The day started out badly. Chase Headley hit a home run, which brought the Bags into a tie to start the day. A tie at 72 points, which is close to my peak, and only a sliver of the Bag’s potential.
There were many subsequent stories on the day. Notably:
Bud Norris won for the Orioles, despite Headley’s homer, which moved the Jerry’s back out in front of me.
Chris Sale pitched the way Chris Sale does, despite a fixation on Victor Martinez and center field. Win goes to Justin Verlander, whose nudies with Ms. Upton led to this bit of superhero art (click to enlarge).
Phil Hughes won in Minnesota, in an interleague matchup, which had no direct bearing on our standings, but meant he won 16 games while walking only 16 guys. This is a crazy rare feat in 20th and 21st century game. He also set a record for best K/BB ratio in history. Hats off to Mr. Hughes.
The Angels/Athletic tilt was a bore, fantasywise, until my safe-as-milk reliever, Mike Morin, melted down and allowed four runs in a third of an inning. This cost me a point in ERA. It also opened a save opp for Huston Stret, whose eventual save moved the Peppers ahead of the Bags in Saves by one. Down one half for the game, however, if we’re talking about me.
The Royals’ loss to the Indians keeps the door open a crack for the Cleveland team, but was meaningless fantasywise unless Yan Gomes’ three-run shot made a difference to your team.
Which brings us to Seattle and Toronto. Taijuan Walker was starting for the Bags. Um, I mean Seattle. A win for Walker would be very bad for my chances, and mean nothing to Toronto. Fortunately, the game meant something to Mark Buehrle, and he matched the brilliant Walker frame for frame until the eighth, when Munenori Kawasaki and Ryan Goins got something together. Big relief for the Bad K. Uh oh!. Aaron Sanchez came into save the game, giving him three improbable saves for the BBs and tying them for next to last with, watch out, ME! That’s a half point I’m not getting back unless Luke Gregerson does something mystical. Very painful.
In Boston, I was worried that Rusney Castillo, the newest Burn Bag, might produce. He didn’t. I also had to worry about Jake Odorizzi, who was pitching for the Jerry’s, who I was one behind in wins. Fortunately, Odorizzi bombed, and Castillo didn’t homer or steal. Unfortunately, neither did my guy, Mookie Betts. But I’ll take it.
At this point there was one more game. Lisalverto Bonilla and his Texas Rangers against Scott Feldman and his Houston Astros. I’d picked up Bonilla on Monday because Houston has been soft offensively the last couple of months, and because I needed wins. His two previous starts were, um, fine, and I wouldn’t trust him against a team of good hitters, but Houston has power but is manageable because they don’t make a lot of contact.
And Bonilla managed, going six innings with two walks and four hits and no runs at all. Worryingly, Feldman only allowed one run, a situation that led to angst when Robbie Ross relieved in the seventh and put the first guy on by walk in a 1-0 game. But Ross got out of it, Roughned Odor and Ryan Rua homered and gave the Rangers a 5-0 lead, which they kept, and Bonilla advanced to 3-0 on the season.
Not all is a bed of roses however. Baserunners went wild in this game. Jose Altuve stole a couple, which went to the Random Hackers, who muscled past the Bags, costing him a point. And Odor stole one, which didn’t cost me a point, but moved the Moose three steals ahead. It’s hard to see that point in play anymore.
Which brings us to the current situation.
The Bad K lost a half point in steals and a half point in saves. Down to 71, and both are probably irretrievable.
The Bags, despite the early and heady fireworks, lost a half point in homers, a full point in steals (and he’s now two behind), and a half point in saves. He ends up with 68.
I think that’s my biggest lead ever, and knowing that twice in the last 12 hours we were tied, I don’t feel good about it at all.
Despite that, I’m heading out tomorrow to go camping in Vermont, which may get in the way of posting updates. I will be following as best I can, and will post updated scores from my phone, if I can. Not that anyone cares about this other than me and the Bags, and maybe the Palukas, but I think there is a value to the close observation no matter what happens.
I’ll be watching.