Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Regardless of how long you've been watching sports or entering fantasy leagues, some streaks and trends still have the ability to make you do a double or triple take at the box scores, game logs, and stat lines out of pure amazement.
Take Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman, for example.
Chapman gave up his first earned run of the season Thursday night in his 30th inning of work. By now it's likely you knew that he was carrying a zero ERA and just flat-out making major league batters look like small children at the plate.
But seriously, just look at what Chapman was doing prior to allowing two doubles and taking his first loss of the season.
Besides that spotless ERA, Chapman had allowed just seven hits in 29 innings. Seven! He hadn't allowed a base hit since May 17, a string of 8 2/3 innings. Basically, he came within one out of throwing the equivalent of a complete game no-hitter over the course of three weeks before two Pittsburgh Pirates with sub-.200 batting averages tagged him for two hits.
With improved command of his missile-like 100 mph fastball and darting slider, Chapman has fanned 54 batters in 30 innings, a K/9 of 16.2. Give him six more strikeouts in those 30 innings and he'd be striking out two batters per inning.
Even more impressively, he's walked just nine batters. Considering that he walked 46 batters in his first 63 1/3 major league innings, yeah, it's a major improvement.
Despite beginning the season in a set-up role and not taking over the Reds' closer job until May 20, Chapman was ranked seventh in Yahoo! fantasy leagues prior to Thursday night. Not seventh among relievers and not seventh among all pitchers, but seventh overall, first among all pitchers. He slipped to 12th overall, third among pitchers behind Matt Cain and R.A. Dickey, after the slip-up against Pittsburgh, but still, that's some serious juice for a player who was drafted with the 219th pick on average in Yahoo! leagues.
Speaking of Dickey, the New York Mets knuckleballer is on an amazing scoreless streak of his own dating back to May 27. In his last three starts, Dickey has shut out the San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals over 23 2/3 innings. Going back to the start before that when he beat Pittsburgh, Dickey has allowed just one run in his last 30 2/3 innings, collecting 38 strikeouts along the way.
The Mets righty has won seven straight decisions and thrown nine straight quality starts -- six innings or more, three runs or less -- since he allowed eight runs in 4 1/3 innings on April 18 at Atlanta. Prior to that start, Dickey had thrown 14 straight quality starts, so he's working on a run of 23 quality starts in 24 rotation turns.
Despite carrying a 2.97 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 316 strikeouts in 464 innings since joining New York in 2010, including 2.44, 1.04 and 78 in 81 innings this year, Dickey isn't universally owned in Yahoo! leagues -- he's still available in 16 percent of leagues.
That's a Rodney Dangerfield level of disrespect right there.
Then there's Angel Pagan of the San Francisco Giants.
Pagan, an outfielder who had fantasy value in 2010 with the Mets when he hit .290 with 11 home runs, 69 RBIs and 37 steals but limped to a .262 average in 123 games last season, has put together one of the more remarkable day-to-day hitting feats I can remember that doesn't involve a 30-plus-game hitting streak. Because he hasn't come close to threatening Joe DiMaggio, Pagan's two- month stretch hasn't received much press.
Since April 14, Pagan has collected at least one hit in every game except two, a span of 48 games. In that time, Pagan has hit .350 (69-for-197) with five homers, 19 RBIs, 11 stolen bases and 25 runs scored. He's put together separate hitting streaks of 20, 11 and 15 games, the last of which is still active.
Despite all of those hits and despite there being a dearth of base stealers who aren't one-trick ponies, Pagan is somehow still available in 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
By comparison, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs (.235, 7 HRs, 18 RBIs, 13 SBs) is owned in 81 percent of leagues. That ownership trend might be the more amazing than any of the streaks discussed above.
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