League Updates

Fill in the Blank: On Alec Mills’ Day, _____________ is Slayed

Did you know there were two no-hitters thrown yesterday? I imagine you saw, or at least read about, the no-hitter thrown by Cubs pitcher Alec Mills. He went 9 innings yesterday against the Brewers and gave up 0 hits. In fact, only one ball was hit well, and Ian Happ made a really nice over-the-shoulder catch in centerfield to preserve Mills’ feat. The fact that Mills threw a no-hitter is pretty astonishing. 

The 28 year old RHP had a career ERA north of 4 before yesterday’s outing, and was making only his 15th start in 3 years. His fastball sits at 90 MPH, and his secondary pitches, especially his curveball, are good, but not spectacular. His storyline includes being a walk-on in college, and in his interview after the game you could tell he is someone who just works hard at his craft and his hard work turned into a moment of excellence he will never forget. 

But there was another no-hitter thrown yesterday that NO ONE is talking about. That’s right, an EFL team also was no-hit, and I get to break the story. Here is the headline:

On Alec Mills’ Day, Flint Hill is Slayed

In this case I did not bury the lede, so now you all know. It was, indeed, the Tornados who were no-hit yesterday. In 40 plate appearances (which is more than the Brewers got), not a single ball fell in for a hit! We did manage to collect 9 walks, and even notch a W on the day, though it was a dubious EFL, “W.” 

So there you have it – there were two no-hitters yesterday. It’s only the second time it has ever been done – the first on June 29th, 1990, when Fernando Valenzuela and Dave Stewart both threw one. Now, it has happened again.

