Newsletter for games through 9-25-16

IDLE MUSINGS:  No matter how bad your deals have worked out for you this year, at least you didn’t trade AL-homer leading Mark Trumbo for the recently released Steve Clevenger…which actual Seattle GM Jerry DiPoto did…and you can also say that you did not mastermind the Josh Hamilton contract, which is arguably the worst investment of money in the history of professional sports….which Jerry DiPoto also did…OK, depending on the state of Noah Syndergaard’s staph infection, the only surviving member of the vaunted New York Met rotation is Bartolo Colon…just goes to show how attention to diet and exercise can improve your longevity and health…Chuck Ballingall pointed out that the Vin Scully reference check I made last week was right about the Dodgers, but that Scully’s comment was about the Giants, who did in fact play in a 18-4 thumping on Oct 2…which brings back to zero the number of times I have known more about something in baseball than Scully…don’t know about the baseball impact, but the Mets significantly upgraded their team prayer with the Tim Tebow acquisition…

PENNANT RACE FEVER: Holy crap!  The Nationals raced to a 5-1 week to take advantage of a 1-6 Mets slide to come within a half game of first…and they can thank division comrades Philadelphia and Atlanta for creating the space…St. Louis surged with a 5-1 week to move into a frontrunner position in the wildcard standings….Dodgers are the closest and they are 3 and 1/2 back…Miami is still in the race…the Nats scored 10 runs or more in every one of the 3 games against the Pirates…Rockies, Dodgers, and Padres were all 4-3 this week…and I haven’t done the math, but I’m gonna say Leo has locked up the first place WOR spot…Padres, Reds, and Braves were all.500 or better…which shows some impressive fight when you’re a little bit buried at this point of the season…Reds have the best WOR amongst that bunch…do not look at the AL East standings if you have issues with your blood pressure…the Orioles made the big move with a 6-1 week and the Jays, Boston, and Baltimore are separated by 1.5 games with a week to go…about a year ago Steve Skrovan and I were dueling for last place in just about everything….this year we are both clinging for life with narrow leads atop a tight division…Steve is up by 3 and is +1 WOR over a really good Cleveland club…Detroit and KC each had 4-2 weeks…included in that KC record were some huge series against the Tigers and Indians…Detroit is 3 out of first in the AL central and 1.5 back for the last wildcard spot…should be a really fun week coming up…Seattle continues its roll with a 4-2 week, and I believe they have clinched the best record in the AL…only Tampa could catch them in the WOR standings…Oakland is a really impressive +9 WOR…

GAME OF THE WEEK:

Locked in an airtight pennant race, the Orioles (starting Ariel Miranda) and the Bosox (starting Rick Porcello) locked it up for 17 innings on Sept 21 before Jonathan Schoop sacrificed in the winning run…they scored it without getting a hit…Porcello turned in 12 and 1/3rds scoreless innings….the 8-9-1 combo for the Orioles combined to go 0-19 in the winning effort….both teams had starters pitch into the 7th inning the next day (thank God)…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Kevin Pillar of TOR hit for the cycle against SEA on 9/19/2016
Yonder Alonso of OAK had 5 hits against HOU on 9/19/2016
Steve Selsky of OAK struck out 4 times against HOU on 9/19/2016
HOU and OAK played 17.5 innings on 9/19/2016
Kelly Johnson of ATL struck out 4 times against NYM on 9/19/2016
Juan Nicasio of ARI had 11 strikeouts against SDP on 9/20/2016
Ian Kinsler of DET had 5 hits against MIN on 9/21/2016
David Freese of BOS struck out 4 times against BAL on 9/21/2016
Travis Shaw of BOS struck out 4 times against BAL on 9/21/2016
Edgar Olmos of BAL had 10 strikeouts against BOS on 9/22/2016
Chase Anderson of SFG had 12 strikeouts against SDP on 9/22/2016
Armando Rivero of CHC had 11 strikeouts against STL on 9/23/2016
Jeremy Hazelbaker of STL struck out 4 times against CHC on 9/23/2016
STL and CHC played 14.5 innings on 9/23/2016
Brad Peacock of COL had 10 strikeouts against LAD on 9/23/2016
Franklin Gutierrez of SEA struck out 4 times against MIN on 9/24/2016
Hunter Pence of SFG had 6 RBI against SDP on 9/24/2016
Steve Selsky of OAK struck out 4 times against TEX on 9/24/2016
TEX and OAK played 13.5 innings on 9/24/2016
Jeremy Hazelbaker of STL had 6 RBI against CHC on 9/24/2016
Andrew Benintendi of BOS struck out 4 times against TBR on 9/24/2016
Mark Reynolds of MIA had 7 RBI against ATL on 9/24/2016
David Price of BOS had 11 strikeouts against TBR on 9/25/2016
Drew Smyly of TBR had 10 strikeouts against BOS on 9/25/2016
Chris Devenski of COL threw a no-hitter against LAD on 9/25/2016

