Author: Tim McCaffrey

Week 35 Results

And the season is over.

The 4-game series this week was between Rich and Mark. Both teams were already eliminated. In game 1, Mark was ahead 3-2 when Josh Donaldson crushed a Jake Odorizzi (8-17) fastball over the fence for the lead, and it was enough. Rich ended up winning, 5-3, behind Jack Flaherty (13-8). Ken Giles got his 13th save. Hyun-jin Ryu (11-10) pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits, and Mitch Garver hit 2 homers (26) to beat Mark and Lance Lynn (11-11), 8-0, in game 2. Game 3 was more of the same, as David Price (8-10) combined with Francisco Liriano and Kenta Maeda to shut Mark out again, 7-0. Luis Castillo (13-12) took the loss. Rich then put up 8 runs in the 2nd inning of game 4, highlighted by a Carlos Correa 3-run shot (24). Mark clawed back, though, scoring 2 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th, 2 in the 7th, and 4 in the 8th to tie it at 9 (Rich put up another run in the 6th), but after all that, Mike Trout clinched the sweep with a solo homer (41) in the top of the 9th. Ken Giles (3-2) got the win and Chris Bassitt (2-6) took the L.

Paul came into the week needing 2 wins to avoid losing 100 on the year. To do it, he was going to have to beat Phil, who came into the week in 2nd place in Division 1. Paul started off the week on the right foot, taking game 1, 5-1, on 7 strong innings by Anthony deSclafani (7-12). Homers by Starling Marte (17), Wilmer Flores (10), and Carlos Santana (26) helped to beat Clayton Kershaw (10-8). Phil’s only run came on a triple and error by Francisco Reyes, which allowed Hanser Alberto to come all the way around the bases. In game 2, Paul jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but as it has gone this year for Paul, Phil tied it up by the 3rd and scored two more runs in the 4th to take the lead. Paul was not to be denied, however, as Carlos Santana hit a grand slam in the 5th to give the lead, and eventually the game, to Paul. Yu Darvish (7-8) got roughed up a bit for the loss, while Joe Musgrove (5-10) got the win. Cam Bedrosian got his 4th save. Game 3 was another football special. Carlos Santana hit two more homers (29) and Paul put up 7 runs in the 4th inning, but it wasn’t enough. Phil scored 3 runs in each of the 3rd, 5th, and 6th, added a single run in the 4th, and 4 more in the 9th to take the game, 14-11. The winning hit in the 9th was a 3-run bomb by Yordano Alvarez (24). Felix Pena (1-0) got the win, while Junior Guerra (3-3) blew the save and took the loss. Now that his team had a taste for winning, Phil cruised to victory in game 4, 7-2. Jeff Samardzija (13-5) pitched 7 strong and Bob Woodruff (4-16) took the loss. Yordano Alvarez went deep again (25) for Phil. Game 5 was tied, 5-5, going into the bottom of the 8th, after Paul had taken an early lead and Phil had eventually tied it in the top of the 8th. In the bottom of the 8th, the first two batters struck out, but Carlos Santana walked. Jose Altuve singled Santana to third. Javier Baez was walked intentionally. Phil’s manager left Justin Verlander (17-6) in the game, and Austin Nola scorched a two run single through the left side of the infield. Scott Oberg came in an promptly uncorked a wild pitch to score Baez. Cam Bedrosian (2-5) pitched a scoreless 9th to win the series for Paul.

John was fairly comfortable in first place when he squared off against Tim. Game 1 was a pitcher’s duel between Lucas Giolito and Dustin German, and the score was tied after 9, 1-1. In the top of the 10th, Victor Reyes led off with a triple against Daniel Norris (0-1). James McCann doubled in Reyes, and later, Yoan Moncada hit a sacrifice fly to score McCann. The bullpen held and Willie Harris (8-2) got the win and Yoni Chirinos got his 1st save. John then proceeded to blow Tim’s doors off in game 2, 9-2. JD Martinez hit two homers and Walker Buehler (8-14) got the win. Big Maple (7-11) took the loss. Game 3 was another tight one. Tim took the lead, 2-0, on a 2-out single by Kolten Wong in the 3rd inning. Jorge Polanco hit a solo homer in the 8th (14), but Tim held on for the 2-1 win. Brad Keller (13-9) beat Noah Syndergaard (8-10), and Jared Hughes notched his 4th save. Game 4 featured a strong performance for John by Mike Soroka – 8 innings, 5 hits, 1 run. Rick Porcello matched Soroka – 8 innings, 5 hits, 1 run. In the top of the 9th, Jorge Soler led off with a double against Daniel Norris. Dee Gordon pinch ran for Soler. Ketel Marte grounded to third, and Hunter Dozier looked Gordon back to second before throwing out Marte. Josh Bell then struck out. Trevor Gott (1-0) relieved Norris, and was greeted by a single by Alex Gordon to break the tie. Nick Anderson came on for John to nail things down. He struck out pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt. Pinch hitter Kyle Schwarber singled. Pinch hitter Jean Segura then singled Schwarber to third. Bryan Reynolds struck out, bringing up Kolten Wong. Anderson (3-4) uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Schwarber and sending Segura to 2nd. Wong then singled in Segura for the ballgame. John had a few words with his team in the clubhouse after the game, and they responded in game 5. Anibal Sanchez (11-7) limited Tim to no runs, 2 hits, and 1 walk over 7 innings and Jorge Polanco had 3 hits to beat Sandy Alcantara (9-10), 2-0. Nick Anderson successfully saved his 7th game to give John the series win.

Coming into this last week, Robert and Chris were tied for first place in Division 2. Chris was home for 5 games against Dougald, who was trying to play the spoiler. In the first game, Madison Bumgarner (9-10) got rocked for 8 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings, as Dougald won, 9-2. Kyle Hendricks (12-10) got the win and Tom Murphy hit two homers (17). In game 2, Dougald scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning on a Brett Gardner homer (15). Chris managed to tie it in the bottom of the 2nd on solo homers by Willson Contreras (25) and CJ Cron (7). Unfortunately for Chris, that was all the scoring he managed on the day. Mark Canha hit 2 homers (14) and Zack Greinke picked up his 15th win against 7 losses, as Dougald won, 6-2. Stephen Strasburg (11-14) took the loss. Cheering was heard in bars all over Robert’s city. In game 3, Chris mashed 7 runs in 3 innings and withstood 4 runs (on a Brandon Lowe grand slam, his 16th) in the top of the 9th by Dougald to win, 11-6. Craig Morton (14-4) over Shane Bieber (9-11). In game 4, Chris put up 2 runs in each of the 2nd (homer by Willson Contreras – 27th) and 3rd inning (back to back homers by George Springer – 40 – and CJ Cron – 9), but Dougald answered with 3 runs in the 4th on homers by Justin Turner (13) and Bryce Harper (26). The game stayed 4-3 until the bottom of the 6th, when Chris scored 3, highlighted by back to back homers by Xander Bogaerts (23) and David Dahl (19). Sonny Gray (19-8) held Dougald down through 8 with 10 strikeouts to win, 7-3. Matt Boyd (12-9) pitched 4 2/3 innings in the loss. Chris really wanted a win in game 5, and he started fast, with 2 runs in the first on a Jason Castro homer (4th). Dougald tied it in the 2nd with a Mike Yastrzemski long fly (10). In the bottom of the 3rd, Anthony Rendon led off and got hit by a Kyle Hendricks (12-11) pitch, injuring him for 3 games. David Fletcher pinch ran and then scored on a Xander Bogaerts homer (24). That was all the scoring Chris needed, as Madison Bumgarner (10-10) combined with the bullpen to hold Dougald scoreless the rest of the way. In the 8th inning, Jason Castro was hit by a Seth Lugo pitch and will miss 10 games. Shane Greene picked up his 8th save. The 3-2 series win leaves Chris at an overall record of 84-60.

