Team Rich came into the week looking to defend first place in a series against the dregs of the division (Tim). To Rich’s surprise, Domingo German (5-3) shut him down in game 1, 8-3. Game 2 was a return to normalcy, however, as Tim alum Gary Sanchez crushed a hanging sinker from Diego Castillo over the fence, across the highway, and off a Chevy parked at the local CVS for a walkoff piece in the bottom of the 14th. In game 3, Rich took an early lead and withstood a 3-run 9th from Tim to hang on, 6-5, in a game that featured 7 homeruns. Game 4 was a laugher, as Rich showed why Rick Porcello shouldn’t be in the league, 10-2 behind a complete game from Hyun-jin Ryu (5-4) to take 3 of 4.
Team John has been in quite a slump, but when they saw Team Rich drop game 1, they seized the opportunity, sweeping 4 from Paul on the road. Game was was locked, 1-1, going into the top of the 9th. With 2 outs and no one on base, Moncada doubled off of Jesse Chavez (Moncada’s 5th hit of the game). Jorge Polanco was walked intentionally to set up the force. Jorge Soler then walked to load the bases, a rare feat for him. Ketel Marte then hit a two-hopper to Wilmer Flores, who watched it go right through the 5-hole as Moncada danced across the plate for the win. With the close one out of the way, John asserted his dominance in the remaining games for the sweep to climb into 2nd place, 1 game behind Rich.
The marquee matchup of the week was Robert at Phil. In game 1, Phil and Justin Verlander (10-2) beat Jake deGrom (10-2). Phil was up, 5-2 in the top of the 9th, and Robert scored two runs on a walk, a double, and an error by Willy Adames, but Ronald Acuna grounded out to Alex Bregman to end the threat. Game 2 was a barn burner, as Clayton Kershaw only lasted 1/3 of an inning and gave up 5 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. Phil’s team fought back against Patrick Corbin, though, and after 4 the game was tied, 6-6. There it stayed until the 9th when Robert erupted for 5 runs off of Scott Oberg (1-3). Phil only managed 1 run in the bottom of the inning. However, that would be Robert’s only win of the week. Game 3 was tied, 3-3 going into the bottom of the 9th when Willy Adames blasted a walkoff homer off of Taylor “Swift” Rogers (1-1). Game 4 was another close affair – Phil put up 3 runs in the first inning against Mike Minor (5-5) and Robert responded with 2 runs in the 4th off of Zack Wheeler (3-5). Alex Verdugo stroked a 3-run shot inside the right field foul pole to give Phil a 6-2 lead. Robert came close, with a 2-run homer by Joc Pederson in the 8th, but wasn’t able to get there and dropped the game, 6-5. However, with John sweeping, Phil drops into 3rd, a game out of the playoff race.
Chris took 3 of 4 from Mark. In game 1, Stephen Strasburg (5-6) struck out 10 and only allowed single runs in the 1st, 3rd, and 4th to beat Mark, 5-3. Lance Lynn (5-4) stepped up in game 2 for Mark, though, and threw 8 shutout innings to beat Charlie Morton (7-1) for the first time this year. Joakim Soria preserved the shutout for his 8th save. Game 3 was a close one, with each team putting up single runs in the 6th inning. However, David Dahl hit his 7th homer in the top of the 7th off of Chris Bassitt (2-3) and the bullpen made the lead stand up. Aroldis Chapman picked up his 3rd save. Game 4 was another close affair, with the score tied, 3-3 going into the top of the 10th. Xander Bogaerts singled for Chris off of Hansel Robles (0-1). Michael Brantley then doubled in Bogaerts and Dahl singled in Brantley. Chapman nailed down his 4th save.
Dougald’s team traveled to Bob’s park to see if they could stay in the playoff hunt. In the first game, Zack Greinke (5-3) was cruising along with a 4-0 after 8. Dougald’s bullpen came in and gave up 3 runs, but managed to hold on by a toenail to win, 4-3. In the second game, Masahiro Tanaka (7-4) gave up 4 hits over 8 innings to beat Shane Bieber (6-5), 4-1. Game 3 was tight, with Dougald smacking Jose Berrios (2-9) around the place for 7 runs (4 earned). Bob scored 3 runs in the 7th and 2 in the 9th but fell just short, 7-6. In game 4, Bob’s offense just couldn’t get on track against Kyle Hendricks (3-5) and the bullpen. They only managed 2 hits and lost, 6-1 Aaron Nola (5-3) took the loss. After taking 3 of 4 from Bob, Dougald preserved his playoff position, 1 game ahead of Chris.