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Newsletter for games through 9-18-2016

COMMENTS: I will simply apologize to the East Coast….my Wednesdays are increasingly nuts….mostly because the other 6 days of the week are nuts…Washington took 2 of 3 from the Mets, picked up a game with a winning week…Phillies also had a winning week…Pirates roared to a 5-2 best record in the central…Dodgers aren’t done yet, posted the best record in the NL West, and are in the thick of the wildcard fight….Miami and St. Louis are the other contenders, and none of the 3 was worse that .500….Cubs hit 100 wins for the season this week…AL East is about as fun as it gets….Toronto picked up a game and is in a dead tie with Boston, with Baltimore lurking only 3 games back…Tampa Bay had a winning week and is +8 WOR…if the AL central is a race the leaders are sprinting…Cleveland absorbed two hits to the rotation but still went 6-1 to gain a game on the Tigers, who were themselves a solid 5-2…the two teams went head to head and the Indians took 2 of 3…Oakland went 4-3 and is +6 WOR…it was the 2 games that Tampa took from Toronto that kept Boston tied…Kang and Ramirez paced Pittgsburg, combining for 7 HR…Kang had 11 RBI…David Dahl had 13 for Colorado…Colorado score 37 runs in 2 games against Arizona….and only 2 in the lats game of the series…St. Louis took 2 of 3 from the Cubs…pretty tough series in a wildcard race…I’m declaring Oct 2 the official ASFBL “Vin Scully Day”…Funny footnote, though: The radio here in LA is running a story that Scully remembers his first day announcing on October 2, 1938, when the Brooklyn Dodgers won 18-6…on that day, they actually beat the Phillies 7-2….only time I’ve known anything about baseball better than Scully…and, sadly, the last.

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Edgar Olmos of BAL had 10 strikeouts against BOS on 9/12/2016
Yasmani Grandal of LAD struck out 4 times against NYY on 9/12/2016
Brad Peacock of COL had 10 strikeouts against ARI on 9/12/2016
Carlos Beltran of CHC had 5 hits against STL on 9/12/2016
Hanley Ramirez of PIT had 6 RBI against PHI on 9/13/2016
Jon Lester of HOU had 11 strikeouts against TEX on 9/13/2016
Alexander Reyes of STL had 11 strikeouts against CHC on 9/13/2016
Jett Bandy of LAA struck out 4 times against SEA on 9/13/2016
SEA and LAA played 14.5 innings on 9/13/2016
Chris Young of BOS struck out 4 times against BAL on 9/13/2016
Alejandro De Aza of NYM struck out 4 times against WAS on 9/14/2016
Justin Verlander of DET had 14 strikeouts against MIN on 9/14/2016
Byron Buxton of MIN struck out 4 times against DET on 9/14/2016
James Beresford of MIN struck out 5 times against DET on 9/14/2016
Luke Weaver of STL had 12 strikeouts against SFG on 9/15/2016
Brandon Belt of WAS struck out 4 times against ATL on 9/16/2016
Welington Castillo of ARI struck out 4 times against LAD on 9/16/2016
Edgar Olmos of BAL had 13 strikeouts against TBR on 9/17/2016
Robert Gsellman of NYM had 12 strikeouts against MIN on 9/17/2016
Byron Buxton of MIN struck out 4 times against NYM on 9/17/2016
CWS and KCR played 14.5 innings on 9/17/2016
Jon Lester of HOU had 11 strikeouts against SEA on 9/18/2016
Tyler Webb of NYY had 10 strikeouts against BOS on 9/18/2016
Jackie Bradley of BOS had 7 RBI against NYY on 9/18/2016
Byron Buxton of MIN struck out 4 times against NYM on 9/18/2016
Julio Urias of LAD had 10 strikeouts against ARI on 9/18/2016
Tyler Collins of DET struck out 4 times against CLE on 9/18/2016

