Reds' prospect Billy Hamilton stole 3 bases on Wednesday night, making it 131 on the season. If you follow TheFantasyFix on Twitter – and if you don't you're stipod – you have heard plenty about Hamilton's speed throughout this season.
Strangely, as I write this at 10pm west coast, there is still no mention of Hamilton, but it's probably just because Alan passed out when he read about the three more steals and every drop of blood in his body rushed to his boner.
Anyways, Hamilton is the fastest guy in baseball and since we all have speed on the brain as the Olympics plod along, I naturally started to wonder how Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, would fare as a specialist, pinch runner in the Majors. Couldn't the Red Sox toss Bolt a few million a season to be Dave Roberts with a nitrous tank? Then the Yankees could counter by shaving a cheetah, throwing some pinstripes on him and hiding some cat food under second base.
According to this article, Bolt's fastest timed 20 meters was 1.61 seconds. 20 meters equals 65 feet, so not quite a stolen base, but at that rate Bolt could get from first to second in 2.23 seconds. Of course that ignores the fact that a team would be paying money to a guy that can't get on base himself and wasting a 25 man spot on him in the process.
Not to mention, I googled Bolt's net worth, thinking maybe a few million would entice him, only to find out that Puma has made him very rich and I'm an idiot. Still, who wouldn't want to see Usain Bolt stealing bases? You'd have to assume, once he learned to read pickoff attempts and pitch outs, he'd be unstoppable. I wish Steinbrenner was still alive.
2012's surprise teams continued to win on Wednesday night. The Pirates held on to a 7-6 lead, to beat the Diamondback's, led by Neil Walker's 2 for 4, 1 HR, 5 RBI night. Starling Marte hit his 4th home run on the season and he has a .528 slugging percentage, which helps ease the horror of his .298 OBP. Oakland beat the Angels 9-8, with Ryan Cook recording the save, but also allowing 2 earned runs in the 9th inning after allowing 4 earned over his last two appearances. It was a team effort offensively for the A's, while the Angels also had lively bats, with 4 homers in the game, two from Kendrys Morales and one from Trumbo, his 29th on the season.
Baltimore beat Seattle 9-2, thanks to a 6 IP, 9 K, 2 ER, performance from Steve Johnson, in his first Major League start and only second appearance on the season. Matt Wieters was 2 for 5, with 2 HR and 5 RBI on the day. The Pirates are 63-47 and currently hold the second wild card spot in the National League. The A's and Orioles are both 60-51 and tied with Detroit as the three wild card leaders in the American League.
The Orioles also called up Manny Machado from double A on Wednesday. Machado will see the majority of his playing time at third base and figures to earn eligibility there as long as he hits enough to keep the job. Machado was at .266/.350/.431 with a .358 wOBA in 455 plate appearances on the season.
Giancarlo Stanton took Tuesday to get his Major league level battting eye and then exploded on Wednesday with a 4 for 5, 4 RBI, 2 HR night in the Marlins' 13-0 spanking of the Mets. Jose Reyes played, despite jamming his hand on Tuesday and hit a homer in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 26 games. Nate Eovaldi picked up the win for the Marlins, despite issuing 6 walks in his 5 innings pitched.
Speaking of beatdowns, the Giants worked the Cardinals to the tune of 15-0. Marco Scutaro led the way, channeling his inner Frank Thomas and knocking in 7 RBIs on the day, capped by a 9th inning grand slam.
Clayton Richard has a 3.46 ERA and 3.83 xFIP at Petco Park and a 4.45 ERA and 4.16 xFIP on the road. The Cubs have scored the 4th fewest runs on the road this season. Take a guess at what happened when Richard faced the Cubs in Petco on Wednesday night. Did you guess a complete game, 5 K, shutout? You did? Well I'll just have to tell your Mom that you're not as dumb as she says you are then. The Padres won 2-0, but nobody really cared either way, they were just happy to be playing the game they love for a living.
The Yankees beat the Tigers, 12-8, knocking Anibal Sanchez around for 7 earned runs. Sanchez would be wise to sign with an NL team this offseason, as he's 1-2 with a 7.80 ERA after returning to the AL. Curtis Granderson hit his 30th homer on the season for the Yankees, going 3 for 5, with 4 RBI and 2 runs.
Matchup of the Day:
J.J. Hardy has a .280 avg. and .908 OPS with 2 HR over his last 7 games. The Orioles face Kansas City's 6.00 ERA, 4.70 xFIP, 5.54 K/9 Will Smith on Thursday.
Written by Ryan Coombs exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. Follow Ryan on Twitter @RMCoombs.
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