It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 25, which means it’s time to talk about seven innings. Not the full nine innings. Not five innings when games become official. Seven innings. Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings today. He did not allow a hit. He did not walk anyone. However, he did not throw a no-hitter. That might be obvious, but he did pitch the full scheduled length of the game. It’s not Bumgarner’s fault he could not pitch more, it’s the MLB’s fault. Today was not the first “no-hitter” where a pitcher pitched the entire scheduled length, which was under 9 innings, while allowing no hits. It’s happened three times before, most recently in 1907. In the century since, the sport had progressed setting a standard game length. That’s for consistency, which is how you make records matter. Too bad baseball’s leadership doesn’t care about records. Just money, like always.
Adolis Garcia has taken the baseball world by storm. Much like Yermin Mercedes before him, Garcia has emerged from the depths of baseball at age 28 to become a fantasy-relevant player. He only went 1 for 4 today with a single and RBI, but his full-season numbers are far more impressive. Including today, he’s played in 12 games and delivered five HRs. Yes, the on-base percentage hovering below .300 is not a positive long-term sign, but enjoy the ride. Garcia should be rostered everywhere while this hot streak is going, then cut bait when things come back to earth. Riding hot streaks can be the difference between full-season winning or losing. Get Garcia on your roster.
Entering today, Kohei Arihara was shaping up to be the next great underhyped import. His past two starts featured 11.1 scoreless innings with 2 wins and 11 strikeouts. Today’s start featured 2.0 innings with 0 strikeouts and 5 earned runs. He allowed 10 combined walks and hits. This was a disastrous start by any measure, especially when there was so much optimism entering the game. Critics will point out it was a start in Chicago and the White Sox are no slouch. I’m here to point out that Arihara was on the cusp of being an every outing starter. That point might have been wrong, and he certainly isn’t anywhere near the circle of trust anymore.
Eduardo Rodriguez picked up his fourth win in as many starts. He’s averaging 10.17 strikeouts per 9 innings. He’s allowed 20 combined hits and walks over 23.0 innings. Rodriguez had a lost year in 2020 due to Covid and its very real side effects. He’s more than making up for it in 2021. If the Red Sox are going to be a contender all season Eduardo will need to pitch like this all season. I’m projecting the Red Sox to be a contender all season, so you do the math. Get Eduardo on your roster. He might not win 32 games but he’s going to help managers win leagues.
Patrick Corbin is still Patrick Corbin. That means he does not belong anywhere near a fantasy roster, as he gave up 4 runs in 4.0 innings in New York today. Corbin is a fantasy afterthought yet he’s owned in nearly 75% of leagues today. It is understandable managers do not want to overreact to small sample size, but that’s not Corbin. He was awful in 2020. He is awful in 2021. Starters age and become irrelevant. Corbin has aged and become irrelevant He absolutely belongs in the Not category tonight. He also absolutely belongs Not on your roster. Get him off, this might be your final warning. I can’t keep writing this article every 5 days.
The Emilio Bonifacio Award
Whit Merrifield went 2 for 5 with a run, RBI, and two steals. A true multi-positional start, Whit has belonged on the all underrated team for seemingly his entire career. Emilio would be proud of this performance. Elite production everywhere outside of HR, Whit is constantly undersold. Power is the easiest stat to find in modern fantasy, so making up for what Whit lacks is not difficult. The running theme is 2B is a wasteland, and with that being true, Whit is an elite 2B option. He can play outfield too, but Whit is a clear top 5 2B. This paragraph was essentially just Whit Merrifield propaganda, but that’s what this whole article is, right?
The James Shields Award
Madison Bumgarner, Logan Webb, Taijuan Walker, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jack Flaherty, Zac Gallen, Jesus Luzardo, and John Means all won a Shields today. We’ve already discussed Madbum and E-Rod, so let’s dig into the others. Webb entered today with -0.3 bWAR yet spun a gem in Miami. Luzardo now has 13.1 straight scoreless innings. Gallen has struck out at least 6 in every start. Means has now allowed 1 or fewer runs in 4 of 5 starts. Flaherty looks everything like the fringe Cy Young candidate he should be. Walker has a quality start in 3 of 4 outings with a 9.86 K/9. These are small tidbits for each starter, but they all have strong buying signs outside of Webb. All of these guys have enough yellow flags to suggest their price might be too low in your league. Try and acquire all of them, they all should have sustained success.
The Brad Lidge Award
Brusdar Graterol entered tonight’s inter-division contest with the Padres with a 13.50 ERA and 4.50 WHIP over one game and 0.2 innings. He left tonight’s game with an in-game ERA of 54.00 and WHIP of 6.00. Graterol now has two Lidge’s in his two appearances, so yeah, his season is not off to a good start. The Dodgers are an elite baseball team and possibly the only one that will make Graterol solve his issues in the minor leagues. He is miles away from fantasy relevance despite looking like the closer in waiting last year. It’s rare you can punt a guy to the curb for one inning, but this is LA, they won’t wait.
The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. Seven inning baseball is baseball. Seven inning baseball is just not professional baseball. The elite perfrom at the highest level. The highest level is nine innings. This should be unstated, but baseball continually eroding away, so we have to speak up. The regular season is just a warm-up for the postseason. We can’t have games for their full length since we have to have all players ready for the playoffs. It’s a sham. The greatness that is baseball’s regular season is just turning into the same regular-season farce that is the NBA. It’s disgusting, and ownership actively wants it. They pay players based on the regular season, so why not devalue the regular season and just create a new regular season, the post-season. It’s just fucking awful. The only way to save baseball is to get upset about it and take our sport back.