We made it to the end of July – a short month of the season with only 7 or 8 games played by each EFL team – but it has felt like a long month. Perhaps it is the impending possibility of MLB being shut down, as Rob Manfred suggested yesterday, or just the different feel to the world in which playing professional baseball is being attempted. I have enjoyed the distraction, and also worry sometimes about the implications of COVID spread due to MLB games being played.
And yet, here we are! The first 7-8 games have brought us some very interesting and entertaining baseball. There have been some excellent debuts which will be fun for us to draft on Sunday, and some unexpected early results. For instance, did you know the Padres lead the league in wins with 6? Or that the defending champion Nationals needed a 2-game win streak to close out the month with more than 1 win?
We also had some drama in the EFL last night, when Pittsburgh’s owner emailed the Three EFLigos the following, in his words, “mea culpa”:
“Mea maxima culpa. I screwed up my allocations and will not have any IP for a LH reliever in July. I didn’t even realize this until yesterday.”
EFL rules state, “If during a month no pitcher appears for a team as a left-handed reliever, one-third of an inning and one-third of a run per game played that month are added to the team’s total, representing the work of a replacement-level left handed reliever.”
We learned/confirmed a few things from this admission:
- Mark Weinert is a man of integrity (that was confirmed, not learned).
- The penalty for no LH reliever is steep. In this instance it equaled 2.67 runs added onto his Runs Allowed, but if it would have been an entire month of games, it would have been almost 11 runs added on (this was learned, at least by me – maybe others already knew).
- The system Dave built accounts for this kind of thing happening, which is brilliant, and therefore nothing needs to be done to ensure compliance – your stats ensure the compliance themselves! (This was learned, and is wonderful!)
- It didn’t change the order of the standings for the month, though I had suggested his penalty be an automatic relegation to 2nd place behind the Tornadoes (I guess I need to learn from Mark about integrity). Because Dave’s system accounts for it, the standings were always showing the penalty, which would have been erased had Mark been able to make a mid-month allocation change in time.
- Mark didn’t need to apologize, since he hadn’t done anything wrong in terms of trying to cheat the system – because the system can’t be cheated! (Well, I suppose Dave, Ron, or I could cheat it since we can alter the stats in the database – but I know Dave and Ron would never do that).
So, here are the standings after the first pseudo-month of the EFL season – below we’ll spend time talking about each team’s early season surprises.
|Flint Hill Tornadoes||4||2||.679||0.7||28.4||19.5|
|Old Detroit Wolverines||1||5||.198||3.6||14.6||29.3|
Pittsburgh: DNP, -5-(-2) (36PA, .200, .333, .233; 9.4IP, 3ER, 2.87 ERA) The Alleghenys were so distraught over their mistake they took the day off from playing. The AL Central, where the Alleghenys compete, has seen changes almost every day to the first place team – bouncing back and forth between the Indians and Twins, which has caused the Alleghenys record to fluctuate. What hasn’t fluctuated this season are the excellent performances day in and day out for this team. This month they were led by Dansby Swanson, who slashed .387/.406/.677, and Sonny Gray, who ended the month with 12.7IP and a .71 ERA.
Flint Hill: W, 5-3 (17PA, .286, .353, .500; 3IP, 0ER, 0.00 ERA) The Tornadoes finished last season looking up at a Mark, and so I suppose it’s not surprise that after the first month of the 2020 season we are once again looking up at a Mark. Our early season surprises are: Teoscar Hernandez, who has slashed .321/.367/.821 and our entire pitching staff who have combined for a 2.91 ERA to begin the season.
Cottage: W, 5-0 (32PA, .241, .313, .448; 15.3IP, 3ER, 1.76 ERA) An excellent day for the Cheese allowed them to keep their place in the standings. They were rewarded for their allocation of Tony Gonsolin on the last day (4IP, 0ER) and a resurgent Taijuan Walker (7IP, 0ER) who mowed down the A’s all night long. Their early season surprises are JP Crawford, slashing .393/.514/.571, and Chris Paddack (maybe this isn’t a surprise) who has thrown 11 innings with a 1.64 ERA.
