Final SOMBILLA Standings 2013-2014

                         W   L     Pct  GB
Constantinople          33  23    .589  --
North Dakota            30  26    .536   3
The Cheddarmen          30  26    .519   3
Future Wax              29  27    .518   4
"What Eric Said"        27  29    .482   6
Oceanus                 27  29    .482   6
Bay City                26  30    .464   7
New Orleans             22  34    .393  11

League Leaders
All Stats

World Series (March 22 at Holliston)
Constantinople 5  North Dakota 0
North Dakota 5  Constantinople 1
North Dakota 3  Constantinople 2
North Dakota 5  Constantinople 2
North Dakota 9  Constantinople 4

North Dakota wins series 4 games to 1

Playoff results (March 8)
Future Wax 14 Constantinople 4
Constantinople 9 Future Wax 6
Constantinople 2 Future Wax 1
Constantinople 11 Future Wax 2
Constantinople 6 Future Wax 5

Constantinople wins series 4 games to 1


Playoff results (March 1 at Holliston)
North Dakota 6  The Cheddarmen 2
North Dakota 4  The Cheddarmen 2
The Cehddarmen 3  North Dakota 1
The Cheddarmen 7  North Dakota 1
North Dakota 3  The Cheddarmen 2
North Dakota 11 The Cheddarmen 2

North Dakota wins series 4 games to 2

Twits* Notes:  

HOME                      AWAY
Tom    18-10   .643        Eric   16-12  .571
Arnie  18-10   .643        Tom    15-13  .536
Jeff   16-12   .571        Randy  14-14  .500  
Randy  15-13   .536        Robin  14-14  .500
Eric   14-14   .500        Jed    14-14  .500
Jed    13-15   .464        Arnie  12-16  .429
Harold 12-16   .429        Jeff   11-17  .393
Robin  12-16   .429        Harold 10-18  .357
TOTALS 128-106 .547             106-128  .453

New league records set this year:
Lowest ERA: Verlander, CH 1.40 (breaks John Denny of Ack's 29-year old record)
Fewest games separating 2nd place from 7th place: 4 (old record 6, two years ago)
Fewest batters over .300 (1) 

(3/22)  Game 1:

RA Dickey pitches a masterful 2-hit shutout against ND to lead CN to the easy victory. In the 4th inning, the ND manager ill-advisedly insults Kubel ("I've never liked him"), who promplty homers, then homers again in the 6th despite many apologies from the ND manager (Jeff's Brandon Belt, who was also insulted by the ND manager ["I've never liked him and he has a stupid name"] and who also pounded ND all year, is laughing from his home while watching on TV).  Two costly errors by Fowler lead to three unearned runs as well.

Game 2

The turning point in the series, and the biggest blow, came from ND’s Matt Joyce, only on the team due to a mid-season trade of D. Murphy.  ND was already up 2-0 in the 5th inning on Pujols's rbi double and Naopli’s HR 1-5 roll when Joyce came up with 2 on and 2 out.  He rolls a “4” on a HR 1-4, out otherwise for the big 3-run blast.  From then on, ND had the better of the karma, although except for the last game, neither team was all that lucky.  ND cruises to the 5-0 victory and the series is tied, heading back to ND.

Game 3

Solo shots by the dynamic duo of Trout and Harper make it 2-0 CN after 3.  Napoli singles in Craig in the 4th and it is 2-1.  3 singles, 2 walks and a deep sac fly by steroid-infused Encarnacion in the 6th gives ND the 3-2 lead.  Marshall, Ji. Johnson, Romo, and Kimbrel (save) pitch the final 4 innings for ND yielding just 2 hits and ND wins 3-2 to take a 2 games to 1 lead.

Game 4

This time ND jumps out to the lead with Encaracion nailing a bp HR (1-11) and Fowler hitting a huge 2-run HR (1-9, out otherwise) to make it 4-0.  Another homer for Trout and an rbi single by Drew for CN in the 7th makes it a 4-2 game with 2 on and one out.  ND brings Kimbrel in to face Trout, who hits into a death roll inning-ending DP, as Tom can’t believe his bad luck.  In the bottom of the 7th, Tom walks Ortiz intentionally to load the bases with 2 out, but Carpenter comes through with an rbi single off Dickey to make it 5-2.  Marshall, Ji. Johnson, and Romo close the door over the last 2 innings for ND yielding no hits and ND is up 3 games to 1.

Game 5

North Dakota starts Marco Estrada in game 5, a ‘usable’ long reliever who was pounded by Tom a couple of times during the regular season. In the first inning, Big Papi, quiet so far, delivers on a BP homer misread by the ND manager at first.  Once again, ND jumps to a 4-0 lead,  Somewhere in the 4th or 5th, the luggaged ND manager realized that he actually had 4 tired pitchers (Marshall, Romo, Kimbrel, Johnson) to back up Estrada, but it doesn’t matter as Estrada sails through 7 innings, remarkably pitching just a one hitter!  In the bottom of the 7th ND loads the bases with none out and goes on to score three runs despite poor baserunning (CN threw three ND runners out at the plate in this game), but it is 7-0.  A 2-run single by series MVP Matt Joyce in the 8th makes it a 9-1 game.  With two out in the 9th, the ND manager stupidly says to Tom “well at least you’ll get a better draft pick than me."  Single, single, home run and now it is 9-4.  But Papelbon gets C. Jones to fly out and ND wins its 2nd World Series in a row.

Counting the regular season, ND won 17 of its final 20 games. Unlikely series MVP Matt Joyce who hit only .226 in the regular season after being pressed into duty, hit .364 with a homer and 5 rbis (and fine defense).  The ND pitching staff had a 1.76 ERA over the 5 games.

This was Tom's first World Series loss, after winning his first four appearances.

(3/7)  Future Wax Torpedoes CN’s Draft Plans. 
I originally was thinking that CN would be picking 5th, and this was good since there are 5 players that I like better than the rest.  But then I realized that Eric’s pick was only the 5th if I lost to Randy.  So with two weeks to think about the series, I decided to think about the 5th and 6th picks in the first round and this relaxed me immensely.  (After all either I was going to have a good position in the draft or a shot at the WS versus Arnie…)

FW came in to make this so and hammered R.A. Dickey for 7 runs in the second inning punctuated by a Stanton Grand Slam (after an Intentional Walk to Brandon Moss).  Sabathia came in to try to keep game within reach, but then followed Dickey’s lead as he then gave up 6 in the 5th.  Down 14-3, CN put in Zimmerman (potentially his Game 3 starter) just to play out the string in the 7th. 

Top of the 9th, CN asked “If Zimmerman goes 3 this game and 1 in Game 2, is he tired for Game 3? Does the time to convert from reliever to starter go from the last game as a reliever or from the worst rest period pitched as a reliever?”  Randy insisted that was silly, it had to be the worst possible combination.  Tom was unhappy because he remembers the answer being the opposite when he was on the other side of the issue…  “I am always the one who gets screwed because I believe the last person that told me …”  With Arnie away and philosophically agreeing with the ruling , CN unhappily puts in Crow and the game ends 14-4 with Wax dominating. 

Game 2 saw CN calm and relaxed after the fireworks at the end of Game 1 and Wax came out and went up 4-0 on 5 straight batters getting on base.  But CN cracked open a beer and Cain held on as his teammates chipped out 2 runs over 3 innings to half the lead.  Then Stephen Drew hit a 3 run shot in the 4th to chase Greinke (score 5-4) and Hamels came in to walk Trout and give up a homer to LaRoche as CN went up 7-4 with his own big inning.  Rizzo added 2 more in the 6th on a clutch hit versus McGee and CN held on for a 9-6 win splitting the first two home games.

