Tout Mixed: The abnormal, exceptional average

Nicholas Minnix of reports on the Tout Wars Mixed pennant race:

Tout Wars Mixed: Batting AverageI hate Marco Scutaro.

I was ahead of Fred Zinkie in batting average by 0.004 points heading into the baseball regular season’s final full week of games. Marco Freakin’ Scutaro made my stomach turn at the very beginning of it when he collected six hits in eight at-bats in Monday’s twin bill between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.

The runt keystoner went 0-for-3 on Tuesday, but he’d already levied the damage to my psyche and set the tone. Fred’s players are feeding on one another’s enthusiasm. I can feel it. Zinkie’s 19 RBIs yesterday don’t bother me. His 22 hits in 59 at-bats do. My club batted .333 (thanks to stellar Tuesday evenings from Eric Hosmer and Mike Carp) on the first two days, and Fred still overtook me in batting average by one … one-thousandth … of a point.

Wolf-in-grandma’s-sweater-shawl contender Tim Heaney and the Zink man are duking it out in the saves category, a tug-of-war that both pleases and scares me. Fred elected to go with two of his closers (John Axford and Jordan Walden; Joakim Soria is ailing) and take runs on a couple of starters, perhaps in hopes of holding off Tim in both wins and saves while maintaining a strong position in strikeouts.

Heaney has absolutely ruled the K category and therefore had nothing to lose by pursuing another reliever to aid his Craig Kimbrel-Brandon League charge, however. He was bummed about Kimbrel’s blunder on Monday, when the rocket-launching righty served up a two-run, walk-off jack to Omar Infante with two outs and two strikes. Tim deftly plucked Jim Johnson this past weekend and has still gained three saves on Fred to tie the score there, though. Minus 0.5 for my closest pursuer … for now.

Heaney has been trying to play the cordial runner-up now that he’s a few points behind Zinkie. What the third-place team (for now) doesn’t want you to see is the game of leapfrog he’s about to play with a bunch of toddlers. Not the teams; the distance between them in BA.

Meanwhile, my own gamble in the saves category hasn’t paid off. Rafael Betancourt hasn’t received a save opp since Sept. 3; Joe Nathan, since Sept. 7. Two weeks ago, when I dropped Javy Guerra (brilliant move, in hindsight, eh?), I figured the pair that I retained (I had the Rockies angle covered because I owned Huston Street) would be enough to propel me past Gene McCaffrey, with his one-save advantage and only Chris Sale in tow. Wouldn’t you know it? The Sale was on yesterday, and I lost my coupon.

I’d settle for a baseball labor dispute right about now. I got over 1994. I’m not holding my breath, though, so I think that my boys are just going to have to suck it up. That means you, too, Ben Zobrist. Remember your priorities; leave all that childbirth bull to the missus. It’s not like it’s your first kid, damn. Just bottle that Kruse inspiration and get your butt in the starting lineup. These pinch-hit deals ain’t gonna cut it.