Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Here's a question. How many of you have woken up in Las Vegas with a live tiger and a baby named Carlos?
Or how about this. Have you ever left your best friend stranded on top of Caesar's Palace only two days before his wedding? Or stolen a cop car after partying with Carrot Top and Mike Tyson all night?
Stu, Phil and Allen, for better or worse, have accomplished all of these incredible things. For those who missed it, their Vegas escapades were chronicled in the hilarious comedy The Hangover, which hit the big screens in 2009.
Turns out, Stu, Phil and Allen aren't the only ones dealing with a hangover. In honor of the final installment of The Hangover trilogy, let's take a look at some hitters and pitchers who are struggling to get back on track.
Matt Cain, SP, San Francisco Giants: Maybe Cain did too many Jager bombs with Carrot Top or something. His game's been all over the place this season.
Sure he looked dominant in his last outing against Washington (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 7 Ks), but what about April 7th against the Cardinals when he got blasted for nine runs in just 3 2/3 innings?
It's tough to tell exactly where Cain has gone wrong. His opponents' batting average is still just .229 and his WHIP is pretty good (1.17).
Perhaps it's all the home runs he's given up. In 63 1/3 innings, he's already surrendered 13 long balls, which is only eight fewer than he allowed all of last season. It's like Cain doesn't know when to fold his cards.
Cole Hamels, SP, Philadelphia Phillies: Vegas is full of bright lights, just like the scoreboard whenever Hamels is pitching.
Hamels woke up in a drunken stupor after winning 17 games in 2012. His 4.45 ERA is the highest of his career and no pitcher in the National League has lost more games than Hamels this season -- seven in ten starts. Fantasy owners who drafted Hamels must have gone broke a long time ago.
Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Tampa Bay Rays: They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But when Hellickson pitches, the ball usually doesn't stay in the ballpark.
Hellickson has now given up at least one homer in each of his past six outings. Over that span, he's seen his ERA rise from a respectable 3.55 all the way to a disastrous 5.37. I guess some guys just can't handle Vegas.
Matt Holliday, OF, St. Louis Cardinals: The wolf pack almost went to prison after they stole a cop car. I wonder what Holliday did to get into fantasy jail.
If I had to wager a guess, I'd say it was his .270 batting average, which is easily the lowest of Holliday's career. Or it might have been the fact that he's only on pace for 21 home runs in 2013, which would be his lowest total since 2005.
And would it kill the guy to try stealing a base once in a while (zero attempts in 43 games)? At least the Cardinals can still lean on Baby Carlos Beltran for some offense (.305, 10 HR, 29 RBI in 44 games).
Alfonso Soriano, OF, Chicago Cubs: What do tigers dream of when they take a little tiger snooze? I imagine they're probably not dreaming about Soriano smacking home runs out of the park.
Sometimes I feel like Soriano's blistering 32 homer campaign in 2012 really was a dream. This season he's only on pace for 14 round trippers and 53 RBI. That sounds more like a nightmare to me.
B.J. Upton, OF, Atlanta Braves: This can't be the real B.J Upton. Upton used to hit for power and steal bases. This imposter doesn't do any of that (.155 AVG, seven RBI, 55 K's).
Come on, B.J. I know you're out there somewhere. Quick, you check Caesar's. I'm going to see if Chow kidnapped him and brought him to the Mohave Desert.
Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers: Stu's marriage to Jade didn't last very long and neither did Verlander's outing against Texas on May 16th (2 2/3 IP, 6 H, 8 ER, 2 BB).
Verlander's stack of chips seems to be getting smaller with each start. He's 1-2 in his last three appearances with eight walks and an 11.37 ERA. Looks like this tiger needs to go back in his cage.
Josh Willingham, OF, Minnesota Twins: Doug got pretty sunburned after the gang left him on the roof for two days. Willingham can relate, because he gets burned by American League pitching almost every night.
I figured Willingham wouldn't be able to repeat his epic 2012 season (35 HR, 110 RBI) but I also wasn't expecting a .205 batting average and a pitiful .409 slugging percentage. But then again, Stu, Phil and Allen probably weren't expecting to meet Mike Tyson ... or almost get killed by his tiger.
You won't find any clocks on the walls of a Las Vegas casino but in fantasy, there's always a breaking point. For these struggling stars, the clock is ticking.
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