All posts by TheNaturalMevs

The count is 28 straight for Jackie Bradley Jr., Tying Wade Boggs


Jackie Bradley Jr. has hit in 28 straight games, smashing a ball off the monster in left off Jorge De La Rosa in what was about the most certain thing that was going to happen today. It’s not like De La Rosa actually poses a threat to get hot hitters out.

Bradley Jr. ties Wade Boggs for the fourth longest hitting streak in Boston franchise history. And since hitting streaks are so fun we’ll probably continue to just chronicle this day by day like Deadspin is doing with Cardinal losses this season.

You won’t see a longer hitting streak in baseball this season. Bradley Jr. is half way to history, since you’re reading that everywhere else on the internet tonight. He’s not going to ever arrive at history of course, but this is the breakout of another young player that at one point seemed like such a distant impossibility. It’s great to see.

Dusty Baker puts what Matt Harvey is going through pretty well


Matt Harvey was really bad again tonight and the Mets lost in Washington. This probably isn’t a 2016 fix at this point. But it doesn’t mean we can’t sit back and enjoy the New York media pressure cooker that ensues after it. It might not reach a higher point.

In part of this good old-fashioned New York evisceration, Dusty Baker gets asked about Harvey’s struggles. Baker has been around the game as long as anyone, so like the writer states; he just knows.

“It’s not my job to straighten Harvey out,” Nats manager Dusty Baker quipped before the game. But he’s also a guy who has been around the sport forever, who has seen and experienced everything. He knows. More than anybody possibly can, he knows how things work.

“But from a player’s perspective, you don’t feel loved. You don’t think you have any friends. It’s a lonely place to be. People walk by you, they hold their head down. They don’t know what to say to you. You don’t look at the newspaper, you don’t look at TV. It’s a very lonely place to be.”

You look at the pitcher who opposed Harvey tonight in DC and struck out 11 hitters – Stephen Strasburg is the name – and you realize there’s still some hope. But again, there’s too much toothpaste out of the tube at this point to be able to keep it in the bathroom.

The first time Carlos Correa and Dylan Bundy crossed paths…

There are fewer young pitchers I was more excited to see throw in the big leagues than Dylan Bundy when he was drafted 4th overall back in the 2011 draft. The next year, the Astros took some tall shortstop first overall in the 2012 MLB draft. I felt the same way about Correa; these were two guys taken in back to back drafts who I thought would be generational talents quickly.

Bundy had his arm problems and set backs from Tommy John Surgery. He’s probably fortunate to have made it back to the big leagues at all. His struggles have been written about recently, but there’s reason for optimism. He hit at least 93 MPH on the gun tonight.

Baseball has a way of seeing that certain paths just cross, and Carlos Correa got to face Dylan Bundy at the end of this one. A lot of fans around baseball might not have even taken note. But this is a match-up that should have been a highly touted event at one point.

Who knows how many more duels they’ll have, but score this one to Correa with a walk off line drive single (Correa is scuffling a little bit in his own right at the moment).

The Astros won the game 3-2 in 13 long innings in Houston on Tuesday evening. It was the kind of game they’ve found a way to lose all year long, so that’s good to see.

And no matter what, we all got to see a Dylan Bundy/Carlos Correa tilt at least once.

Astros face long odds in reviving their season


The Houston Astros were picked by Sports Illustrated back in March as the team that would win the World Series. Now that baseball has had it’s way for almost two full months, how crazy does that sound?

To give you an idea of how crazy the idea of an Astros resurgence is, lets take a look at the odds. MLB futures by RealBet Sportsbook have the Astros at +1800 odds to win the AL Pennant. They’re currently at +3500 to win the World Series.

What this means; is the Astros are done. If you’re at the casino and you’re staring at this and your team’s figures look anywhere in the direction of these numbers, you can start thinking about football season honestly. In contrast, the Cincinnati Reds are currently +50,000. That makes the Astros chances look a little bit better. If you have a $100 bill you would rather throw away than just set it on fire, go ahead and bet it on the horse abortion that is the Cincinnati Reds. If a miracle that is more incredible than anything the human race has seen in 2000 years occurs, you will win $50,000.

Plus there’s always this story to remember about long odds and Major League Baseball teams.

Thor is finally mine; come to Papa, Thor.


In my favorite league – the keeper league that I run – I entered the year needing to rebuild. It was time for me to finally pay the piper for so many draft pick trades, too many overpays, too many bad decisions to hold a veteran over adding a youngster off the wire, and too many floundered ideas gone bad.

The first mistake I made was trying to invest in pitching at all. My failed experiments in that league over the past three years just off the top of my head: 2014 Justin Verlander, 2015 Stephen Strasburg (I waited two years on him), and then keeping Michael Pineda, drafting Zach Greinke early, keeping Marcus Stroman, drafting Jake Odorizzi, and trading for Yordano Ventura (who had failed me the previous two seasons after trading to get him).

