Week 1 Fantasy Recap – Buerhle Full Of Win!

Uptown Ham Fighters – 12 Team Mixed Keeper 6×6 Head to Head League

FULL OF WIN!

Ham Fighters defeat the hated Jamaica Beef Pattie in a championship rematch from last season. Final score for the week: 7 – 5

Josh Willingham really needs a III after his name. It makes him sound like a 19th century railroad tycoon. If he keeps hitting like he has this week, he’s going to be a very wealthy man come this off-season. The Nationals leftfielder posted an 8/19 line 2 runs scored, a homer, seven RBI and even a stolen base. Add that together with 5 walks and only 2 K’s and you’ve got serious production from a late pick. I got him in the 20th round. Not bad for a guy who I could see exceeding a line of 75R/25 HR/90 RBI/5SB/.265/.370 with regular playing time. Lets just hope he stays healthy, because guys like him win leagues.

Mark Buerhle’s week perfectly illustrates why I love him as a back end guy for my rotation. There’s a lot to be said for guys that will go deep into games on a consistent basis. I just used the words back-end and deep in consecutive sentences. Shows you where my mind’s at.

In his first win against the Cleveland Steamers, he went seven scoreless, allowing only three hits and a lone walk, while striking out three. This afternoon’s start against The Twins may have been more impressive for the way he worked through trouble and eeked out a win. While he allowed four earned runs before the third inning was over, Buerhle buckled down and quieted the Minnesota bats the rest of the way, allowing his team to stay in the game. After pitching his final inning, The Pale Ho’s laced together three straight, two-out hits to pull ahead and eventually go on to win the game.

Bottom line is Buerhle is an efficient, control pitcher, who doesn’t get blown out. He doesn’t miss bats, but he generates groundballs. Sometimes the hits will fall in, but since he doesn’t walk people, he can minimize damage. I know stat-heads ignore the W, but in an age where almost everyone’s on a pitch count, Buerhle’s value is a rare find for an end-game fantasy starter, particularly in H2H leagues. Buerhle finished the week with a line of: 2W/4K/2.40ERA/0.93 WHIP/1QS in 15 innings of work. Buerhle consistently stabilizes ERA and WHIP and keeps you in those categories, when some of your other pitchers throw up stinkers.

Jon Rausch was off and running in his first week of work as the new Twins closer. Saving all of his first four opportunities, Rausch allowed only one run and struck out four. The Twins will give Rausch plenty of save chances, so if he can continue his success, he can be this year’s Ryan Franklin for The 2010 Ham Fighters.

Nelson Cruz waved a mighty boom-stick on opening week. With a 6R/4HR/9RBI/.450/.520 line, my born namesake delivered for both of my teams. You can say I’m a little excited about him. A full season could vault the Texas outfielder into the conversation about the game’s elite OF producers.

100% FAIL!

Streaming two start pitchers is a lot like smoking crack cocaine. They’re cheap and accessible and you get that first hit and everything’s awesome! Your team won a category or two for the week  and you cruised to a win but you then realize what you did was stupid and risky since the second start was against a pretty good hitting team but wasn’t it awesome to see that guy throw two nice games and win those categories? shit Vincente Padilla‘s going against The Bucco’s and ‘Zona and LA should be pretty good this year and you hit ‘submit’ and you turn on the TV in a cold sweat because you’re close in W, ERA and WHIP going into his second start and… BAM! THWAP! POW!

You’re hawking your TV because you made a side bet on the week and you lost, because Padilla blew up your ratios, like the hand that you slammed into the wall that you thought was sheet rock, but was actually brick. Now you’re going to the E.R. and your wife’s filing for divorce. Aren’t you glad you picked up Padilla now? I’m not going to get preachy. You’re an adult. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Harlem Hangovers – 15 Team Mixed 5×5 OBP Roto League

The Hangovers finish the week in 2nd place, 3 points behind The Peterborough Jays. Pretty good and could have been much better with a little luck. In spite of leading the league in WHIP, Harlem pitchers have yet to post a win! So far so good.

DOUBLE HAPPINESS

I doubled up on Nelson Cruz. He’s very good at hitting the baseball hard. See above.

Whaddaya know Robby Cano has come out of the gate swinging! In action against The Sawk and Rays, Cano posted a .370 OBP with 5 runs, 2HR and 6RBI. Hitting fifth in the Yankee lineup, I can see Cano easily cracking his career high of 96RBI.

The Great FraGu, Frankie Gutierrez was almost as hard to get out last week as Cruz, posting a 3/0/2/2/.483 line for The Mariners. A solid all around producer, Gutierrez could be one of the steals of my auction at the $6 I got him for.

Shawn Marcum returned from the land of the lost to claim the opening day start for the woeful Blue Jays. All Marcum did was flirt with a no-hitter against the potent Texas lineup, then follow it up with another solid start, netting a total of 11K’s in 13 innings with a 3.46 ERA and a tidy 0.92 WHIP. Pretty nice for $3. Marcum has shown considerable skills in the past, but I’m not sure if I’m buying. Having to face AL East batters is one of the harder ways to make a living in baseball, so the deck is certainly stacked against the Toronto hurler. Today I offered him and either Austin Jackson or Cameron Maybin to another owner for red-hot Pirate bopper, Garret Jones. The other guy didn’t bite. Hopefully Marcum can continue his early success.

HARVESTERS OF SORROW

Mark Texiera went 3 for 24 this week, getting on base at a scant .274 clip. He still managed 5 runs and 3RBI but I expect a lot more out of the Yankee slugger. Tex started off slowly last season and went on to win MVP, so I ain’t scurred.

Universally hated A.J. Pierzynski went 5 for 22 and didn’t walk once, while scoring only once. He’s a $4 catcher, so I can’t get bummed, but it would be nice if The South Siders got their bats going, so at least AJP can get a few RBI.

Dishonorable mention: Miguel Montero started off the week on fire. He ended the week on the DL with a torn meniscus in his knee that will require surgery. I had high hopes for Miggy in 2010, but it looks like he’ll be on the shelf for most, if not all, of the season. I’ve already dumped him for his understudy, Chris Snyder. Snyder came out of the gate smoking (along with the rest of the D-Back bats with a 13 run 4th inning!) with a HR and 5 RBI. Of course he wasn’t in my lineup yet. Sadness.

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