Sometimes, when it comes time to watch a ballgame, I find myself resorting to my infancy. Since I am indeed growing older, and since for some odd karmic reason as humans age, we revert to much of the form and needs that we had when we first arrived on planet Earth.
Specifically, if you have ever played with a baby--one old enough to play peek-a-boo, that is--remember how it was easy to feign disappearing by simply covering one's eyes.
I always thought of that as a sort of silly variation of playing god, but really I always associate said silliness with watching my fantasy pitchers, in particular.
Every year it seems, I need to be reminded that whenever--and I mean whenever--I turn on the tube to watch one of my pitchers, it is trouble. I know this is stupid, and as specious an argument as saying hot streaks should be factored into selecting a DFS player.
Except that sometimes, at the right time, that hunch player comes through. Of course, we do have to remember a big day is an isolated incident in the scheme of a true pattern of statistics a player might accumulate. But, similarly for most of us, a hot streak is almost impossible to ignore.
So, it only makes sense that when I turned on the Yankees and Red Sox on Sunday evening, I felt good about David Price going against Nathan Eovaldi, both of whom are members of my A.L. Tout Wars rotation.
Aside from the fun of a New York/Boston game, which is always full of fun and drama and hijinks, Price was coming off his best start of the year after striking out 14 Braves while Eovaldi had just twirled seven no-hit innings against the Rangers. I was anticipating a nice 2-1 game where each hurler bagged 10 whiffs and maybe I could squeeze a win.
If you watched, however, you know that both pitchers struggled over 12 aggregate innings (seven for Price, five for Eovaldi), allowing 12 runs, 18 hits and four walks with six whiffs. Somehow through providence, Price wound up with a victory, but the pair donated a WHIP of 1.83 to go with an ERA of 9.00.
I did start watching, and as soon as the game went awry for Eovaldi, I turned to Adult Swim, but during commercials and moments of inconsistent self-control, the game would re-appear and pow, as soon as I watched, something bad would happen.
Just this year I can think of a half-dozen like-situations, like Kendall Graveman, who was cruising his first three starts, with a win, a loss and a no-decision. But in the two starts where I challenged the rules of the universe and watched? How about 11 innings, 20 hits and ten runs.
Again, not only do I know this is stupid to think my detached watching of a quasi cathode ray tube could have much effect upon anything other than my brain's continued deterioration, but when I watch, it doesn't feel that way. And, as soon as I throw up my hands, after an untimely extra-base hit, and sigh "why do I watch my players?", Diane laughs and says, "Yes, you did that. Now end world hunger and all wars next, please."
I know she is right. Really, I know all of you who are laughing at my National Enquirer logic are laughing too. Ok.
Just answer this for me: When I turned on Sonny Gray Tuesday evening, the game was just through a pair of innings, and Sonny had just retired Ketel Marte when Steve Clevenger singled on the first pitch I saw. Before I could draw a glass of water, Leonys Martin smacked a two-run homer.
Say what you will. I am staying away for the good of the team.
Feel free to comment below, and you can always hit me up @lawrmichaels.