Week 19 featured a matchup between the two first place teams, Robert and Rich. In game 1, which featured Jacob deGrom (10-3, and who occupies the top 8 spots in the record book for “fewest hits allowed in a game”) against Hyu-jin Ryu (6-4, who occupies the 9th and 10th spots for “fewest hits allowed in a game” – followed once more by deGrom). The game was knotted at 4 going to the bottom of the 7th when deGrom tired. Rich managed 3 runs off of deGrom, Brandon Workman, and Taylor Rogers, and Ryu held on for a complete game victory, 7-4. Robert’s team took umbrage and lit up David Price (5-4) in game 2, 11-3. Patrick Corbin (3-8) pitched 5.2 innings to win the battle of the lefties. Rich fell behind early in game 3, 2-1, but rallied back to score 2 runs each in the 4th, 5th, and 7th. Jack Flaherty (5-5) did his best Nuke Laloosh impression for Rich, striking out 14 batters while walking 6 while holding Robert to 2 runs in the 7-2 win. Mike Trout went deep twice for Rich. Robert sent out Mike Minor to try to preserve the split, and he pitched well. Unfortunately for Robert, Chris Paddack also pitched well, and the score was tied a 2 going to the bottom of the 10th. Jorge Alfaro launched a 3-run walkoff shot off of Aaron Bummer (2-1) to clinch the series win. Kenta Maeda (8-1) got the win for Rich.
The second place teams also locked horns this week, as Dougald traveled to John. Zack Greinke (5-4) pitched well for Dougald in game 1, giving up only 2 runs (1 earned) over 5.2 innings, but Noah Syndergaard was throwing aspirin tablets for John. Syndergaard (5-4) gave up 3 hits and struck out 10 in 8 innings as John shut out Dougald, 3-0. Dougald continued to struggle at the plate in game 2, wasting a strong performance by Shane Bieber (6-6) as Mike Soroka (3-5) gave up 4 hits in 8 innings and combined with Will Harris (5th save) to shut Dougald out again, 3-0. Game 3 was looking like much of the same for Dougald, as he went into the top of the 9th trailing, 4-2. With two out, Yasmani Grandal singled. Francisco Lindor then tied the game with a homer off of John Brebbia (5-2). Max Muncy and Tom Murphy then hit back to back doubles to put Dougald ahead, 5-4. Hector Neris slammed the door for his 2nd save. Game 4 was another pitcher’s duel. Kyle Hendricks (5-5) went 6 for Dougald and gave up just 2 hits and 1 run to win, 3-1, and preserve the split. As a result, John falls 2 games behind Rich and Dougald picks up a game and is 3 behind Robert.
Phil hosted Mark as both tried to stay relevant in the playoff picture. Game 1 went to Phil, 4-2 behind Jeff Samardzjia (5-3). Jake Odorizzi (4-7) took the loss. Mark finally got off the schneid in game 2, outslugging Phil, 9-7. The outcome was in doubt until the end, however, as the score was tied, 5-5 going to the top of the 11th. With one out, Buster Posey singled and then came all the way around to score on a Tommy Edman triple. Chris Taylor singled in Edman. Nolan Arenado struck out, but Freddie Freeman greeted new pitcher Tyler Webb with a homerun into the deep reaches of the stadium for a 9-5 lead. Hansel Robles (1-1) tried to slam the door in the bottom of the 11th, but hit Austin Meadows to start the inning. Kevin Pillar came in to pinch run for Meadows, and got to third on Ramon Laureano’s double. Yordan Alverado then singled in Pillar and Laureano to make it 9-7. Mark took the long stroll to the mound and waved in Joakim Soria. Soria struck out Trevor Story, walked Alex Bregman, got Paul Goldschmidt on a flyout to center, and struck out pinch-hitter David Peralta to nail down his 9th save. Phil righted the ship in game 3 behind Clayton Kershaw (3-6), who gave up 4 hits and 1 run in 8 strong innings to win, 4-2. Luis Castillo (6-4) pitched a complete game in the loss. Game 4 was tied, 4-4 in the bottom of the 7th, but Phil put up 4 runs, highlighted by a 3-run shot by Yordano Alvarez, to win 8-4. Tyler Duffy closed the door for his 5th save. Mike Leake (5-5) took the loss.
Chris traveled to Paul and tried to get back into the playoff picture after falling away the past few weeks. Game 1 was a laugher, as Chris jumped on Brandon Woodruff (1-8) right way for 4 runs in the first inning and cruised to an 8-3 win. Stephen Strasburg (6-6) struck out 12 in 8 innings for the win. Sadly for Paul, game 2 was more of the same. Charlie Morton (8-2) and Ryan Pressly combined on a shutout, with Morton racking up 14 K’s, as Chris beat Max Scherzer (5-5), 9-0. Paul’s team put up more of a fight in game 3 after falling behind early when Chris scored 3 in the first inning. Paul scratched back to tie it, and the score remained tied into the top of the 12th inning. Willson Contreras led off the 12th with a single off of Cam Bedrosian (0-3) and Xander Bogaerts followed that up with a 2-run homer. Shane Greene pitched a perfect bottom of the 12th for his 3rd save. Liam Hendriks (2-1) was the winning pitcher. Game 4 was a barn burner. Paul started out on fire, scoring 2 runs in the first, 4 runs in the second, 2 runs in the third, and another run in the fourth, but he couldn’t hold it. Chris scored single runs in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, and then erupted for 4 runs in the 8th and 5 runs in the 9th to tie it, 12-12. Chris then put up 2 runs in the top of the 11th, highlighted by a Michael Brantley homer. Aroldis Chapman (2-1) closed the door for the win, and the sweep was complete. As a result, Chris climbed back to within a game of Dougald for 2nd place.
Meanwhile, on ESPN37, Bob traveled to Tim. Tim’s team was still a touch hung over from their sweep of Chris, and found themselves behind, 7-3 in the bottom of the 9th in game 1. Bryan Reynolds then knocked in 2 with a double, but Kyle Schwarber struck out and Mookie Betts flew out and Bob held on, 7-5. Rick Porcello (3-5) took the loss while Gerritt Cole (3-7) got the win. Josh Hader notched his 8th save in a rare game with no homers. Tim rebounded in game 2, scoring 3 runs in the 2nd off of Masahiro Tanaka (8-5) and holding on for the win behind Sandy Alcantara (6-3). Diego Castillo picked up his 2nd save with 2.2 strong innings out of the pen. Tim had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the 7th in game 2, but Bob erupted for 5 runs, highlighted by a 2-run shot by Kris Bryant. Tim scored 2 runs in the bottom of the inning, but couldn’t push another run across and lost, 5-4. Jose Berrios (4-9) picked up the win and Tommy Kahnle got his 3rd save. Sergio Romo (2-5) got the loss. Tim hoped for a split in game 4, but Bob blew him out of the water with 4 runs in the 2nd and 3 more in the 3rd on the way to an 11-4 win. Roberto Perez, of all people, had 5 RBI for Bob, including a 3-run homer. James Paxton (2-6) took the loss while Aaron Nola (7-3) got the win.