League Updates

Dragons Drive Away Kaline’s Kindness

We have a new leader atop the EFL standings this morning, but he is not too different from our previous leader (who stood atop the standings for 34 straight days!). Let’s look more closely:

  • Both have the last name Johnson, and if you say their first names quietly and quickly enough, you could almost mistake them for the same name.
  • They have an identical record.
  • They are playing in the same division – the AL West.
  • Their run differentials are essentially equal (21 to 20.6)
  • Both mascots begin with Dr.

The list could continue, I’m sure. And who knows? Maybe tomorrow a different Johnson will be on top of the standings (there is another Johnson who could do that, you know). But for now, we congratulate Tom on an incredible run in first place, and we begrudge the Dragons for knocking him out of first for the time being. Why? Because the Dragons have enough shiny things, and I know the trope is that Dragons can never have enough shiny things, but I am here to say I wouldn’t mind if this Dragon didn’t get another shiny thing this season. There, I said it. The only thing the Dragons can do, in order to repay the Drive, is to allow the race to stay close all the way until the end of the season, even letting others creep into the lead at the very end. No other outcome will suffice.

EFL Standings for 2020
Haviland Dragons 25 20 .548 228.5 207.5
Kaline Drive 25 20 .546 204.6 184.0
Flint Hill Tornadoes 25 21 .543 0.2 252.7 236.7
Peshastin Pears 22 24 .484 2.9 234.5 238.1
Bellingham Cascades 21 24 .466 3.7 234.0 263.3
Cottage Cheese 22 25 .459 4.1 242.7 266.4
D.C. Balk 20 26 .445 4.7 211.0 235.6
Canberra Kangaroos 19 27 .422 5.7 232.6 274.7
Old Detroit Wolverines 18 28 .395 7 218.0 268.9
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 17 28 .372 7.9 210.4 273.4
Portland Rosebuds 14 32 .308 11 218.4 329.2
Haviland: W1, L1 10-10 (58PA; 13.3IP)
AVG: 0.255 OBP: 0.316 SLG: 0.471 OPS: 0.786
ERA: 6.77 WHIP: 1.504
We’ve got a new first place team! And it’s by mere percentage points, which could mean a bit of volatility over the final two weeks of the season. The Dragons had two games yesterday, and all things considered, they weren’t great games. One good thing is that of the 13 players sent to the plate, 11 of them collected a hit. But except for Amed Rosario, who was 3 for 4 with a 2B, everyone else only got one hit. The pitching was better than what you see above, mostly because Trevor Williams (a new Dragon who gave up 6 runs in 5IP yesterday) is not allocated this month. Tyler Glasnow was good enough for their one win, going 7IP and giving up 4 runs. In order to stay in first, the Dragons really need their offense to get going. At the moment they are third from the bottom in runs score this month, averaging 4.26/game. Combined with their team ERA of 4.31 this month, that won’t win as many games as they need to win to claim the crown. But for now? They are on top.
Kaline: W1, L1 4-10 (46PA; 3.7IP)
AVG: 0.146 OBP: 0.217 SLG: 0.317 OPS: 0.534
ERA: 12.16 WHIP: 2.973
You have to travel back in time to August 8th to find the last time the Drive were not in first place. In what has been a very tumultuous season in the EFL standings, the Drive have been a model of consistency for 34 straight days! I don’t think they are done being in first this season, though some things will have to change in regard to their recent performance. You can start with the hitting, which has hit rock bottom for now. The Drive are last in the league in runs created per game at 3.45 this month. Their incredible ERA has kept them afloat, though, (3.93 this month) which is good enough for second place. Yesterday they got more of what has ailed them lately – 9 hitters went hitless, though Michael Chavis and Jose Marmolejos each hit a HR. The pitching was, like the Dragons, not as bad as the line above, because Michael Fulmer is only allocated for 33% this month, but even 33% of a 12+ ERA is tough to swallow. 
Flint Hill: W, 6-2 (45PA; 9.7IP)
AVG: 0.256 OBP: 0.356 SLG: 0.487 OPS: 0.843
ERA: 0.93 WHIP: 1.134