Robert very much did not want to have a playoff game, and needed 4 wins at home against Bob to clinch the division. Game 1 was a barn burner. Bob scored single runs in the 2nd and 3rd on homers by Pete Alonso (40) and Anthony Rizzo (24), respectively. Robert tied it with 2 runs in the 4th, but Bob came right back and put up 4 runs in the top of the 5th on another homer by Rizzo (25) and a 3-run shot by Nick Castellanos (7). But Robert bounced right back in the bottom of the 5th – Omar Narvaez led off with a triple off of Aaron Nola (11-10). Ronald Acuna struck out. Jarrod Dyson singled in Narvaez. Eugenio Suarez walked. Miguel Sano struck out. Nelson Cruz then walked to load the bases. Bob left Nola in to face Joey Gallo, who made contact and ripped one into the right field stands for a grand slam (39), ending Nola’s day. Robert then added 3 more in the 7th on homers by Miguel Sano (25) and again by Gallo (40). In the top of the 8th, Nick Castellanos led off against Bob against Emilio Pagan (1-1) and singled to third, followed by a two base error by Suarez to put Castellanos at third. Pete Alonso walked. Giovanny Gallegos relieved Pagan to face Roberto Perez. Perez blasted a 3-run shot (his 13th) to make the score 10-9. But that’s where the score would remain as Robert took game 1. Gallegos earned his 4th save. In game 2, the things remained scoreless until the 4th, when Robert scored 5 runs off of Gerrit Cole (10-15) and another off of reliever Daniel Hudson. The scoring was highlighted by homers by Suarez (35) and Howie Kendrick (22). Jacob deGrom cruised to his 20th win, giving up just 3 hits and 2 runs and striking out 12 in a complete game as Robert won, 9-2. Game 3 was an all-timer. Robert scored 2 in the bottom of the first off of Masahiro Tanaka and Bob answered with a solo homer by Alonso (42) in the 2nd and back to back homers by Ozzie Albies (19) and Castellanos (8) in the 3rd. Bob tallied two more in the 4th on homers by Rizzo (26) and Kris Bryant (26). Bob then scored 2 MORE runs in the 7th on a Nick Ahmed homer (7). Robert’s team is nothing if not resilient, however. In the bottom of the 7th, old friend Nelson Cruz launched a 3-run shot to make the score 7-5. In the bottom of the 9th, Steve Cishek tried to nail down the game, but hit Miguel Sano to lead things off. Nelson Cruz then lined out, bringing up Joey Gallo. Gallo turned around a Cishek fastball and tied the game with his 41st homer. The score then remained tied until the 19th inning! In the bottom of the 19th, Adalberto Mondesi led off with a triple off of Mike Morin (0-2). Joey Gallo then hit a grounder to Ozzie Albies at 2nd. Mondesi thundered to the plate and Albies threw home to save the game…Mondesi was…OUT on a nice tag by JT Realmuto. Fernando Tatis then came to the plate with a syringe hanging out of his posterior and JACKED a homer to win the game, 9-7. Aaron Bummer (5-3) picked up the win. Robert’s team was gassed after that game, and Bob took care of business in game 4, scoring early and often to earn an 11-4 win for Jose Berrios (10-18). Corey Seager (15), JT Realmuto (14) and Jackie Bradley, Jr (13) homered for Bob as Marcus Stroman (12-15) took the loss. Game 5 was pivotal. A win would clinch the division for Robert, while a loss would force a one-game playoff with Chris. Bob got things rolling with 2 runs in the top of the first off of Mike Minor (13-10). In the bottom of the first, Aaron Nola (11-11) got Ronald Acuna to ground out. Jarrod Dyson singled. Eugenio Suarez singled, pushing Dyson to second. Miguel Sano then hit a 3-run homer (26). Nelson Cruz then homered (37). Joey Gallo struck out. Fernando Tatis walked. Yimi Garcia relieved Nola to face Howie Kendrick, who homered (23). Omar Narvaez homered (20). Acuna struck out to end the inning, but Robert put up 7 runs. It was all over at that point but the shouting. Sano hit another homer (27) and Gallo hit 2 more (43) as Robert rolled to a 14-5 victory and clinched the division by 1 game with the 4-1 week.

Phew. Exciting stuff.

Week 34 Results

We are in the end stages of the pennant race.

The two first place teams, Robert and John, faced off in a 4 game series. Robert came into the week a mere 1.5 games ahead of Chris while John was a more manageable 4.5 games ahead of Phil. Game 1 was a matchup between lefty Mike Minor for Robert and Noah Syndergaard for John. Neither starter would figure in the decision, as the score was tied at 4 after 4 innings. The score remained deadlocked until the bottom of the 9th when, with one out, Victor Reyes doubled for John off of Emilio Pagan (0-1). Pagan then threw the next pitch to the backstop, allowing Reyes to move to third. Ketel Marte then stroked a single through the drawn-in infield to win the game for John. Willie Harris (7-2) got the win. In game 2, Robert was ahead, 3-2  behind the strong pitching of Jacob deGrom (19-6). deGrom pitched into the bottom of the 8th when, with one out, he walked Jorge Polanco. Dee Gordon pinch ran for Polanco. Jorge Soler stepped to the plate and caught a hanging slider for a 2-run homer that proved to be the winner. Robert outhit John, 11-5, but left 8 men on base. Luis Perdomo (1-1) picked up the win in relief. The series switched to Robert’s park, and once again Robert was ahead, this time 3-0 after 5. In the top of the 6th, John managed 2 runs, thanks in part to an error by Eugenio Suarez. Then things fell apart for Patrick Corbin (9-13). Eric Sogard led off with a homer. James McCann doubled. Alex Gordon struck out. Elvis Andrus then doubled in McCann. Taylor Rogers relieved Corbin. Victor Robles singled Andrus to third. Rhys Hopkins then launched his 5th homer to make it 5 runs and the ballgame. Robert scored 2 more in the 8th to make it a bit closer, but lost, 7-5. Mike Soroka (12-6) got the win and Luis Perdomo picked up his 1st save. Facing a sweep, Robert sent Marcus Stroman (12-14) to the mound, but Stroman just didn’t have it. He gave up 1 run in the first and 3 more in the 2nd, highlighted by a 3-run double by Jorge Polanco. John put up another 3 runs in the 4th and a run in the 6th. Robert put up 4 late runs, but it wasn’t enough as he fell to Anibal Sanchez (10-7) and was swept by John.