EFL Standings for 2020
Haviland Dragons 25 21 .549 230.4 208.2
Flint Hill Tornadoes 26 21 .545 0.2 252.5 238.9
Kaline Drive 25 21 .537 0.6 208.6 191.8
Peshastin Pears 23 24 .486 2.9 243.9 245.5
Bellingham Cascades 21 25 .461 4 235.6 267.4
D.C. Balk 22 25 .459 4.2 215.4 234.0
Cottage Cheese 22 26 .457 4.3 248.3 273.7
Canberra Kangaroos 20 27 .424 5.8 237.7 278.7
Old Detroit Wolverines 19 28 .401 6.9 224.5 273.6
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 17 29 .359 8.7 211.0 282.7
Portland Rosebuds 14 33 .301 11.6 219.9 337.7
Haviland: “L,” 1-0 (42PA; 11IP)
AVG: 0.167 OBP: 0.286 SLG: 0.278 OPS: 0.563
ERA: 1.64 WHIP: 0.909
The Dragons remain, for at least one more day, atop the EFL standings. A few days ago we admonished them to either be the Dragons, of whom all people are afraid, or to be the draggins, of whom no one is afraid. They’ve chosen to be both, it seems. Their pitching was excellent, with dominant outings from Sixto Sanchez (the new #1 pick?) who went 7IP and gave up 1ER, and then three relievers (though Javier is, I believe, allocated as an SP) who finished the job. The combined to give up 0 runs yesterday. But the hitting was another story. Six different hitters collected one hit apiece, and Aristides Aquino hit a HR (his first of the year after hitting 19 last year) and Jake Cronenworth (NL Rookie of the Year, perhaps) added a 2B. But the team grounded into two double plays and struck out 10 times. On a day when your pitchers allowed 0 runs, the least the hitters could do is score a couple of runs, but they didn’t. 
Flint Hill: “W,” 0-2 (40PA; 1IP)
AVG: 0.000 OBP: 0.250 SLG: 0.000 OPS: 0.250
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 1.000
Well, there it is. I told you about it in the introduction, and now you can see it for yourselves – the Tornadoes got no-hit yesterday. I was watching games yesterday afternoon and keeping track in my head how my hitters were doing. As the day went on, I was becoming increasingly worried about what was going to be a bad offensive day. But I didn’t think I wouldn’t have a single hitter without a hit. Has this ever happened before in the EFL? It seems very difficult to do since our hitters face so many different pitchers on a given day. But I did it! The nice thing is I managed to not lose any games off of first with this horrific showing, 
Kaline: L, 4-8 (38PA; 10.3IP)
AVG: 0.258 OBP: 0.342 SLG: 0.355 OPS: 0.697
ERA: 5.24 WHIP: 0.971
The Drive continued their September slump. I don’t think I am alone in feeling like we don’t want the Drive dominance to be over quite yet, and maybe this offensive line is a movement, however slight, in the right direction. Jose Marmolejos continued his hot hitting streak, going 2 for 4 with a double, and Kevin Pillar also went 2 for 4 with a 2B. The pitching was, however, not as strong as it needed to be. John Means had a great day (it is good to see him back to his normal self), giving up 1 run in 6 innings. But youngster Tristan McKenzie gave up 5 run in just over 4 innings to sink the Drive hopes for the day.
Peshastin: W, 9-8 (33PA; 8.3IP)
AVG: 0.321 OBP: 0.424 SLG: 0.536 OPS: 0.960
ERA: 7.59 WHIP: 2.169
Pear hitters are really hot right now. Pear pitchers are not. But the hitters are hotter than the pitchers are not, and therefore they Pears are once again winners. It was a whole team effort on the offensive side, with every batter but one getting at least one hit. Clint Frazier and Jesus Aguilar both went 2 for 4 and Ozzie Albies added the team’s only HR. But the pitching struggled once again. This time it was Zach Eflin who gave up 4 runs in 4 innings, and Tom Hatch who gave up 2 runs in 1 inning. The Pears did not lost any games off the leading Dragons, though, so are right in the thick of the championship race.
Bellingham: L, 2-4 (47PA; 8.6IP)
AVG: 0.143 OBP: 0.234 SLG: 0.286 OPS: 0.520
ERA: 4.19 WHIP: 1.512
There is nothing wrong with taking an entire weekend to celebrate, Cascades! Let’s chalk up this whole weekend to one in which Cascade players were daydreaming about the beautiful wedding instead of focusing on the task at hand, which is to win Andre his first ever EFL title. Derek Dietrich knew what to do (he always seems ready for both a party and also for work), going 2 for 4 with a HR. And Jeff Mathis also added in his own HR, but other than those two, not much happened for the offense. The pitching was decent, allowing only 4 runs on the day by handing the ball over to Charlie Morton who gave up 3 runs in a little more than 4 innings, and a stable of relievers who did a worthy job. But the time is now, Cascades, to come out of the celebrative stupor if indeed a championship is something you want to achieve this season.
DC: W2, L(-1), 4-(-2) (33PA; 11IP)
AVG: 0.258 OBP: 0.303 SLG: 0.484 OPS: 0.787
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 0.455