The Tornadoes won yesterday, but we did lose something (which you’ll read about in the Pears write-up). Yesterday’s win was fueled by an excellent outing from the newly acquired Julio Urias, who went 7IP and gave up 1ER (on a cheap bloop base hit in the first inning). The bullpen came in and delivered excellent relief pitching, giving up 0 runs in their 2IP (a couple of those guys are not allocated this month), to help the Tornado pitching staff stay atop the league in team ERA this month at 2.30. This is so far the storyline of the season for the Tornadoes, after last month posting a third-worst team ERA of 5.72. The hitting has been serviceable, though not what it can be, though I know a lot of teams in the EFL can make that same claim. Yesterday new Tornado Joey Gallo went 2 for 5 with a 2B and a HR, which might be a good indication he is working his way out of his current slump. 
Peshastin: W, 12-4 (42PA; 12IP)
AVG: 0.368 OBP: 0.405 SLG: 0.632 OPS: 1.036
ERA: 3.00 WHIP: 1.500
Besides the Drive being overtaken yesterday, this perhaps the biggest surprise of the day. The Pears leaped over both the Cheese and the Cascades in the standings, moving from 4.1 games behind the Drive to now only 2.9 games behind the Dragons. That is a big swing in the final two weeks of the season. To what do they owe this upsurge? First of all, a renewed offense. The Pears overtook the Tornadoes yesterday in terms of runs scored per game, and now lead the league with 7.01 runs/game. Yesterday’s offense was fueled by almost everyone (the only two hitters to not get a hit were Washington teammates Robles and Soto), led particularly by Jesus Aguilar (3 for 4 with a 2B and a HR) and Ryan Mountcastle (2 for 3 with a 2B). On the mound, Justus Sheffield led the way with 7 innings and 2ER. I don’t think the Pears were anticipating being in the race for the crown this late into the season, but here they are! 
Bellingham: L, 2-6 (44PA; 2IP)
AVG: 0.209 OBP: 0.227 SLG: 0.349 OPS: 0.576
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 1.000
The Cascades still seem to be in their post-wedding stupor, and who can blame them? The beginning of a marriage makes other things seem a little less important, and that is how it should be. Nick Madrigal collected two hits, and Brad Miller and Paul Goldschmidt both added a HR. The pitching was good, but only for 2 innings. Both Acuna and Bichette returned to the lineup yesterday, and so the Cascades could find their former offensive prowess and make a push to the top in the last two weeks. It would be a wonderful wedding present!
Cottage: L, 1-8 (43PA; no pitching)
AVG: 0.200 OBP: 0.256 SLG: 0.325 OPS: 0.581
The Cheese were able to tread water, remaining exactly 4.1 games behind first place, even though they had a day that was more swiss than pepper jack. Corey Seager was really the only bright spot, going 2-4 with a 3B, though Willians Astudillo chipped in a HR to try and help. But with no other batters contributing much, and no pitchers showing up at all, it was not enough to move up in the standings as many other teams did. 
DC: “L,” 5-3 (32PA; 8.6IP)
AVG: 0.387 OBP: 0.406 SLG: 0.484 OPS: 0.890
ERA: 1.05 WHIP: 1.047
The Balk may have had the best day in the EFL yesterday in terms of raw stats. It also allowed them to gain .8 games on the leading Dragon, which now means they are just a tad over 4 games out with 14 games to play. Can they make up .3 games, on average, per day? I think it is possible. Tim Anderson collected 4 hits (all singles), and Adalberto Mondesi continued his hot hitting, going 2 for 4 with a HR and a SB. I didn’t even mention Mookie Betts, who only had one hit, but if he can get out of his mini-slump and these other players continue their hot hitting, some excitement might be coming out of DC before November 2. Deb Ian Anderson pitched 7 innings of 1 hit baseball, and if he can do that every night (ok, I guess that is impossible) then look out, Dragons! Word is that Balk management is also very hungry for a ham sandwich, but I think his name engraved on the EFL trophy would suffice.
Canberra: W(-1), L2 1-11 (37PA; 6IP)
AVG: 0.222 OBP: 0.243 SLG: 0.306 OPS: 0.549
ERA: 10.50 WHIP: 2.167