Chris’ team was playing Mark and spent quite a bit of time watching the scoreboard. A bit too much, time, it seems. Game 1 saw Chris jump out to a 5-2 lead early and withstood a Mark comeback to take the win, 7-5. Anthony Rendon hit 3 homers (26,27,28) and George Springer hit his 38th. Sonny Gray (18-8) was the winner and Mike Leake (10-12) took the loss. In game 2, every time Chris scored, Mark’s team answered. Chris put up a run in the 3rd, and Mark scored two. Chris scored 2 runs in the 5th (George Springer’s 39th homer) and Mark scored 3 (Brian Anderson’s 15th, a 3-run shot). Mark continued scoring, and Chris just couldn’t keep up. The final score was 9-4. Madison Bumgarner (9-9) took the loss, while Jake Odorizzi (8-16) got the win. Aaron Judge got hurt for 2 games. In Game 3, Mark took an early lead in the first on back to back homers by Chris Taylor (9) and Nolan Arenado (30). Mark added a run in the 4th when Jeff McNeil tripled and Gio Urshela brought him home with a single. Chris tried to come back with single runs in the 6th and 9th, but it wasn’t enough, and he fell, 3-2. Lance Lynn (11-10) was the winner, while Stephen Strasburg (11-13) took the loss. Alex Colome picked up his 11th save. Chris fell behind early in game 4 when Buster Posey blasted a two-run shot in the 2nd (his 2nd) and Nolan Arenado hit a solo shot in the 3rd (31). Chris got a couple back on a Anthony Rendon two-run homer in the 3rd (his 30th), but went into the top of the 9th trailing, 4-3. With one out, Brandon Belt doubled off of Joakim Soria (1-7). Adam Frazier then tripled to tie the game. John Gant replaced Soria and got Bellinger to ground out to Jeff McNeil, who looked Frazier back to third. With two outs, George Springer pulled a double down the left field line. Frazier scored the go-ahead run, and Gio Urshela lost his grip on the ball, allowing Springer to come all the way around to score. Zack Britton and Liam Hendriks (5th save) held Mark in the 9th for the 6-4 win. The blown save was Soria’s 6th. Shane Greene (2-2) picked up the win. Chris came into game 5 a half game ahead of Robert for first place in the division and sent game 1 winner Sonny Gray to the mound against Mike Leake. Mark struck first when Tommy Edman led off the bottom of the first with a single and then went to third on a Chris Taylor single. Nolan Arenado hit into a 6-4-3 double play, but Edman scored. Mark added to his lead in the 5th When Gio Urshela scored on a sacrifice fly. Chris got a homer by Chris Cron (6th) in the 7th, but went into the top of the 9th trailing, 2-1. With one out, Xander Bogaerts took Joakim Soria deep (his 21st) to tie the game (Soria’s 7th blown save). The game remained tied into the 11th, when Mark loaded the bases with no outs off of Tyler Chatwood (0-1). Zack Britton came in to face Tommy Edman, who laced his 4th hit of the game up the middle to win it for Mark. After dropping the series, 3-2, Chris is tied with Robert for first place with a 81-58 record. Next week Chris has 5 games against Dougald, while Robert has 5 against Bob.

Rich went to Phil’s park for 5 games. As the series started, Rich was only 2.5 games behind Phil for playoff position. In game 1, Phil scored early and often off of Hyun-jin Ryu (10-10) and cruised to an 11-4 victory. Ramon Laureano (16) and Yordan Alvarez (23) hit early homers for Phil. Clayton Kershaw (10-7) got the win. Rich sent John Flaherty to the mound in game 2 against Yu Darvish, and Flaherty was up to the task, pitching 8 shutout innings, striking out 10. In the bottom of the 9th, Rich was up, 2-0, and sent Pedro Baez to the mound to nail things down. Baez (1-4) started by walking Paul Goldschmidt. Alex Verdugo bounced one to John Donaldson at 3rd, and Donaldson got the force at 2nd. Francisco Mejia struck out looking. Kevin Newman walked, bringing up Austin Meadows as the winning run with two outs. Meadows picked out a fastball and deposited it in the left field bleachers (his 28th) to walk the game off for Phil. Robert Stephenson (6-9) got the win. Game 3 was a back and forth affair, right up until it wasn’t. Rich started fast, when Carlos Correa hit a 2-out 2-run homer in the first (his 22nd). Phil answered with 3 runs in the 3rd, highlighted by a Ramon Laureano 2-run homer (his 17th). Phil added a run in the 4th to go up by 2, but Rich answered in the top of the 6th with 3 runs, aided by a 2-base error by Laureano, to retake the lead. Then Rich exploded for 6 runs in the 7th, highlighted by a 3-run shot by Gary Sanchez (7) and a 2-run shot by Gleybar Torres (his league-leading 45th in computer play) to take the 11-5 win. David Price (7-10) was the winner, while Zack Wheeler (9-10) took the loss. In game 4, Phil took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd, helped by a Alex Verdugo solo shot (11). That would be all the runs Phil would need, as Jeff Samardzija (12-5) combined with Jose LeClerc and Tyler Webb (6th save) on a 1-hit shutout. Josh Donaldson ended the drama early with a double in the 2nd, but Rich wasn’t able to get another hit and lost, 3-0. Chris Paddack (10-9) took the loss. In game 5, Phil scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 3rd, knocking Julio Teheran (8-13) out of the game. Paul Goldschmidt blasted his 34th homer, a 2-run shot. Rich answered with 4 runs of his own in the top of the 7th on a solo shot by Mike Trout (39) and a 3-run homer by Max Kepler (33), but was unable to get the tying run and fell, 5-4. Justin Verlander (17-5) went 6 1/3 for the win, and Yusmerio Petit notched his 11th save. The loss knocks Rich out of playoff contention, as he is now 5.5 games out with 4 to play (he faces Mark next week). After his 4-1 week, Phil is 5 games behind John for first, with a 5 game series against Paul next week. John has 5 games against Tim to end the regular season.

Dougald traveled to Bob to play 5 games. In game 1, Bob was comfortably ahead, 6-2, having knocked out starter Matt Boyd after just 2/3 of an inning, when things got decidedly uncomfortable in the 8th. JD Davis led off with a walk off of Tommy Kahnle. Bryce Harper then doubled in Davis. Mike Morin (0-1) came in to relieve Kahnle. Yasmani Grandal walked. Morin then threw a wild pitch, moving the runners to 2nd and 3rd before Brett Gardner tripled both of them in. Francisco Lindor grounded out, with Gardner holding. Max Muncy walked. Mark Canha singled in Gardner to tie the game. Brandon Lowe singled in Muncy. Yimi Garcia relieved Morin. Justin Turner flew out, but JD Davis got up for the second time in the inning and parked his 16th homer, a 3-run shot, before Bryce Harper flew out to end it at 8 runs. Bob didn’t score again, and Dougald took the 10-6 comeback win. Roberto Osuna (7-3) got the win, and Seth Lugo picked up his 13th save. Game 2 was scoreless going into the 6th when Mark Canha homered for Dougald (12) off of Aaron Nola (11-9). Kris Bryant homered (24) for Bob in the bottom of the inning to tie things up, but Dougald got solo homers from Yuli Gurriel (8) and Brett Gardner (14) while Tyler Clippard and Felipe Vazquez held Bob scoreless to win the game for Kyle Hendricks (11-10), 3-1. Vazquez picked up his 8th save. Bob took an early 1-0 lead in the first in game 3, but Dougald struck back with 3 runs in the 2nd, the key hit being a Francisco Lindor single that Kris Bryant misplayed in left to score 2 runs. Dougald never trailed again and held on to win, 5-3. Zack Greinke (14-7) got the win, and Brad Hand earned his 3rd save. Gerritt Cole (10-14) picked up the loss. Game 4 saw Dougald score a run off of Masahiro Tanaka in the 3rd to take a 1-0 lead, but Bob answered with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back-to-back homers by Kris Bryant (2-run shot, 25), Anthony Rizzo (23), and Pete Alonso (37). Dougald struck back with 2 runs in the 4th on a Yuli Gurriel homer (9) and another run in the 6th, but Bob sealed the game with back to back homers by Corey Seager (14) and JT Realmuto (13) in the 6th and held on for the 6-4 win. Steve Cishek (3-3) got the win, despite blowing his 5th save, and Mike Morin got his 1st save. John Means (3-4) took the loss. Bob continued his winning ways in game 5, overcoming a 2-0 Dougald lead to take the game, 7-2. Pete Alonso had 2 homers (38,39) and Jose Berrios (9-18) got the win, while Matt Boyd (12-8) pitched 4 innings and took the loss. Following his 3-2 series, Dougald is 5 games behind Robert and Chris with 5 to play. Bob is 3 games below .500 with 5 to play.

