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Whether they’re hot or cold, streaks play an all-important role both in the real baseball world and the fantasy one. You get a player who goes on a hot streak and he can carry your team for a pretty significant amount of time. If he’s on a cold one, you best be getting him out of your lineup fast or he’s liable to do some seriously damage to your team. Cold streaks are always feared, but when you’ve got someone on a hot streak, there’s nothing better. Not only do you reap the benefits in the standings, but the value of the player grows tremendously on the trade market. But like all good things, hot streaks always come to an end. It’s inevitable. And on Tuesday night, one of the better hot streaks we’ve seen recently finally came to a close.
Welcome to Saturday morning and this week’s edition of Pitcher Appreciation Day. We’re doing it today, because as we look through the top performers from Friday’s games, you’ll see that there were some phenomenal outings, some killer pitching lines and not a single high-ranking ace was among the names. It stands as further evidence that you can find plenty of quality starting pitching out there and a large investment in someone named Kershaw, Price, Hamels or Verlander isn’t always a necessary thing. Now will all of these guys continue to perform at such an incredibly high level? Probably not, but they are all capable of posting strong numbers the rest of the way and collectively, could make up the bulk of an outstanding fantasy rotation.
While 2012 has been filled with a variety of different story lines, it could be the rookie impact that really defines the season and sets it apart from most others. From the spring hype of Bryce Harper to the amazing dominance of Mike Trout to the now suddenly surging Manny Machado, this year has been all about the youngsters. With each and every step closer to the playoffs and World Series, the buzz around the league remains with the inundation of young talent that MLB has seen, particularly from these three individuals.
For years, all I heard out of my granddaddy’s mouth were a few colorful sayings that any nine year old boy would love and the ever popular, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Didn’t matter how many other people knew something to be true, if he didn’t see it first hand, he refused to believe it. “Hey Grandpa,” I would say earnestly. “They make popcorn that you can cook in the microwave in under five minutes.” “Pffffffft! I’ll believe it when I see it.” “Hey Grandpa, they make telephones you can carry around with you and make calls any time you want.” “Bah. I’ll believe it when I see it.” Over and over again, that curmudgeonly, raspy, almost cartoon-like voice echoed in my head. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
To a certain extent, every player is an injury risk. They are grown men, playing a game, throwing their bodies around with reckless abandonment. They get hurt. That’s just fact. But obviously, there are some that are riskier than others and for all intents and purposes; Josh Hamilton is the riskiest of them all.
Hey, thanks. It’s good to be back. In case you haven’t noticed, the powers-that-be here at Fantasy Alarm have instructed me to take a little time for myself on days with a short slate of games and save the recaps for days that are a little more chock-full of news and excitement. Not that Monday didn’t have its fair share of news and excitement, but look at how much we have to choose from on Tuesday. There were 33 home runs hit with three multi-homer efforts, 21 bases stolen, five winning starting pitchers who went six or more innings and recorded shutouts, four double-digit strikeout performances and eight, yes eight, blown saves. A big day? I’d say so. Plenty of highs, plenty of lows and a whole lot of stuff in between.
Usually, you see it all in the show business world. A great comedian, a great singer, some fantastic band performs – it’s a phenomenal performance and the crowd goes absolutely nuts. A standing ovation followed up with, what could seem like an hour of straight cheers and applause. Moments like that aren’t necessarily rare, but when they happen, they stand out like a lone, bright star in a pitch black night. You never want to be the guy who follows that. Some comedian before you kills it, the pressure on you to perform up to those standards is ridiculous. One subpar joke and you’re finished. It’s the same with musical performances. If you follow one of those amazing moments, if you’re not perfect, you’re done.
It was just 17 days ago when Philip Humber stepped onto the mound for the White Sox and took his place in baseball history forever when he threw the league’s 21st perfect game. 27 up, 27 down. No hits and no walks. Utter perfection. He will have that moment for the rest of his life and the story of how he perfectly disposed of the Seattle Mariners on that fateful Saturday night will be passed down from generation to generation in the Humber family.
It is now the middle of August and it certainly seems like we are coming down the home stretch of the fantasy baseball season, but oh no friends, we still have six weeks more to go of this wonderful season. I know it is hard to keep focus with all of the fun and excitement of fantasy football fast approaching, but if you are this close to a championship I urge you to hold it together and finish the season strong! We will help you by talking about hit streaks, five man rotations, and who excelled on Saturday and what you can expect from them next season. There is one more day of this week's matchup so why not work into it with Rounding The Bases?
As always a very special thank you to Michael Stein of Fantasy Judgment for pinch hitting for me on Tuesday with his Top Ten Headlines, please be sure to check out his site as well. This is my first August article, and the best thing about baseball and fantasy baseball is that the news never stops no matter what part of the season you are in. Tonight's article is headed by two third basemen, one who might be getting himself in some hot water, and another who had his first hot night of the season. There is injury news as always, one good, one not as good with two guys with a very bright fantasy future. And of course there is some talk of two young prospects recently called to the majors, and not only how they are faring right now, but what you might expect from them going forward. It is time for you to finish up your Hump Day with Rounding The Bases.