 

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Addendum, courtesy of Andy Somers

Highlights and magic numbers at 10 or less:
Chicago clinched the NL Central this week.  Colorado’s magic number is 4 in the NL West, Seattle’s magic number is 3 in the AL West.  Mets and Rockies magic number is 4 to clinch a playoff berth (over Miami), Washington (over Miami) and Seattle (over Detroit) magic number is 10 for a playoff berth.
Eliminated from playoff contention:
Atlanta, Minnesota, Chicago Sox, and LA Angels

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Newsletter for games through 9-11-16

COMMENTARY:

NL East had some movement this week…Nats picked up a game and a half, Miami went 4-2, is +2 WOR, and is within 5 of the second wild card spot…the Mets faded to 3rd in the WOR standings…Cincinnati rolled to a 6-1 mark this week, including a sweep of the Mets…Cubs rolled along to another 5-1 week…the all-time record for wins is the ludicrous 124 set back in 1998 by Michael Gortenburg’s Yankees…Rick could set the NL record of 112 wins by San Francisco in 2015, a team also owned by Rich Wynne…Leo cruised to a 6-1 week, leads the division by 16.5, and is in first place in WOR by 5 games…the big race is in the AL East, and the big winner this week was Baltimore who went 5-1, picked up 2 games, and is now 2 games back…Boston nudged in front of Toronto by virtue of going .500, and took advantage of the Jays’ 2-4 stumble…Cleveland flexed some muscle in the AL central, adding 2 games to it’s lead over Detroit by going 5-1, and now leads the division by 3…Seattle romped to a 6-1 mark and moved into second place in WOR…the Mets actually lead the league in saves but the Cubs are only 2 back, which is surprising only since you’d figure the Cubbies wouldn’t be in that many close games…Dodger bullpen has only allowed 15% of inherited runners to score, tops in the league…Miami pitchers lead the league in strikeouts…Diamondback bullpen has inherited the most runners…National bullpen has inherited the fewest at 83; Cleveland is right behind at 89…Nolan Arrenado has 53 ASFBL homers, 9 ahead of Todd Frazier…I’m scanning Leo’s email for messages to health clinics in Florida….kudos to the digital fans who struck around for all 20 innings of the Angel/Oakland game on the 6th…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Robinson Chirinos of TEX robbed 3 hits against SEA on 9/5/2016
David Price of BOS had 10 strikeouts against SDP on 9/5/2016
Ivan Nova of NYY had 10 strikeouts against TOR on 9/6/2016
Mike Trout of SEA had 6 RBI against TEX on 9/6/2016
Gregorio Petit of LAA struck out 5 times against OAK on 9/6/2016
LAA and OAK played 20.5 innings on 9/6/2016
Jose De Leon of LAD had 10 strikeouts against ARI on 9/6/2016
Matt Moore of TBR had 10 strikeouts against BAL on 9/7/2016
Trea Turner of DET hit for the cycle against CWS on 9/7/2016
Tanner Roark of WAS had 10 strikeouts against PHI on 9/8/2016
Aaron Altherr of PHI struck out 4 times against WAS on 9/8/2016
TEX and SEA played 13.5 innings on 9/8/2016
Wilson Ramos of SFG robbed 3 hits against ARI on 9/9/2016
Hernan Perez of MIL struck out 4 times against STL on 9/10/2016
Corey Kluber of CLE had 10 strikeouts against MIN on 9/10/2016
Javier Baez of CHC struck out 4 times against HOU on 9/10/2016
Clayton Kershaw of LAD had 10 strikeouts against MIA on 9/10/2016
Kendrys Morales of KCR had 7 RBI against CWS on 9/10/2016
SFG and ARI played 13.5 innings on 9/11/2016
MIL and STL played 15.5 innings on 9/11/2016
Drew Butera of CHC struck out 5 times against HOU on 9/11/2016
Addison Russell of CHC struck out 4 times against HOU on 9/11/2016
CHC and HOU played 13.5 innings on 9/11/2016