Over on ESPN 932, Paul faced off against Tim. In game 1, Anthony “Prince Spaghetti Day” Desclafani (6-12) pitched 7 shutout innings and gave up 2 hits while striking out 7 to lead Paul to the 4-1 victory. Dustin German (8-9) took the loss. Starling Marte knocked in 3 runs for Paul, and Mookie Betts avoided the shutout with his 18th homer in the bottom of the 9th. Game 2 was tied, 2-2 after 9 innings. In the bottom of the 10th, Kolten Wong lined out against Sam Dyson. Kenley Jansen (3-6) relieved Dyson and promptly walked Mookie Betts. Jansen then threw a wild pitch, allowing Betts to go to 2nd, before giving up a single to Shohei Ohtani. Betts wheeled around third to score the winning run. Marcus Walden (3-4) got the win after a strong start by James “Big Maple” Paxton. Game 3 was another nail-biter. Paul was ahead, 2-1, going into the bottom of the 9th when Yasiel Puig hit a two-out double off of Kenley Jansen. Michael Givens (0-1) came in to relieve Jansen and Tim (actually the computer version of Tim) countered by pinch-hitting Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber hit a soft grounder to short that would have been a hit, but Jose Altuve (playing short?) picked it up and threw it into the stands, allowing Puig to score the tying run. Then, in the 10th, Lourdes Gurriel hit a one-out single and came home on a Manny Machado double to steal the game for Tim. Sergio Romo (4-9) got the win. Paul took an early 2-0 lead in game 4, but Tim came back with a run in the 2nd and 2 more in the 3rd (Shohei Ohtani’s 15th homer). The game went a bit back and forth after that, but Tim never surrendered the lead and took the 7-4 victory. Rick Porcello (5-12) got the win, while Brandon Woodruff (4-15) took the loss. Diego Castillo got his 3rd save. Paul was clearly all set with the drama in game 5 and blew Tim’s doors off, 11-1. Paul’s offense was powered by homers by Christian Yelich (33), Tommy La Stella (19), and Jose Altuve (27), while Tim’s lone run came on a Kyle Schwarber shot (3). Max Scherzer evened his record at 10-10 with the win, while Sandy Alcantara fell back to 9-9 with the loss.

One more week to go!

Week 33 Results

And down the stretch we come!

In the 4 games series this week, Bob faced off against Paul. In game 1, Jose Berrios (8-18) scattered 10 hits over 8 innings and struck out 12 and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a bases-loaded triple in the top of the 6th to defeat Joe Musgrove (4-10), 7-3. In game 2, the score was tied at 3 going into the top of the 9th when Manuel Margot cracked a single to drive in the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the 9th, Carson Kelly led off with a walk against Steve Cishek. Adam Eaton ran for Kelly. Whit Merrifield singled Eaton to 2nd. Wilmer Flores then dribbled one near the mound, it was going to be a close play at 1st, but Cishek’s throw sailed over Goodrum’s head at first, allowing Eaton to score the tying run. Ryan Yarborough came into the game and struck out Christian Yelich, but Starling Marte lined a 2 strike pitch into center field to bring home Merrifield and win the game for Paul. The series moved to Bob’s stadium, and Bob took an early 3-0 lead in game 3. Bob tacked on another run in the 6th on Eduardo Escobar’s 18th homer. Paul struck back in the top of the 7th with two outs, scoring 3 runs on back to back doubles by Merrifield and Eaton and Yelich’s 32nd homer. Bob’s team responded, scoring 6 runs in the 7th (ping, ping, ping) and 3 more in the 8th to win, 13-3. Gerritt Cole (10-13) struck out 10 in the win, and Brandon Woodruff (4-14) took the loss. Game 4 featured Max Scherzer against Masahiro Tanaka, but neither would figure in the decision. Paul took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the 9th, but JT Realmuto led off with a triple (his 5th) off of Sam Dyson (4-2) and Eduardo Escobar brought him home with a sac fly for Dyson’s 5th blown save. The game went to the 10th. With one out, Carlos Santana blasted his 25th homer off of Yimi Garcia (6-4), and Bob was unable to score off of Dyson, allowing Paul to clinch the split.

The next series saw Mark traveling to the Land of Dougald. Game 1 was an old fashioned pitcher’s duel. Luis Castillo (13-11) gave up just 2 hits and 1 run over 8 strong innings to win. Shane Bieber gave up 1 run before giving way to Tyler Clippard (3-4), who gave up a solo homer to Freddie Freeman (his 28th) to take the loss. Joakim Soria pitched a 123 9th for his 11th save. That was the only win for Mark on the week. In game 2, Matt Boyd (12-7) outdueled Mike Leake (10-11) to win, 3-2. Roberto Osuna picked up his 5th save. Game 3 was more of the same, as Mark only managed 2 runs off of Kyle Hendricks, who didn’t go long enough for the win. John Means (3-3) pitched 3 2/3 strong innings of relief and Mike Yastrzemski (8th) and Max Muncy (30th) homered to lead Dougald to a 5-2 win. Game 4 was another close affair, as the score was tied at 3 after 6 innings. Justin Turner hit his 11th homer off of Lance Lynn (10-10) in the 7th and Dougald’s bullpen was up to the task. Zack Greinke (13-7) got the win and Brad Hand got his 2nd save. Game 5 was also tight. Mark scored single runs in the 1st and 2nd and added 2 more in the 4th, but it was not enough. Dougald scored 3 runs in the 5th and another in the 8th, so the score was tied going into the 9th. Hector Neris (2-5) gave up a double to Tommy Edman in the top of the 9th, but was able to strand him at 2nd. With one out in the bottom of the 9th, Francisco Lindor hit his 2nd homer of the game (his 19th) off of Alex Colome to clinch the game for Dougald.

Rich went to John’s park in an effort to climb back into the playoff picture. In game 1, John jumped out in front with 4 quick runs off of Hyun-jin Ryu (10-9). Rich left him in the game, though, and came roaring back with 6 runs of his own in the 3rd and 6 more runs in the 5th. Ryu gave up two more runs in the 5th, but pitched a complete game with 232 pitches to win, 13-6. Noah Syndegaard (8-9) was the loser. John’s team settled down in the 2nd game and again took the early lead behind Mike Soroka. Soroka pitched 8 strong innings and was ahead, 5-1, when he came out after 8 innings. That’s when things started to unravel for John. Will Smith came in to pitch the 9th and walked John Donaldson. Max Kepler singled. Trey Mancini singled to load the bases. Gio Gonzalez (4-4) came in to relieve Smith. Charlie Blackmon singled, scoring Donaldson. Jose Ramirez ran for Blackmon. Gleybar Torres then cleared the bases with a double. Gonzalez threw a wild pitch. Juan Soto singled to score Torres. Mitch Garver then hit his 24th homer. Carlos Correa then singled before Gary Sanchez hit into a double play and Donaldson flew out. By the end of it, Rich was ahead, 8-5. In the bottom of the 9th, John loaded the bases but was only able to score 1 run, and lost, 8-6. Francisco Liriano (1-0) got the win and Pedro Baez picked up his 9th save. Game 3 was a pitcher’s duel between Walker Buehler (7-14) and John Flaherty (12-8). John was again ahead, 2-1, going into the 7th when Rich scored two runs. John wasn’t able to touch Rich’s bullpen, and Rich had taken 3 in a row with the 3-2 win. Ken Giles picked up his 12th save. Rich’s fans were abuzz with the news that their team was climbing back into the playoff race. Game 4 saw Rich take an early lead, 3-1, but John struck back, taking the lead with 3 runs in the 5th, highlighted by Yoan Moncada’s 5th triple. Rich was able to tie things up on Max Kepler’s 32nd homer in the 8th, and the score remained tied at 4 after 9. In the top of the 11th, Trey Mancini blasted his 2nd homer of the game (3rd) to give Rich the lead. Ken Giles (2-2) got two quick outs in the bottom of the 11th, but Jorge Soler smoked a double down the left field line. Ketel Marte followed that with a double of his own, and the game was tied once more. Giles intentionally walked Josh Bell, but escaped more trouble by striking out Victor Reyes. In the bottom of the 12th, two were out when Victor Robles got hit by a pitch. Moncada singled. Josh Taylor replaced Giles and promptly walked Jorge Polanco to load the bases. He then ran the count full to Jorge Soler before Soler hit one between third and short to bring home Robles and win the game for John. John then made things respectable by blowing up Julio Teheran (8-12) in game 5. Lucas Giolito (11-9) pitched 8 strong to win the game, 9-3. After the series, Rich is 2.5 games behind Phil for playoff position with 5 games on the road against Phil next week.