FW returned to the Wax dome and decided to pitch limited reverse right handed starter Beachy against the shocked CN, who had not created a lineup for that eventuality.  Zimmerman of the earlier controversy went 5 and 1/3 scoreless as the Manatees posted a 1-0 lead.  Kubel hit a Ball park homer to bring CN up 2-0 and immediately left the game for a defensive sub.  Trumbo muscled one out, but Crow and Rodney were able to stave off more as Manatees won 2-1 to go up 2-1.

Game 4 saw Kershaw facing off against the ineffective Game 1 knuckleballer who came out and gave up back to back homers to go down 2-0.  But it was not to be a repeat of Game 1, as the Manatees had the big inning putting up 8 in the 3rd inning batting around plus 2.  Dickey settled in and pitched a complete game winning 11-2.

Game 5 was essential for FW and it proved to be a sea saw affair.  CN went up 3-0 on Greinke over 4 CN half innings.  Wax was to get back against Cain as CN over-managed intentionally walking Moss to face Ruiz.  Ruiz got the split and singled followed by a Davis double and the game is knotted at 3-3. 

Top of the 5th saw Chipper Jones triple in 2 runs to put the Manatees up 5-3. But Hamilton came up in the bottom of the 5th to hit a 2 run Ballpark homer that tied the game at 5 and chased Cain. Braun came up in the 7th with 2 men on and hit a Ballpark homer – roll 9 (RH BPHR 1-8 with low fences which Randy claims he was originally going to have as High since …) but he gets the second chance and Trout skies and brings the homer back (roll 12) stealing the 3 run go ahead shot. 

Top of the 8th with Chipper Jones at 2nd and 2 outs Trout comes to the plate and hit a shot to first base (1Bx) and it snakes up the line for a single and a go ahead RBI putting CN up 6-5 with 6 outs to go.  Rodney comes out for a 2 inning clinching save and struck out 2 and allowed a single as he faced 7 batters to finish of Wax 4 games to 1.

Offensive Star:  Chipper Jones starting all 5 games going 5 for 15, 4 R, 2B, 3B, 2-HR, 7 RBIs, 5 BB for a triple slash of .333/.500/.933. 

Honorable Mention to Drew who went 3 for 5 with 1 HR and 6 RBIs (2nd on the team).  Trout cursed both ballparks as he was 0 for 2 in BP Homer chances.

Pitching Star went to Rodney with 3 saves in 4 1/3 innings with 0 ER, 5 K, 1B, 2B, BB. 2nd Star to Zimmerman who went a scoreless 8 innings for a win and 7 Ks.

(3/2)  Game 1: ND picked up right where it left off the regular season, with steroid boy leadoff man Encarnacion hitting the first pitch for a homer.  Ortiz also homers and its 2-0 after 1.  Pujols rbi double followed by a two run shot by Ortiz again makes it 5-0 after 2 against Verlander.  Napoli homers in the 3rd for good measure and and ND cruises to the win 6-2.  Peavy pitches 8 innings yielding just 3 hits for the win.

Game 2: The ND streak reaches 11, counting the regular season again by scoring early and often.  This time, a 2-run single by Craig and 2-run homer by Wieters makes it 4-0 in the first against G. Gonzalez.  Fielder makes it a 4-2 game, tripling in 2 runs in the 3rd, but Papelbon, Romo and Kimbrel pitch the final 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for ND yielding just one hit.

Game 3: The series moves to Sandover Field and Molina (2-run HR) and Konerko (solo shot) stake Weaver to a 3-0.  Hardy's HR is one of just 4 hits ND can muster against CH pitching (Weaver, Wilhelmsen, Boggs, Motte and Soriano) and CH breaks through.

Game 4:  A reversal of game one as Peavy is pounded, while Verlander pitches an easy 5-hit CG win.  Molina hits another HR for The Cheddarmen.

Game 5: The pivotal and deciding game. An error by Tejada is followed by Craig's rbi double (scoring Ortiz on a 1-11) in the top of the first, but Molina's rbi triple ties it at 1 after one.  Fowler and Pedroia get back to back rbi hits in the top of the 4th off G. Gonzalez.  Tejada hits a sac for CH and it's 3-2 ND after 4.  The Cheddarmen proceed to miss a 1-13 hit chance to tie it, and a 1-11 HR chance to take the lead (and another chance I think I am missing).  The luck has shifted back.  ND's bullpen (Valdes, Ji. Johnson, Romo, Kimbrel) pitch 5 innings, yielding 4 hits and 0 runs.  Kimbrel picks up his 2nd save.  ND becomes the first visiting team to win a game in the series, and they fly back to the cow pastures of Gackle Park, with Eric needing to win 2 games there.

Game 6:  After briefly residing with Eric for a game and half, the karma gods envelop ND once again as they tire out Jarod Parker in the first inning (2-run double by Craig, followed by a 3-run homer by Napoli), and Eric is kicking himself for starting Parker.  Weaver comes in but fares little better and it is 7-1 after three.  Although Eric never gives up, the game is never in doubt as ND pours it on to win easily 11-2.  ND heads back to the World Series for the 2nd year in a row.

ND is 14-5 against Eric going back to last years World Series.  ND pitchers had a 2.82 ERA in the 6 games.  MVP was the entire ND bullpen (Kimbreal, Ji. Johnson, Valdes, Romo, Marshall, Papelbon) a combined 2-0, 16 1/3 inns, 9 hits, 6 BB, 15K's, 0.55 ERA with 2 saves.

(2/26) The Cheddarmen took 3 of 4 against Future Wax to slide into the 3rd playoff spot, to face off against Eric's nemesis, Arnie. It could have been a sweep if Eric had managed the 9th inning of game 3 better, but he stayed with Rafael Soriano, who, once again, coughed up a lead. A 3-run shot by McCutchen off Avilan gave the Wax a 4-3 win, their lone win of the series.  

Star of the series for the Cheddarmen was Verlander, who won game 1 for his 11th win (against 2 losses) to secure the playoff spot. 

Draft Day March 30

(2/25) Per Jed "Unsatisfying split likely knocks both teams out of playoff contention unless Randy can sweep Eric.  There.  I just freaked Eric out.  Awoken the karmic gods."

In fact, such a sweep by Randy would precipitate an unprecedented three-way tie for fourth and a scramble to check the bylaws on how to proceed.  Randy finishes 2nd by winning 2-4 games, with ND finishing 3rd.  If Eric wins 3 games, he finishes 3rd, ND takes 2nd and Randy finishes 4th.  If Eric sweeps, he takes 2nd place, with ND in third and Randy in fourth.  Got it?

Here are the slightly edited computer-generated stories from Jed.

In game 1, Oceanus had the game winning rally in the top of the 9th inning when they scored 5 runs on 3 hits.  The key at-bat was by Darwin Barney who silenced the stadium when he doubled bringing in two baserunners.  What Eric Said proved to be no trouble in the bottom of the 9th.  Junichi Tazawa got credit for the victory - his first of the year - pitching 2 innings and allowing no runs. The losing pitcher was Casey Fien in relief.  He surrendered 2 runs and 2 hits in 1 inning. 

"I pin this one on my own shoulders," Fien said. "The bottom line is I didn't get the job done.  Our fans deserve better than this."

