League Updates

He Rose, Bud

No, the title isn’t the punch line to some joke being told about Jesus’ resurrection (though it could be). But it is referring to another momentous occasion. 

It happened! After finishing in last place last year, and dwelling in the cellar since June 16 of this season (all the while rebuilding his team to its former two-time championship level), the Rosebuds are not last anymore – which means they are also not first in the EFL Rookie Draft this winter. Could things change? Considering their lead is only .002 percentage points, yes, they could change, and rather soon. But for now, they can relish in a league-leading September record of 21-6 (a winning percentage of .776) and with one more win, secure the best monthly record of any team this entire season. How did they do it? They lead the league this month is ERA (3.10) and are second in RC/G at 6.22. They outscored their opponents 168-91 this month, the only team to hold their opponents under 100 runs scored this month.

What might this mean for next year? Well, considering they are only losing 7 players and only one of those (CJ Cron) has been a strong contributor to this run, it seems to bode well. But that is an entire season away, and we still have some meaningful baseball to play this weekend.

And who knows? As Ron pointed out to me earlier today, there may very well be some tiebreaker games in the AL East, where both Ron and I play, which would count in the season standings, we believe. So even though the schedule says 3 games left, what if there are 4, or even 5 more games to play? How fun would that be? 


EFL Standings for 2021
Old Detroit Wolverines 110 49 .689 916.0 615.8
Flint Hill Tornadoes 104 55 .655 5.4 881.0 635.6
Kaline Drive 99 61 .619 11 849.4 665.8
D.C. Balk 97 61 .613 12.2 893.5 710.0
Peshastin Pears 93 66 .586 16.3 802.3 686.7
Canberra Kangaroos 87 71 .551 22 838.7 769.2
Cottage Cheese 87 72 .546 22.8 875.3 814.5
Haviland Dragons 84 75 .527 25.8 822.2 805.0
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 84 75 .527 25.8 780.1 736.8
Portland Rosebuds 82 77 .519 27.1 868.2 844.2
Bellingham Cascades 82 77 .516 27.4 676.8 655.7
Old Detroit: W, 9-6; 42PA, 2IP
AVG: 0.317 OBP: 0.333 SLG: 0.683 OPS: 1.016
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 0.500
The Wolverine strategy for the final weekend of the season is simple – score more runs than whoever will pitch allows. Last night it was a replacement pitcher who started and Nate Pearson who relieved. Pearson allowed 0 runs in 2 innings, which helped to ease the burden of 6 runs allowed by the replacement pitcher. And then the hitters went out and convincingly did their job, scoring 9 runs to win. As long as OD doesn’t lose any wins in the final three days of the season, they will finish second all-time in wins for an EFL champion, bested only by the 2017 Alleghenys 115 win total (the Alleghenys in 2017 and Rosebuds in 2018 are tied for third at 108). Last night’s offensive surge was led by Byron Buxton (2 home runs and a double) and Carlos Correa and Austin Riley (one home run apiece). 
Flint Hill: “L,” 4-4; 27PA, 1IP
AVG: 0.120 OBP: 0.185 SLG: 0.280 OPS: 0.465
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 1.000
Unlike the Wolverines, the Tornadoes did not outscore their pitching, which is a bit sad since the pitching was 2 runs better than OD. But the hitting was quite awful, with only 3 total hits in 27 plate appearances. Mookie Betts hit a home run and Bo Bichette hit a double – both will be returning to the Tornadoes next year, which I suppose is good since they were the only two to do anything last night. 
Kaline: W(1), L(1), 8-5; 56PA, 1IP
AVG: 0.314 OBP: 0.375 SLG: 0.588 OPS: 0.963
ERA: 9.00 WHIP: 2.000
