAL||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Ryan Ludwick, OF CIN||3-5, 4 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Clay Buchholz, SP BOS||W, CG, 1.00 ERA, 0.22 WHIP, 5 K|
|Roy Halladay, SP PHI||W, 1.13 ERA, 0.25 WHIP, 8 K|
Well how do we not lead here with Baltimore’s uber-prospect call-up, Manny Machado. I was just saying yesterday that he was more of a contact hitter than a power guy and look at this idiot try to show me up on my own column now. Two home runs on Friday? Come on, man. I think we’re just looking at adrenaline here, but we’ll see. He’ll certainly make his fantasy owners happy with a hot start so I won’t rain on his parade here. Instead, I’ll say how about that kid who managed to catch both home run balls by Machado? Pretty impressive. Probably because he was wearing his trusty Adam Jones t-shirt. That guy gets to everything.
Chase Headley was looking pretty sweet with his two-homer game as well. He’s another one really swinging a hot bat lately. Headley has hit safely in six straight games, batting .409 (9-for-22) with eight runs scored, four home runs and 10 RBI. Were the Padres wise in not dealing him or are they going to be able retain him? Or are they just delaying the inevitable when he wins his arbitration hearings and they can no longer afford him?
Look at Ryan Ludwick – still raking the ball like an all-star. Since the All Star break, he is batting .330 with 15 runs scored, eight doubles, eight home runs and 26 RBI. I had some people asking me whether or not to pick him up about two weeks ago and all I’m thinking is, “how is this guy still on waivers in your league?” I mean, I don’t care how shallow your league is. Unless you start just three outfielders and they’re all named Mike Trout, I don’t know what you’re doing not grabbing Ludwick.
Let’s give it up for who apparently is Boston’s best pitcher these days. Clay Buchholz throws a complete game on Friday and that ends up being his fifth straight quality start. Over that span he is 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA and a 20:7 K:BB ratio. And actually, if you really want to see how strong he’s been, since June 1st, he’s 6-1 with a 2.03 ERA and a 53:14 K:BB. That ain’t so bad, is it?
And finally, welcome back to Roy Halladay. All this talk of shutting you down for the season has been driving your fantasy owners nuts these last couple of weeks. Hopefully it’s all myth and you finish the season in the same fashion as you dispatched of the Cardinals on Friday.
|Chris Davis, 1B BAL||0-4, 3 K|
|Carlos Gomez, OF MIL||0-4, 3 K|
|Mike Napoli, C TEX||0-4, 2 K|
|Cole De Vries, SP MIN||L, 47.25 ERA, 5.25 WHIP, K|
|Edinson Volquez, SP SD||L, 16.20 ERA, 3.30 WHIP, 3 K|
As always, the same strikeout kings make their appearance here, and I’m not talking about the pitchers. If I was talking about the pitchers I’d be wondering why Edinson Volquez can’t seem to get it together. Do you realize that he has an ERA of 15.00 over his last three starts? Seriously….15.
Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz left Friday’s game with back stiffness and is questionable for Saturday, while the bigger news is that Boston’s Will Middlebrooks broke his wrist and is likely done for the season. That means you better get those waiver claims in on Danny Valencia, although who knows how Bobby Valentine will work it with Mike Aviles and Pedro Ciriaco as well. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
As for some of the other dings and dents….
Willie Bloomquist, SS ARI – back (questionable)
Chipper Jones, 3B ATL – back (questionable)
Brian McCann, C ATL – shoulder (questionable)
Scott Rolen, 3B CIN – back (doubtful)
Jason Kipnis, 2B CLE – neck (questionable)
Jarrod Dyson, OF KC – ankle (questionable)
Jose Reyes, SS MIA – hand (questionable)
Huston Street, RP SD – calf (questionable)
Skip Schumaker, 2B STL – wrist (questionable)
Colby Rasmus, OF TOR – groin (doubtful)
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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