Game 2 saw Kyle Lohse hold Oceanus to 2 hits as What Eric Said bested the Oceanus Assholes in 10 innings 2 to 1 at What Field. Both teams were tied at 1 runs apiece after nine innings.  What Eric Said was victorious in the 10th inning.  After two outs Nick Markakis banged out a single.  Brandon Belt came to the plate and drew a walk.  Brandon Phillips then doubled resulting in a mighty exciting win for What Eric Said and the 12,131 home town fans in attendance.  What Eric Said managed only 5 hits on
the night. 

The victory went to Lohse who went the distance allowing 1 run. Joe Nathan suffered his 3rd loss in relief.  He gave up 1 run and 2 hits in 2 and 2/3 innings. 

"He came out with good stuff," Jeff said about Lohse. "He threw the ball good from the first pitch on."

In game 3, Doug Fister struck out 10 batters as the Oceanus Assholes bested What Eric Said 6 to 2 at What Field. Fister (4-5 on the season) was solid in the win.  He gave up just 2 hits and no walks in 7 innings.  Oceanus had 8 hits for the game and What Eric Said had 3. 

Wandy Rodriguez was the loser.  He was knocked around pretty good, giving up 5 runs in 4 innings.  Jeff was impressed with Fister and his 10 strikeouts.  "It's tough to generate runs if you can't make contact with the ball."

In game 4, Nick Swisher blasted a homerun and had 2 RBI as What Eric Said topped the Oceanus Assholes by a score of 6 to 3 at What Field. Darren Oliver did a nice job in relief and was credited with the win.  He went 1 and 1/3 innings allowing no hits and 1 walk.  Despite losing, Oceanus out-hit What Eric Said 11 to 8. 

Aroldis Chapman gained credit for the save.  Felix Hernandez (5-7) took the loss.  He was knocked around by What Eric Said, allowing 7 hits and 2 walks in 4 innings, mostly off his own card.
 

(2/23) North Dakota wins its last 9 games of the season to clinch a playoff spot in unlikely fashion.  Not only was Carpenter out for the final 7 games, but Wieters and Goldschmidt were injured in game 3 against Harold and also would have been out for a 1-game playoff.  It didn't matter, as ND outscored NO 42-11 in the sweep, winning 8-1, 11-2, 13-5, and 10-3.  For the second week in a row, ND had tremendous luck, nailing many ballpark HR's (1-11) while Harold missed his first 6.  Star of the series was Albert Pujols was 7 for 16 (.438) with 4 HR and 11 RBI.

However, only two teams have clinched the playoffs. Because all four teams playing on Tues and Wed this week have a shot at the playoffs, there are a lot of permutations.   Both Jed and Jeff, playing Tuesday night, could finish anywhere from 3rd - 7th.  Eric could finish 2nd - 6th, while Randy could still finish 2nd - 5th.  (ND could finish 2nd -4th).  Constantinople clinched first place.

Meanwhile, Harold's getting swept combined with Robin's split means Harold gets the 1st pick overall outright. There will definitely be a rolloff for the 2nd pick.

Draft Day March 30.

(2/16) By sweeping The Cheddarmen, North Dakota took over sole possession of 4th place heading into the final week of the regular season.  The sweep was made more remarkable by the fact that limited cleanup hitter Matt Carpenter was injured for 7 games - meaning he is out for the season - in game 1, leaving 24 plate appearances on the table.  It didn't seem to have an impact on this series, though, thanks to terrific rolling by ND.

Indeed, Carpenter was injured in a 1-1 tie in game 1 - and his injury replacement's first at bat was a 2-run triple by Matt Joyce, rolling a "1" (on a triple 1-3, out otherwise).  Kimbrel held on for the save (no. 12) and ND wins 3-1, only the 2nd loss for Verlander.

Mutant Pete Kozma's pinch-hit rbi in the 7th inning of Game 2 tied the game at 2 apiece and turned it into a 16-inning torture fest featuring inept offenses puzzled by great relievers.  But in the 16th, Eric was finally forced to bring in a lefty reliever and says "you're going to win now".  Sure enough, injury callup Jose Altuve rolls a '1" for a leadoff triple, followed by Wieters' single to make it 3-2 in the top of the 16th.  Kimbrel pitches the bottom of the 16th for his 13th save.

Game 3 was a laugher - Altuve had three more hits before finally making an out, and steroid boy Ecnarnacion hits a 2-run homer, as ND raced to 8-2 and 10-3 leads, hanging on to win 10-5.

In the finale, the top of the order (Fowler and Encarnacion) do damage immediately as ND scores 4 in the first.  The game features on odd moment for the 2nd time in the series when Boggs and Papelbon (traded for one another) oppose each other for a couple of innings.  Cueto, Papelbon, Ji. Johnsn, Romo and Kimbrel (14th save and 3rd of the series) scatter 7 hits as ND wins 5-2 against the  frustrated, but gracious Cheddarmen.

Draft Day March 30.

(2/12) An unsatisfying split for Jeff resolved perhaps one thing - it is possible that the final playoff spot could come down to a showdown between Jeff and Jed on the final night of the season, although Arnie and Robin could have something to say about that.

In game 1, WES took advantage of four North Dakota errors to win 8-2, while Morrow and Broxton combined to yield just 4 hits. In game 2, ND reversed their fielding woes, turning three timely double plays, to win 4-1, with Kimbrel picking up his 11th save.

Game 3 was the most interesting.  WES went up 8-0, with Hellickson pitching a no-hitter.  But then Hellickson's arm fell off (on a rare play that called for a deflection off the pitcher no less), and ND was able to score three runs off Broxton in the 7th (helped by Pujols 2 run HR).  It was still 8-3 going into the bottom of the 9th.  Ortiz and Craig led off with homers, followed by a walk (Beltran), long single (Wieters), long single (Fowler) and now it is 8-6.  Cook comes in, Joyce hits a fielder's choice scoring Wieters it is now 8-7.  But Cook gets Kozma and Encarnacion to get the shaky save and WES wins 8-7.

Both teams acknowledged that the finale was a big game, but ND won in a laugher 16-3, Encarncacion and Carpenter each hitting 3-run homers. 

Draft Day March 30.

(2/9) Jed swept into 4th place Sunday night, percentage points ahead of Jeff, by sweeping Tom for the 2nd time this season. In game 1, Jimmy Rollins had 2 base hits as Oceanus Assholes defeated Constantinople 2 to 1.

Oceanus tallied 2 runs in the 5th inning when they had 4 base hits.  It was enough to earn the victory.  Constantinople threatened in the 9th but their rally came up short. 

Ryan Dempster picked up the victory, allowing no runs in 5 innings.  Dempster was helped out by Kris Medlen who recorded his 7th save.  Matt Cain ended up with the loss.

In game 2, Adrian Beltre smacked 2 homeruns and had 5 RBI as Oceanus overwhelmed Constantinople, 17 to 4.

Beltre really lit it up for Oceanus.  The Constantinople fans let him have it for what he did to their boys.  He banged out a single in the 2nd inning, lofted a three-run 'big-fly' in the 5th inning, doubled bringing in a run in the 6th inning and blasted a solo shot in the 9th inning.  Oceanus kept the scorekeepers busy in the 5th inning which saw them score 6 runs on 6 hits and
the 6th inning when they had 4 runs on 5 hits.  Offensively, Oceanus was a juggernaut.  They scored in 6 separate innings. 