Phil was at home for 5 against Tim. Game 1 was a tight affair, with the score tied at 1 after 6. In the bottom of the 7th, Ramon Laureano doubled home Francisco Mejia to give Phil the lead and that’s where things stayed, 2-1. Clayton Kershaw (9-7) got the win and Sergio Romo (3-9) blew his 4th save and got the loss. Jose LeClerc earned his 1st save. Game 2 was very similar. Phil scored two runs in the 3rd off of James “Big Maple” Paxton (7-10) and Yu Darvish (7-7) was dominant, allowing only a single run in the 8th. Tim had a runner in scoring position in the 9th, but couldn’t bring him home, and Yusmeiro Petit picked up his 10th save. It was at this point in the series, with Phil about to put serious distance between himself and Rich, that Tim flipped the script. In game 3, Phil was ahead, 1-0, but Mookie Betts clubbed 2 homers and drove in all 4 of Tim’s runs to make a winner of Brad Keller (12-9) and a loser of Zack Wheeler (9-9). Jared Hughes notched his 3rd save.  Game 4 looked bad for Tim, with Rick Porcello, who has been awful, taking the mound against Jeff Samardzjia. But Porcello held Phil scoreless through 5.2 and Tim had a 2 run lead (one of which was a leadoff homer by Bryan Reynolds, his 16th). In the bottom of the 7th, Phil struck back. There were two outs when Paul Goldschmidt walked. Alex Verdugo singled Goldschmidt to third, and pinch-hitter David Peralta doubled both in to tie the game. Tim didn’t give up, however, and scored in the 8th on doubles by Reynolds and Kolten Wong and held on to win, 3-2. Marcus Walden (2-4) was the winner, while Scott Oberg (2-6) absorbed the loss. Adam Ottavino pitched a clean 9th for his 8th save. Game 5 was another nail-biter. Tim was ahead, 3-1, going into the bottom of the 8th when Alex Verdugo (10th) and Willy Adames (3rd) hit back to back homers – Verdugo’s was his second of the game – to tie things up. In the top of the 9th, Harrison Bader was hit by a pitch (and injured for 7 games) and Kyle Schwarber, of all people, pinch ran. Bryan Reynolds then doubled in Schwarber and Tim held on to win, 4-3. Dropped 3 of 5 to Tim leaves Phil in range of John and keeps him 4.5 games behind John for first place.

The biggest marquee series of the week saw Robert traveling to Chris for 5. Going into the series, Robert had a 2.5 game lead for first place. Game 1 was close, right up until it wasn’t. Chris was ahead, 3-2 going into the bottom of the 6th when 6 straight batters reached, and Chris scored 6 runs to ice the game. The final score was 9-3 and Charlie “Don’t Call Me Craig” Morton (13-4) got the win over Marcus Stroman (12-12). In game 2, Chris scored 4 early runs off of Mike Minor (12-10) and Sonny Gray (17-8) struck out 10 and held Robert to only 2, as Chris took the 4-2 win and brought Chris to within a half game of first place. Game 3 was a back and forth affair. Robert scored single runs in the first two innings off of Madison Bumgarner (9-8), including a leadoff homer by Mike Tauchman (7th). Chris struck back with 3 runs off of Jacob deGrom (19-5), highlighted by a 2-run shot by Cody Bellinger (38th, tied with Mike Trout for 2nd in the league). Robert took advantage of a two-base error by George Springer to score 2 runs in the 4th and added single runs in the 6th (Eugenio Suarez’s 34th) and 8th. Chris scored a single run on a passed ball in the 9th, but fell, 6-4. deGrom had 12 strikeouts and Aaron Bummer picked up his 10th save. Once Robert tasted blood, he found it suited him and cruised to a 6-2 win in game 4, Chris scoring his two runs in the bottom of the 9th. Patrick Corbin (9-12) got the win and Stephen Strasburg (11-12) the loss. So, after a quick start in the series, Chris found himself once more 2.5 games behind Robert going into game 5. Game 4 started poorly for Chris, as Morton wasn’t sharp. Robert scored 1 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd (highlighted by Joey Gallo’s 38th homer, tying him for 2nd in the league). Chris answered with a single run in the 3rd. The score remained 4-1 until the bottom of the 6th, when Stroman seemed to develop a blister. Willson Contreras walked. Howie Kendrick committed a 1-base error on a Xander Bogaerts grounder. Michael Brantley lined out. Byron Buxton struck out. Adam Frazier then hit a three-run shot (6th). Cody Bellinger then doubled and Ronald Acuna made a 2-base error, allowing Bellinger to score. Workman replaced Stroman. George Springer singled. Anthony Rendon singled. Aaron Judge hit a 3-run shot (35th). Brandon Kintzler replaced Workman. Contreras singled. Bogaerts singled. Brantley doubled, scoring Contreras, but Bogaerts was thrown out at home to end the inning. Chris held on for the 9-4 win and is now 1.5 games behind Robert. Next week, Chris travels to Mark’s home for 5 games and Rob has a 4-game home and home against John.

Week 32 Results

In Week 32 action, the 4 game series was between Phil and Chris, with both teams in second place trying to fend off the third place teams and catch the first place teams. They split 4 games.

Rich, trying to get back into playoff position, played Tim. Tim should have been easy pickings, but Rich dropped 3 of 5 at home to fall 3.5 games behind Phil for 2nd place.

Robert played Dougald, who had a bit of a revival last week. Dougald continued his winning ways, taking 3 of 5 from Robert, but it might be too little too late for Dougald as he’s 7 games behind Chris with 15 to play. Robert’s lead over Chris stands at 2.5 games.

John went to Paul’s stadium, expecting easy pickings, and didn’t find them. Paul took 3 of 5 – his first winning week in recent memory, leaving John 4.5 games over Chris and 8 games ahead of Rich.

Bob’s team went to play Mark, and stomped, taking 4 of 5, extending his lead for 4th place to 8 games over Mark.


Week 31 Results

This was the first week featuring 5-game series. There was one 4-game series, and Dougald mopped the floor with Tim’s team, sweeping all four games. In game 1, Dougald’s pitching shut Tim down behind 6 innings of 2-hit baseball by Zack Greinke (11-7). John Means followed Greinke and didn’t allow a hit in 3 innings to pick up his 9th save and preserve the 3-0 win. Game 2 was tied, 1-1 after 9 full innings, thanks to a Kolten Wong error that allowed the tying run to score in the top of the 9th. The score remained knotted through 12, but in the top of the 13th, Dougald exploded for 5 runs. Tim managed 2 runs in the bottom of the 13th but fell, 6-3. The series moved to Dougald’s park, where Dougald overcame a 2-0 deficit to win, 4-2. Matt Boyd (11-7) picked up the win and Rick Porcello (4-11) took the L. Kolten Wong made another error, his 3rd in 2 games. In game 4, Dougald jumped on Sandy Alcantara (8-8) for 5 runs in the first two innings and cruised to a 6-1 victory behind Kyle Hendricks (10-9) to clinch the sweep and to try to stay in the playoff hunt.

