Ladies and gentlemen, we have a change in first place in Division 1.
Rich and John met and Max Kepler got the series off to a good start for Rich by going 4 for 5 and slugging 2 homers. Julio Teheran pitched 8 strong innings to beat Lucas Giolito and John, 6-3. In game 2, disaster struck for Team Rich, as Mike Trout pulled an eyelash and will miss 10 games. Rich was undeterred, however, and supported a strong pitching performance by Hyun-jin Ryu with 10 runs to take a 10-3 victory. Despite losing Trout, Rich continued his winning ways in game 3 – David Price and Pedro Baez combined on a 3-hit shutout to win, 2-0. The injuries continued in game 4, as Carlos Correa and Trey Mancini got hurt (Mancini for 3, Correa just for the remainder of the game) and James McCann got hurt for John for 3 games. John staved off the sweep behind Walker Buehler (2-8!), 4-2.
With John dropping 3 of 4, Phil was in prime position to take over first place and the only thing standing in his way was a homestand against Tim’s weak sister team. Team Phil was confident going into game 1 and got smacked in the mouth, as Tim’s team put up 13 runs and Brad Keller and company held Phil to just 1. Game 2 was a close affair – the score was tied going to the top of the 9th when Kyle Schwarber crushed a Robert Stephenson breaking ball that didn’t break. Colin Poche nailed down the victory for his 6th save. Tim then took game 3 before Phil squeaked out a 3-2 win behind his stopper Justin Verlander (9-2). As a result, Phil sits at .500, 1 game behind John for for 2nd place.
Things remained status quo in Division 2, except that Bob shocked the oddsmakers by taking 3 of 4 from Robert. Robert’s only win came from Jacob deGrom (of course, he’s 9-1), but then Bob reeled off 3 straight, including a 7-0 shutout in game 2 behind Masahiro Tanaka and Steve Cishek.
Dougald and Chris came into the week tied for 2nd, and they left the week tied for 2nd with a split of 4 games. Chris preserved the split with a 7-0 shutout in game 4 by Madison Bumgarner, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman.
Mark and Paul also split 4 games to keep Mark 1 game out of 2nd place. Runs were cheap in the first two games in Coors field – the first game went to Mark, 12-8; the second game also went to Mark, 12-4. Things then tightened up as Tommy LaStella knocked in a run for Paul with a walkoff single in game 4 to take it, 4-3. Game 4 was a barn-burner, as Mark went into the bottom of the 9th with a 5 run lead, 9-4, but Chris Bassitt and Joakim Soria couldn’t close the door. Jose Altuve led off the inning by receiving a buzz indicating fastball and jacked one into the left field stands (his second of the game). Soria came in for Bassitt and got Javier Baez to ground out, but Carson Kelly and Wilmer Flores each singled. Freddie Freeman then mishandled a hot grounder by Christian Yelich, loading the bases. Starling Marte then tore a single into center field, scoring 2. Franmil Reyes drew a walk. Tommy LaStella doubled in two runs. Carlos Santana was intentionally walked, and then Soria couldn’t find the plate and walked Altuve to force in the winning run.