Doug Fister picked up the victory, allowing 4 runs in 6 and 2/3 innings, allowing 3 homeruns but all were solo shots.  A very tired R.A. Dickey was given the loss.  He surrended 5 homeruns in his 9 innings

In game 3, Catcher Joe Mauer connected with a 'big fly' as Oceanus beat Constantinople 9 to 3.  Felix Hernandez pitched a solid 6 and 2/3 innings, allowing 6 hits and 3 walks.  Oceanus rapped out 11 hits for the night.

Ryan Vogelsong was charged with the loss.  Oceanus scored big getting 6 runs off him in 5 and 1/3 innings.

In Game 4, Oceanus nipped Constantinople 4 to 3 in a hard fought contest.

Jeremy Affeldt was dominant in relief.  He gave up just 1 hit and no walks in 2 innings reducing his ERA in the series from 4.50 to 2.25.  Both teams ended up with 9 hits on the afternoon. 

Kris Medlen got his 2nd save of the series.  Fernando Rodney was the losing pitcher in relief.  He was not very effective, surrendering 3 runs in 2 innings. 

Jed freely admits to being the luckier team,  "I came from behind in the last game.  Whenever there are 1-run games...obviously either side could win.  So it could've been a split with just a little bit of luck going Tom's way.  The two blowouts...it was like all the luck I hadn't had for about 16 games got concentrated into 2 games."

--------------------------------

Meanwhile Randy took the first 2 games from Harold, then dropped the last two, including the final via a 12th inning 5- run bullpen meltdown. Highlight of the afternoon was Harold pinch hitting strausberg for Cano.

In the BC-ND series, another controversy was narrowly averted when, just before the opening dice roll, the ND manager remembered that Ortiz had to be injured for the first two games, a carryover from the first time these two managers had met, but had forgotten about.

Draft Day, March 30


(2/2)
The Cheddarmen took all four games from New Orleans in a landslide. NO was outscored 30-3, and didn't score a run until the 6th inning of the 3rd game. Eric's starters yielded exactly zero runs in 23 innings and Harold hit more death rolls than a Texas prison. The series of course was played in the neighborhood of 2 hours and 15 minutes.

The sweep propelled The Cheddarmen into 2nd place, only 4 games behind Tom – the closest any team has been to first in almost a month.  Meanwhile, New Orleans dropped back into last.

Draft Day, March 30.

(1/29) Eric made the long drive up to Holliston to play his makeup series with Robin and the result was an "entertaining" and "good series".  Eric won the first two games, highlighted by a 2-hitter by Verlander in game 1.  Robin won the final 2 games for the satisfying split; she hit an impressive 11 home runs in the series (a relief after hitting only 2 in the Rehobeth Parking Lot).

Note that all teams except Eric and Arnie can now call up their 26th man...Draft Day March 30.

(1/26) Continuing the tradition of crappy out-of-the-playoff teams beating good teams (see, e.g., Harold vs. Jeff, Arnie vs. Jed), Bay City swept Oceanus at the Rehobeth Parking Lot to knock Jed (1-11 since acquisirng Rollins, Scutero and D. Murphy) into last place. Newly acquired Omar Infante provided a wealth of insider information about the Assholes, and Bay City used it to its advantage to outhit Oceanus by nearly 2 to 1 (44 to 23). Gallardo went 7 innings to rout the more talented King Felix, 7-2, in Game 1. Game 2 featured perhaps CJ Wilson's career-best performance as he allowed just 2 singles (and only 3 walks) in 8 innings in his former ballpark. K. Jansen got the save in the 1-0 win, with M. Cabrera knocking in the only run of the game with a ninth inning double. Game 3 saw Darvish out-duel Shields, winning 3-2 while striking out 13 in 8 innings. Tazawa gave up his first runs of the season as Bay City scored two in the ninth. In Game 4, the Assholes were up 2-0 but Bay City took the lead with 3 in the sixth and held on for the 4-2 win. MVPs of the series were (besides virtually the entire BC pitching staff), Aoki, who hit .500 with a HR and 4 rbis from the lead-off spot, and number 9 hitter Alcides Escobar, who hit .357 with a triple, a double, and 3 rbis.

Elsewhere this week
end, FW takes 3 of 4 at home against the first place Manatees, by scores of 6-5 (Hamilton with HR-robbing catch in 5th and walk-off HR in 10th), 9-4, 6-9, and 4-3.

Draft Day, March 30

(1/29) It was a topsy-turvy weekend that saw two teams hopelessly out of it sweep two teams vying for the playoffs that had several GM's scratching their heads to figure out their next moves...

New Orleans wins 7 of 8 on the day.  They take 3 of 4 from Robin, and sweep Jeff.  The Jeff series had a bit of controversy:  as the snow-pocalypse raged in Marblehead (final tally:  a dusting), Eric fled the North Shore in a rush, canceling his bash series with Robin.  In doing so, he took four of Jeff’s players with him.  This necessitated the New Orleans manager going into his basement to get the entire card set, so they can dig out the 4 players who fled with Eric.  15 minutes later (the cards were in a pile, and in fact the New Orleans manager was going to throw them away last week, but forgot to) the 4 were found and the series begun, much to Jeff’s ultimate dismay.

Since trading 20% of its active roster gave New Orleans its longest win streak of the year, the manager will be looking to trade additional players...

Meanwhile North Dakota's staff hurled three shutouts (Wainright 2-hit CG, Peavy 7 1/3 0 ER, Cueto  6 2/3 0 ER), Kimbrel notched his 8th save, Ortiz smacked his 10 HR, and Fowler (9 for 16) improved to .357 as the defending champs finally played like it.

Draft Day March 30.

(1/15)Jeff can't make it to draft day (he will be out of town all weekend) but he says that he will send a surrogate to draft for him as he did once before.  So draft day is still Sunday, March 30.  Will he tell the surrogate to vote on all proposals the same as Eric as he did last time?

Manatees hold on to first place taking 3 out of from ND. ND came in to play the Troutless Manatees and steal the first game 7-4.  The two teams were tied when Fowler hit a triple in the 7th to go up 5-4 and then after an IBB to Ortiz to set up the double play goes wrong when Cain and Rodney walk the next two batters. Game 2: Dickey pitches and Trout hits a 2 run homer (BP HR 1) and Manatees tie the series with a 4-2 win. Game 3:  All tied at 3 after 7, the Manatees miss a ball park homer (Trout) but Jaso follows with a ball park homer from the other side of the plate and Rodney came on to hold ND at bay for a 4-3 win.

Game 4:  The Manatees go up 5-0 after 6.  ND gets a double, an error from Chipper Jones, a BS (1 on a 1-1 chance) for Pedroia and next thing you know Encarnacion is hitting a 3 run Triple and Ortiz gets at rbi single and the game is 5-5.  Jaso hits a solo shot in the 8th and then Rodney tries to hold ND off in the 9th.  Kozma triples with one out and then Fowler Ks.  Then Encarnacion and Ortiz walk to tire Rodney.  Atchison comes in and gets the injury call up Beltran to hit into an out and a 6-5 CN win to take 3 out of 4... 

(1/12) 

A misty Saturday morning started with a slug fest as 10 homers were hit and the Manatees took the first game 14-6.  It was not a ballpark issue -- both sides had one and Harold missed 4 and Manatees missed 2.  At one point the Manatees went back to back to back...  Cain gave up 5 runs early on 3 homers, but settled down to weather the New Orleans attack.

Dickey came out and won the next game 4-2 in the expected pitchers duel following an offensive explosion.

