Big Sexy Time
Bartolo Colon has done just about everything possible on a baseball field over his 21 seasons in the major leagues. One thing that the 44-year-old hurler hasn’t done, is throw a no-hitter.
While on the road against the defending World Champions in prime time on Sunday Night Baseball doesn’t seem like the most optimum situation to do so, Colon made a serious bid.
Peppering the Astros’ hitters with dancing fastballs in the upper 80’s, Colon sent down the first 21 hitters that came to the plate in order. Not only was he six outs away from a no-hitter, he was six outs away from perhaps the most inexplicable perfect game in Major League history.
This wasn’t a game that the Rangers were running away with either. Justin Verlander was dominant on the other side of the diamond, limiting the Rangers to just one hit, a solo home run from Robinson Chirinos. Verlander racked up 11 strikeouts in the contest, allowing just the one hit and one walk over eight spectacular innings in his own right.
Sadly, to the dismay of baseball fans around the globe, the perfect game big fell to the wayside when Carlos Correa drew a walk to lead off the eighth inning. The no-hitter fell off the board next, as Josh Reddick followed with a double down the right field line. Correa would come around to score on a sacrifice fly, ending the bid for a shutout and taking away the possibility of a victory for Colon after his terrific performance.
All told, Colon allowed one run on one hit and a walk over 7 ⅔ innings. He struck out seven along the way.
Colon has now made four appearances for the Rangers, two starts and two out of the bullpen. All told, he boasts a tremendous 1.45 ERA, 0.70 WHIP and 17/2 K/BB ratio across 18 ⅔ innings of work. There’s no telling how long he’ll stick in the Rangers’ rotation, or how effective he can continue to be, but I will say without a doubt that having Bartolo Colon succeeding as a 44-year-old in the American League in 2018 is fantastic for the game of baseball.
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I’ll be honest here. Entering the 2018 season, Joey Lucchesi isn’t a player that I was very high on. He isn’t even a player that I really knew anything about.
The fantasy community at large seemed to echo that same sentiment. In NFBC drafts, he was the 923rd player selected on average this spring.
Lucchesi, a fourth-round pick by the Padres in the 2016 draft out of Southeast Missouri State, was afforded a spot in the Padres’ Opening Day rotation due to the injury to Dinelson Lamet late in the spring.
His debut didn’t go well. Lucchesi surrendered three runs on seven hits over 4 ⅔ innings against the Brewers, striking out just one batter in the contest. Given the state of the Padres’ rotation though, he kept his spot in the rotation and would get another chance.
His second career start went much better. The young left-hander allowed just one hit over five scoreless innings against the Padres, striking out seven against the Rockies. It was in that start that he really piqued my interest, as well as many in the fantasy community. It would be hard to gamble on him heading into Coors Field for his third start though, right?
Lucchesi was dominant again in that outing, allowing just two unearned runs on four hits and a walk over six innings. He punched out eight more in that ballgame while earning his first career victory.
On Sunday, it was more of the same for the rookie southpaw. Lucchesi improved to 2-0 on the season, striking out a career-high nine batters over six innings of one-run ball against the Giants. Lucchesi scattered five hits in this outing and didn’t walk a batter. He now boasts a tremendous 1.66 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 25/4 K/BB ratio across 21 ⅓ innings.
Keep in mind, he still pitches his home games in San Diego, so even if he can’t continue at this pace he should be relevant from a mixed league perspective. There will definitely be more eyes watching on Saturday when he does battle against the Diamondbacks.
Starling Marte has long been considered a polarizing figure in fantasy baseball circles. Some completely buy into his five-tool talent and think that a breakout into becoming a true superstar is still on the horizon.
Others will point to his troublesome 2017 campaign where he served a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs then hit just .275/.333/.379 with seven homers, 31 RBI and 21 stolen bases.
Heading into his age-29 season, his stock was still extremely high overall. His average draft position in NFBC leagues finished right around 45th overall, making him a third round pick in 15-team formats.
So far, so good for Marte in 2018.
On Sunday, he had a day to remember, going 5-for-5 with a homer and four runs scored in a victory over the Marlins. His solo blast, a no-doubter to left field off of Junichi Tazawa, came in the ninth inning and put an exclamation point on his afternoon and on the Pirates 7-3 victory.
All four of his other hits were singles. With the five-hit attack he’s now hitting .305/.388/.559 with three long balls, six RBI and four stolen bases. If you haven’t bought in yet, now could be the time as we could be witnessing his breakout season offensively.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
More than any season in recent memory, it seems like the weather has wreaked havoc on Major League Baseball in the first few weeks of the regular season.
The carnage was extremely prevalent on Sunday. Six games were postponed due to weather. Six.