Kaline: “L,” 7-5 (44PA, .297, .386, .622; 8IP, 4ER, 4.50 ERA) Kaline had a wonderful day at the plate, led by MLB hit leader Kyle Lewis (2 for 4). The Drive jumped over both the Balk and Pears to claim 4th place at the end of the month. Their early season surprises are Kyle Lewis, with an incredible slash line of .455/.500/.636, and Spencer Turnbull, who has thrown 11IP with a 2.45 ERA.
DC: “W,” 6-6 (35PA, .290, .371, .452; 9.7IP, 6ER, 5.57 ERA) The Balk continued their climb in the standings, jumping over the Pears to now sit 2 games back of the leader. With all the money in the Balk coffer, I am not sure I like the trajectory of this team. Mookie Betts finally homered this season, and added 2 more hits including a double, to go 3 for 5 on the day. The Balk early season surprises are two pitchers who many people thought were washed up, except for Balk management: Alex Cobb (9.3IP, 2.90 ERA) and Dylan Bundy (12.7IP, 2.83 ERA).
Peshastin: W1, L2, 16-20 (28PA, .304, .429, .609; no pitching) A change atop the NL West standings led to three games being played for the Pears, and a precipitous drop down the standings. No pitching certainly didn’t help, though their batters worked diligently to make up for that oversight. Early season Pear surprises are Jacoby Jones, with a slash line of .423/.464/.769, and Mike Soroka with 11.3 IP and 1.59 ERA.
Portland: W1, L2, 18-23 (40PA, .333, .450, .606; 4.7IP, 2ER, 3.83 ERA) The Rosebuds are also in the NL West, so they also played three games. With a nearly identical offensive line to the Pears, they were able to put up a lot of runs, but their pitchers were not able to keep up. Early season Rosebud surprises are Jason Kipnis, slashing .455/.500/1.000, and the combo of Lewis Thorpe and Michael Wacha, who have combined for 9.7 IP and 1 ER.
Haviland: “L,” 6-4 (26PA, .261, .308, .609; 13.3IP, 7ER, 4.74 ERA) The Dragons suffered a fake loss, which are no fun (in my opinion) but are made better when you fake wins. The early season surprises for the Dragons are Carlos Correa, slashing .385/.484/.615, and Yu Darvish who has tossed 10 innings with a 2.70 ERA.
Old Detroit: L, 1-4 (32PA, .071, .188, .214; 5.3IP, 2ER, 3.40 ERA) I think this is when (or maybe it was two days ago) Ron would begin using the name Woeverines for his team. I believe he is ready for July to be over and for a new slate to begin again. His team average of .172 is below replacement, but it definitely will not stay there, with the hitters he has on his team. His early season surprises are both pitchers – Andrew Heaney (9.7IP, 2.78 ERA) and Mitch Keller (5IP, 1.80 ERA).
Canberra: “W,” 4-10 (36PA, .290, .389, .387; 5.4IP, 6ER, 10.00 ERA) The Roos continue to be fine with hitting a lot of singles. While they count as hits and make your average decent, they don’t usually create a lot of runs. And you definitely need to create runs when your team ERA is 10.00 on the day. The early season surprises for the Roos are his Rich Hill (5IP, 0ER) and James Karinchak (4IP, 0ER).
Bellingham: DNP, 1-(-2) (22PA, .182, .182, .409; 2.7IP, 1ER, 3.33 ERA) The Cascades took the day off, though Hanser Alberto refused to do so, going 3-5 with a double and a HR. The early season Cascade surprises are Hanser Alberto, with a slash line of .440/.481/.760, and Brusdar Graterol, 3.3IP and a 2.73 ERA.