Sabathia versus Strasberg was game 3.  Without his lefty killers (traded somewhere), he had to scramble for a lineup and it was intriguing to consider using Strasberg as a hitter and giving up the DH from the start.  But with Sabathia scheduled to go 5, he made due went up 2-0 early.  Strasberg again had a bad inning giving up 5 in the 5th and next thing you knew Manatees were up 10-3.  The 9th started with New Orleans getting 4 straight hits and coming to within 10-6.  Scott Atchison came in and stabbed his old team in the back getting 3 outs and holding off his old teammates' attack.

Game 4 was a 13 inning affair.  Both starters gave up 7 runs in the first 3 innings getting tired early and both teams thinking "Do I have enough relief to bring them in in the 3rd, 4th, 5th ..."  New Orleans went up 9-7 and Harold broke down and brought his relievers in the 5th and the Manatees followed in the 6th after tying the game 9-9.  Then both teams were blanked for 7 innings (6-12) and then Kipnis hit a ballpark homer in the top of the 13th for a 2 run shot and the Manatees held on for a 11-9 win.

An exciting series, but the Manatees continue to be lucky and pulled off the unlikely 4 game sweep...

(Randy’s response) "Manatees continue to be lucky and pulled off the unlikely 4 game sweep."  Bwah, ha, ha, ha!  Especially after he just dismantled his entire team.  (I was the last one to play against the original line up.).

In a shocking turn of events, last-place Bay City took 3 of 4 from Future Wax in the Wax Dome yesterday. Game 1 featured a complete-game 3-hit (all singles) 3-0 shutout by Yovani Gallardo, who struck out no one in the first 5 innings, struck out the side in the 6th and 7th, and then struck out 2 in the 9th. In Game 2, CJ Wilson pitched for the cycle in the 1st inning as FW had a walk, a HR, 2 doubles, a triple and 3 singles off the cutest player in the Sombilla--final score 13-2. Game 3 was a blow-out, BC winning 10-1 on strength of 3 2nd inning homers (all, shockingly, on rolls of 1 in the fairly small Wax Dome), as Griffin, Ogando, Perkins, and K. Jansen combined to hold the Wax to just 4 hits. In Game 4, Darvish outpitched Cahill and newly acquired Miley (who soaked up many innings this series) for a 7-2 BC win, sparked by Reddick's 1st inning 3-run HR. Draft Day March 30.

The Cheddarmen took 3 of 4 from oceanus to win their first series of the season and nudge over .500, also for the first time.

Eric's trade with Harold, for lefty relievers Furbush and Avilan, seemed to calm the bullpen down, which Eric assumes was the worst in the league, with a combined 4-7 record and 8.30 ERA, with many blown holds and saves, going into the series. Against Jed, the bullpen went 11 innings, surrendering just 1 hit, no runs, 5 walks, and 12 k's. Furbush didn't pitch, and Avilan went just 1 inning, to save a 2-1 victory. Apparently, it was just knowing those new guys were there that made the difference. So star of the series is a no-brainer: it goes to the pen. 

Summary of trades this year (so far):

11/21 CN trades his 1st round pick (April 2015 Draft -- 2014 Cards) to Cheddarmen for his closer (Grant Balfour) and Melky Cabrera (Starting LFer) and an 8th round pick (April 2015 Draft -- 2014 Cards).

1/6 New Orleans has sent left relievers Charlie Furbush and Luis Avilan to The Cheddarmen for a 5th round pick in the 2014 draft.
1/6
New Orleans has also sent lefty S/R Wade Miley to Future Wax for a 5th Round Pick.
1/7 New Orleans is burning.  The fire sale continues as New Orleans send Carroll and Swisher to "What Eric Said" for a 7th Rd pick in 2014 draft.If WES makes the world series the pick becomes the 6th and if WES wins WS (ya right) the pick becomes a number 5. 
1/11 New Orleans trades Scott Atchison to Manatees for a 5th round pick in the upcoming draft. 
1/12 The Cheddarmen trades Papelbon to North Dakota for Boggs.
1/12 Oceanus trades J.J. Hardy and a 7th round pick for Rollins and David Murphy
1/14 Scutaro, Bay City to Oceanus for Infante

Draft Day Sunday, March 30.

(1/6) Jeff’s superb defense and nasty boy relief corps makes it a nigh impossible task to comeback against, so CN went out and with early inning luck scratched out an unlikely sweep.

With a lefty on the mound, the Manatees went up 4-0 on LaRoche and Butler homers in the first and held on to win 10-4 as Cain pitched a complete game.  However, Stephen Drew struck out and injured his foot putting him out for 4 games.

Morrow gave it a turn and gave up 3 solo homers and an unearned run to lose 4-0 as Dickey’s knuckler danced in and out of the strike zone for a 4 hit shutout.  It was time for Jeff to start hitting the Manatee hitters and Torii Hunter was injured for 2 games in the bean ball wars.  (Manatees had injured 3 of the Whaters in the first series.)

Sabathia faced Jeff’s ace Lohse in game 3 and is spotted to a 2-0 lead, but coughs it up to leave the game at 2-2 after 5 innings.  Jaso hits a homer in the bottom of the 6th and the Manatees were now up 3-2 and trying to hold on.  After a perfect 7th, Lohse is touched for a hit and strikes out Trout but then hits Martin knocking him out for 2 games.  LaRoche comes to the plate and hits a ballpark homer, 20 (no…) and then Adam Jones skies to catch the home run over the fence (6 on the 1-3 chance) and there are two outs.  Rizzo, however, comes through with a double scoring 2 and Melky Cabrera follows with an RBI single and the Manatees hold on for a 6-2 win as the WES bullpen never gets into the game.

Manatee again with the early luck goes up 4-0 and then WES comes back and ties the game at 4-4 after 6 on a three run Longoria homer.  In the bottom of the 8th, Bryce Harper hits a leadoff double and is followed by a Trout fly rfB and Harper takes 3rd.  Chapman comes in and faces Jaso who is stuck with the injuries to the Manatees having left no catcher on the bench and he digs in… Wild pitch and Harper scores… Rodney holds on for the win.

(1/5) The showdown for first place between Tom and Jeff wasn't much of a battle at all as Tom's park proved to be too much for Jeff, despite Jeff's injuring four of Tom's players. Full details from Tom forthcoming tomorrow.

After missing 4 ballpark homers (1-11) in a 2-1 game 2 loss to FW, ND was wondering why all that effort of thousands of games of computer simulations was put into choosing a ballpark.  As Arnie put it, "What the fuck"?

From Jed's computer:

In a good matchup it was the Oceanus Assholes 6, the New Orleans Ellis 4 in the series opener. Felix Hernandez contributed a pedestrian performance to earn the win.  He went 6 innings allowing 8 hits and 1 walk and was touched for 2 homeruns.  New Orleans proved to be no trouble in the bottom of the 9th.  Kris Medlen recorded the save.  Hiroki Kuroda took the loss.  He was knocked around by Oceanus, allowing 14 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings.

In game 2, first baseman Joey Votto blasted a homerun and had 2 RBI as the Oceanus Assholes outscored the New Orleans Ellis 4 to 2. Oceanus erupted with the game winning runs in the top of the 9th inning scoring 2 runs on 3 hits.  Votto started the scoring when he smashed a bases-empty 'big-fly'.  Jose Bautista was next and he smashed a solo-shot out of the park.  After an out was recorded, Jon Jay came up and he delivered a one-base hit.  Jay took second on a stolen base.  Matt Holliday was the next
batter, but he struck out.  Junichi Tazawa was perfect in relief and got the save, his 1st.  The victory was credited to Jeremy Affeldt who went 2/3 of an inning, allowing no runs. Luis Avilan suffered the loss in relief.

