Playoff Week 2 recap

Only two teams left!

The intro...

Well here we are. It's the last week of the fantasy baseball season and just two teams remain. PIGS. NANCIES. A tussle of the titans. A battle for the big benjamins. THE MOTHERFUCKING FINALS. And I couldn't be more excited, because my team is one of em. I don't know you Niko, but your fandom of the Mariners is as equally misguided and ill-fated as mine is of the Padres, so maybe us being in the finals is a little payback from the baseball gods for suffering through so many shitty years with those teams.

As for this past week's matchups, I nearly pooped my pants several different times while trying to hold onto my slim lead over Pete, while I also got dizzy trying to follow the back-and-forth battle between Jesse and Niko. Too much to cover in a couple paragraphs, so let's go to the day-by-day recaps to see how this all went down.

Jesse vs. Niko

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Day-by-day recap

MONDAY (Jesse jumps ahead 8-1)

Highlights: Jesse started out bringing the big stick to this battle. Three homers on the opening day -- Goldschmidt, Trumbo and Alexei Ramirez, whose bomb came amid a 4-for-4 day. The Ducks also got a great start and win from waiver wire pickup Rick Porcello, and against the Mariners no less. That had to bust Niko's balls. For the Nancies, Wil Myers continued his strong rookie season with a homer and 3 RBI, while another rookie, Kole Calhoun, added three more RBI.

Lowlights: The Braves-Nationals game got postponed for a day because of the bastard that shot and killed all those people at the Navy Yard in DC. It's crazy and shitty how a story like that is barely a big thing anymore since it happens all the time.

TUESDAY (Jesse's lead shrinks a bit to 6-3)

Highlights: The Tacos grew their lead in average thanks to a .300-plus day, as well as strikeouts thanks to 10 from Anibal Sanchez. For Niko, Evan Gattis had a two-run bomb, while Zack Greinke (former Taco!) picked up yet another win in his big second half of the season.

Lowlights: Craig Kimbrel blew absolute donkey dong, giving up three runs in the ninth. Jeff Locke isn't good anymore and got knocked around by the Padres. Jesse also benched Hanley, who has been dealing with some back issues, only to have him score three runs. The Nancies had a shitty start from Zack Wheeler and also fell waaaay off the pace in average due to a putrid .159 mark on the day.

WEDNESDAY (Jesse's lead shrinks some more to 4-3)

Highlights: Niko's Nancies stormed back thanks to a nice day on offense (homers from Big Papi and Giancarlo) and a win from his Mariner guy Iwakuma. Jesse had a homer from Goldschmidt, his second of the week, added two saves and had a nice streaming pitcher pickup of Tyler Thornburg, who had a shutout win against the Cubs.

Lowlights: Jesse had another closer shit the bed, with Joe Nathan blowing a save against the Rays. Edward Mujica tried to blow one too but got out of a bases-loaded jam. It wouldn't be Mujica's last problem though...

THURSDAY (Jesse gets some breathing room, goes up 6-3)

Highlights: Hanley Ramirez came up clutch for the Ducks with a two-homer game while Gio Gonzalez had a good start and win. Niko had a spectacular streaming start from Gerrit Cole with a 12-K win, as well as a somewhat ugly win from Doug Fister, who at least had 10 strikeouts for his troubles.

Lowlights: Niko's batters hit like, well, a bunch of Nancies with a sub-.200 average on the day. Niko's Mariners love went a bit too far too with the perplexing pickup of James Paxton in a horrible matchup against the Tigers (when he already had Fister!). Predictably, they knocked him around in a loss. Luckily for Niko, his sleeper agent Edward Mujica -- who he traded to Jesse mid-season -- continued sucking ass with a blown save after the near-blowing the previous night.

FRIDAY (Jesse's breathing room goes bye-bye, chokes away lead, Niko up 6-4)

Highlights: Jordan Zimmermann had a shutout win for the Ducks, who also got Paul Goldschmidt's third homer of the week. Dude's a beast. Bartolo Colon gave the Nancies a much-needed win, while Aroldis Chapman got a go-ahead save.

Lowlights: Edward Mujica blew it. AGAIN. Shitty for the third day in a row, Mujica cost Jesse yet another save. An ex-Padre choking in the clutch? WHO'D HAVE THUNK IT??? Luckily for Jesse, Niko's offense didn't really do shit on offense, leaving several categories still up for grabs as these two went into the weekend.

SATURDAY (Jesse strikes back! Ducks retake lead 5-2)

Highlights: I took a good long look at Kazmir before choosing another streaming starter for Saturday, and Jesse's lucky ass snagged him for a huge 10-K shutout and win for the Ducks. He also got a category-tying save from Joe Nathan.

Lowlights: These offenses today were...well they were something. What's the word I'm looking for? Help me out here, Clay Davis. SHEEEEEEIT. Jesse had a .143 average for the day and actually increased his lead in that stat!!! Niko had a sad lonely RBI, though I guess he did have a few guys who got rained out, but that's still awful. Nevertheless, despite Jesse's lead, this battle was pretty much a coin flip going into the final day with SIX of the 10 stats still up for grabs. So who grabbed them and got to the finals?