The standings show that Kaline has played 160 games, though the Astros (currently second in the division to the Drive but first in the division in MLB) have only played 159. And we don’t know why it shows 160 games for the Drive. Hopefully tomorrow things are as they should be. In the meantime, the Drive are fully embracing their ascension into 3rd place. The team is playing heavenly, getting 3-hit nights from Michael Conforto and Jonathan Schoop, with Schoop making two of hits for extra bases (a double and a home run). The pitching has been a bit more evil, though, as demonstrated in the theologically fraught number 666 – the amount of runs the Drive have allowed this season. Seeing as Tom knows a thing or two about theology, the Drive will get their pitching straightened out in order to claim the 3rd place trophy, I’m certain.
DC: 7-1; 30PA, 8IP
AVG: 0.250 OBP: 0.300 SLG: 0.571 OPS: 0.871
ERA: 2.25 WHIP: 0.875
I imagine the Balk woke up this morning thinking they had made good progress in their pursuit of third place after a strong showing yesterday. How dismayed they must have been, then, to see they made no progress at all – nor did they lose ground, either. In DC there has to be some surmising that when the Kaline games played controversy gets sorted out the distance between the two may be a little less than 1.2 games. Yesterday’s star was Pete Alonso who mashed 2 home runs. He was helped by Ian Anderson and two relievers, who combined for 8 innings and 2 runs. 
Peshastin: L, 6-7; 24PA, 1IP
AVG: 0.200 OBP: 0.333 SLG: 0.450 OPS: 0.783
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 0.000
Attempting to copy the Old Detroit method of replacement pitching being negated by hitters mashing, the Pears forgot to mash enough to eke out the win. Maybe it was more of a dicing than a mashing. Either way, 6 isn’t more than 7, and therefore they lost. Ozzie Albies hit a triple and Ryan Mountcastle hit a home run. Kendall Graveman pitched a scoreless inning to try and match Abraham Toro’s go ahead home run two nights ago. Who won that trade, anyway? 
Canberra: L, 2-6; 37PA, 1IP
AVG: 0.088 OBP: 0.162 SLG: 0.147 OPS: 0.309
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 1.000
Well, yesterday was a forgettable day for the Roos. They collected 3 total hits – two of them doubles of the bats of Kyle Tucker and Vlad, Jr. And they had 2 walks, one from Tucker and one from Mitch Garver. But that is it, in terms of good things to talk about. On the bright side, they decreased their lead over the Cheese and are now a bit closer to a better draft pick. Since the Braves are only going to play 161 games, the Roos (and Balk) will also finish with 161 games played.
Cottage: “W,” 7-9; 43PA, 17IP
AVG: 0.314 OBP: 0.442 SLG: 0.486 OPS: 0.928
ERA: 6.88 WHIP: 1.471
Like my dad always used to tell me, “Volume doesn’t mean it’s good.” He was talking about music, but here I am talking about the amount of innings Cheese pitchers tossed yesterday. 17 innings is great! A 6.88 ERA is not great. Well, it is marginally better than replacement, so it might be kind of great. But not great great. Robbie Ray hurt his chances at the Cy Young, giving up 5 runs in 5.3 innings. Alex Cobb did no better (maybe he should also be in the running for Cy Young?), tossing one third less of an inning and giving up the same amount of runs. Shohei Ohtani made a stronger case for his MVP, going 2 for 5 with a double and a triple. Adolis Garcia kept up his argument for Rookie of the Year with a 2 for 4 night, including a home run.
Haviland: L, 6-9; 32PA, 10.3IP
AVG: 0.207 OBP: 0.281 SLG: 0.517 OPS: 0.798
ERA: 9.61 WHIP: 1.553