Game 3 saw Kris Medlen provide an impressive outing and center fielder Jon Jay had 3 base hits as the Oceanus Assholes defeated the New Orleans Ellis by the score of 3 to 2. Oceanus scratched out 2 runs in the 5th inning when they came up with 3 base hits.  They would prove to be the difference in the contest.  Oceanus out-hit New Orleans for the game, 9 hits to 6.  Ryan Dempster got the win allowing 2 runs in 5 innings. Medlen was credited with his 2nd save of the series, pitching 4 scoreless innings.  Jeff Samardzija took the loss.  'He gutted it out' Jed said of Dempster.  'I was very impressed by his tenacity.'

In game 4, Ben Zobrist hit a homerun and had 2 RBI as the New Orleans Ellis bested the Oceanus Assholes 6 to 5. New Orleans took the lead for keeps in the 3rd inning scoring 2 runs on 3 hits.  After an out was recorded, Robinson Cano started the attack as he laced a single.  David Wright followed next and he doubled.  Justin Morneau then hit a deep fly.  Yoenis Cespedes came up and he banged out a single.  Oceanus threatened in the 9th but New Orleans was able to put down the rally. Chris Sale picked up the victory, allowing 4 runs in 7 innings. Koji Uehara gained credit for the save.  James Shields was the loser.  New Orleans knocked him around a bit, as he gave up 6 runs in 5 innings (4 earned, 2 due to J.J. Hardy's 5th error of the season).

Draft Day Sunday, March 30.

(12/25)  
New Orleans and Future Wax squared off last night for an entertaining series, with 1 run (or less) score differential in the 8th inning of 3 of the 4 games.

Strausburg got clobbered in game 1, surrendering 4 home runs in an 8-1 loss. Kershaw was brilliant, throwing a complete game near shut-out (only run coming with 2 outs in the 9th).  Strausburg would reappear in two more games as a pinch hitter.

Harold bounced back to take the 2nd game, 6-3, with a balanced attack anchored by Cano's three hits.  Six pitchers combined to secure the NO win.

In Game three, Aramis Ramirez was hit by a pitch and injured in the 4th. This loaded the bases, and Hill followed with an RBI single. The score was still 1-0 in the 8th, until Ramirez's replacement, Trumbo, launched a 3-run blast to break it open. Final score, 5-1 FW.

The final game feature ferious offensive action for the first 4 innings, at which point the score was 5-5.  This was followed by 7+ scoreless innings, with a FW runner thrown out on a home plate collision in the 7th, and a potential winning run for Harold cut down at the plate in the 11th (with 1 out, bases loaded, infield and outfield in).  Finally, with 2-out in the 12th, Harold grabbed the victory and series split when a walk-off single by Zobrist plated Carrol.

Remember - all teams get a day off at the stroke of midnight on December 31.

(12/22)  Tom lurched into a tie for first place on Saturday, getting out of the BC park with a sweep and a little bit of hope and pizza.  BC and CN played to 3 games with the score of 4-3, all won by CN.  The only other game was a 9-1 Dickey victory over CJ Wilson.

Arnie then took the chair and played two weird games 

Game 29 had Peavy pitch 6 and a 1/3 perfect innings scattering one missed BPHR and a couple missed splits and BP singles and staked to a 7-0 lead.  3 batters later and two homers had the lead down to 7-3.  Trout put one over the fence in the 8th to bring CN to 7-5.  But after two quick outs and two runners in scoring position ND put an end to all hope and walked away with a 7-5 victory.   But Pedroia and Murphy left the game injured to 2 more games.

Due to injuries, ND fielded a team with some of the worst infield defense ever with Carpenter as a 5 at 2B and Encarnacion a 4e65 at 3B.  It was a roller coaster of a game with men thrown out at home and a runner thrown out at 3B stealing (20 when he had a 1-19 chance) which was all tied through 10 innings.  Bryce Harper hit an 11th inning Ball park homer to put CN up 5-4.  But with 2 outs, Matt Joyce walked and then Napoli rolls a ballpark homer.  It is 1-11 to win the game on  a two-run walkoff, 12-20 flyout and Tom wins.  Napoli rolls a “6”. 

CC Sabathia came out to stop the bleeding again Wainwright and walked away with a 10-4 victory with Mike Trout hitting 2 homers and CN hitting 4 total to make a split possible. 

The game for 1st place started with ND going up 4-1 after 2, but Chipper Jones hit a 2 run homer to cap off a 6th innings 3 run outburst to bring the game into a tie.  Estrada came in and was greeted with a single and a Trout 2 run shot that brought anger out of the ND manager.  Estrada thought he was destined for the freezer right there, right then; CN held on to with and cement the split and a 1st place tie with What Eric Said

Two teams are not doing their stats and in accordance with the bylaws, will be subject to an audit before allowed to play in the post-season if it continues.

(12/20) From Jed:  
In short, we split.  3 1-run games, including a 15 inning contest that Randy pulled out against Medlen (who has come down to earth after starting the season with 9 scoreless innings).  The scores were 4-3, 4-3 (15 innings), 3-2 and 9-6.  The final game was a relative slugfest where I won in spite of 2 HRs from Moss.

There were a couple of controversies that we ironed out and arguably Randy's gentlemanliness cost him a game.  The first controversy was quite minor.  Randy brought Lopez in as a reliever and I thought Lopez was a lefty so I countered by pinch-hitting Victorino for Jay.  Then, after making the move but before batting, I realized my mistake.  I offered to stick with Victorino but Randy allowed me to undo the substitution.  Jay promptly made an out.  And I lost that game anyway.

The second controversy was in the top of the 4th in the final game.  I was trailing 5-3.  I had Hanigan on first.  Prado got a double when I picked a 1 on a outfielder with a 2 rating.  But...due to the "hidden ball trick" (rare play), my good fortune was erased.  So, runner on 3rd with one out.  Next up...Hardy hit a ballpark home run!  Or did he?  The split card was an 8 and with low fences, the final outcome depended on the fielder, who was a 2.  But it didn't look like the computer wasn't factoring in the low fences.  I think there is a Robbing HR rule that can be turned on...which I don't think about because it doesn't apply to my park.  And anyway Randy was hosting so I definitely didn't think about it.  After tying the game, I think I made another out and then scored 3 more runs in the inning.  So Randy potentially could've gotten out of it still leading 5-3.

I offered to allow Randy to pick a split card and abide by the result.  Obviously I would've been bummed to lose a homer but it seemed the fair thing to do.  Randy said he thought there might've been a previous instance of a ballpark HR where we had ignored the fences so he decided he would let this slide.

I will say that given Randy's power, I was lucky to escape with a split.  At some point that team is going to have a 20 run outburst...


(12/19)  Jeff won the first place showdown against Randy last night, opening up a 2-ganme lead over the pack.
Game 1: Nail-biting game with FW up 3-2 in the top of 8, Randy inadvertently forgets defensive replace.  Heyward comes up and belts a 2 run HR to right field “fence effect” (1-16 vs 1-3 for his defensive replacement).  Dr. Fien closes game down for WES -  5-3 win. 

Game 2:  FW roars back with 6-1 decisive victory behind expert pitching of Grinke and Dotel.

Game 3: WES coast to 10-4 win led by Jones (3-4 4 RBI , 2 double, 1 HR and SB). 

Game 4: WES wins 1-0.  Highlighted by an unsuccessful suicide squeeze in bottom of 8 by the Wax.