Sunday’s scheduled game between the Blue Jays and Indians was postponed due to inclement weather. The two teams were rained out on Saturday as well. This one will be made up as part of a doubleheader on May 3. Corey Kluber, who had been on tap for two starts this week, will not line up for double starts next week unless the Tribe skips Josh Tomlin, as the Indians only play five games. He’ll get the ball on Tuesday against the Twins.
Both games of Sunday’s doubleheader between the Tigers and Yankees were washed out due to freezing rain. Saturday’s game was cancelled as well. The games are expected to be made up as part of a split doubleheader on June 4.
The Braves and Cubs were postponed due to rain as well. That one will be made up on May 14.
Sunday’s scheduled contest between the Angels and Royals also got canned due to rain in the Kansas City area. That one will be made up on June 25. Sunday’s scheduled starter, Shohei Ohtani, will now start on Tuesday against the Red Sox.
And finally, as expected, Sunday’s game between the White Sox and Twins was washed out in Minnesota due to inclement weather. Their entire weekend series had to be cancelled due to poor weather in Minnesota.
In addition to the six games that were cancelled on Sunday, Monday’s Patriots’ Day game in Boston between the Red Sox and Orioles has already been postponed due to inclement weather in the forecast. That one will be made up on May 17, which is a mutual off-day for the two teams. It’s the first postponement on Patriots’ Day in Boston since 1984.
American League Quick Hits: Mookie Betts sat out Sunday’s game against the Orioles with a bruised left foot. He’s considered day-to-day… Jonathan Schoop (oblique) hopes to be activated from the disabled list when he’s first eligible on April 24… Kevin Kiermaier was forced to leave Sunday’s game against the Phillies with a sprained right thumb. He’s set to undergo an MRI on Monday, but Rays’ manager Kevin Cash expects that he’ll be out for a “good chunk” of time… Ben Gamel is expected to be activated from the disabled list early this week against the Astros… Mike Zunino (oblique) is set to play three minor league rehab games with High-A Modesto beginning on Monday… The Rangers claimed Renato Nunez off of waivers from the Athletics. He’ll join the team on Monday… Drew Pomeranz (forearm) will make his season debut on Friday against the Athletics… Chris Sale struck out eight over five innings of one-run ball in a victory over the Orioles… Jed Lowrie belted his fourth home run in a victory over the Mariners. He now has 14 RBI on the young season.
National League Quick Hits: Anthony Rendon missed his second straight game after fouling a ball off of his foot. A trip to the disabled list looks unlikely here, but hasn’t completely been ruled out… Jesse Winker missed his third consecutive contest due to a sore right shoulder… Jeremy Hellickson will make his Nationals’ debut on Monday against the Mets… Ryan Braun sat out Sunday’s game due to back tightness. He’s day-to-day… Marlins’ skipper Don Mattingly indicated that J.T. Realmuto would be activated from the disabled list at some point during the upcoming week… Taijuan Walker was pulled from Saturday’s start due to right forearm tightness. He has been placed on the 10-day DL and has an MRI scheduled for Monday… The Dodgers placed Logan Forsythe on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation… Josh Harrison was removed from Sunday’s game against the Marlins after being hit on the left hand by a pitch… Eric Thames was removed from Sunday’s game against the Mets with a left adductor strain. He’s considered day-to-day… Eric Hosmer sat out Sunday’s game due to mild back tightness… Buster Posey sat out Sunday’s game due to a swollen right thumb. He is expected to return to the Giants’ lineup on Tuesday, following Monday’s off day… Jeff Samardzija will make one more minor league rehab start before rejoining the Giants’ rotation… Johnny Cueto (ankle) will return to the Giants’ rotation on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks… Jose Martinez is listed as day-to-day after X-rays revealed no structural damage to his left wrist. He sustained the injury in a collision at first base with Tucker Barnhart… Padres’ manager Andy Green confirmed that Robbie Erlin will start on Monday… Wilmer Flores blasted a walkoff home run with two outs in the ninth inning to beat the Brewers… Noah Syndergaard fanned 11 over 5 ⅓ innings in a no-decision… Ian Desmond belted a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning to beat the Nationals… Bryce Harper clobbered his league-leading seventh home run in a losing effort… Wade Davis earned his seventh save with a scoreless ninth inning against the Nats… Charlie Blackmon clubbed his sixth home run in that victory… Carlos Martinez struck out 11 while scattering two hits over seven scoreless innings in a victory over the Reds… Clayton Kershaw racked up 12 strikeouts over seven innings of one-run ball in a win against the Diamondbacks… Christian Villanueva mashed his fifth long ball as the Padres beat the Giants… Jose Pirela went 3-for-3 with three runs, three RBI and a stolen base in that victory.