Directly above Dougald in the standings is Chris, who hoped to make up ground on first place in his 5-game series against Bob. Bob started fast, holding a 6-1 lead going to the top of the 9th (with Gerritt Cole pitching a no-hitter through 5), but then things started to unravel. Aaron Judge doubled off of Steve Cishek. Cishek settled down and got Contreras on a lineout and Bogaerts on a groundout, but Michael Brantley singled in Judge. Then David Dahl cracked his 17th homer to make the score 6-4. Bob ambled to the mound and waved in Josh Hader to face Adam Frazier. Frazier ran the count full before taking a called strike three on the outside corner and Bob took game 1. Chris started game 2 quickly, scoring 2 runs in the first when Cody Bellinger led off with a double and George Springer smoked a homer off of Masahiro Tanaka (11-9). Bob came right back against Charlie Morton (12-3), and scored 2 runs of his own in the first. Bob added 2 more runs in the 3rd, and Tanaka and Cishek held strong to win game 2, 6-3. In game 3, Bob took an early 1-0 lead in the first and Jose Berrios (7-17) held Chris scoreless until the 4th when the floodgates opened. Chris put up 4 runs in the 4th, highlighted by an Adam Frazier 2-run shot, and 3 more runs in the 5th and then cruised to the 8-1 victory. Bob took the early 1-0 lead in game 4, but Chris tied it in the 2nd. Eduardo Escobar hit his 17th homer to lead off the bottom of the 3rd, and Bob tacked on two more. The score remained 4-1 until the 7th when Bob put up 4 more runs, including Pete Alonso’s 3-run shot (his 34th). Chris scored 4 runs of his own in the top of the 8th, but couldn’t get any closer and fell, 9-5. Chris removed all doubt in game 5 by putting up 6 runs in the top of the first off of Gerritt Cole (8-13). Stephen Strasburg (11-11) cruised through 8 innings and Chris won, 6-1. Following the series, Chris is 7.5 games ahead of Dougald for playoff position.

By losing 3 of 5, Chris left the door open for Robert to put some distance between them for first place. Robert was home against Mark, and did just that. It didn’t start out well, though, as Jacob deGrom had a very rare poor outing, giving up 10 hits and 7 runs in 4 2/3 innings. He didn’t lose, however, as Robert tied the game at 7 in the bottom of the 9th with an incredible two-run homer by Jarrod Dyson (his 6th). Jeff McNeil spoiled the comeback for Robert, though, by hitting his own 2-run shot in the 10th off of Giovanni Gallegos to win the game for Mark, 9-7. Game 2 was a nail biter – Mark scored two runs in the third, but Robert scored single runs in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th. Mark scored 1 in the 8th, but couldn’t get closer, and Robert took the 4-3 win. Aaron Bummer (4-3) got the win, and Lance Lynn (10-9) took the loss. Robert didn’t take any chances in game 3, scoring early and often off of Luis Castillo (11-11) to win, 8-2 for Marcus Stroman (12-10). Stroman pitched out of trouble all day, as Mark left 12 runners on base. Robert continued to stomp in game 4, but had to overcome 3 early Mark runs. Robert put up 4 runs in the 3rd and 6 more in the 8th and took the 12-5 win for Mike Minor (12-9). Mike Leake (10-10) took the loss. Mark started game 5 fast, scoring 3 runs off of Jacob deGrom (17-5) in the top of the first on homers by Nolan Arenado (his 27th) and Jeff McNeil (his 17th), but Robert returned serve with a fury, scoring 8 runs in the bottom of the first off of Jake Odorizzi (7-14). Mark then pecked away at the lead, scoring single runs in the 2nd, 5th, and 6th, but couldn’t make up the difference, and Robert held on to win, 8-6. Following his 4-1 series, Robert extended his lead over Chris to 3 games.

The lead in the other division was also at stake, as Phil traveled to play 5 games at John’s park. Both teams wanted it, and game 1 showed how much. Phil put up 2 runs in the top of the first when Yordano Alvarez hit his 20th homer of the year, this one off of Walker Buehler. John came back, though, scoring 1 run in the 3rd (Jorge Polanco homer, his 12th), 2 runs in the 4th, and 1 run in the 5th (Jorge Soler’s 25th homer). Phil tied the game with 2 runs in the 7th and the score remained knotted until the bottom of the 15th, when Victor Robles successfully squeezed in Victor Reyes from 3rd to win the game. Zack Wheeler (9-7) gave Phil a strong start in game 2, going 5 2/3 and giving up only 1 run to beat Mike Soroka (10-6), 5-1.  Game 3 was another extra innings affair – the score was tied at 2 after 9 full and went to the 12th. Yoan Moncada walked it off for John with his 14th homer, making a loser of Tyler Webb (2-3). In game 4, Lucas Giolito (9-9), walked between the raindrops, scattering 7 hits through 8 innings but not allowing a single run. Justin Verlander (16-5) gave up only 3 hits, but lost, 2-0 on 2 unearned runs. Game 5 was yet another extended affair, with umpires nervously checking their watches as the game approached the local curfew. Clayton Kershaw hooked up against Walker Buehler in a beauty, and after 9 the score was tied, 1-1. It stayed that way until the top of the 17th inning (!) when Phil scored a run on a Nick Anderson wild pitch. John was not to be denied, however, and tied the score when Josh Bell singled in Elvis Andrus. The game went until the 19th when Elvis Andrus walked it off with his 4th homer of the year. This was the longest game of the year by 3 innings, and John’s win extended his lead over Phil to 5 games for first place.

Rich’s team was doing a bit of scoreboard watching in his series against Paul. They saw a real opportunity when Phil dropped 4 of 5 and started things off on the right foot, cruising to a 5-1 victory behind Jack Flaherty (9-8) over Joe Musgrove (4-9). The win broke a 5 game losing streak for Rich. Game 2 was the type of game that Paul has found himself in lately – a game where special teams really makes the difference. Rich put up 6 runs in the second inning off of Joey Lucchesi, highlighted by homers by Mitch Garver (his 22nd) and Juan Soto (his 24th). Paul’s team, however, did not go gently into that good night, and put up 8 runs of their own in the 4th on homers by Carson Kelly (22nd), Tommy La Stella (17th), Christian Yelich (29th), and Starling Marte (15th). Rich then tied the game with 2 runs in the bottom of the 4th on a homer by Juan Soto (his 25th and second of the game). Rich then went ahead with 2 more runs in the 5th on a Gleybar Torres homer (37th). The teams traded single runs in the 7th (Gleybar Torres hitting his 2nd homer of the game for Rich, his 38th), and Paul scored a single runs in the 8th and 9th to tie it (Javier Baez’s 27th homer in the 9th), so the score was tied going to the bottom of the 9th. With one out, Carlos Correa blasted his 20th homer to win the game for Rich. Kenta Maeda (13-2) got the win, Kenley Jansen (3-5) picked up the loss. Gleybar Torres hit two more homers for Rich in game 3, to increase his league-leading total to 40, and Josh Donaldson added 2 of his own (his 21st and 22nd) but Paul’s offense was up to the challenge, and the game was tied at 7 after 9 innings. Both teams scored a single run in the 11th, but Whit Merrifield blasted a 3-run shot in the 12th to win the game for Paul, 11-8. Paul’s offense continued to romp in game 4, as he put up 8 runs for Max Scherzer (8-10) to beat Rich, 8-4, despite Mike Trout hitting 2 homers (36 and 37). Julio Teheran (8-10) took the loss. Game 5 was close early, but Rich put up 4 runs in the 6th to blow it open. Max Kepler continued the streak of Rich’s batters with two homers, hitting his 29th and 30th. John Flaherty (10-8) got the win, while Anthony deSclafani (5-11) took the loss. Following his 3-2 series, Rich is now 3 games behind Phil for playoff position.

4 weeks left in the season! Should be a fun pennant race. Should we play the playoffs in person?

Week 30 Results

Just like in TV, this was sweeps week. Three of the 5 series played were sweeps. 1 was a 3 out of 4, and 1 was a split.

