A True American Hero

Yesterday, I was jazzed for Monday night MLB DFS. I wrote a sizzling blog. I had my core group of pitchers and stacks (basically Boston and Houston, with a little bit of Salvador Perez sprinkled in) ready by mid-afternoon and was just waiting for a final look at the weather and starting lineups. I decided to multi-enter (10 or so lineups on DK, little less on FD). Not a lot of entries I know, but I’m a single entry player generally, so this was a big deal for me. Why multi-enter yesterday? I couldn’t get my pitcher pool down to just two of the crappy options we had, so I decided to use 5 pitchers and spread them across entries. I had to get at least two of them right, right? Definitely….. Anyways, fast forward to 6:30pm or so. A couple games went the way I thought weatherwise. Chicago at Cleveland was cancelled, so I didn’t have to consider Civale or Cease. Cincy and Chicago was starting to look dicey and it soon looked like a delay, so I took Lester out of my pitching pool. Weather in Pittsburgh seemed solid. I had Adrian Houser in a lot of lineups and zero bats in this game, so I was encouraged by the “no problem” until maybe the 4th or 5th inning maybe forecast given on Crunchtime. I looked at weather.com to do my own work and it confirmed this analysis. I was only expecting 5 innings out of Houser anyways, so this would work well. Now, all that was left was to get to the games and hope the Toronto/Washington game was a middling affair to get the night started off right. Then, a mini-miracle happened. My wife (whom I love dearly and enjoy spending all kinds of time with) told me that she was going to go over to a girlfriend’s house to talk a new business idea, drink some wine and generally catch up. She asked if I would be ok with the dog until maybe 10:30 or 11pm at the latest. I told her “of course” and then my mind started doing some math. Real slate starts at 7:05 with the latest game starting at 7:30pm. Between when my wife left and when she got home, I would be able to “watch” all the games on my Ipad, track the results, eat some sugary cereal and probably have Rounders on in the background. Holy shit, this is going to be a good night! When I kissed my wife at the door, it was a little after 7pm. The next hour would turn out to be a tsunami of emotions….

With the dog on her bed besides me, I set up on my desk with Rounders on my computer, Golf Clash and ESPN on my IPad and a bowl of Captain Crunch in front of me. Could life get any better! It would as soon as the Stackstros and Red Sox started to go ham. Anibal Sanchez was pitching a solid game in that Washington tilt, but nothing that my gang of 4 pitchers (Lester was in the original group, but I pulled him given weather concerns in Cincy) wouldn’t far surpass. Mikey had just been schooled by Teddy KGB in the movie, but he had about 80 minutes of movie time to make a comeback. I decimated some newbie on a Tour 6 course in Golf Clash and ate Captain Crunch at the same time. I was feeling good. Hell, not good. I was feeling great! And then it happened. I can’t recall exactly the sequence of events or exactly what time they occurred. In fact, the whole series of actions are somewhat hazy in my mind, almost like a waking dream. Did the dog bark? Did I eat another bowl of Captain Crunch or did I drop the bowl in horror? I just don’t know. What I do know is that the following happened over the next 50 minutes or so. Tyler Glasnow started dealing and was up to 4-5 Ks in rapid fashion. Of course, he was the one strong pitcher I completely faded. I watched Mike Montgomery get through the first inning and he was my highest owned pitcher, so I felt fine there. The Astros game started and Graveman struck out the side in the bottom of the first. WTF?! I might have audibly said “no way” when I saw this. Folty was in my pitchers’ pool and I next noticed that he had made it through 3 innings with a couple Ks, but was in a little trouble to start the 4th. That’s ok, let me check on the Royals game again. A 1-0 contest had quickly deteriorated to a 5-1 Tigers lead as that hapless lineup was battering Montgomery. I started to get a little dizzy. I mentally crossed off Montgomery and pinned my hopes on Folty, Houser and my one Josh James (he was dealing at that point) lineup on both DK and FD. I went back to the Rays/Braves game and saw that the Rays were smashing in the bottom of the 4th. Oh no Folty. I started to sway a bit. I thought I would steady myself by seeing what the Red Sox were doing against the pitcher formerly known as Michael Wacha. Uh, an easy 1-2-3 inning. So, at this point I already lost two pitchers and my two mega stacks were doing nada. And then I got blindsided by an unblocked Lawrence Taylor. I had noticed that the Brewers/Pirates box score seemed stuck on the bottom of the 2nd inning. So, I decided to check it. I clicked on it and was hit with a “Delayed Rain” alert in red letters. Why did it have to be in red letters? Checking the Pirates twitter feed and I see that a Tropical Storm like downpour was hitting PNC Park. The game that was supposed to be safe for a long time was already getting the rain that caused the Cleveland game to be cancelled. Oh F me I exclaimed. Not even Mikey and Worm could cheer me up. I tried to stand, but fell back in my chair. I think the dog howled like a hound dog. I can’t be sure. I just knew my night was basically over, since Houser and Brault would both be pulled and new pitchers would take their place whenever this rain delay ended, if it even did….

When I know my DFS night is over early, I almost always do two things. First, I spend 30 seconds cursing everyone who I hold responsible for my results. In this case, I might have thought of Kevin Roth and wondered how he would have done if he starred in Stephen King’s Misery book. Second, I might have posted in the forums how the Astros were busting. And then I calmed down and started to look at Tuesday’s slate. Nothing gets my mind right better than thinking forward and not worrying about that day’s results. I even started watching Rounders carefully again and realized that I think I might hate the Worm character. What a douche…. I moved from my desk and set up in the bed. Figured I would spend some time concentrating on Golf Clash, Mikey beating Teddy KGB and his Oreo cookies and then digging in on Tuesday’s slate. I don’t know how much time passed, but I did start to see that some of the Astros hitters were coming to life and that Salvador Perez had homered. Oh, what could have been! By now, Josh James had melted down, so it looked like there would only be one good pitcher (Glasnow) unless Lester and/or Miley surprised to the upside if that game played. More time passed. And the Astros kept hitting. And Mitch Moreland homered for the Red Sox. Well, at least I was a bit right on my stacks I told myself. More time passed. And then a stat caught my eye as I was scanning box scores. The Milwaukee game showed Houser pitched two innings. Wait, I thought this game went into delay before the bottom of the second? So, I dig a little deeper. And in a true Willis Reed moment, it shows that Houser came back in to the game. After an almost 100 minute delay, Adrian Houser was back pitching for the Brewers! I don’t know who was the bigger hero here, Houser or Brewers manager Craig Counsel. A little more time passes. Houser is still pitching! I wonder if he might be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize or MVP of the league or something. And then I see that Xander Bogaerts had homered. So, I check my scoring on DK and FD and see that I am in the money on a couple of my lineups. Still losing money of course, but not all the money. Fast forward another hour and after Houser goes 4 innings, the Astros score a couple more runs and the Red Sox lose 7-4 with JD Martinez blowing numerous opportunities, I see that I am likely to only lose about half of my money for the night. And I give a big fist pump since I am so happy. Crazy, right! Adrian Houser had renewed my faith in my process (as flawed as it was yesterday) and in coming back to play another day today. After I erect my Houser shrine in my study, I’ll get to today’s research….

Only in DFS, can a loss of about 50% of one’s entry fees seem like a heroic victory. But it did for me last night. And for that, I thank you Adrian Houser. A true American hero. Not like JD Martinez or George Springer who are both worthless Fs right now :). Good luck in your contests tonight. Don’t forget to stack the Twins.

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