(12/8) Randy swept into first place Sunday night.  
In game 1, Kershaw outdueled Peavy, scattering 5 hits and 5 walks for a complete game 5-1 victory,  with home runs from Stanton and Ruiz. Future Wax took the second game 5-3, with home runs from McCutchen  and Hamilton (and a Reyes squeeze bunt) trumping an Ortiz solo blast and Fowler RBI-triple.  Game 3 was a blow out, with the Wax scoring 7 runs in the 2nd before an out was recorded, coasting to a 16-4 win (on only two HR). Arnie had hopes of avoiding a sweep when a Rollins 2-run shot put him ahead. But 2 solos shots from McCutchen equalized things, and two-run blast from Ike Davis put Randy ahead for good, final score 6-4 .  Randy also must have hit 7 ballpark homers (1-8) from righties.  Finally, a minor controversy erupted when Randy thought his fences were low in only RCF, rather than low everywhere. A call was made to the Commissioner's home, where Robin looked up the original dimensions Randy had written down on opening night, which agree with what Twits Notes says on the website - low everywhere.

Also today, Verlander won both his games for Eric to move to 5-1, with a 1.60 ERA on the year...All teams except Future Wax are at the roster freeze...Reminder that 2nd half schedule surveys are due this Thursday so I can have the 2nd half schedule out this weekend.

(12/7) Jed swept Tom out of first place this morning, tightening up the standings such that 1 game now separates the top 6 teams in this year of parity.  The details

Game 1 was a very tight contest.  Constantinople took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 3rd and Oceanus tied it in the bottom of the 3rd.  Oceanus took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 4th but Constantinople made it 2-2 in the top of the 8th.  However, the key play occurred in the bottom of the 8th.  Constantinople wrestled with whether or not to replace Bryce Harper, a 2e9 in right.  Harper remained in the game and botched a fly for a 2-base error.  Adrian Beltre then hit a home run and that was all she wrote.  Constantinople outhit Oceanus 10-3 but left 12 men on base.

In game 2 Constantinople was up 3-0 after the top of the 3rd but Oceanus scored 3 in the bottom of the 3rd, aided by spectacular rolling (for example, the one ballpark single of the game).  Nevertheless, Constantinople did score a run in the top of the 4th, and kept the 4-3 lead into the bottom of the 7th.  In that inning, Joe Mauer hit a 2-run homer and new Red Sox reliever Mujica got a win in relief, with Tazawa getting the save.

Game 3 took literally 15 minutes to play.  Oceanus jumped out to a 5-0 lead after 2 innings and that was the final score.  Shields pitched a 3-hitter for the complete game victory.  Vogelsong only allowed 4 hits but two were homers (Choo and Bautista).

In game 4, Oceanus jumped to a 3-0 lead after 2 innings.  It was 6-0 after 5.  In the 6th, Constantinople tired out Fister, and got a couple of runs.  In the top of the 7th, against the previously unscored-upon Medlen, Constantinople made it 6-3, and it could have become a ballgame.  Constantinople mulled whether or not to pull starter Jordan Zimmerman.  Zimmerman remained in the game, and Oceanus continued to attack the 6-5 on Zimmerman's card.  Ultimately, the score ended up 11-3.  While Trout and Harper homered for Constantinople, Oceanus clubbed 4 dingers: Jay, Prado, Bautista and Votto.

Basically, it was just one of those series where all the good luck was on one side.  Thinking of the long haul of the season, Tom did not use a single inning of relief, which may well be a factor down the stretch.

Tom and Jed are now both at the roster freeze.

(12/4) Robin crushed "What Eric Said" 15-2 in game 1, lede by Montero's 3-run homer, Gallardo's solid pitching and a couple of untimely errors by Jeff. Reddick, Posey and Snider all homered for BC in game 2, which she won 10-6.  The pivotal game was game 3.  Chapman & Cook walked three BC hitters in the 7th, including walking in the tying run, to make it 4-4.  In the bottom of the 12th inning, Jeff intentionally walked M. Cabrera to put two on with one out.  BJ Upton then hit a walk-off 3-run homer. Jeff narrowly avoided the sweep, coming from behind in game 4 to win 4-3.  

Sunday will be one of the busiest in SOMBILLA history, with all teams in action, plus a bash!

(11/25)
CN opened up a one game lead by taking 3 out of 4 from Randy on Sunday.  Only two teams are above .500 now...The story of 3 games (1,2 and 4) was that CN scored 3 in the first inning of each and then went on to win 6-5, 7-5 and 8-7.  The Wax defense was suspect as two of those games had 2 errors leading to runs.  Stanton and Hamilton hit the cover off the ball, but they could not quite overcome the early CN leads. Game 3 was a 3-0 one hit (lead-off single) shut out for Hamels and Lopez.

Meanwhile Jed and Harold played
4 games over the Internet in less than an hour and a half:

In game 1, the Ellis jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but the Assholes responded with 4 runs in the bottom of the inning.  And the final score was 4-1.  Hernandez picked up his first win, Samardzija the loss in spite of allowing only 4 hits.  One of the hits was a grand slam by Beltre.  Medlen got the save.

Game 2 was a 6-0 laugh-er for the Ellis.  Harvey allowed 1 hit in 5 innings for the win.  Atchison and Davis allowed 1 hit in 4 scoreless relief innings.  Price took the loss, and was unhappy with being left in when he was clearly tired.  Carroll hit a home run.  It was a somewhat Pyrrhic victory for the Ellis as Cespedes was injured for the rest of the series.

Game 3 was won by Oceanus 7-4.  The Ellis were up 1-0 early but it was 6-2 Assholes by the bottom of the 5th.  While Morneau hit a homer for the Ellis, Choo and Barney both hit dingers for the Assholes, who were doing their best rolling of the young season (I think Barney's homer was on a 2, for example).  Desmond committed 2 errors in one inning and Strasburg could not mentally recover from that and was tagged with the loss.  Shields picked up the win even though he pitched only moderately well.  Tazawa got the save. 

In game 4 the Ellis went up 3-0 in the top of the 2nd (Dempster was totally wild and ended up with 5 walks in 4 innings) and with Sale pitching it seemed as though the series would result in the classic unsatisfying split.  But the Assholes struck back with 4 runs in the bottom of the 3rd.  And kind of like in game 1...that was it...the final score was 4-3.  Medlen got the victory and Tazawa the save.  New Orleans only had 1 hit in the game.  Ruggiano had a home run off of Sale's card.  Sale only allowed 6 hits, with no walks and 8 strikeouts, but was the tough-luck loser.  Key to the victory may have been yet another injury - Yasmani Grandal in his first at bat of the game.

Happy Thanksgivnukkah from the SOMBILLA turkey himself!

(11/21) The early season CN/WES first place showdown was a draw:  Game 1 - was a laughable 15-1 win by CN. Game 2 - CN toped WES 4-2 led by a fine 1 hit performance by Dickey and closed out by Crow (2 hits 1 run). Game 3 - WES tops CN 5-3 led by Loshe 8.1 Inning 4 hit, 2 run outing. Game 4 - extra inning thriller capped off by walk off game winner from Innetta's solo blast leading to a satisfying split, final score 3-2. Tom adds “I injured half his team and the 2B "Ianetta" still carries his team to victory.”  

Trade Update: Last Year - Cheddarmen traded his 1st round pick (April 2014 Draft -- 2013 Cards) for CN's Closer (Papelbon) and starting RFer (Pence).

This year:      CN trades his 1st round pick (April 2015 Draft -- 2014 Cards) to Cheddarmen for his closer (Grant Balfour) and Melky Cabrera (Starting LFer) and an 8th round pick (April 2015 Draft -- 2014 Cards).

