According to today’s trends, a Johnson will take over first place either next June, or next August 31, 2021. That’s not a typo. It’s one of several pieces of evidence in this update that the cosmos is unsettled.
EFL Standings for 2021
|Old Detroit Wolverines||107||49||.684||—||901.1||613.5|
|Flint Hill Tornadoes||101||55||.648||5.6||862.4||634.4|
OLD DETROIT: DNP, 1 – 0 (23 PA, .381, .435, .524 — Happy Edgar Martinez Off-Day! no pitching) Former shiny new star Josh Bell and current maybe-still-shiny new star Ke’Bryan Hayes posted twin oh-for-fours, and Luis Garcia (2 for 4) is still playing in Toledo for some reason… so all this offensive goodness is down to JP Crawford (3 for 5) and suddenly awakened Eloy Jimenez (3 for 4 with a homer and a walk). If Eloy can stay awake through the weekend, the W’s will be fine.
FLINT HILL: DNP, 2 – 2. (18 PA, .375 .444, .750; 5 ip, 4 er, 7.29 ERA) Aw, too bad! The Tornados got too greedy with the slugging percentage to qualify for a Happy Edgar Martinez Off-Day. And their consolation prize (doubling the W’s runs scored) got spoiled because German Marquez was almost replacement-level in his 5 innings.
Sunday the T’s gained 1.1 games in a single day, setting a pace that would put them in first place by this coming Saturday, with an entire day to spare. But Monday they lost 0.2 games in a single day, putting them on pace to move into first place on August 31, 2021. The EFL has many amazing features, but the reverse-the-calendar feature has not yet been attempted. I guess we will saw what happensed.
DC: W (-1), L 1; (-4) – 1. (26 PA, .160, .192, .240; 4.7 ip, 5 er, 9.57 ERA) Having pitching apparently isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, at least on off-days. So far the best approach has been to skip the pitching entirely. James Kaprielian, touched for 3 runs in 2.7 innings in Seattle, discovered a Mariners buzz-saw few believed existed. Garrett Crochet actually chulked (1 ip, 2 er). Trevor Stephan…I don’t know who this is. He pitched a scoreless inning.
Scoreless innings would have been better than the innings endured by Balk batters. 0 for 4’s by Sean Murphy, Matt Chapman and Sam Hilliard gnawed away at the Balk’s rc/g numbers. The Balk had the 4th best offense in the EFL in April. In the months since then their RC/G has ranked 6th, 1st, 5th, 1st, and now back down to 5th, for the moment.
KALINE: W 1, L (-1); 1 – 0. (13 PA, .364, .308, .727; no pitching). That is an amazing slash line, with its isolated on base percentage of -0.056! (There were two sacrifice flies, and no free passes). I suppose such things will turned out to be routine when we eventually reversed the calendar like they are wanted to do in Flint Hill. Meanwhile, the Drive were untroubled by their surreal OBP. They allowed exactly 0 runs, and really they only scored 0.5, mostly thanks to a Jonathan Schoop homer to go with his single single. Notice how this tiny thing — this half a run — changed the Drive’s reported record from 96 – 60 to 97 – 59. They led the Astros in the AL West by 5.5 games yesterday. Today they still lead the idle Astros by 5.5 games. Amazing things are happening in the second decimal to the right of the decimal point.
Speaking of the AL West: the third place Mariners (reported in the fake-news mainstream media as being in second place) are now only 4.5 games behind the Astros. The M’s have four paths to the division championship (if we pretend the Drive don’t exist): they can go 6 – 0 while the Astros go no better than 1 – 6; or they can go 5 – 1 while the Astros lose all their games; or they can go 5 -1 while the Astros go no better than 1 – 6, and then win the play-in game; or they can go 6 – 0 while the Astros go no better than 2 – 5, and then win the play-in game. There are even more ways the M’s can take the second wild-card spot. I realize how pathetic this makes Mariners fandom look, but this is as exciting as it’s been in a long time. Well, there was that time — 2016? — when the M’s weren’t eliminated until the 5th inning of the last game of the season. We’re still a long way from that paltry glory, but it’s not over yet!
PESHASTIN: DNP, 2 – 0. (22 PA, .222, .364, .278; no pitching). The Pears played it safe, and spared Pear pitchers an off-day appearance. The hitters found some extra on-base percentage near where the the Drive were last seen, and kept it for themselves. This was enough to give them a nice 2 run lead lead in off-day action. Max Schrock was the Star of the Scrimmage, doubling and singling in 5 plate appearances
CANBERRA: DNP, 0 – 0. (9 PA, .167, .444, .167; 10.3 ip, 9 er, 7.86 ERA). So much on-base percentage! The Kangaroos’ isolated on-base rate was .277 yesterday which is … huh. Almost 600% bigger than Kaline’s? (which would have to lose 100% of theirs, and then add almost 500% of that amount to get to the Roos OBP?… I don’t know how to do do this. Maybe I will learn it before August 31, 2021.)
The ‘Roos’ isolated OBP is, for now, incalculably better than the Drive’s!! Because 100% of the ‘Roos’ batters walked, and 50% of them got hit by a pitch. Yes, there were only two ‘Roos batters, but are they their teammates’ keepers?
