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An annual reminder to not take early games so seriously

By Al Melchior | Data Analyst

What do Max Scherzer, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester and A.J. Griffin all have in common? All four pitchers had a game last season in which they walked six or more batters. Just like R.A. Dickey did on Opening Day.

Whenever a player has an awful performance very early in the season, I try to remind myself that the same performance would often go unnoticed if it occurred in June. Fantasy owners were hardly flocking to drop Scherzer, Hamels, Lester and Griffin after their blowups last year, and Lester actually accomplished the feat twice. This foursome also showed that pitchers who normally have good control can totally lose it in a given start.

It's not that hard to find flaws in Dickey's game, particularly looking back at the first half of last season, but for the most part, he's been highly reliable as a control pitcher over the previous four seasons. Just because he had a rough transition to the American League and is approaching 40, let's not hold one bad start against him, especially given that it was his strong suit that betrayed him.

The same logic holds for other players, like Anthony Rizzo, Eric Young and even untested Billy Hamilton, who had a forgettable beginning to 2014. Even some of the best players look horrible at times. Close out the browser with the waiver wire, put down the laptop, and let the team you drafted do its thing, at least for a week or two.

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