Orioles Play The Lovable Loser In A Classic Skubal Comedy

“This is 911, what’s your emergency?”
“I need a defibrillator!”
“Someone’s having a heart attack?”
“No, it’s for the dead ball.”
“Please stop calling, sir.”

Tarik Skubal was a victim of being sneezed on by Matthew Boyd, and used to give up a homer just about every three pitches, but no longer. It might not just be the dead-ball, Skubal was a top pitching prospect a mere three years ago. That timing tracks. Usually it’s three years in the majors, and a rookie pitcher becomes what we expect from him. A rookie pitching prospect has moments his rookie year, then he has more moments his 2nd year, then his third year it’s all moments. Tarik Skubal (6 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 11 Ks, ERA at 2.50) is currently living in the moment. 94 MPH fastball, 89 MPH slider, 76 MPH curve and 84 MPH change, each used liberally. Not relying on the fastball as he had in the past, even though you wouldn’t blame someone with a 70-grade fastball. There might be something to his success and the homers allowed thing, but the ball doesn’t seem like it’s being resuscitated any time soon, so Skubal can absolutely maintain his newfound success. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

Austin Meadows – Hit the IL with dizziness from an inner ear infection. Hopefully, it’s not Austin Meniere’s.

Trey Mancini – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer. Hopefully, he’s Quattro Mancini soon.

Michael Kopech – 6 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners (4 BBs), 3 Ks, ERA at 1.54. Not the best he’s looked, but when you hold the Yankees to one hit, no matter how wild you are, it’s gotta be a moral victory. *runs finger along league standings* Hmm, don’t see a Moral Victories category.

Nestor Cortes – 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 1.35. Not just the Yankees’ best starter, but making the case for the best pitcher in the majors.

Joey Gallo – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 5th homer. Yankees had five runs, and they only had two hits in the game. Very normal stuff going on with the baseball.

Ronald Acuña Jr. – MRI on his groin revealed nothing. *snicker*

Charlie Morton – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.93. Overshadowed a bit by an incredible 12-strikeout performance by Sean Manaea, but Morton looks fixed. As I said when he was unfixed, he could fix himself and it looks like it happened. Morton, once again worth his salt.

Dansby Swanson – 1-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 4th homer. For those wondering if they were to quick to get rid of Swanson when he was hitting 9th, he’s near the top 12 for shortstops on the Player Rater, so that’s rosterable in all leagues.

Kyle Wright – 6 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 2.79. Deserved better than the Braves’ defense. I know this because I’ve studied his karmic history. Also, because I saw the game’s highlights. Only highlights though, because the game was on Peacock. Happy for Brad, but I ain’t subscribing to that.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 4 2/3 IP, 1 ER, ERA at 9.00, as he was activated from the IL. He was on the IL with forearm inflammation, so, not to get too philosophical, but does anyone ever come back from forearm inflammation?

Mauricio Dubon – 0-for-1. Traded to the Astros for Michael Papierski. Trade makes total sense when you think of it as Papierski for Mâché as the Giants and Astros open a joint Etsy shop. Mauricio Dubon was in Friday’s Buy, which shows that A) The Astros read the Buy column. B) They’re a very smart organization. C) There’s no C. My concern here is that Pena’s injury is worse than we think, but maybe Dubon is just a bench bat as he was in San Fran.

Chas McCormick – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and a slam (3) and legs (1), hitting .229. Meh, only been about three times more valuable in one game as Marcus Semien’s been all year.

Jose Altuve – 2-for-5, 2 runs and his 7th homer, hitting .259. Pesky Altuve homered off a Nat. Hmm, that seems ironic.

Yuli Gurriel – 3-for-4 and his 2nd homer, and 2nd homer in the last three games. Anyone who remembers his July, 2019 knows how hot Gurriel can get. Though, that 2019 baseball was wrapped in rubber bands.

Cristian Javier -3 2/3 IP, 7 ER, ERA at 3.20. *pregame, Tigers Woods fist pump* Yes! Javier’s getting the start. *after the game, Tiger Woods’s ex-wife-style golf club swinging into my computer*

Justin Verlander – 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 1.38. For his Hall of Fame career, it would be kinda cool to see him return from Tommy John and win the Cy Young. From a real baseball standpoint. I know. Boo! Real Baseball? Get out of here! Sometimes, I regret to inform you, I just love baseball.

Martin Perez – 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 7 Ks, ERA at 2.01. Streamonator keeps hating Perez’s starts, and I keep incorrectly agreeing. I’m shaking my head no, and I should be nodding like a Rare Mint Pez. Anagram points!

