League Updates

Penning the Ultimate Penultimate 2020 Update

Today is my final Daily Update for the 2020 season, and as much as I am tempted to pursue grandeur, I’m going to defer. A few days ago, when the race seemed it was teetering on the edge of a dramatic finish, I had asked Ron if he would do the final update so that you wouldn’t have to deal with either an overly elated or decidedly morose updater.

It seems as though the Tornado lead will be safe for one final day, though with the 3 game swings earned by the Balk and the Wolverines yesterday, you never know.

I have greatly enjoyed spending my mornings highlighting the victories and defeats of each team, and I am thankful for your investment in reading those updates each day. 

I have a few more ideas for writing as far as the EFL goes, so be on the lookout over the days to come. One thing I will be sending along is a Google Form to collect your votes for top EFL performers in several categories – the EFL Awards, voted on by the owners – in order to celebrate the top players in our league (which can sometimes differ from the top players in MLB.

For now, we sit back and enjoy one final day of the regular season, in what has been anything but a regular season. I am thankful that baseball was played this summer, and I am also thankful that it seems to have been done safely in the midst of a pandemic. Here’s to hoping that the final day of the season, and the entirety of next season, is normal. 

EFL Standings for 2020
Flint Hill Tornadoes 33 26 .556 293.7 277.9
Peshastin Pears 30 29 .513 2.5 305.6 294.0
Kaline Drive 30 29 .509 2.7 248.8 239.5
Haviland Dragons 30 29 .505 3 270.2 263.6
Bellingham Cascades 28 31 .472 4.9 300.8 330.6
Cottage Cheese 27 32 .454 6 298.8 329.3
D.C. Balk 26 33 .433 7.2 263.6 301.7
Canberra Kangaroos 26 33 .432 7.3 287.9 329.5
Old Detroit Wolverines 24 35 .401 9.1 266.8 328.5
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 21 38 .357 11.7 270.7 364.1
Portland Rosebuds 18 41 .307 14.6 272.0 407.6
Flint Hill: W, 6-2 (35PA; 11.3IP)
AVG: 0.355 OBP: 0.429 SLG: 0.452 OPS: 0.880
ERA: 0.80 WHIP: 1.239
On the most important day of the season, the Tornadoes showed up to play. Max Kepler led the batters, going 2 for 3 with 2 2Bs, and three others hitters collected 2 hits apiece. The pitching from this month will be reason for a Tornado championship in this shortened season, and yesterday was no exception. Except 8 of those 11.3IP were unallocated. Oops. 
 Peshastin: L, 2-5 (46PA; 12IP)
AVG: 0.175 OBP: 0.283 SLG: 0.225 OPS: 0.508
ERA: 3.00 WHIP: 1.500
On the second to last day, when the Pears needed to continue to do what they had done all month, they didn’t do it. Their good hitting disappeared at just the wrong time, even though their pitching stayed strong until the very end. Justus Sheffield threw an excellent last game of his rookie campaign, and should garner some votes for Rookie of the Year (3.58 ERA in 55IP this season). Yesterday he tossed 5 innings and gave up 1 run to send his Ms to victory. TJ Zeuch was even better in his spot start, going 5 innings and giving up 0 runs. 
Kaline: W0, L2 8-14 (62PA; 18.7IP)
AVG: 0.263 OBP: 0.323 SLG: 0.404 OPS: 0.726
ERA: 5.78 WHIP: 1.123
Drive pitchers were hot and cold yesterday during their double header. In the first game, John Means took the mound and delivered a stellar start in his final appearance of the season, throwing 6 innings of 1 run ball while striking out 9. In the nightcap, Aaron Civale did the exact opposite, giving up 8 runs in 4 innings. Though hopes were high for a double header sweep after Means, Civale quickly doused them all with his outing. The Drive also used almost two different lineups for their two games, sending 16 different batters to the plate in their two games. Orlando Arcia had 4 hits to lead all hitters, and Mitch Moreland and Kris Bryant each chipped in a HR (Bryant’s was a grand slam). 
Haviland: W1, L1 7-11 (49PA; no pitching)
AVG: 0.190 OBP: 0.306 SLG: 0.262 OPS: 0.568
The Dragons went almost the way of the Drive during their penultimate games this season. Not a single pitcher appeared on the day, leading to 6 replacement innings being thrown. And as you can see, the hitting continued to suffer. The Dragons have led the league this month in strikeouts – 305 total, to be exact – which has no doubt been a factor in their second from last runs scored this month. Raimel Tapia has been the lone bright spot these final days, adding in another 3 hits to boost his average this month to .323.
Bellingham: L, 3-8 (35PA; 8IP)
AVG: 0.212 OBP: 0.257 SLG: 0.333 OPS: 0.590
ERA: 6.75 WHIP: 1.625
The Cascades also ran out of steam as the month wore on, though the past few days found some life still remained. Yesterday was just a little too rough, though, to steal a win and climb a little closer to the Dragons. Youngsters Jo Adell and Nick Madrigal led the way with 2 hits apiece, and the defensive specialist, Jeff Mathis (37 years old), added a HR. Justin Dunn did his best to match fellow Mariner rookie Justus Sheffield, and nearly did it, but gave up 3 runs in his 5 innings instead of just 1. The Mariners seem to be heading in the right direction, just as the Cascades also seem to be. That should bring some hope to this young franchise. Bellingham is in the driver’s seat for the BCCCDC Cup – can they hang on?
