Fantasy Baseball Final: September 11, 2015
It’s officially football season. How do we know? The obvious answer is the annual Thursday night game at the beginning of the season. The less than obvious answer is the annual conspiracy theory involving the Patriots. First it was Spygate. Then it was Deflategate. Now, it is Speakergate. Supposedly, the electronics on the Steelers communication system went out during the second quarter. According to them, it wasn’t the first time this has happened. The NFL has cleared them of any wrongdoing. Somehow, this is all more thrilling than September baseball. I think not.
If you read only one thing…..
In what seemed like an eternity ago, the Mets had a group of pitchers nicknamed “Generation K.” The combination of Paul Wilson, Bull Pulsipher, and Jason Isringhausen was supposed to lead them to renaissance that compared with the Seaver, Koosman, Ryan rotation of 1969. Let’s ignore that Ryan was a bit part on that team. This season, they have a group of young pitchers that appear to be living up to the promise that those pitchers had. Matt Harvey, Jacob DeGrom, and Noah Syndergaard have captivated the masses. Tonight’s pitcher (Steven Matz) is a peripheral part of that group as well. He won his third game of the season as the Mets have won their fifth game in a row.
The Cubs might have nailed the last nail in the coffin of the wild card race with their sweep of the Phillies in their double header. They moved their record to 82-58 on the strength of a huge day for Kris Bryant. He went a combined 5 for 10 with a home run and four RBIs. Don’t look now, but he is up to 90 RBIs on the season. There may be no greater lock than his control of the Rookie of the Year race in the National League.
Just as we expected….
There are still some races to pay attention to and most of them are in the American League. The Mets, Cardinals, and Dodgers seem to have a firm control of their divisions in the National League, but the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays still have some work to do. The Blue Jays helped themselves out by bludgeoning the New York Yankees 11-5. In an era of depressed offensive numbers, they are set to have three teammates with 100 or more RBIs. It is hard to see any combination of talent that is better than Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion.
The Texas Rangers won’t go away in the AL West. Colby Lewis won his 15th game of the season on Friday night and flirted with a perfect game. Throw him in a grouping of Cole Hamels and Derek Holland and you have yourself a pretty decent playoff rotation. Their offense hasn’t been perfect, but they have been performing better of late. Like the Blue Jays, they are not a team anyone wants to see in the postseason.
But we didn’t see this coming….
The Royals bullpen broke down again in the late innings against the Baltimore Orioles. A 6-4 lead turned into a 14-6 deficit in the blink of an eye as the Orioles hit two grand slams in the inning. Kelvim Herrera started the inning and probably deserved better, but these things happen. Believe it or not, they only have a three game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays for the best record in the American League.
The implosion of the Washington Nationals is nearly complete. It is hard to imagine Matt Williams surviving this dumpster fire. They fell to 71-69 after losing to the Marlins. They got swept by the Mets at home and now trail the upstart bunch by 8.5 games. Only a collapse of epic proportions would turn that thing around and it’s hard to imagine the Nationals winning enough to take advantage of that.
The Rest of the Details
- A.J. Ramos (converted)
- Mark Melancon (converted)
- Hector Rondon (converted)
- Mark Teixeira will end the season on the disabled list with a broken shin and this marks the third consecutive season where he has missed a month or more of action.
- Scott Feldman has been shut down by the Houston Astros with a sprained shoulder.
The grim reaper is coming to roost on managers and general managers this time of year. Ruben Amaro Jr. had been dead man walking ever since Andy McPhail took over and they finally made it official this week. Meanwhile, rumors were that the Tigers were prepared to fire manager Brad Ausmus. Ownership and management have denied that any decision has been made. The Tigers have been bad, but it isn’t Ausmus’ fault. He has battled through injuries and Drombowski effectively sold off several players before the deadline.