The first sweep was somewhat improbably, as Robert swept Rich, who to this point has been right in the playoff picture in Division 1. In game 1, Rich managed to score 3 runs despite gathering only 2 hits – thank you, Jake deGrom (16-5). Robert scored 3 runs in the first and held on to win, 5-3. Game 2 was the identical score. Robert scored 3 runs in the first two innings and Patrick Corbin (8-11) and Aaron Bummer (8th save) held Rich to 3 hits and 3 runs. Robert continued the trend of jumping out to an early lead in game 4, scoring 6 runs in the first three innings and cruising to an 8-4 victory behind Marcus Stroman (11-10). Julio Teheran (8-9) only lasted into the 3rd inning for Rich. Game 4 had a bit of a different flavor. Hyun-jin Ryu (9-9) was cruising along with a 3-1 lead until he ran into trouble in the 9th. He walked Jarrod Dyson, and gave up a * single to Nelson Cruz. Joey Gallo hit into a force at second, though, and Miguel Sano struck out looking. Fernando Tatis singled in Dyson to bring the score to 3-2. Ryu was lifted in favor of Ken Giles, who immediately threw a pitch that Mitch Garver couldn’t handle, scoring Gallo and tying the game. Eugenio Suarez then blasted a show into the upper deck to give Robert a 5-3 lead. Brandon Workman (4-3) pitched a scoreless 9th to secure the sweep.

The second sweep was less improbable, as Chris swept Paul. Game 1 was a high-scoring affair (common for Paul lately). Joey Lucchesi (1-13) gave up 13 hits and 10 runs in 5 innings pitched for Paul. Paul scored 2 runs in the 8th and 2 in the 9th, and Carson Kelly had 2 homers, but Paul was unable to go any further, dropping the game 10-8 to Stephen Strasburg (10-10). Paul was ahead in game 2, 4-3 when Chris exploded for 6 runs in the bottom of the 7th. Cody Bellinger had a single, a triple, and a homer in the game to make a winner of Liam Hendriks (5-1) over Brandon Woodruff (4-13). Game 3 was a nail-biter. Both teams had no issues scoring, including Cody Bellinger’s 35th homer, and Paul tied the game at 6 with a solo homer by pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores (his 8th). In the 9th, however, Chris loaded the bases and David Dahl delivered the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly. Zack Britton gave up a couple of baserunners, but managed to slam the door for Chris. The loss seemed to break the spirit of Paul’s team, and Chris walked over them in game 4, 12-3, behind Madison Bumgarner (8-6). Willson Contreras had 4 hits, a homer (21), and 3 RBI for Chris. Chris’ sweep allowed him to keep pace with Robert, and he remains 1 game out of first.

The third sweep was improbable, as Tim swept Bob. The idea that Tim’s team could win 4 in a row against Bob’s pitching fairly boggles the mind. In game 1, Bryan Reynolds led off the game with a homer, and Brad Keller (10-9) acted like Gerrit Cole and defeated Gerrit Cole (7-12), 3-0. Colin Poche picked up his 11th save. Game 2 was a pitchers’ duel between Rick Porcello (of all people) and Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka was ahead, 1-0, until the 8th, when Pedro Severino led off with a homer (his 8th) to tie the game. The game went into extras, and Andrelton Simmons hit a ball 316 feet to left field that scraped the back of the fence on the way down. It was the 7th homer for Simmons and Adam Ottavino (2-2) made it stand up. Game 3 looked like a laugher, as Tim put up 5 runs in the first off of Jose Berrios (7-16), who lasted just 2/3 of an inning. The outburst was highlighted by a 3-run shot by Manny Machado (his 6th). Bob scored 1 run in the 3rd on a Jackie Bradley, Jr. homer (his 10th) and 3 more in the 5th on Bradley, Jr.’s second homer of the day (his 11th), but could not get over the hump and dropped the decision, 5-4. Sandy Alcantara (8-7) picked up the win and Colin Poche snagged his 12th save. Game 4 was another nail-biter. Aaron Nola (10-8) matched up with Dustin German and the score was tied at 1 after 6. Tim loaded the bases and managed 3 runs in the 8th, however, to clinch the sweep with a 4-1 win.

The split was between Phil and Mark. In game 1, Jake Odorizzi (7-13) was particularly stingy, giving up no runs in 7 innings to outduel Zack Wheeler (8-7). Phil managed a single run in the 8th on Trevor Story’s 12th homer, but Mark held on to win, 3-1. Freddie Freeman hit his 24th homer in the win. Phil struck back with power in the 2nd game. He spotted Mark an early 2-0 lead, but then thundered back with 4 runs in the third and 4 more in the 5th and cruised to a 9-2 victory behind Jeff Samardzija (11-4) over Lance Lynn (10-8). Mark took notes and retaliated in game 3, spotting Phil an early 3-0 lead, then scratching back with single runs in the 3rd and 4th before breaking things open with 4 runs in the 7th and adding 2 in the 9th for the 8-4 win. Freddie Freeman (25), Paul DeJong (13), Gio Urshela (22) homered for Mark, while Trevor Story (14) homered for Phil. Luis Castillo (11-10) took the victory over Justin Verlander (16-4). Clayton Kershaw (8-7) took the mound on a mission in game 4 and pitched 8 shutout innings to clinch the split over Mike Leake (10-9) by the score of 2-0. Robert Stephenson picked up his 6th save. Following the split, Phil is 2 games behind John for first place, and 5 games ahead of Rich for playoff position.

John finished things up by taking 3 of 4 from Dougald’s team, who is sliding into obscurity down the stretch. Game 1 was a slugfest. John scored in all but 2 innings and managed to outlast Dougald, 11-7 behind Walker Buehler (7-12). Zack Greinke (10-7) took the loss. Dougald outslugged John, 10-8, to win game 2 for Roberto Osuna (5-3). Shane Bieber only lasted 1/3 of an inning, as John put up 3 quick runs, but Dougald scored 3 in the 4th and 6 more over the 6th, 7th, and 8th to secure the game. Bryce Harper hit his 24th homer for Dougald. Lucas Giolito (8-9) took control of game 3 and pitched 8 shutout innings with 11 strikeouts. Matt Boyd (10-7) was almost as good, pitching 6 innings and giving up only a JD Martinez solo homer (his 12th). John added one in the 8th on a Rhys Hoskins double to take the 2-0 win. Game 4 was knotted at 5 through 9 innings. Without the ghost runners of today, the game dragged into the 12th until Ketel Marte hit a walk-off homer (his 27th). Jorge Soler had 2 homers in the game, as well. Following this series, Dougald falls to 10 games out of playoff position.



Week 29 Results

Chris came into week 29 looking to gain ground on Robert, and he did just that. In game 1, he treated Rick Porcello like a child treats a diaper, and took the 10-5 win. Anthony Rendon knocked 2 homers to give him 25 on the year. In game 2, Chris scored 2 quick runs off of Sandy Alcantara (7-7) but Tim tied the game with single runs in the 3rd and 4th. Sandy couldn’t hold on, though, and Chris took the game, 5-2 for Charlie Morton (12-2). George Springer hit his 33rd homer, good for 3rd in the league. Game 3 was scoreless until the 5th, when Chris scored 3 runs, helped by a Dustin German (8-8) error. Tim answered with 2 runs on a two-out triple by Lourdes Gurriel in the 6th, but Gurriel was stranded on third when Harrison Bader grounded out. Both teams scored single runs in the 8th, but Liam Hendriks pitched a scoreless 9th to for his 3rd save, making a winner of Sonny Gray (13-8). Game 4 was a back and forth affair. Tim took the lead in the 8th with two runs, highlighted by a Manny Machado solo shot (his 5th). Chris then tied the game in the top of the 9th with two singles and a force out. Tim staved off the sweep, however, when Harrison Bader, of all people, hit a walkoff 3-run homer in the 10th. Jarred Hughes (1-3), after blowing his 3rd save, picked up the win and Zack Britton (4-3) took the L.

Robert, looking to keep his lead, was only able to manage a split against Phil. Robert didn’t score for deGrom in game 1, and tied the game at 2 in the bottom of the 8th, but Phil put up 3 runs in the top of the 10th, including a Paul Goldschmidt homer, to take the game, 5-2. Game 2 was another tight one, as the score was tied at 3 after 7, but Phil put up single runs in the 8th and 9th to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Game 3 shifted to Phil’s park, and the teams swapped roles. Phil was leading game 3, 3-0 but Robert scored 1 run in the 7th, 2 runs in the 8th, and another run in the 9th, on a Fernando Tatis Jr. homerun (his 19th), to take the game. Game 4 was more of the same. Mike Minor (11-9) and Yu Darvish (5-7) locked horns in a pitcher’s duel that was tied after 5, 1-1. In the top of the 6th, Jarrod Dyson tripled (his 3rd), and came home on a Miguel Sano sacrifice fly. Minor and Kirby Yates (5th save) made the lead stand up to save the split for Robert. His lead over Chris is now 1 game. Phil, with the split, remains 1 game behind John in Division 1.