Talk about a fun day in DC! Mike Clevenger finally did in San Diego what he had been doing in Cleveland, going 7IP and giving up 0 runs while allowing only two hits. And then two relievers (Matt Foster and Archie Bradley) joined in the fun by each going 2 innings without giving up a run. 11 innings of scoreless baseball will always result in good things happening, and for the Balk it mean jumping over the Cheese in the standings and gaining .5 games on the Dragons. It won’t surprise you when I say Tim Anderson led the team in hits with 2 hits (he is leading all of MLB with a .362 average, making it likely to repeat as BA champion), but it may surprise you that Nick Markakis also had two hits, one of them a 2B. 
Cottage: L, 5-8 (37PA; 8IP)
AVG: 0.324 OBP: 0.378 SLG: 0.412 OPS: 0.790
ERA: 1.13 WHIP: 1.125
That the Cheese lost yesterday is a just a cruel example of EFL sorcery (I know, I know, it is actually formulaic and not whimsical, as it so often seems). Their hitters had a good, if not powerful, day led by Yoan Moncada with 3 hits and Brandon Nimmo with 2 hits. All in all the Cheese collected 11 hits, but only 3 of them were for extra bases (all doubles). The pitchers also had a very good day, except there is one small problem – the best pitcher, Ryan Castellani, was allocated at 0% for the month. So, his line of 1 run allowed over 5.7IP means nothing for the Cheese, truly a lamentable moment. 
Canberra: W, 5-4 (41PA; 10.4IP)
AVG: 0.270 OBP: 0.341 SLG: 0.405 OPS: 0.747
ERA: 4.33 WHIP: 1.538
This is, simply put, a solid but not spectacular line from the Roos. The Two Michaels (or Dos Miguels) – Andujar and Conforto – led the way combining for 4 hits in 8 ABs. And catcher Daulton Varsho collected not one, but two stolen bases even though he didn’t get any hits. And the pitching was serviceable, with David Peterson leading the way going 5 innings and giving up 2 runs. The Roos managed to keep the Wolverines off their back, which might be what they are most concerned about in these final weeks. 
Old Detroit: W, 7-5 (56PA; 18.7IP)
AVG: 0.288 OBP: 0.339 SLG: 0.385 OPS: 0.724
ERA: 5.29 WHIP: 1.444
Like son, like father, they (could) say. And in this case, it’s mostly true. The Wolverine line was very similar to the Roo line, with just a bit better batting and just a touch worse pitching. Rafael Devers, who has been on a tear in September, added 3 more hits and is now hitting .404 this month. Eloy Jimenez added two more hits, including a HR, and Jurickson Profar decided to protest his recent benching by getting two hits (and Lewis Brinson, ahem, only got 1). It seems the entire Wolverine pitching staff came to the mound yesterday, for they accrued over 18 innings! And most of it was not great, but better than replacements. Andrew Heaney had the best day, going 7 innings and giving up 3 runs.  
Pittsburgh: L, 1-10 (35PA; 14.3IP)
AVG: 0.129 OBP: 0.229 SLG: 0.226 OPS: 0.454
ERA: 7.55 WHIP: 1.538
The Allegheny management didn’t make any headlines at the trade deadline, and so we don’t know for sure if they have decided to tank their season in order to move up in the draft order. But their players seem to be playing as though they have been instructed to do just that. Dominic Smith refuses to go quietly into the night, collecting 2 hits to raise his September batting average to .349, and Christian Vazquez added a HR. Five different pitchers appeared for Pittsburgh, and 4 of them gave up at least 2 runs, with Frankie Montas and Ranger Suarez combining to give up 8.
Portland: L, 2-9 (31PA; no pitching)
AVG: 0.226 OBP: 0.226 SLG: 0.258 OPS: 0.484
Well, that is one way to ensure a loss – just don’t send anyone to the mound. Granted, not getting any real hitting is also a good way to do it, and the Rosebuds did both yesterday. Every player but two actually collected a hit yesterday (more than the Tornadoes can say!), but all the hits were singles and they collected 0 BBs. At least Rosebud management can dream about Luis Robert and Sixto Sanchez… 
Combined MLB + EFL Standings for 2020
AL East
Tampa Bay Rays 30 17 .638
Toronto Blue Jays 26 20 .565 3.5
New York Yankees 26 21 .553 4
Flint Hill Tornadoes 26 21 .545 4.4
Baltimore Orioles 20 26 .435 9.5
Old Detroit Wolverines 19 28 .401 11.1
Boston Red Sox 17 31 .354 13.5
NL East
Atlanta Braves 28 19 .596
Miami Marlins 23 21 .523 3.5
Philadelphia Phillies 23 22 .511 4
D.C. Balk 22 25 .459 6.4
New York Mets 21 26 .447 7
Canberra Kangaroos 20 27 .424 8.1
Washington Nationals 17 28 .378 10
AL Central
Chicago White Sox 30 16 .652
Minnesota Twins 30 18 .625 1
Cleveland Indians 26 21 .553 4.5
Bellingham Cascades 21 25 .461 8.8
Detroit Tigers 20 26 .435 10
Kansas City Royals 20 28 .417 11
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 17 29 .359 13.5
NL Central
Chicago Cubs 28 20 .583
St. Louis Cardinals 20 20 .500 4
Milwaukee Brewers 20 24 .455 6
Cottage Cheese 22 26 .457 6.1
Cincinnati Reds 21 26 .447 6.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 14 30 .318 12
AL West
Oakland A’s 29 17 .630
Haviland Dragons 25 21 .549 3.7
Kaline Drive 25 21 .537 4.3
Houston Astros 23 24 .489 6.5
Seattle Mariners 21 25 .457 8
Los Angeles Angels 20 28 .417 10
Texas Rangers 17 30 .362 12.5
NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers 33 14 .702
San Diego Padres 31 17 .646 2.5
San Francisco Giants 23 24 .489 10
Peshastin Pears 23 24 .486 10.1
Colorado Rockies 21 25 .457 11.5
Arizona Diamondbacks 17 31 .354 16.5
Portland Rosebuds 14 33 .301 18.8

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