Cottage: L, 3-6 (58PA; 7.3IP)
AVG: 0.250 OBP: 0.328 SLG: 0.327 OPS: 0.655
ERA: 6.16 WHIP: 1.233
Would you believe it if I told you the runs rookie Tony Gonsolin gave up yesterday are the most he’s given up in an outing this year? Well, it’s true! He is a bright star on the Cheese horizon, even if that star was a little dim yesterday. JP Crawford led the entire EFL with 5 hits yesterday, including a 2B and a SB. Those 5 hits equaled 10% of his total hits all season – how about that? The Cheese have one more day to overtake the Cascades for the BCCCDC Cup, though they may choose to give one final gift to their new son-in-law. We shall see!
DC: W2, L(-1) 10-2 (28PA; 8IP)
AVG: 0.333 OBP: 0.500 SLG: 0.810 OPS: 1.310
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 0.500
The Balk were able to restore proper order to the BCCCDC Cup one day before the competition ends by winning 2 games and removing one loss from their record. Pete Alonso went 3 for 4 with a HR, 2 BBs and a SB, and Adalberto Mondesi went 2 for 3 with a 2B and a HR (where was that all season?). Joe Musgrove threw his best game of the season, tossing 7 innings without surrendering a single run and striking out 10. 
Canberra: “W,” 5-5 (43PA; 3IP)
AVG: 0.270 OBP: 0.349 SLG: 0.351 OPS: 0.700
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 1.000
Canberra seceded a place in the standings, and are neighbors once again Old Detroit (though have no risk of being passed by them). Kyle Tucker and Daulton Varsho led the way with 2 hits apiece, and Yoshi Tsutsugo collected three BBs. Trevor Rogers tossed 3 innings, giving up 0 runs. 
Old Detroit: W2, L(-1) (51PA; 11IP)
AVG: 0.283 OBP: 0.353 SLG: 0.565 OPS: 0.918
ERA: 2.45 WHIP: 1.091
It’s not difficult to imagine the rancor emanating from the Wolverine headquarters this morning. Even after a 3 game swing in the right direction, they only erased .2 games from their deficit to the team above them (yesterday the Balk, today the Roos). Another convincing win today could propel them even higher in terms of winning percentage, and consequently lower in next year’s rookie draft. Yikes! Evan White went 3 for 7 with a 2B and a HR, and Will Smith continued his hot hitting, going 2 for 3 with a HR. On the pitching side, Mike Minor (who loves pitching against the Mariners) went 5 innings giving up 1 run and striking out 7.
Pittsburgh: L, 5-11 (34PA; 11IP)
AVG: 0.241 OBP: 0.303 SLG: 0.517 OPS: 0.820
ERA: 9.00 WHIP: 1.545
The good news is that Allegheny hitters seem to have found their stride in this final week of the season. Pittsburgh management has to hope that will continue into next season. The pitching, however, has done the opposite. Their 5.94 ERA this month was on display as Dane Dunning and Luke Weaver combined to give up 8 runs in 8 innings. 
Portland: “L,” 5-3 (32PA; 3IP)
AVG: 0.267 OBP: 0.313 SLG: 0.467 OPS: 0.779
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 1.333
Portland led the league in replacement IPs this month, needing 69 innings to cover the requirement. But the offense has hummed along this final week, yesterday doing enough to outscore their opponents. Nick Solak, who was one of just a few untouchable at the trading deadline, proved why management is so keen on him, collecting 3 more hits yesterday. The Rosebuds are almost certain to have locked down the top pick next spring, and now have a few months to decide who to target. There are a lot of great choices!
Combined MLB + EFL Standings for 2020
AL East
Tampa Bay Rays 39 20 .661
New York Yankees 33 26 .559 6
Flint Hill Tornadoes 33 26 .556 6.2
Toronto Blue Jays 32 27 .542 7
Baltimore Orioles 24 35 .407 15
Old Detroit Wolverines 24 35 .401 15.3
Boston Red Sox 23 36 .390 16
NL East
Atlanta Braves 35 24 .593
Miami Marlins 30 29 .508 5
Philadelphia Phillies 28 31 .475 7
New York Mets 26 33 .441 9
D.C. Balk 26 33 .433 9.5
Canberra Kangaroos 26 33 .432 9.5
Washington Nationals 25 34 .424 10
AL Central
Minnesota Twins 36 23 .610
Chicago White Sox 35 24 .593 1
Cleveland Indians 34 25 .576 2
Bellingham Cascades 28 31 .472 8.2
Kansas City Royals 25 34 .424 11
Detroit Tigers 23 34 .404 12
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 21 38 .357 15
NL Central
Chicago Cubs 33 26 .559
St. Louis Cardinals 29 28 .509 3
Cincinnati Reds 30 29 .508 3
Milwaukee Brewers 29 30 .492 4
Cottage Cheese 27 32 .454 6.2
Pittsburgh Pirates 19 40 .322 14
AL West
Oakland A’s 35 24 .593
Kaline Drive 30 29 .509 5
Haviland Dragons 30 29 .505 5.2
Houston Astros 29 30 .492 6
Seattle Mariners 27 32 .458 8
Los Angeles Angels 26 33 .441 9
Texas Rangers 21 38 .356 14
NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers 42 17 .712
San Diego Padres 36 23 .610 6
Peshastin Pears 30 29 .513 11.7
San Francisco Giants 29 30 .492 13
Colorado Rockies 26 33 .441 16
Arizona Diamondbacks 24 35 .407 18
Portland Rosebuds 18 41 .307 23.9