SUNDAY (Niko comes through in the clutch, wins 4-3!)

Highlights: Wow, what a crazy back-and-forth battle! Niko took Jesse down with three clutch homers, including the second of the week from Giancarlo Stanton. I long ago declared the swap that sent Stanton to the Nancies as a trade rape, but I have to rescind that since he's helped Niko win his first two playoff rounds. His Mariners love also paid off with a category-tying save from Danny Farquhar, while King Felix had 10 K's in a no-decision.

Lowlights: It's gotta sting for Jesse to go out like this since he had a pretty good week both offensively and on the mound (108 K's!!!), but just fell a tiny bit short. His whole season came down to Cardinals youngster Joe Kelly in the night game, but Kelly couldn't come through with a win. The Ducks also would have had more saves if another Cardinal, Mujica, didn't blow it so bad this week, so that aforementioned trade (which sent Greinke to the Nancies), probably ends up as the #1 trade rape of the year for how it affected the playoffs. What an upset.

Dan vs. Pete

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Day-by-day recap

MONDAY (I take the lead 5-1)

Highlights: My first start of the week was a perfect game through six innings. Of course, since he's a Padre, Andrew Cashner gave up a hit in the seventh, but promptly got a double play and didn't allow another baserunner. Not bad! For Pete, his offense started out hot with a .444 average, including two runs and an RBI from Sal Perez.

Lowlights: Matt Garza took a steaming dump in his pants for the Yoenises with a double-digit ERA, while neither of us could put up much in the counting numbers despite good averages.

TUESDAY (I keep my lead, 6-2)

Highlights: I got another shutout win, this time from Mike Leake, and homers from Pedroia and Carlos Gomez. Pete kept pace with the 51st homer from cheatin' Chris Davis and one from Aaron Hill.

Lowlights: Pete's awful roster management left him stuck with Edwin Encarnacion (out for the year injured) in his starting lineup with no available substitute who wasn't also injured. He could've put Matt freakin' Kemp in there if he had taken him off the DL a day earlier, but didn't and Kemp got 3 RBIs for the Yoenises' bench. He then panicked and DROPPED Kemp for an unknown reason! Kudos to you sir. Also, my guy Villar had this happen to him. #BUTTTAG

WEDNESDAY (My collar tightens as my lead shrinks to 5-3)

Highlights: Pete somehow managed double-digit RBI on the day despite hitting for an average barely above .200. Two of his Oakland doods each had two-run bombs (including Coco's ridiculous 20th (!) homer of the year). I added to my wins lead with one from Wainwright and my saves lead with two from Perkins and Street.

Lowlights: The only reason Street got a save chance for me was because Pete's guy Melancon gave up four hits and two runs to my Padres in the 9th. Awesome. Unfortunately I let Pete creep closer because my offense was an abomination, hitting a mere .171 with barely any counting stats.

THURSDAY (My sphincters also start to tighten, lead shrinks further to 5-4)

Highlights: Pete got a 10-K win from Madison Bumgarner and was a bit unlucky to not get the win out of a nice start from Dan Straily. It was similarly unfortunate that I picked up Niese to go against MadBum and was victimized by the Mets' shitty offense despite a solid outing. On offense, Tulo, Pedro Alvarez and Coco (his 21st!!!!) added to the Show-Me's HR and RBI leads. I was REEEEEALLY sick of Coco's shit.

Lowlights: My whole team was really head-slappingly bad today. I gave up ground in several categories thanks to a sooper shitty Ricky Nolasco start and a jawdropping .152 average (even worse than Wednesday)!

FRIDAY (Everything is tight, it's tied 5-5 but I have the tiebreaker)

Highlights: By about Wednesday, I realized that if I kept the sweep in the pitching stats then I'd win since I had the tiebreaker, so focused all my attention there. Zach McAllister got a streaming win (though only with three K's), while Jon Lester got a win with 8 K's. Pete put some distance between us in the offensive stats with steals from Hamilton and Chris Davis and homers from Yoenis (of fucking course) and Tulo.

Lowlights: Kevin Gregg is fucking done. I tossed his ass to the curb after a 4-run meltdown. Mark Melancon similarly fell apart, giving up a 3-run lead in a crucial save opportunity for Pete. Daddy likey! The fact that I was happy that I finally hit above .200 this day and only finally reached double-digit RBI on Friday means my offense is fucking HORRIBLE.

SATURDAY (Still 5-5, I'm holding on for dear life here)

Highlights: Sweet baby Jesus, things were getting tense here, with texts flying back and forth at a ridiculous rate between Pete and I. With Pete needing to win just one pitching stat to have a chance to win, he started four guys and had three really good starts to drastically lower his ERA and WHIP and get a chance to catch me in K's. Of course, his lone shitty start was the only one that got the win, while I pretty much put that category out of reach with a win by Lance Lynn and got 9 crucial K's from Porcello.