I can count on one hand the pitchers in the big leagues I like and trust. There are ones you can trust who I don’t even like; but Noah Syndergaard is one of those guys. Since I’m having a bust of a season, I went all in to finally get him in a league:

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I’m likely to regret this on the Urias and Mazara front, but it was worth it to me to get some stock in Syndergaard somewhere. I’ve always felt that his ceiling was the highest of any of the four Mets pitchers, and then it came to fruition this season.

Moving forward, I’ve got broken Matt Harvey, somewhat broken Justin Verlander, lotto chip Rubby De La Rosa, cinderella Rich Hill, and Syndergaard to go along with one of the few others I like and trust in Lance McCullers. That’s about as good as a pitching staff will ever be when I’m in control.

As Fangraphs said, what’s more compelling than watching Syndergaard pitch? Not much. And I wasn’t fully able to enjoy it until now because I didn’t own him anywhere. There’s talk about him being the best pitcher in baseball. I know Kershaw is not human right now, but I don’t know if I take him over Thor if given the choice.

And this is how even in a losing fantasy season you can give yourself a little fun. Just go acquire the guys you like to watch and start from scratch next season with a few of those guys. That’s probably the only New Years resolution I’m still following at the moment, to make more trades this season.

Rich Hill: Oakland’s latest Mistfit Toy Success Story


I was bored last night, and the Reds were inevitably going to get shutout by the Dodgers before that game ever happened; so I found myself watching Rich Hill.

Yes, the same Rich Hill who has appeared in over 120 relief appearances. The Rich Hill who has flamed out for about seven other teams. That Rich Hill is now 7-3 on the season with a 2.18 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 57.2 innings. He’s walked 21; his K to BB ratio is about one full unit better than his career rate of 2.18. As Fangraphs likes to say, ‘he’s figured something out’.

The Athletics beat the Mariners 5-0.  Mr. Hill – a 36 year old starting pitcher – beat Taijuan Walker. And that’s evidence of something greater I want to point out.

For guys like me who play fantasy baseball and don’t really like to invest in pitchers, it says something that Hill beat Walker even if it was only one night. The story of this game really should have been about Taijuan Walker. He was pitching in front of his home crowd and should be entering his prime in his fourth partial season at the age of 23; he’s now thrown 275+ big league innings. But no, that isn’t the story because Taijuan Walker really isn’t that good yet. Or rather, it’s hard to tell when a pitcher is even good unless they’re one of the few elite. Outside of just a few names, who can you really trust as a pitcher? And even then they’re one pitch from being on the shelf for 20+ months. Pitchers are like NFL kickers anymore. There’s no reason to get attached to them or invest in them, either in real life when you’re following your team or in fantasy.

The Mets built their team around a pitching staff and now they face a shaky foundation because Harvey and DeGrom are poor and pedestrian; respectively.

That’s why the Rich Hill story is a good one in my eyes. Hell, I traded Carlos Martinez for Hill in a league just because I liked Hill’s upside and I was tired of waiting on things to be just right for the presumptive Cardinals ace-in-waiting.

A few things could happen from here. Rich Hill could turn back into a pumpkin. He’s unlikely to continue showing flashes of being Clayton Kershaw.  Or Hill could continue this magical little run that is going mostly unnoticed to the mainstream fan in baseball and be shipped off to a contender this summer and become slightly more prominent to the mainstream fan (despite some mentioning that he’s the perfect fit for the Oakland A’s).

My guess is that Hill is this year’s Dickey/Iwakuma/fill in the blank with pitcher who has one magical year that stands out forever on the back of his baseball card. He’ll get flipped for some prospect from a contender that ends up being a pretty good chip for the A’s and he’ll make some important starts for the Red Sox or the Astros or someone who is in a race in September.

I don’t think I’ll fully ever get invested in pitching (while following certain teams and playing fantasy), and I’ll be searching for a Rich Hill each year for the rest of my life. Every year births us new guys like this; it’s inevitable. And Hill has been so good to this point we actually did a post about the Oakland Athletics. That’s impressive in it’s own right.

Our own t3bird makes a swift move towards the top in the Gentleman’s Game

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Our own t3bird04 is coming up in the world like a regular Tony Montana. In fact, we have some select footage of the Bird Man a few innings into Friday night’s contest on hand:

Bird was powered by the help of four stars on Friday evening. Aaron Nola, Aaron Sanchez, Chris Hermann, and Miguel Cabrera for some 96+ of Bird’s 118 total points; and three of those four were used by only him. That’s the kind of disparity you’re looking for, and it was good enough to get him into the winner’s circle with five points, firmly entrenched in the number two spot as two gents continue to separate themselves from the group.

The two losing gents; Jsquad34 and myself, had the same bad spot. We brought Amish whore Sonny Gray to the Gentleman’s Friday evening Gala with the thought of enjoying a few cocktails and wistfully looking at artwork; doing nice gentleman things with her. However Sonny; a true turd that no longer deserves to be rostered in any daily, weekly, yearly, or quantum-leap format in fantasy got tuned up by the Yankees in that outhouse of a stadium known as the Oakland Coliseum.

Swindaman3 had a really nice toilet play with Colby Lewis, who frustrated the hapless Houston Astros all evening long and collected him 29.35 points, and some props for using Colby Lewis in the first place. No one looked in that direction.