Adolis Garcia – 2-for-4, 5 RBIs and his 5th and 6th homer, hitting .205. Adolis is my favorite Rangers hitter, and least favorite part of Hereditary.

Kole Calhoun – 2-for-4 and his 2nd and 3rd homer. Welp, we can write off the possibility that a Rangers’ jersey with the last name Calhoun on it is simply jinxed.

Glen Otto – 4IP, 8 ER, ERA at 6.38. Ouchhcuo.

Kolten Wong – 2-for-2, 2 runs and a slam (3) and double legs (7, 8). A slam and double dong from Wong is a boing!

Jace Peterson – 1-for-4 and his 3rd homer. He was a hot schmotato last week, and now I say, “Still.”

Eric Lauer – 5 IP, 4 ER, 6 baserunners (zero walks), 7 Ks, ERA at 2.60 vs. Trevor Rogers – 5 1/3 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners (zero walks), 8 Ks, ERA at 4.45. Would’ve expected the exact opposite outcome in this matchup, but one start doesn’t change my opinion of either. I want to see more from Rogers, before declaring him back, and I go over Lauer in this week’s Matlock-themed Buy, Sell, Hold:

Jesus Luzardo – Hit the IL with a forearm strain. That really is a shame–Yeehaw! Cody Poteet was called up, but that’s just as a placeholder. Max Meyer will be called up very soon. See my Max Meyer fantasy, or see Prospect Hobbs’ Max Meyer fantasy.

Jorge Soler – 1-for-4 and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in as many games, and I mentioned him last week as a guy who gets crazy hot schmotatoey.

Tylor Megill – Hit the IL with biceps inflammation. Doubt he’d undergo an MRI for a fake injury, but my guess was he was tipping pitches last time out, and rather than let him figure it out in game action, give him a fake IL stint, but the MRI says different. Unless it was to fill a stamp card.

Francisco Lindor – 1-for-4 and his 6th homer, hitting .232. Feeling lots of pain that Robbie Ray was great the one year I didn’t have him, and is kicking me in the family grapes the years I do have him, so don’t want to discuss any of this, if being honest.

Carlos Carrasco – 4 1/3 IP, 4 ER, ERA at 3.73. Giving up four runs in four innings to the M’s should count for double.

Julio Rodriguez – 4-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 2nd homer. Jul-Rod’s going to have a 12/25 rookie year and it will be indicative of nothing, except the dead ball.

Robbie Ray – 6 IP, 5 ER, 8 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 4.62. You know things are going fantastically when you’re praying a guy gets taken out of the game. A’la MC Hammer, “That’s why we pray! Ray! Pray! Ray! That’s we pray Ray will get taken out today!”

Diego Castillo – 2/3 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 8.74, and his 2nd save. I dropped Drew Steckenrider (1/3 IP, 2 ER, ERA at 4.85) the other day in a league where I need saves, and when Steckenrider entered the 9th in a save situation, I put myself inside my closet, and started screaming. Thankfully, Suckenrider couldn’t do the job, and the Mariners continue to not have a closer. Now, could someone please unlock my closet door? Little help.

Bobby Witt Jr. – 1-for-2, 2 runs, and his 3rd homer, and 2nd homer in last two games at Coors. Also, Whit Merrifield (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) hit his 2nd homer. What’s the chances the Royals could have their stadium flooded and they have to play the rest of their home games in Coors? Can someone hook up the Royals’ irrigation system to Steve Balboni’s toilet?

Daniel Lynch – 5 1/3 IP, 0 ER, 7 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 3.30. Unless my previous blurb wish comes true, Lynch gets the Twins at home next, and Streamonator doesn’t love it, but I’m starting him.

Daniel Bard – 1 IP, 2 ER, and the blown save, ERA at 3.65. The Bard of SAGNOF has me King Learing at him in my fantasy lineup.

Mookie Betts – 2-for-4, 2 RBIs and his 7th homer, and 2nd homer in two games. Mookie Best!

Corey Knebel – 2/3 IP, 2 ER, and a blown save. Any ideas what his ERA is at? Go ahead, guess! Person within .50 gets an attaboy. Nope! It’s 3.60. I thought it was around 5.50, to be fair.

Paul Blackburn – 6 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 7 baserunners, 3 Ks, ERA at 1.67. The true benefit to rostering Blackburn is so much more than his insanely low ERA. It’s knowing your leaguemates are like, “How is his team so good? He’s got Paul freakin’ Blackburn!”

