Just like that and we’re over halfway done and on the home stretch! Some teams have already finished their schedules. Awesome job everyone!
Spitball Division: As of early afternoon on 9/17, this division is incredibly tight! Imperials have the lead at the moment, though Panthers and Armada are dueling it out tonight, both currently just a half-game back. Both Nightmare and Dingoes are still in the fray at only 1 game back. Who knows what the final results will look like!
Knuckleball Division: These managers know how to get a season done! Two of the teams have already finished, with another two having only two games left. Both Aces and Lumberjacks can’t finish worst than 3rd in the division, and if either of those scenarios happen, they’ll most likely take the most runs scored crown. Don’t count out Fed Danger or Maize, as either can win out and force some interesting tiebreakers!
Forkball Division: There remains a scenario where all 6 teams finish with a 5-5 record. No teams are eliminated. Plus the team with the least runs allowed is most likely coming out of this division as well. Going down to the wire!
Batter of the Week
Luis Gonzalez hasn’t played a game in the Majors in over a decade. Thankfully, he was seen hanging around ballparks this spring, being one of the 2019 Ballpark Exclusive clutch cards. He’s already showing the league why he was worth the price of admission. In the two games from Sunday to Sunday, Luis Gonzalez was nearly unstoppable. He homered in both games and was on base 4 times in each contest. Along with 3 runs and 4 RBIs, Gonzo’s slash line was 0.714/0.800/1.571. He’s putting up a fantastic season as well, being a top 10 hitter in several categories, including leading the league in BBs. Not bad coming out of the two-hole in the Imperials lineup, and definitely deserving of Batter of the Week.
Pitcher of the Week
Call me biased, but after 9 innings in the Clam Chowda/Nokos game, it was apparent that whichever pitcher came out on top would have to be the Pitcher of the Week, and deservedly so. Both Justin Verlander and Fergie Jenkins were dealing, keeping the game scoreless through a combined 19 2/3 innings before a mistake-fueled walk-off double to end the struggle. Verlander was masterful, throwing 8 2/3 innings of PERFECT ball (that’s 8 card draws in Los Angeles-N Stadium!!!), and ultimately only surrendered 1 hit over 10 innings, the last 3 innings of which were all whilst tired. The man absolutely lived up to The Man Is Non-Stop, going 6 innings with that strat by his side. Thanks to a 2-out 2-run HR turned flyball from Splitter 2.0, Verlander is the Pitcher of the Week.
Cards of the Week
Nelson Cruz is not fast, not good at fielding, and is not cheap. He is, however, a great hitter, one with only 5 outs, knocking 1Bs at 10, doubling at 17, and a fantastic 19+ HR along with his 12 L+1 OB. He’s also clutch with +2, and a relative bargain for a middle-of-the-order type bat. But over the four games this past week for two clubs, Cruz failed to deliver in epic proportions. Collectively, he was 1 for 16 with a BB. That’s an OPS of 0.180. He scored once and drove in 1 RBI. He also had 6 strikeouts. This is the cleanup hitter on two playoff-caliber teams in the Xenon and Imperials. This slump Cruz has been in is why he is one of the Cards of the Week.
Sean Doolittle has high command, is left-handed, has a fantastic chart, and is expensive. He was not, however, a great pitcher this past week. At 330 points, you’d expect your lights-out reliever to perform closer to how his card looks, with only a 1 mistake zone, 19 outs, 25+ HR, and 7 command. He’s a poor-man’s, 1 inning Josh Hader. Yet this past week, he performed closer to how you’d expect Luis Perdomo to pitch. For two teams over 3 games this past week, he pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up 7 earned runs and recording 2 blown saves after given a 3-run lead in the 8th for the Dingoes and a 1-run lead in the 8th for the Chowda. Worse, Doolittle took home the loss in both of those games. Failing multiple teams in the same week is how he ended up as one of the Cards of the Week.
Closing Number: 1.230
That’s the OPS (On-Base percentage plus Slugging percentage) of Dirty Fed Danger this past week. The other 17 teams averaged an OPS of 0.781. The next best OPS team was nearly 0.200 less. This ability to get on-base and have solid contact resulted in the most runs and the fewest strikeouts over the past week. Though maybe they should stick to hitting, not stealing, as their 0-3 in stolen base attempts this week was their only offensive blemish!