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Newsletter for games through 9-4-16

In the spirit of the political season, I offer this non-apology apology: 3 of the 4 meetings I had to go to today ran late, forcing me to run the games during one of the meetings, but the collective inefficiency was great enough to push back the writing of the newsletter to this late time.  And, apparently, it makes me write long and rambly sentences.  But I’m watching the Dodgers start their 4th consecutive rookie pitcher against the DBacks, so at least I’ll get it in before the last MLB game is done.

JOCKEYING IN THE STANDINGS:  The Nationals took 2 of 3 from the Mets, went 5-1, and picked up a game and a half in the standings…I guess Andy must have posted my “double digit lead” comment on the digital clubhouse wall…although, after Andy noticed that his run differential is about 30 runs better than the Mets, I take some solace in having out-scored him in the series 8 to 7…The Cubs went bananas in the NL central, now have both the best record in the league and a +4 WOR over a historically great team…Cards, Pirates, and Reds all checked in a 4-2…Rockies had what is for them a ho-hum 4-2 week, but they move into first place in WOR with a +18…and they are leading the NL west….Arizona and San Diego are each even-or-better in WOR….Toronto picked up a game on Boston and moved into a dead tie for first…Orioles lurk a dangerous 4 games back…Oakland and Tampa each took a game from Boston to help Toronto out…OK, the best races are clearly in the AL east and central (note the aversion to mentioning the number of digits in other divisions), matching the excitement of a tie in the AL east the Indians and Tigers each went 5-1…Cleveland remains clutched to a 2-game lead…if WOR were the first tiebreaker the Tigers would be up by 2…raise your hand if you thought that Brian Dozier of the Twins would hit 39 homers this year…he’s due to hit a bunch more for Tim Walsh’s Twins…Seattle had another winning week and has the best record in the AL…Oakland still has a darned impressive +8 WOR…the Cal State Fullerton Daily Titan ran a story on former athletes who are now pros…made no mention of Kurt Suzuki, who has started for the Twins all year and is second on their team in batting average…or Khris Davis, who’s 4th in the league in HR…sometimes a student newspaper reads like a student newspaper…Joey Votto hit .762 last week for the Reds…not a typo….and Brian Dozier led the ASFBL with 4 HR on the week…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Dallas Keuchel of BOS had 10 strikeouts against TBR on 8/29/2016
Didi Gregorius of COL struck out 4 times against LAD on 8/29/2016
Max Scherzer of WAS had 12 strikeouts against PHI on 8/30/2016
Kevin Gausman of BAL had 10 strikeouts against TOR on 8/30/2016
Aaron Sanchez of TOR had 10 strikeouts against BAL on 8/30/2016
Julio Teheran of ATL had 14 strikeouts against SDP on 8/31/2016
Melvin Upton of SDP struck out 4 times against ATL on 8/31/2016
Ryon Healy of OAK struck out 4 times against HOU on 8/31/2016
Alex Bregman of HOU struck out 5 times against OAK on 8/31/2016
OAK and HOU played 15.5 innings on 8/31/2016
Corey Kluber of CLE had 13 strikeouts against MIN on 8/31/2016
Adam Eaton of CWS had 5 hits against MIN on 9/1/2016
Wilmer Flores of NYM robbed 3 hits against WAS on 9/2/2016
Russell Martin of TOR struck out 4 times against TBR on 9/2/2016
Logan Forsythe of TBR struck out 4 times against TOR on 9/2/2016
TOR and TBR played 16.5 innings on 9/2/2016
Steven Wright of PIT had 10 strikeouts against MIL on 9/2/2016
David Freese of BOS struck out 4 times against OAK on 9/2/2016
David Dahl of COL had 6 RBI against ARI on 9/2/2016
Noah Syndergaard of NYM had 12 strikeouts against WAS on 9/3/2016
Alexander Reyes of STL had 10 strikeouts against CIN on 9/3/2016
Adam Duvall of CIN struck out 4 times against STL on 9/4/2016
Xander Bogaerts of BOS had 6 hits against OAK on 9/4/2016
Max Scherzer of WAS had 12 strikeouts against NYM on 9/4/2016
CWS and MIN played 13.5 innings on 9/4/2016