Frankie Montas – 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 3.67. Gonna have to pitch better than that if you wanna get a win!

Shohei Ohtani – 1-for-3, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer, and 2nd homer in two games, and his 100th and 101st homers this weekend. Career homers! But, honestly, with Ohtani, nothing shocks me anymore.

Zac Gallen – 6 IP, 1 ER, 3 baserunners, 9 Ks, ERA at 1.05. Not only one of the most shocking early pitching performances, but it’s also shocking how little is made of it. The very shocking Gallen also sounds like me at a gas station.

Justin Steele – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 4.50 vs. Humberto Castellanos – 5 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 4.15. This matchup was billed as, “Even if the Streamonator likes these guys, I can’t see streaming them unless it’s NL-Only,” as you can imagine not everyone calls this matchup that.

Rafael Ortega – 1-for-3 and his 1st homer. Welp, another guy not shooting blanks like Semien.

Patrick Wisdom – 2-for-4, 2 runs and his 6th homer, hitting .224. If you have Wisdom, it’s gotta be hard to stand Pat.

Carlos Rodon – 3 2/3 IP, 8 ER, ERA at 3.49. The Regression Fairies can help you pick out an outfit and they will completely crap on your ratios.

Joey Bart – 1-for-3, ad his 4th homer. That homer came off a future Hall of Famer too. No, not Wainwright. It came off Albert Pujols, who pitches almost as fast as he runs.

Paul Goldschmidt – 3-for-4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs and his 4th homer. Au Shizz!

Nolan Arenado – 1-for-3, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and his 8th homer. Was able to get all my crypto out of the market just before the crash, and I have the cashier’s check to prove it! It’s right over here by this open window–NOOOOO!!! Torenado!

Yadier Molina – 2-for-3, 4 RBIs and his 2nd homer. So cute how winded he got running around the bases.

Adam Wainwright – 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 3.15. How can he retire? He’s not just the best pitcher born that is old enough to know who ALF is, he’s just a good pitcher.

Devin Smeltzer – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 baserunners, 2 Ks, as he was recalled to start on Saturday. [old Jewish guy in Coming to America voice] Smeltzer!

Gio Urshela – 1-for-3 and his 3rd homer, and 2nd homer in as many games. Hot SchmoGio alert!

Byron Buxton – 1-for-4 and his 11th homer, hitting .259. He said he’s playing hurt; his knee is bothering him. Imagine if we ever saw 162 games of a healthy Buxton. *picturing a young Barry Bonds*

Emilio Pagan – 1 IP, 0 ER, ERA at 1.54 and his 5th save. Pagan’s been a solid closer while everyone tightly pinches their eyes closed, and hopes for Jhoan Duran.

Joe Ryan – 6 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners (zero BBs), 5 Ks, ERA at 2.39. Good to see a bounce back after a bit of a roofie’ing, but who’s going to get me back my kidney?

Triston McKenzie – 7 IP, 3 ER, 5 baserunners, 4 Ks, ERA at 2.97. Stretch Armweak’s been on a good roll recently, hopefully no gusts of wind knock him over.

Zach Thompson – 6 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 3 walks, 3 Ks, ERA at 5.47. Streamonator doesn’t like Thompson’s next one, but I could see streaming him. Speaking of streaming Thompsons, Kids in the Hall is back!

Jose Quintana – 7 IP, 0 ER, 4 baserunners, 5 Ks, ERA at 2.19. Not this good, no. But better than you might expect because of a dead ball and a great park? Sure, that doesn’t hurt. I’m in on Jo-Quin, and not Jo-Quin, if you catch my drift.

Hunter Greene – 7 1/3 IP, 1 ER, zero hits, 5 walks, 9 Ks, ERA at 6.21. Universe, what would happen if Hunter Greene faced a team that couldn’t homer off him? Oh man, the Reds are so bad they’re losing games to the Pirates — the Pirates! — where they no-hit them. I am laughing very hard. You thought a 5-pitcher no-hitter sucked? Can I interest you in a no-hitter where the starting pitcher and team lose? After the final out, while the Pirates were high-fiving, Hunter Greene should’ve ran on the field and celebrated on the mound. Honestly, can’t believe the Reds lost while no-hitting the Pirates. They got invited to an Andy Hawkins dance. Meanwhile, Jayson Stark is typing with his middle hand to find the last time teams won on the same day with zero hits and two hits.

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