John faced off against Bob and only managed a split. Walked Buehler (6-12) was outpitched by Gerrit Cole (7-11) in game 1 as Pete Alonso hit a 2-run homer and Bob took the 3-2 victory. John struck back in game 2 with a pitching gem of his own. Lucas Giolito (7-9) pitched a 1-hitter through 8 and John Brebbia nailed down his 7th save for a 4-1 victory over Masahiro Tanaka (10-9). In game 4, Bob scored 4 quick runs in the first off of Noah Syndegaard (8-8) and rode that lead to a 9-4 win for Jose Berrios (7-15). Game 4 was another nail-biter. Aaron Nola (10-7) pitched an incredible game, going 8 innings, striking out 12, and giving up only 2 hits and 2 runs. Mike Soroka (10-5) was that much better, however, as he gave up 1 run through 6.2 innings, and Willie Harris threw 2.1 innings for his 7th save.

Rich and Dougald faced off in a contest between 3rd place teams trying to stay in the pennant races. Rich made things easy for John Flaherty (8-7) in game 1, scoring 4 runs in the 2nd and coasting to a 10-5 win. Gleybar Torres hit his league leading 32nd and 33rd homers (he would hit two more in the series to for a league-leading 35, one over his teammate Mike Trout). In game 2, Rich put up 2 runs in the 4th and 5 runs in the 5th to beat Shane Bieber (8-10). Dougald scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th but was unable to get any further, making a winner of Julio Teheran (8-8). Game 3 was another laugher, with Rich scoring 5 runs in the 6th to put the game out of reach.  Hyun-jin Ryu (9-8) went the distance for Rich in the 10-3 win. Dougald finally unleashed his offense in game 4, scoring 7 runs in the 2nd inning and coasting to a 12-5 win to avoid the sweep. Dropping 3 of 4, however, moves Dougald to 7 games out of playoff position as his team fades down the stretch. Rich stands at 3 games behind Phil for the playoffs.

Mark faced off against Paul in games that were blacked out locally. In game 1, Mark continued the trend of putting up football scores against Paul. Brandon Woodruff lasted just 1/3 of an inning as Mark scored 5 runs en route to a 16-5 win, despite two homers by Tommy La Stella (his 15th and 16th) for Paul. In game 2, Lance Lynn (10-7) shut down Paul’s offense, giving up just 1 unearned run in 7 innings as Mark defeated Max Scherzer (7-10), 4-1. Game 3 was a wild one. Paul put up 7 runs in the first 3 innings and things seemed under control, but in the 7th, Mark started to come back. He scored 4 runs in the 7th and 2 more in the 8th, but couldn’t quite get that tying run, as Lorenzo Cain was picked off first base by Sam Dyson in the 8th. Anthony deSclafani (5-9) won the game over Luis Castillo (10-10). Paul continued with his early offense in game 4, scoring 6 runs in the first off of Mike Leake, who didn’t record an out. But, once again, Paul’s pitching staff couldn’t quite keep things under control, and by the 3rd Mark had tied the game at 6. Not to be denied, Paul scored a single run in the 4th and 3 more in the 6th and his bullpen held up for the 10-6 win. Junior Guerra (2-1) pitched 4 innings of 1-hit relief for the win, and Ross Stripling (1-1) took the loss.

Week 28 Results

In the second week of home and home series, Chris took 3 of 4 from John. This keeps Chris within 2 games of Robert and shortens John’s lead to 1 game over Phil.

Phil took 3 of 4 from Dougald, whose team seems to be drooping in the stretch run. This stretches Phil’s lead over Rich to 5 games.

Rich split 4 games with Bob.

Robert took 3 of 4 after dropping the first game to Paul to preserve his lead over Chris and expand his home field advantage lead to 4 games (best record in the league).

Tim and Mark split 4 games. In the third game of the series, Luis Castillo had a no-hitter through 8 innings when he was pulled and replaced with Alex Colome, who gave up a two-out triple to Mookie Betts to break up the no-hitter.

Week 27 Results

This is the first week of the home and homes. Robert traveled to Tim for the first two games of their series and in game 1, the score was 1-0 Robert, with Jacob deGrom (15-5) cruising until the bottom of the 7th when Tim pushed across two runs with a double by Matt Olson and three singles. Dustin German (8-7) got the win, giving up just 3 hits and 1 run in 7 innings. Adam Ottavino notched his 5th save. Tim took the second game at home, as well, before Robert roared back to salvage the split by taking both of his home games.

Chris played Rich and was ahead in game 1, 9-3, after two innings. Rich kept chipping away, however, and managed to tie the game in the 7th and then take the lead, 10-9, in the bottom of the 8th on a Gleybar Torres solo shot. Chris tied the game in the top of the 9th on a double, an error, and a wild pitch. Chris then scratched across a run in the top of the 10th and Julio Urias (6-3) escaped with the win despite giving up 2 hits in the bottom of the 10th. Game 2 was tied, 1-1, until Chris erupted for 6 runs in the 5th inning, highlighted by a Willson Contreras 3-run shot, and cruised to the 7-3 victory behind Charlie Morton (11-2). The series then moved to Chris’ home, and he took games 3 and 4 by identical 4-2 scores to sweep Rich and climb to within 2 games of first place. Rich fell to 3 games behind Phil (and 2nd place).

Phil played Bob, and was hoping to make up some ground on John, but Bob’s team is a tough out. They alternated wins and Phil escaped with a split. Bob was ahead in game 3, 3-2 until the bottom of the 8th when Shin-Soo Choo made a 2 base error in right field and Kevin Pillar doubled him home to tie the game. The score remained tied until the 12th when Pete Alonso hit a 2-run homer to give Bob a 5-3 lead and Josh Hader (3-2) set Phil down in order in the 12th with two k’s to secure the win.

John faced Mark. Game 1 was tied, 1-1, until Victor Reyes doubled in 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th and John Brebbia closed things out for his 6th save. Game 2 was tight, with John ahead 2-1 until the 8th again (John’s favorite inning?) when John erupted for 6 runs to take the game, 8-1. In game 3, Anibal Sanchez cruised to a 10-0 shutout despite giving up 7 hits. In game 4, Mark wasted no time in avoiding the sweep, scoring 6 runs in the first and cruising to a 13-2 win behind Mike Leake (10-7).

Dougald played Paul, who has been giving up runs in bunches. Dougald continued that trend, winning game 1 18-3, and game 2 17-11. Game 3 was actually close – it was tied at 5 after 7, but Dougald (like everyone else this week) scored in the bottom of the 8th when Mike Yastrzemski doubled and was singled home by Max Muncy. John Means nailed it down for his 7th save. Once that close game was out of the way, Dougald returned to scoring touchdowns and took game 4, 14-3, to complete the sweep. This allowed Dougald to keep pace with Chris and remain 3 games out of playoff position.

Week 26 Results

In week 26, the last week before the home and home series stretch, the two first place teams faced off. Robert won the day, taking 3 of 4 from John.

Dougald was trying to keep pace with Chris, but dropped 3 of 4 to Bob.

Chris held serve and took 3 of 4 from Mark.

Phil and Rich split 4 games, so Phil remains 1 game ahead of Rich for 2nd place.

Over on ESPN37, Tim and Paul faced off and split 4 games. In the 3rd game, Paul knocked the crap out of Rick Porcello – putting up 7 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. Tim’s team fought back, but fell a bit short in the 15-13 slugfest despite outhitting Paul’s team 21-19.