Lowlights: Just look at my fucking offense. Not a single run, RBI or steal the whole day!!!! Has that even been done before with a full lineup of guys? The mind boggles.

SUNDAY (I exhale after winning 6-4, see ya later Pete)

Highlights: The part when I eliminated Pete was pretty neat. After a whole week of keeping his shit somewhat together, Pete got too nervous, drank too much Saturday night and forgot to put in his streaming pitcher today. Just a total meltdown. As a result, Andy Pettitte did enough to clinch the pitching stats for me and punch my ticket to the finals. As a cherry on top, I got enough steals to pass Pete's bitchass and win this thing straight-up without a need for tiebreakers.

Lowlights: It's silly enough that I have to mention it again...Pete went to the trouble of adding one last pitcher today to try to come back, then was too drunk and lazy to just put him into his lineup. What a tool. It didn't end up making a difference because I would have won anyways, but Pete will not live this down anytime soon. I HAVE AVENGED LAST YEAR. Fucking beat it, hobo. CAW CAW CAW.

Eliot vs. Aaron

Eliot fucking smoked Aaron in the fifth-place game, and would have absolutely destroyed me if he had just paid attention and beat Pete last week. 48 RBI? .299 average? Sub-2.00 ERA? I really dodged a bullet there.


Delta Duck Tacos (Jesse)

Was it Jesse's slacking in the last weeks of the regular season that angered the fantasy gods? Or are said gods just fickle and decided to smite his ass for no particular reason? I guess we'll never know, but it was one-and-done for the Tacos, the best team in the league for pretty much the whole year. Jesse didn't even have a bad week, just ran into the wrong team at the wrong time. Thems be the breaks. Looking at his draft, it's hard to believe that the Ducks were so dominant since he whiffed on a lot of his top picks...Cano was always highly questionable at #1, Verlander had a super shitty year for a second-round pick, Cespedes disappointed all year and finally picked it up AFTER Jesse dumped him a few weeks ago, etc. However, it was his mid- to late-round guys that killed it (Goldschmidt in the 6th round, Yadier in the 10th, Matt Harvey in the 19th!!!), as well as waiver pickups like Manny Machado. It was losing guys like Harvey and Jose Bautista to injury late in the year though that started the descent toward this early exit. Oh well...I'm happy to avoid playing the Ducks in the finals. I beat Jesse in all three regular season matchups, but have no doubt he would have smoked me in the championship. Sorry friend...better luck next year.

Show Me Yoenis (Pete)

Pete referred to this league as "bush league" and thought the league he's commissioner of was soooooooo much better, so he claimed to barely pay attention at the start of the year and auto-drafted his team of bitchasses. Luckily for him, the compubots picked a decent squad that kept the Yoenises in third place for much of the year. It wasn't until Pete actually started to pay attention later in the season that his team started to suck, taking a downhill turn to the sixth and last playoff seed. Pete truly has the anti-Midas touch...everything he touches turns to shit. Somehow, the Yoenises upset Eliot's dudes in the opening round, but then shot themselves in the dick at every crucial moment during the semis this week, including self-inflicted wounds like binge drinking and forgetting to set your lineup on the last day. To add insult to injury, Pete lost in the semis of his other league too on the last day this week, leaving him in this state of mind on Sunday afternoon. Enjoy the offseason, you absolute boner.


For alllllll the marbles (except the 40 2nd place marbles)

DAN VS. NIKO (previous matchups: Dan 5-4, Dan 6-3, Niko 7-3, tied so we go to the SECOND tiebreaker, which is higher playoff seed, so DAN wins the tiebreaker)

Well ain't that some shit. We finished exactly tied in the season series at 14-14-2 against each other, so there's not much to glean from our past battles except that we're very evenly matched. However, those previous matchups were when my offense was actually halfway decent. It fucking BLOWS lately, and is likely to be a major liability in this finals. Luckily for me, Niko's offense has been problematic all year (according to my earlier rotisserie rankings, the Nancies had the second-worst hitting, ahead of only Sean's shitshow), so that could end up a draw. Niko's been much better on the mound (he had the top pitching in that rotisserie ranking), so my pitchers are going to have to bring their A game if they want the 'ship. I have zero faith in my team right now since I kind of fell ass-backwards into the championship thanks to Pete cheddar-bobbing himself, but can't in good faith predict the other team to win with all the munz on the line. I'm fucking taking this down. Prediction: Dan, 6-3.

Last Harbinger of Your Wasted Time

Fantasy football update

I moved to 2-1 with a blowout win this week, while Jesse got his first win of the year to take a little of the sting out of his baseball defeat. Aaron is still looking for his first win and needs 8 points from Julius Thomas in the MNF game to get it, while Oscar will probably lose again, but at least he finally took Gronk out of his starting lineup! Baby steps.

Alright, until next week...