What I really wanted to talk about for Canberra was how Canny they were. All that poor pitching barely made a dent in the team’s runs allowed — just 0.1 runs added. How did they do that? All 10.3 innings were replacing replacements. Usually you don’t want to replace erasable replacement innings with equally bad indelible real ones. But we are nearing the end of the month. If Canberra isn’t likely to get all its replacement innings erased, then there’s no harm in letting a judiciously limited amnount of replacement- level pitching happen. Get it off their chests. Maybe they’ll pitch better next time.
COTTAGE: W (-1), L 1; (-2) – 4. (7 PA, .000, .000, .000; 8.6 ip, 9 er , 9.42 ERA). I know it was an off day, but still, something seems… amiss about this approach. Unpromising.
You usually want the pitchers to generate no-hitters, and the batters to score nine earned runs a game. Outstanding hitters get more walks than strikeouts, and maybe a HBP occasionally. But it was the pitchers producing more walks (8) than strikeouts (7), with the HBP tossed in for good measure.
OK, let’s be gracious here. The pitchers here are both debutants. Josiah Gray actually amassed more innings (5.3) than earned runs allowed (3). It was mostly Matt Manning who was so disoriented out there: 3.3 ip, 6 er, 3 so, 5 bb.
HAVILAND: DNP, 4 – 0. (11 PA, .500, .545, .900; no pitching.) The best day in the EFL was in Haviland, where the hitters really hit! Well, Amed Rosario really hit! 4 for 5 with a double and a homer. The other three Dragons to reach the plate went 1 for 5 with a HBP. But Rosario was so great he carried the team to a 1.445 daily OPS.
PITTSBURGH: L, 3 – 5. (13 PA, .167 .231, .250; 3 ip, 0 er, 0.00 ERA). Some sleight of hand here, to be honest. Cody Ponce — who is this guy? — pitched those 3 innings, and surrendered 4 runs. All of them unearned, even though there were 2 home runs.
Ponce, it turns out, plays for both Pittsburgh teams. He had Jonathan India on second with one out when Colin Moran made an error at first base. Instead of being a runner on third and two outs, it was a runner on 1st and 3rd with one out. The next batter hit a fly ball to the OF, scoring India instead of just being the third out. Then Ponce gave up consecutive home runs to Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez.
The Pirates suffered, but what else is new? Local Pirates fans also suffered, but what else is new about that, either? But at least one local Pirates fan could also say, “hey, he got through the inning without any earned runs, so we’re good.”
Good, except for the part about going from being practically tied with long-time rival Haviland, to being an entire game behind, all in one day.
BELLINGHAM: W, 6 – 4. (18 PA, .556, .556, 833; no pitching) The Cascades produced monster batting numbers, but a thin lineup of only 4 players. All four got hits — even Austin Hedges doubled! — but Jonathan India was the star. He homered, doubled (off Ponce in the inning-gone-bad from Pittsburgh’s point of view) and singled twice. He also stole a base. I’ll bet that was after one of the singles. It was a nice win, badly needed if Bellingham is going to stay ahead of the Runaway Rosebuds!
PORTLAND: DNP, 1 – 0. (5 PA, 400 , .400, .600; no pitching) I can’t remember an EFL team producing only one hitter on a day, and no pitching. It’s probably happened, but I don’t remember it. But now the Rosebuds have done it. And they chose their hitter well: CJ Cron! Who doubled and singled in 5 plate appearances, as his batting line would indicate I think that’s the only way you can get a .400, .400, .600 line for 5 plate appearances. So why am I spending all this time telling you something you already knew when you read 5 PA, .400, .400, .600?
Because the Rosebuds are amazing, that’s why. Look at this, the current EFL September standings:
Our last place team is two games ahead of everyone else in September. In terms of monthly standings, PR finished 8th, 10th, 11th, 10th, and 7th in April through August. At the end of the July they were 11 games under .500, 7.6 games behind the 10th place Cascades, and 27.3 games behind the league leaders.
At the end of August they had improved in some ways — only 8 games under .500 — but declined in others: 7.7 games behind the Cascades, and 29.9 games out of first.
Now suddenly they are 4 games over .500, 1.1 games behind the Cascades (who would be in the cellar by now except in the last week or so they have been running like terrified rabbits from the fearsome Rosebuds). And they are only 27 games out of first — closer than they were on Aug 1!
They’ve already gained essentially 3 games on first, and September isn’t even over. If they keep up that pace, they will catch the Wolverines in June, 2022. I think that might be sooner than next August 31, 2021… but I’m not as sure as I’d usually be. Check back with me yesterday.
Combined MLB + EFL Standings for 2021
|Old Detroit Wolverines||107||49||.684||—|
|Flint Hill Tornadoes||101||55||.648||5.6|
|Tampa Bay Rays||97||59||.622||9.7|
|New York Yankees||89||67||.571||17.7|
|Boston Red Sox||88||68||.564||18.7|
|Toronto Blue Jays||87||69||.558||19.7|
|New York Mets||73||82||.471||23.3|
|Chicago White Sox||89||68||.567||—|
|Kansas City Royals||71||65||.522||7.5|
|St. Louis Cardinals||87||69||.558||7|
|Los Angeles Angels||74||82||.474||22.5|
|San Francisco Giants||102||54||.654||—|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||100||56||.641||2|
|San Diego Padres||78||78||.500||24|