The Roos suffered the hardest day in the EFL, but are fairly resilient, seeing as though they only lost .1 games off the leader and managed to stay 1.3 games ahead of the Wolverines. Just one day after having their horn tooted over leading the league in HRs this month, they decided to not hit any, thus relinquishing their title to the Cascades. Manuel Margot was the leading hitter, going 2 for 3 with a 2B – and also his second caught stealing on the season, both of them at the hands of the Red Sox. Kolby Allard gave up 5 ER in 1 inning and Rich Hill gave up 2 in 5IP, and the Roos are looking forward to a new day.
Old Detroit: “L,” 7-7 (51PA; 1.3IP)
AVG: 0.304 OBP: 0.373 SLG: 0.457 OPS: 0.829
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 0.000
Early this morning, at 12:50am to be exact, the Wolverines succumbed to the Brinsonian Effect, taking him off the bench and inserting him into their everyday lineup, beginning with today’s games. Their manager cannot be blamed, for as we mentioned yesterday, Brinson is OPSing over 1.000 this month. But he must surely feel the lack of confident his owner has in him, and it will be interesting to see how he fares now that he is starting. The rest of the hitters had a good day, led Eloy Jimenez’ 3 for 4 and Josh Bell’s 2 for 4 with a HR. But no one pitched. The Wolverines quest to win the month was stalled a bit by the resurgence of the Pears, who knocked them into third for at least a day.
Pittsburgh: L, 1-4 (25PA; 10IP)
AVG: 0.160 OBP: 0.160 SLG: 0.280 OPS: 0.440
ERA: 4.50 WHIP: 0.900
Just for a moment look away from yesterday’s line, and instead look to see that Pittsburgh was able to gain – yes, I said gain – on the first place Dragons, moving from 8.3 games back to 7.9 games back. At the same time, they also got closer to the basement-dwelling Rosebuds for the first pick in the 2021 draft. How do you do both on the same day? I don’t know, but perhaps it is cause for some celebration, because those daily stats do nothing to help. Precisely 4 batters got a hit, all of them singles except for Byron Buxton’s HR. They had 0 BBs and 5 Ks, and that’s the entirety of their offensive day, which really does feel offensive. A lot of pitchers came to the mound, and Nathan Eovaldi had a solid return from the IL, going 3 innings and giving up only a solo HR to Tornado (and former Pirate…that must sting a little) Austin Meadows.
Portland: L, 5-6 (29PA; 8.3IP)
AVG: 0.280 OBP: 0.345 SLG: 0.480 OPS: 0.825
ERA: 5.42 WHIP: 1.205
Though their day yesterday was exponentially better than the day before, it still resulted in a loss for the Buds. At this rate they will finish with the worst record of all MLB and EFL teams, assuring themselves the very first pick overall. Bryce Harper had a great day, going 3 for 4 with a 2B and a HR. And new Rosebud Dakota Hudson threw 6 innings giving up 1 run. 
Combined MLB + EFL Standings for 2020
AL East
Tampa Bay Rays 30 16 .652
Toronto Blue Jays 25 20 .556 4.5
New York Yankees 25 21 .543 5
Flint Hill Tornadoes 25 21 .543 5
Baltimore Orioles 20 25 .444 9.5
Old Detroit Wolverines 18 28 .395 11.8
Boston Red Sox 16 31 .340 14.5
NL East
Atlanta Braves 27 19 .587
Philadelphia Phillies 23 20 .535 2.5
Miami Marlins 21 21 .500 4
New York Mets 21 25 .457 6
D.C. Balk 20 26 .445 6.5
Canberra Kangaroos 19 27 .422 7.6
Washington Nationals 17 27 .386 9
AL Central
Chicago White Sox 29 16 .644
Minnesota Twins 29 18 .617 1
Cleveland Indians 26 20 .565 3.5
Bellingham Cascades 21 24 .466 8
Detroit Tigers 20 25 .444 9
Kansas City Royals 19 28 .404 11
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 17 28 .372 12.3
NL Central
Chicago Cubs 27 20 .574
St. Louis Cardinals 20 19 .513 3
Milwaukee Brewers 20 23 .465 5
Cottage Cheese 22 25 .459 5.4
Cincinnati Reds 20 26 .435 6.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 14 29 .326 11
AL West
Oakland A’s 29 16 .644
Haviland Dragons 25 20 .548 4.4
Kaline Drive 25 20 .546 4.4
Houston Astros 23 23 .500 6.5
Seattle Mariners 20 25 .444 9
Los Angeles Angels 19 28 .404 11
Texas Rangers 16 30 .348 13.5
NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers 32 14 .696
San Diego Padres 29 17 .630 3
San Francisco Giants 23 22 .511 8.5
Peshastin Pears 22 24 .484 9.7
Colorado Rockies 21 24 .467 10.5
Arizona Diamondbacks 17 30 .362 15.5
Portland Rosebuds 14 32 .308 17.8

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