DStars45 rode the work of Derek Dietrich and Michael Conforto to a solid third place finish, helping keep some distance in between himself and cocaine-mountain flying t3bird.

Let’s get a look at our yearly standings, presented to you by Ted’s Montana Grill and Costco.

Yearly Standings:
DStars45 – 30 points
t3bird04 – 28 points
Jsquad34 – 22 points
Swindaman3 – 21 points
Diamondhoggers – 18 points

And now, for a list of this week’s ‘Fantasy Players to Kill’. First, the yearly players whom have probably left your roto team with a gunshot wound to the head; and in critical condition. There’s a chance for survival but you will eating from a straw for the rest of your life and your memory is reduced to nursery rhymes you learned in second grade. Your front teeth are also removed if you owned some of these guys.

  • Sonny Gray
  • Justin Upton
  • Jason Heyward (one damn home run, so funny)
  • Matt Harvey
  • Yordano Ventura
  • Prince Fielder
  • Lorenzo Cain
  • All Kansas City Royals outside of Eric Hosmer
  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Michael Brantley
  • Dallas Keuchel (shave the fucking beard, you doofus)
  • Adam Wainwright
  • Giancarlo Stanton (was just brought to my attention he’s like 0 for his last 20-something)
  • All guys named Carlos; except Rodon is okay this week.
  • Bombshell…. BRYCE HARPER. If you’re not in a league that counts OB%, you are in a world of shit owning Harper lately.
  • Joey Votto
  • Tony Cingrani

And now for the weekly shitheads:

  • Yoenis Cespedes
  • Giancarlo Stanton
  • Sonny Gray
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Anthony Rizzo
  • Marcus Semien
  • Francisco Cervelli
  • Gerrit Cole
  • Daniel Murphy
  • Blake Swihart
  • Houston Astros
  • Marcus Semien

And now, a look at the weekly winner’s lineup card, our own t3bird04. As Swindaman3 pointed out, Miggy is clearly Bird’s wife for this week.

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So, what will happen next week when we gather again? Can I make it three straight last place finishes? Will we have a new leader atop the standings? Can all five gents avoid a pitcher in the negative for the first time all year long? Will the bacon wrapped appetizers make all of our whores sick by the time the 10:00 games start? Will my wife tell me to go to bed early because we have to wake up early on Saturday morning and go to the zoo? Probably. But you must stay tuned because the answers are still unwritten….. in the Gentleman’s Cup Series 2016.

Jackie Bradley Jr. has hit in 27 straight


Jackie Bradley Jr. has hit in 27 straight ballgames for the Boston Red Sox. He did it by lacing a line drive single off Danny Salazar on Sunday.

It’s now the fifth longest streak in Red Sox history behind – look at these names:
Dom Dimaggio (34)
Nomar Garciaparra (30)
Johnny Damon (29)
Wade Boggs (28)

Just about the time that national attention turns to a streak like this, it ends. You have to figure we’re getting to that point; so enjoy the next game or two (we hope we are wrong). We always think of Luis Castillo’s 35-game hit streak in 2002. That one was a fun one. He was so damn fast and so hot, I thought he might get to 50.

Jackie Bradley Jr. has clearly broke out though as a bonafide big leaguer with this streak, which has seen him hit .411 in the midst of it.

Your Saturday Baseball Post


Happy Saturday, and arguably the first Saturday of summer now that school is starting to let out everywhere. Of course if you’re like me; Monday will just be another day in your cube. But this was the time of year where the humidity started to hit and if myself and the neighborhood kids didn’t have a travel baseball game or two on the slate during the week, we were throwing down the obscure objects to be our first, second, and third base in the front yard and a homer was knocking one over the road. You could of course, only homer to center in my front yard. It taught us to hit up the middle at least.

My Saturday is everything from shopping for flooring to painting a swing set. It’s just like everyone said it would be when they said I would be 33 and I didn’t listen.

Now your 80’s song of the week that should be played on a ballpark loudspeaker near you. This one, maybe during batting practice or something.

Saturday is the best day of the week this time of year, so soak it in. Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

Jay Bruce gets a milestone at Great American Ballpark


With two home runs tonight, Jay Bruce hit career dingers 127 and 128 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, becoming the all-time leader; passing Adam Dunn. We’ve said it many times; Bruce has had an enigmatic career with flashes of brilliance. At the end of the day, it’s hard not to realize he’s accomplished quite a bit in a Reds uniform.

It looked at that point like it would be a happy ending for one night in the Queen City; but Tony Cingrani and the Reds pen full of shitheads had other ideas. The Reds would go on to lose this ballgame 8-7 in 12 innings on a Francisco Lindor home run. Lindor is really a helluva a little ballplayer.

You can see Lindor’s game-winning home run off Keyvius friggin’ Sampson by clicking here. That ball had some giddeup on it.

The Reds try to get swept tomorrow in the Battle of Ohio Series. It won’t be easy, as Corey Kluber gets the start and he’s Jekyll and Hyde awful, but I think the Reds have it in them.