Speaking of ouch...
Well, I can't say anything more about the ugliness of the Titans today. Too many injuries, too many bad defensive plays, more overthrowing, and so forth. I watched this game with about as much interest as I watched the Tennessee/Washington game a few years ago when the Titans started 1-4. I was beginning to just settle for the fact that they suck.
I made a clear mistake today in fantasy baseball, although the logic was sound. I picked up two pitchers for the final day: AJ Burnett and Paul Byrd. My attempt was to knock my ERA down, alongside strikeout machine Oliver Perez for the Pirates (who I hoped would allow me to keep my slim K lead). Paul Byrd, I figured, against a non-hitting, nothing-to-hope-for Cubs team, would get me solid innings on the way to trumping an ERA deficit mere percentage points behind. He blew up. 9 runs in 4 innings. Against Burnett, who didn't start but pitched 2 scoreless innings and Perez, who pitched 6 scoreless, that ruined my shot. Absolutely killed it. With no Byrd, I have a total shot (Mike's Brandon Webb gave up 1 run in 6--it would have been interesting to see the final tally). Sacrifice flies changed from tied to untied when Miguel Tejada got one today. My HR total jumped into a tie for the lead, but was cancelled out. Average, I have an outside shot at getting. But figuring those slim-chance totals, the best I could have hoped for was a tie, I believe, and I would have likely lost whatever tiebreaker there was.
At 11-6, should I have tied HR, lost SF, won ERA, won average, and somehow come up with a couple of GIDP stats, it would have been 8-8. Everything else was out of reach. You know what else irks me? The use and play of some players down the stretch. I picked up Pedro Feliz hoping to get quite a few stats, and he didn't play for 2 games against the Dodgers. I drop him, he hits a HR (would have won the HR stat). Mark Buehrle, a man of complete inconsistency this year (take a look at transactions, I may have had him and dropped him 4 times this year), pitches 2 complete games (a stat unmined in this World Series that would have paid huge dividends, not to mention the trimming of some much needed ERA) when I drop him. Yesterday was the big killer, though, since assists were in reach--neither of my shortstops (the number one defensive assist position) played, and I almost surely could have gotten that today even though 2B Mark Loretta (who was a HUGE disappointment in the last couple of weeks) didn't play--and that's just assists, I could have gotten a few more doubles or just plain hits. It was a frustrating sight to behold. My guys simply didn't perform like they had all year. The guys I had who killed me, overall, would be Beltre and Loretta. Lots of O-fers in these final two weeks.
On Mike's side, I must say, Tejada and Ichiro were the main culprits for drilling my offensive stats. Before the final tally is made, in which Mike will win, here are their stats. They easily trump my best players,
Tejada: 22 hits, .379, 5 HR, 18 RBI, and 58 defensive assists--all astounding, my closest guy was Rollins with 31.
Ichiro: 24 hits, .436, (23 singles)--Mike currently has a 26 point lead in singles, almost all can be traced to Ichiro.
Beltre didn't end up all bad, but his performance ruined a decent chance. My best player was a guy I picked up very late-Rollins. My pitching was stellar except for my closers--and Mark Buehrle in his one appearance before I trashed him (and could you blame me?) when he gave up 7 earned runs in a loss to the Twins--I had to fight to knock down that ERA with my consistent pitchers for two weeks before I got close again. My pitchers really took it on the chin, too--all of my closers got a loss except Gagne, who got hurt (that hurt), and Carl Pavano, who was money down the stretch, lost twice. So my loss total was extravagant, and with now only 2 losses separating us, it threw alcohol on my open wound.
So, congrats, Mike, for winning the baseball now twice in a row. It's going to be a long offseason.