I’ve been feeling depressed for the past two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak that halted all live sports since March 12. Today, was going to be opening day for major league baseball until the COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it.
I have two fantasy teams drafted and ready to go. The starting lineups are set. But there is no fantasy baseball because there is no baseball. But wait! There is fantasy baseball. Simulated major leagues are being played right now as I write this blog.
The most popular of these is Strat-O-Matic, offering a simulated version of the MLB schedule, at least until the real thing is back. Baseball games are brought right to you poor, sheltered folks right in your home. It’s like sports in the matrix.
The results of each day’s games – complete with box scores and standings – will be revealed at 2 p.m. ET on Strat-O-Matic’s website (strat-o-matic.com) and various social media platforms. But I think this is a lazy man’s version of fantasy sports.
I don’t need simulated games because I have an imagination. Let me tell you about my own simulated game, straight from the brain of Doubting Thomas. The St. Louis Cardinals are in Cincinnati, and ace Jack Flaherty is on the mound.
I’m watching the game now, and Flaherty is unbelievable. To tell you that Flaherty is dominating the Reds is the understatement of the century. The four-seam fastball, sinker, curveball, slider and changeup are all working to perfection.
Did I say perfection? Oh, yeah. Flaherty is just wrapping up a perfect game. He’s set down 26 straight batters. Aristides Aquino is batting with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals are leading 29-0. The count is 0-2, and here’s the pitch.
Strike three! Perfect game. Yadier Molina races toward Flaherty and leaps into his arms, Yogi Berra style. Flaherty has just pitched the first perfect game since 2012 and first ever on opening day. Twenty-four strikeouts and three weak ground balls.
By the way, I have Flaherty on one of my fantasy teams. Others include Kolton Wong, who went 5-for-5, with three home runs, seven RBI and two stolen bases. Tommy Edman is also on a team. He was 5-for-5, with one home run and seven stolen bases.