The premier series this week was between Robert and Dougald, as the two playoff teams in division 2 (fancy division names we have). Dougald stole game 1 with 2 runs in the bottom of the 9th off of Brandon Workman and the appropriately named Aaron Bummer to win, 6-5. Robert cruised in game 2, 6-2 with the win going to Giovanny Gallegos (7-0) out of the pen. Robert continued his winning ways in game 3 behind Marcus Stroman (5-5) with an 11-6 win. Joey Gallo set the pace with 2 doubles and a 3-run homer (and, of course, a strikeout). Robert sent Mike Minor (5-6) to the mound in game 4, hoping to win the series, but Dougald scored a quick 3 runs off of him in the 1st and crushed to an 11-4 win behind Kyle Hendricks (4-5) to salvage the split and remain 4 games behind Robert for first place.
Chris had a seemingly easy road to make up ground on Dougald for playoff position. But, things weren’t quite easy. Game 1 went 13 innings and Matt Olson clubbed a walk-off homer off of Sean Newcomb (0-1) for Tim to win the game 3-2. Diego Castillo (2-2) was the winner. Game 2 was another tough one, and Chris got out to an early 3-1 lead, but Charlie Morton (7-2) couldn’t hold it. Tim won, 7-6 behind 2 homers by Bryan Reynolds for Domingo German (6-3). Sonny Gray (7-4) took the mound to try to salvage some respectability for Chris in game 3, but fell behind, 4-0 early and Tim and Big Maple James Paxton (2-5) cruised, 7-3. Game 4 was more of the same for Chris, as Brad Keller (5-6) and Tim’s pen shut him out, 2-0 for the unfathomable sweep. Instead of gaining ground, or even keeping pace, Chris falls 3 games behind Dougald for playoff position.
Over in division 1, John and Phil faced off, each trying to gain ground on Rich. Game 1 went to John, 4-2, and featured a strong performance by Walker Buehler (3-8), who seems to be turning his season around. Game 2 was tight at first, but John pulled away from Phil and Clayton Kershaw (2-6) to win, 9-2. Anibel Sanchez (7-2) gave up 2 hits over 7 innings in the win. Phil fought back in game 3 after falling behind early, and took it, 5-3 behind Yu Darvish (4-4). Mike Soroka (2-5) gave up 10 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings to take the loss. Game 4 was a tight pitching duel. Zack Wheeler pitched 8 shutout innings for Phil and gave up only 3 hits, while Lucas Giolito, Will Smith, and Gio Gonzalez matched him for John. Going to the bottom of the 9th, the score was knotted, 0-0, when Yoan Moncada turned around a Tyler Duffey (2-1) fastball in a big way to win it for John, 1-0. Gonzalez (2-2) picked up the victory for John and spread his lead over Phil to 3 games.
While John was playing Phil, Rich tried to hang on to first place at home against Paul. Game 1 was tied, 3-3 going into the bottom of the 7th when Carlos Correa reached on an error by Javier Baez. Gleybar Torres immediately made Baez pay for the mistake by launching an Anthony Desclafani (3-4) pitch into the stands. The score held for winner Jack Flaherty (4-5). Pedro Baez recorded his 7th save. In game 2, Paul was ahead, 2-1, in the bottom of the 8th when Gleybar Torres and Mitch Garver homered for a total of 3 runs and the ballgame. David Price struck out 12 in 7 innings and Kenta Maeda (7-1) picked up the win. Paul took game 3, 6-5, when he was able to hold off a 9th inning charge by Rich when, after a Mike Trout homer and a Mitch Garver walk, Keston Hiura lined one right to Jose Altuve. Game 4 was a slugfest, which Rich scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the 7th to win, 11-9. As a result, Rich remains in first place,1 game ahead of John.
In the Bob-Mark series, Bob brought his broom and took 4 straight. Game 1 was a dominant performance by Gerritt Cole (2-7), as he gave up 4 hits and 1 run in 8 innings to win, 7-1. In game 2, Bob survived homers by Jose Abreu, Jeff McNeil, and Freddie Freeman to win 6-4 behind Masahiro Tanaka (8-4). Game 3 was another laugher, as Bob put up 6 runs in the 3rd inning and cruised to a 11-2 win over Luis Castillo (6-3). Jose Berrios (3-9) went 7.1 innings for the win. Mark tried to stave off the sweep in game 4, but his bats just didn’t show up. Aaron Nola (6-3) went 6.1 innings of 2 hit ball as Bob clinched the sweep with a 3-1 victory over Mike Leake (5-4).