How many times have you gone to the Ballpark and watched a game with your favorite team when they are opposed by a pitcher or hitters on your fantasy team? It happens all the time. When I am watching a pitcher on my team live at the Ballpark it is not usually good news. If they escape with less than 5ER or even a win, it is a blessing because balls fly out of the Ballpark.
Last night one of my pitchers, Joe Blanton, faced Kevin Millwood and the Rangers. Through 5 innings it was a 1-0 game – a very rare situation. Both pitchers were being squeezed by the umpire in my opinion but neither team could get a clutch hit.
In the 6th, C.J. Wilson relieved Millwood and immediately surrendered a two run shot to Nick Swisher (also my guy). Was I happy about the Swisher 2 run jack? It put the Rangers down 2-1 at the time. It gave my starter the lead when he had at best 2 innings left and it also got a HR for my hitter. OK, I’ll admit that I wasn’t totally ticked off when Swisher crushed it. Then Chavez followed with a jet stream aided HR to right center. The Rangers answered with one run, but Barajas grounded into an inning ending double play with first and third. After Blanton gets out of the 6th, he is yanked after throwing about 110 pitches.
For the remainder of the game do I root for the Rangers to come back or do I hope to get the win? If the score gets tied, I become a total Ranger fan. If it doesn’t get tied, well……..I’m not so much a Ranger fan. Normally a one run lead with 3 innings to go isn’t safe, particularly with the weak hitting A’s and their bullpen lacking Huston Street. However the A’s pen holds the Rangers in check. When Marco Scutaro throws a ball in the dirt on the game’s potential final out, causing Young to reach on an error, bringing Tex to the plate as the winning run, am I supposed to be happy? When he lines out to left to end the game was this a good thing?
If I were just a Ranger fan, last night would have totally made me mad, but because of fantasy baseball it was a bittersweet victory / loss depending on your point of view.
Typical Ballpark Game
Four of the five runs were scored on home runs. I don’t know the percentage, but the Ballpark probably leads the league in that percentage.
A’s Lineup is Weak
Other than Swisher and Chavez, this whole team is off to a slow start. The last 4 hitters in last night’s order were at or below the Mendoza line (Ellis, Johnson, Kendall and Perez / Scutaro). Frank Thomas looks like he is done and Milton Bradley didn’t show much. This team is really in trouble if it can’t hit better than they have shown so far. The lineup looks better with Crosby in it, but he has also been hurt / off to a slow start. Pitchers should be salivating for a chance to pitch against the A’s, particularly if they are playing in Oakland’s cavernous stadium.