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Newsletter for games through 8-28-16

Brush with death and greatness:  At a spring training game Leo, Tim Walsh, and Rick Wynne attended in about 2004, a golf cart carrying Garrett Anderson almost ran over Rick Wynne.  That makes it a little more fitting that the Angels would retire Garrett Anderson’s number within 2 weeks of Rick Wynne’s actual retirement…

COMMENTS:

Philly and Atlanta were a collective 10-2 this week…never say die, and Philly is +1 WOR…by the way, I’m kind of proud of the fact that ASFBL has been using “WOR” and “WAR” (I dropped the more violent sounding acronym a while back, but early uses of the figure were interchangeable) and “Saved Runs” about a decade before they worked their way into the MLB-highlight lexicon…Western division leaders Colorado and Seattle added to their lead…Toronto had the huge week with 6-0…others probably noticed this before, but who would have thought that the AL would be the tighest race around?  Boston, Toronto, and Baltimore are all within 2 games of each other…they are collectively +11 WOR…one big week could swing the race…Cleveland and Detroit remained locked, with Detroit picking up a half game this week…Colorado moved into a first-place tie in the WOR standings…Christmas-card lists: Boston and Toronto add Washington for taking 3 of 4 from Baltimore…Cleveland to Anaheim for taking 2 of 3 from the Tigers…Matt Shoemaker turned in a 1-0 victory…Detroit to Oakland from taking 2 of 3 from the Indians and preventing them from capitalizing on the Anaheim victories…Washington and Colorado to the Phillies and Cardinals for keeping the Mets at 2-4…Tampa, Milwaukee, and Oakland are all strong WOR contenders and all are in the top 6 spots…in case you haven’t noticed, 9 of Mark Trumbo’s last actual 13 hits have been HR….2 of his 6 hits for the ASFBL Mets were homers this week….

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Ketel Marte of SEA had 5 hits against NYY on 8/22/2016
Julio Urias of LAD had 11 strikeouts against CIN on 8/22/2016
Roberto Perez of CLE robbed 3 hits against OAK on 8/22/2016
Miguel Cabrera of DET had 6 RBI against MIN on 8/23/2016
Miguel Cabrera of DET had 5 hits against MIN on 8/23/2016
Rich Hill of CHC had 12 strikeouts against SDP on 8/23/2016
Cole Hamels of TEX had 11 strikeouts against CIN on 8/24/2016
Angel Pagan of SFG robbed 3 hits against LAD on 8/24/2016
J.D. Martinez of NYY struck out 4 times against SEA on 8/24/2016
Jon Lester of HOU had 10 strikeouts against PIT on 8/24/2016
David Freese of BOS struck out 4 times against TBR on 8/24/2016
Curt Casali of TBR struck out 4 times against BOS on 8/24/2016
Yoenis Cespedes of NYM had 6 RBI against STL on 8/25/2016
Patrick Kivlehan of TEX struck out 4 times against CLE on 8/25/2016
CLE and TEX played 13.5 innings on 8/25/2016
Max Scherzer of WAS had 11 strikeouts against BAL on 8/25/2016
Troy Tulowitzki of TOR robbed 3 hits against MIN on 8/26/2016
Jose Quintana of CWS had 10 strikeouts against SEA on 8/26/2016
Anthony DeSclafani of BAL had 11 strikeouts against NYY on 8/27/2016
Danny Duffy of SEA had 10 strikeouts against CWS on 8/27/2016
Xavier Scruggs of MIA struck out 4 times against SDP on 8/28/2016
SDP and MIA played 13.5 innings on 8/28/2016
Ryon Healy of OAK hit 3 home runs against STL on 8/28/2016
Ryon Healy of OAK had 5 hits against STL on 8/28/2016
Adam Duvall of CIN struck out 4 times against ARI on 8/28/2016
Eugenio Suarez of CIN had 6 RBI against ARI on 8/28/2016

