Weekly Hit Ground Ball: Colon, Miller and a Windy City World Series

WHGB11Many of us in the UK have been treated to a weekend of glorious weather, so this week’s column will be short and to the point on three stories that caught my eye from Saturday’s games.

Bartolo Colon hit a home run

The pro-DH/anti-DH arguments are well known and many are firmly set in their position. For some people, the many wasted plate appearances of pitchers without much of a clue or hope with a bat in their hands just add up to too much to make the occasional bright spot worthwhile.

Not for me. Let’s be honest, there are a significant minority of position players in the Majors right now who aren’t much to write about with the bat so creating an extra 15 batting positions (i.e. all 15 NL teams adding an extra hitter to replace the pitcher) every day won’t lead to 15 more stars being created.

I am quite happy to live with aimless at-bats when it leads to occasional moments like this …

Shelby Miller won a game

I’ve cursed this man’s name many times over the past month having ignored my gut feeling and drafted him on my BGB Fantasy League team. Miller hasn’t just been disappointing considering what the D-Backs gave up in the trade to acquire him, he has been terrible on any measure.

The Yahoo fantasy competition had regularly been publishing notes of ‘x’ number of managers having dropped Miller, but I felt like if I was going to drop him after a few bad games, I should never have drafted him. That’s not to claim this is disciplined fantasy management in action – quite the opposite, I’ve been blindly hoping he will come good out of a combination of stubbornness and desperation – yet I had chosen my path and I was going to keep going down the road until I really had no choice but to call it a dead end.

Miller’s scheduled start on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, his former team, was the moment of truth. If he couldn’t look vaguely useful against this current Braves batting lineup then I’d be left with little choice. Maybe it was the pressure of potentially being dropped from my Cheddar Chasers that inspired him, maybe not; either way his 6 innings pitched with 4 hits and 2 runs allowed meant he finally contributed something positive.

The 2 walks to 1 strike-out don’t bode so well for this continuing, but he’s earned another week on my team at least.

A Windy City World Series?

That the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals again to move to 23-6 wasn’t much of a surprise as Joe Maddon’s men are playing exceptionally well.

It’s the way that the White Sox are continuing to confound predictions that is really standing out. Chris Sale moved to 7-0 by mowing down Minnesota in a 7-2 victory on Saturday, leading his team to a 21-10 record.

Few people saw the White Sox’s emergence coming and the doubts around them may prove to be valid; however for now it’s fun to imagine a World Series between the two Chicago teams.

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