Rich Hill: Oakland’s latest Mistfit Toy Success Story

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Junior Guerra is the whore we have been looking for in the Gentleman’s Game

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DStars45 won with dignity and class this past Friday night. It is he who braved the dangerous waters and made an offering to the biggest whore on the board on any Friday night this year, $4,000 Junior Guerra.

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Guerra did indeed put out to the tune of 23.1 DraftKings points, throwing six innings of shutout ball against the shit Padres and combined forces with Chris Sale, Joe Panik, and Bryce Harper to give DStars the win and five more points on his yearly lead that is quickly starting to slip away from the rest of us.

Yearly Standings:
DStars45 – 27 points
t3bird04 – 23 points
Jsquad34 – 20 points
Swindaman3 – 18 points
Diamondhoggers – 17 points

Rather than bogging down the column with “My lineup scored 41 points and almost topped Swindy’s toilet lineup from a few weeks ago by becoming the lowest scoring gents lineup of all-time” we will pivot and go in a different direction with today’s column.

Each week, we will make a short list of “Fantasy Players to Kill”. These are the guys who are absolutely destroying you in your yearly leagues, or that guy we pony up $5,000 for each Friday on Draftkings only to skunk us with zero points. Coors Field Yoenis Cespedes can certainly suck a big one. Here’s the list for right now:

  • Dallas Keuchel
  • Sonny Gray
  • Kevin Jepsen (really not fair to put him here because if you’re rostering Jepsen, you are the one who deserves to be killed).
  • Justin Upton
  • Paul Goldschmidt (owners are freaking out, he’s going to be okay he’s just not been all-world yet)
  • Delino DeShields Jr. (totally worthless, sent down, he escapes the list next week)
  • Carlos Gomez
  • Carlos Rodon
  • Carlos Santana
  • Carlos Martinez
  • Any fuckin’ guy whose parents even though about naming him Carlos
  • Randall Grichuk
  • Jose Berrios
  • David Peralta (his homers have come against Jose Fernandez, a lefty, and yeah he had one when I had him in the lineup. He’s now hurt and on the DL after the DBacks said he wouldn’t go on the DL for the last three weeks).
  • Albert Pujols
  • Matt Harvey, see below

Now for the DFS fuck-sticks du’jour:

  • Josh Donaldson (homers against lefties like a golden rule when I don’t use him in DFS; when I do an pay a million dollars for the rights to use him he gets a zero, against a lefty).
  • Mike Trout (probably wants to be elsewhere on a Friday night, never hits or does much on Friday evenings, cost a zillion dollars, he’s never seemed so boring to own in seasonal).
  • Justin Upton (could easily list him in any discussion where being poor at baseball is discussed)
  • Jake Odirizzi (only ended up here because he ruined my night 15 minutes into Friday evening, the A’s too…. really?)
  • Prince Fielder
  • Michael Wacha (maybe the most boring pitcher in baseball)
  • Joey Votto
  • Matt Harvey (nice to see him here too because I’ve often wondered if there’s a bigger POS in all of baseball. F Matt Harvey in his Dark Knight pants and all his owners who acted like he was the second coming of Tom Seaver in any trade negotiation in March).

Alright, that about clears things up for this week. Let’s take a look at DStars45’s winning lineup, which he was nice enough to file from his relaxing vacation condominium in the Florida panhandle. He gets brownie points in my book for using Catcher/Punt Play Tommy Joseph who was once the lead drummer for Skid Row:

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So……….. what will happen when we show up to the cocktail party next week?

Which players will be noticed for their incompetence at what they’re paid handsomely to do? Can any whore lift her skirt higher for a cheaper price than Junior Guerra? It’s becoming a very cool thing to do to find the best whore each Friday night; while t3bird04 continues to do the smart thing and bring his wife, Chris Sale. And don’t forget, Poop Meteorolgist Swindaman3; master of the morning toilet lineup, is now doing battle with ME for the futility spot in the DFS Gentleman’s Game standings. Which one of us can succeed in building a 19 point lineup? I looked like I had a great shot until Joe Panik got going.

As always, you must stay tuned in to find out. It is the Gentleman’s Game which is the highest honor in DFS. It is not for the weak at heart or mind.

Astros drop another wild one another wild one 10-9 at Fenway

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[Box Score]

The Houston Astros are magnificently bad this season.

They wasted another fine offensive day, and another moonshot over the Monster by Carlos Correa which was his seventh home run of the season:

But Mike Fiers was awful. They have no semblance of starting pitching and a bad bullpen. After trading blows, of course the Red Sox would come out on top 10-9.

Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 21 games. Carlos Gomez went hitless again. The Astros lost three of four in Fenway. They’ve gone from in trouble to basically season over here barring a long winning streak or stretch where they take 8 of 10.

Xander Bogaerts – who is phenomenal in his own right – homered again.

Roughned Odor knocked Jose Bautista the fuck out!

See what happens when I skip a Sunday afternoon of watching baseball to attend a diaper party!

Full video here.

Baseball needs more of this. I get so sick of seeing guys on opposing teams slobbing themselves after every NFL and NBA game. It’s ridiculous.

And no one can drop any “this is the hardest thing Roughned Odor has hit all year” jokes. They don’t apply, he hits a little bit.

Big Papi does it all on a Sunny Saturday at Fenway

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We aren’t talking about David Ortiz’s finale season nearly enough.

This was a wild, fun game in which the Red Sox stole the win from the Astros 6-5 in 11 innings. Without David Ortiz, they don’t win this game.

After a Carlos Correa monster shot and a George Springer grand slam, Ortiz homered to pass Ernie Banks and Eddie Matthews on the all-time home run list.

Down a run in the bottom of the ninth, and two out; Ortiz triples in Xander Bogaerts to tie the game. Then you get the walk off double in the 11th to put the cherry on the day.

Another discouraging loss for the Astros, with this save blown by Luke Gregerson. It’s one of those performances you feel like they swung the bats enough to win; but came up short of having a Big Papi, who has a .320/.405/.690 slash-line at the conclusion of today’s game.

I wouldn’t mind seeing him stick around another year.

Jackie Bradley also extended his hitting streak to 20 games.

Bryce Harper grabs a Friday night Barraclough

Bryce Harper had not homered in about ten days. Teams are going through this little fad of pitching around him, because his only protection in the lineup serves to be Daniel Murphy. With all due respect to Murphy, when that is the case; you’re going to see some stretches like this.

But the Marlins seem stubborn about going into the belly of the beast. When Harper gets this outside pitch and yanks it into the seats in right field, it’s his 11th home run of the season. Barraclough is completely destroyed when he realized what he’s done.

The Nationals won this game 5-3 with this home run being the only difference. He is the ultimate weapon in a baseball game.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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Welcome to Saturday, the best day of the week for those who love baseball; the best sport on earth. Whether you’re running errands, doing yard work for your old lady, babysitting your kid while your wife caters a wedding or just laying around like a slob and watching baseball like you should; we can all agree there’s something special about a Saturday during baseball season.

Because we were out of town last weekend, this post was neglected. We’re sorry. It won’t happen again all season.

There’s a ton of action today as usual on a Saturday, all your favorite stars will be in play and the pitching match-ups are extra shitty so there should be an abundance of offense. There’s also a Coors Field game mixed in so things can get extra wild. Eddie Butler goes down hard today at Coors.

So as we set the flag here at half mass in honor of the greatest sport there is, we also wish you a great Saturday. Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

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