CN GM when reached for comment, "We felt that we made a good deal last year and that we would do it from either side.  So when we say the opportunity to put our money where our rhetoric was we did it."

Cheese GM, "We are open for business, we will not propose trades but send us real offers and we will think about it."
At which point, an as yet unnamed reporter asked "What is it with all the "we's"?  Y'all royalty or some such..." That is when the fight broke out as staffs of both teams streamed into the conference area and beat reporters lived up to their names delivering...

(11/17)  Bay City won its first series of the young season, sending Oceanus into the cellar in a battle between teams vying for the Number One pick. Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera belted two HRs and had 4 RBI in Game 1, leading Bay City to an 8-5 win over beleaguered King Felix (8 innings, 14 hits, but 11 strikeouts). In Game 2, former Oceani CJ Wilson pitched cutely but not well enough (although not as badly as the 7-1 final score would indicate). Jed got homers from Ruggiano, Holliday, and C. Carter. In Game 3 O'Flaherty provided 2 1/3 innings of perfect relief and homers by Headley and noted slugger Alcides Escobar made the difference in a 3-2 BC win. Doug Fister was the hard-luck loser in Game 4, going 8 innings and allowing just 6 hits, but two of them were homers (Miguel Cabrera and Posey), as Bay City held on for another 3-2 win. In Jed's defense, I did injure three of his players, although one of them (Darwin Barney) still managed to hit .625 for the series. Jed was also the victim of bad luck (or I benefited from good luck), as he rolled 20s on two HR 1-15 chances against Ogando in Game 4. Bay City again rolled a 20 on a runner going to 3rd on a fly ball to right and had a clutch out. Hitting stars for BC were Aoki, who batted .500 with 2 doubles, and M. Cabrera, who hit .375 with 3 HR and 5 RBI.  Belisario and O'Flaherty each had a win and a save to go along with 0.00 ERAs in a combined 6 1/3 innings of hitless relief.


(11/11)  Jeff's ballpark proved to me a tough matchup for the ND bats, enabling him to move into a tie for first place with Tom Monday night.  "What Eric's Said"'s Brandon Phillips' 3-run homer off Peavy in the 6th inning of game 1 proved to be the difference maker in a 5-3 win, as ND lamented leaving the starter in one batter too late. Lohse, Chapman and Burton combined on a 5-hit shutout to win game 2 for Jeff.  ND edged WES 3-2 in game 3, paced by 3 solo shots, 2 by D. Murphy.  But WES won the finale 3-1, as Harang and Chapman combined on a 3-hitter for WES.  

(11/10)  Tom cemented his first place stake on Sunday beating Harold 3 of 4.  He writes:

A strange series.

Game 5, Cano put Miley up early but the Manatees came back and tied it 2-2 in an inning that saw Jason Kubel hit his second triple of the game off Miley's card (lefty on lefty action).  Rosario lead of the 5th with a go ahead homer.  Cespedes came back with a 2 run ball park homer (1-7) in the 8th to put New Orleans up 4-3.  The Manatees get a ballpark homer (1-7 rhb) to tie it in the bottom of the 8th.  Rodney perserved the tie and with 2 outs LaRoche his a Ball park Homer (1-19 lhb) and the Manatees sighed into a 5-4 back and forth win in Game 5.

Game 6, The 6th inning saw the Manatees hit home runs every other hitter to go up 3-1.  Harold slighted Cano in the 8th with the old "He has not done anything" comment to incite the game tying 2 run homer.  The 8th saw the Manatees get one on and one out with 3 lefties coming up and Harold put in the lefty Avilan.  Playing the hunch (ie the lefties all have good homer chances 13, 8.35, 10) CN gets 2 singles to plate a run and the Dickey holds on for the complete game 4-3 victory.

Game 7, Battle of the lefties as Sale faced Sabathia.  Sabathia gave up one solo ball park home (1-7) for Jackson and that was all the scoring as New Orleans won 1-0.  Sabathia went the distance and gave up 8 other base runners (error, 4 singles, 3 walks) and the anemic Manatees just could not get it done missing 2 ballpark homers (rhbs) and a NHR for the the weak hitting Cabrera.

Game 8, Manatees took the lead early as Zimmerman faced off with Kuroda going up 5-0 after 6 with a 4 run 4th inning which saw homers from Harper and Trout.  When Harper came up in the 6th after his 2 run homer in the 4th, Kuroda knocked him back and out of the game.   Benches cleared and both managers were warned.  Jackson hit another ballpark 2 run homer to bring NO to 5-2, but the Manatees held on for a 6-4 win.

The story was that Harold's vaunted relief lost the first two games as 1 run leads and ties could not be held in the hitters park of CN

......

Meanwhile, ND outscored Bay City 32-10, and outhomered them 14-2 to pounds out their own series win in this nascent season.  Stars were Allen Craig (6 fo 16 with 5 homers and 5 RBI) and Jimmy Rollins who was 8 for 14, with 3 HR and 7 RBI).

The story of this series though, was the league’s first controversy of the season.  In the 5th inning of game 2, David Ortiz was injured for three games and dutifully left the game.  That was Friday night.  The series did not resume until the next evening when the managers were, er, not at 100% capacity, and both forgot about Big Papi's injury.  BC won game 3, while Ortiz went 0 for 4.  In game 4, which ND won 14-1, Big Papi had 3 hits, including one of the six ND home runs in the game. 

Both managers said 'fuck it' and not play those two games over. But that still leaves Ortiz's 2 extra games of injured status unresolved (he has to be injured for at least game 1 of ND’s next series - against Jeff tomorrow night).  After a discussion with the Vice Commissioner it was agreed to make Ortiz serve the remaining two games of his injury when the two teams meet again in early 2014.  (Provided they remember).

(11/7)  Jeff moved into a 3-way tie for first winning 3 of 4 from Jed in the season opener for both teams over the Internet earlier tonight.  Jeff was led by Lohse (2-hit CG shutout), Heyward and Markakis in a series that took only about 2 hours...Don't forget to send your stats to Tom, who will be compiling the stats for the league, yet again.  Thanks, Tom!

(11/3) The SOMBILLA's 34th season opened earlier tonight with Tom and Randy jumping out to first place.  Randy and Robin's opening game was a 14-inning affair, believed to be the first ever extra-inning opening game.  A pinch-hit grand slam by Reddick in the bottom of the 9th sent the game into extra-inings, which Randy won on McCutchen's ballpark homer (1-6).  Tom had some great pitching (and inept Cheddarmen hitting).  The night featured a lot of managers rusty on the rules, as well as needing to familiarize themselves with their own teams, some beers, some Red Sox pride and gloating, and a gracious Yankees fan.


Ballparks:

                 L          R       Fences
Constantinople  S 1-7    S  1       High Left
               HR 1-19   HR 1-7     Low Right

North Dakota    S 1-5     S 1-5     High
               HR 1-11   HR 1-11

Bay City        S 1       S 1       High
               HR 1-6    HR 1-6

The Cheddarmen   S 1-11   S 1-8     
                HR 1-3   HR 1-3

New Orleans      S 1-19   S 1-19     High
                HR 1-8   HR 1- 8

Future Wax      S 1-10    S 1-10     Low
               HR 1-16   HR 1-8

"What Eric Said" S 1-4     S  1-4    Low
                HR 1      HR  1-4

Oceanus         S 1       S 1        High 
               HR 1      HR 1



*This Week in the SOMBILLA