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Newsletter for games through 8-21-16

COMMENTARY:

Big thanks to the 25 of you who submitted lineups this week…makes my job easy and is just doggone impressive for this time of year…testament to how competitive the league is…One owner entered a rotation, covered all the starting slots, but refused to mark anyone has his #1 starter…we’ve all been there…another owner identified two #3 starters and no #5…perhaps taking mediocrity to new middles…Mets got boosted by the return of Cabrera and Cespedes to the lineup and had the only winning record in the NL East…Washington is still a comfortable 6 up in the first wildcard spot, and the Marlins are dead even on WOR…Pittsburgh was the only team with a winning record in the central, and they went 4-2…Colorado helped themselves with a 5-1 record, best in the NL this week…second NL wildcard spot is a real dogfight, with the Marlins, Cardinals, Dodgers and Giants all within 3 games of each other…one good or bad week could swing the race in any direction…Top 3 WOR teams in the AL are Seattle, Tampa, and Oakland…Baltimore, Toronto, and Tampa all made up ground in the AL East…top 4 teams in that division are all even-or-better in WOR….Boston still holds a 1 game lead and Tony has his club 4 better than the actual Bosox, so without his managerial acumen first place would not be a reality…Cleveland and Detroit both stumbled a bit in the AL central this week, but the Tigers picked up a half game and the Tribe held to first….Twins tied the Rays for the best AL record with 5-1…Seattle had the best week in the west, added to their divisional lead, and boosted their league-leading WOR total…Cubs have a gaudy 2.63 team ERA…nobody else is under 3.00…Pirate bullpen has allowed only 14% of runners to score, tops in the league…Bosox hitters lead the league with a .281 team average…Texas defense has robbed 216 hits this year, two ahead of the Nationals…nobody has been helped more than AJ Griffin, who has 110 fantasy innings and an ERA a full run lower than the actual average…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Tommy Pham of STL struck out 4 times against HOU on 8/16/2016
PIT and SFG played 18.5 innings on 8/16/2016
Yoenis Cespedes of NYM had 6 RBI against ARI on 8/16/2016
David Dahl of COL struck out 4 times against WAS on 8/17/2016
Danny Duffy of SEA had 11 strikeouts against LAA on 8/17/2016
Rickie Weeks of ARI struck out 4 times against NYM on 8/17/2016
OAK and TEX played 15.5 innings on 8/17/2016
Madison Bumgarner of SFG had 12 strikeouts against NYM on 8/18/2016
Mike Napoli of CLE had 6 RBI against TOR on 8/19/2016
Cole Hamels of TEX had 10 strikeouts against TBR on 8/19/2016
Miguel Cabrera of DET had 6 RBI against BOS on 8/19/2016
MIL and SEA played 13.5 innings on 8/19/2016
Max Scherzer of WAS had 10 strikeouts against ATL on 8/20/2016
WAS and ATL played 13.5 innings on 8/20/2016
George Springer of HOU robbed 3 hits against BAL on 8/20/2016
Ervin Santana of DET had 10 strikeouts against BOS on 8/20/2016
Archie Bradley of ARI had 10 strikeouts against SDP on 8/20/2016
Mike Zunino of SEA had 6 RBI against MIL on 8/20/2016
Mark Trumbo of NYM struck out 4 times against SFG on 8/21/2016
Melvin Upton of SDP struck out 4 times against ARI on 8/21/2016

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