Dragon ownership longed for their pitchers to return in order to replace those dreaded replacement innings. And they got what they wished for, sadly. A 9.61 ERA over 10.3 innings is a tough pill to swallow, unless you want to move further down the standings, which Haviland has already admitted. So maybe their wish for pitchers to return was done knowingly. Clever, Haviland. Joe Ryan and Tarik SKubal did the main damage, allowing a combined 11 runs in 8 innings (I went to check if both are allocated or not, and the Current Allocations page is not working at the moment). Six different hitters got one hit each, and three of them were home runs – one each from Brett Gardner, Brandon Lowe and JT Realmuto. 
Pittsburgh: W(1), L(-1), 2-0; 10PA, 3IP
AVG: 0.375 OBP: 0.500 SLG: 0.625 OPS: 1.125
ERA: 6.00 WHIP: 1.333
Edward Cabrera must not be allocated. He gave up 3 runs all by himself, but the Alleghenys were able to add a win and subtract a loss. Now they possess an identical record and winning percentage with Haviland, the two stalwart EFL franchises, with 10 total championships between them, battling it out for a higher draft pick in next year’s draft. Seems poetic, though neither of them probably feel that it is very beautiful. 
BellingPortland: W, 12-2; 33PA, 3IP
AVG: 0.393 OBP: 0.485 SLG: 0.964 OPS: 1.449
ERA: 0.00 WHIP: 1.333
Even though I mentioned it in the opening, my fingers still started to type our Bellingham in this slot instead of Portland. Old habits die hard! The Rosebuds boast two of the hottest hitters in MLB at the moment – Corey Seager who went 3 for 4 with a double and two home runs last night, and Dylan Carlson, who went 2 for 3 with two home runs last night. Throw in a 3 for 4 from Tyrone Taylor and you have yourself a strong offensive day, enough to finally get out of the cellar and into the basement. 
Bellingham: DNP, 1-(-1); 32PA, 7IP
AVG: 0.267 OBP: 0.313 SLG: 0.500 OPS: 0.813
ERA: 2.57 WHIP: 0.714
Take heart, Bellingham. If the season ended today, you’d have the top pick in the EFL this winter. It still must sting a little to have a good day on an off day and lose your spot in the standings. But hold out hope! You are mere percentage points behind the Rosebuds, and your team is playing well. You got home runs from Rafael Ortega (who also stole home!) and Ha-Seong Kim. You got a solid pitching performance from 4 total pitchers. And now you have the inside track to Wander Franco.  
Combined MLB + EFL Standings for 2021
AL East
Old Detroit Wolverines 110 49 .689
Flint Hill Tornadoes 104 55 .655 5.4
Tampa Bay Rays 98 61 .616 11.5
New York Yankees 91 68 .572 18.5
Boston Red Sox 89 70 .560 20.5
Toronto Blue Jays 88 71 .553 21.5
Baltimore Orioles 52 107 .327 57.5
NL East
D.C. Balk 97 61 .613
Canberra Kangaroos 87 71 .551 9.8
Atlanta Braves 86 72 .544 10.9
Philadelphia Phillies 81 78 .509 16.4
New York Mets 76 83 .478 21.4
Miami Marlins 65 94 .409 32.4
Washington Nationals 65 94 .409 32.4
AL Central
Chicago White Sox 91 68 .572
Pittsburgh Alleghenys 84 75 .527 7.3
Bellingham Cascades 82 77 .516 8.9
Cleveland Indians 78 81 .491 13
Detroit Tigers 76 83 .478 15
Kansas City Royals 73 86 .459 18
Minnesota Twins 71 88 .447 20
NL Central
Milwaukee Brewers 95 64 .597
St. Louis Cardinals 89 70 .560 6
Cottage Cheese 87 72 .546 8.2
Cincinnati Reds 82 77 .516 13
Chicago Cubs 69 90 .434 26
Pittsburgh Pirates 59 100 .371 36
AL West
Kaline Drive 99 61 .619
Houston Astros 93 66 .585 5.5
Seattle Mariners 89 70 .560 9.5
Oakland A’s 85 74 .535 13.5
Haviland Dragons 84 75 .527 14.7
Los Angeles Angels 75 84 .472 23.5
Texas Rangers 59 100 .371 39.5
NL West
San Francisco Giants 105 54 .660
Los Angeles Dodgers 103 56 .648 2
Peshastin Pears 93 66 .586 11.8
Portland Rosebuds 82 77 .519 22.5
San Diego Padres 78 81 .491 27
Colorado Rockies 73 85 .462 31.5
Arizona Diamondbacks 50 109 .314 55