Final SOMBILLA Standings 2019-2020
                    W    L    Pct   GB
New Orleans        35   21   .625   -
Future Wax         32   24   .571   3
North Dakota       32   24   .571   3
Oceanus            31   25   .554   4
"What Eric Said?"  28   28   .500   7
Haiku Aggression   26   30   .464   9
Constantinople     24   32   .429  11

Bay City           16   40   .286  19
World Series: (March 15 Internet)
Future Wax 3 Oceanus 0
Oceanus 6 Future Wax 2
Oceanus 6 Future Wax 5 (13 inninga)
Future Wax 3 Oceanus 1
Future Wax 10 Oceanus 2
Future Wax 4 Oceanus 2

Future Wax wins World Series 4 games to 2

SOMBILLA Playoff Results:
(March 7 Internet)
Oceanus 1 New Orleans 0
Oceanus 11 New Orleans 10
Oceanus 5 New Orleans 4 (11 innings)
Oceanus 4 New Orleans 3

Oceanus wins series 4 games to 0

(March 7 at Holliston)
Future Wax 3 North Dakota 2
Future Wax 6 North Dakota 5
North Dakota 5 Future Wax 0
Future Wax 5 North Dakota 2
Future Wax 6 North Dakota 5

Future Wax wins series 4 games to 1
League Leaders
All Stats

MVP: Mookie Betts, North Dakota
Cy Young: Patrick Corbin, North Dakota
Manager of the Year: Randy
Twits Notes: (3/15) I'll write up a more detailed report later this week, but I didn't want to keep people waiting, so here is the short version. The lead: Future Wax defeated Oceanus 4 games to 2.

Games 1 and 4 were pitching duels between Nola and Scherzer. Game 1 was scoreless into the 7th, when Machado singled and Chapman doubled him in. Belt homer for 2 insurance runs in the 8th. Scherzer threw a complete game 1 hit shut out, with 14 K. (Nola had 12 Ks, giving up 5 hits and 1 ER in 6-2/3.)

In their Game 4 rematch, each pitcher gave up a solo home run in the first inning, then nothing. Nola went 8 innings, giving up 3 hits, no walks, and 1 ER. Scherzer went 8-2/3, giving up 2 hits and 3 walks (w/12 K) and 1 ER. The bullpen and defense let Nola down, giving up 2 singles, a 2-out error by Story (a 1e14), and then the walking in the go ahead run.

Backing up to game 2: following the shut out, Jed was only able to score in one inning in the next game. Fortunately for him, it was a 6-run 2nd, on 4 hits and 3 walks, all the runs scoring with 2 outs. FW chipped away at the lead but came up short. Oceanus won 6-2 to even the series.

Game 3 was epic. FW used 9 pitchers, the Aholes used 7. FW was up 5-2 with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. With two men on and Heyward at the plate, Jed commented that the computer rated him as having a 0.2% change of hitting a home run. And yet one click later the score was tied. Finally in the 13th Story led off with a triple, and Astudia (down to one plate appearance left) singled him home for a 6-5 win. Jed was up 2 games to 1.

As noted above, FW took game 4, 3-1 to even the series. In game 5, Buehler had a very bad day: 11 H, 8 W, 10 ER, 3 HR and, strangely, 13 Ks. Jed actually led 2-0 in the 4th before the wheels fell off. Final score 10-2, putting FW up 3 games to 2.

Game 6 featured a rare start by Seth Lugo, who threw 5 scoreless innings. Robertson homered in the 2nd, Chapman added 2 more with a blast in the 5th (?), and Belt launched another solo bomb in the 8th. Future wax alternated lefty, righty, lefty, righty, lefty relievers and shut the Aholes out a second time, winning the game 4-0 and the series 4 games to 2.

Scherzer was named WS (and post-season) MVP. He won all 4 games he pitched in the two series, with an ERA of ~1.3, a WHIP ~.750, and averaging over 11 Ks a game. (I'll work out the details later.)

Future Wax beat North Dakota  4 games to 1. The first two games were both walk offs by Baez (home run and double). Game four was a one-run nail biter. The clinching game involved FW overcoming a 5 run deficit with a 6-run 8th.

Oceanus managed to sweep the series against New Orleans by winning 4 1-run games, including an extra inning game.  The Assholes were able to jump to an early lead in each of the first 3 games, mentally wearing down the Ellis.  Of course there were multiple "Strat-O" moments, some of which are included in the summaries below.

Game 1: Oceanus 1, New Orleans 0

Aaron Nola (Oceanus) vs. Trevor Bauer (New Orleans).  The Assholes immediately jumped on Bauer in the top of the 1st, with a Jose Altuve single (after some trash can banging was heard) and an Anthony Rendon RBI double.  Then Joey Votto walked, and it looked like it could be one of those Strat-O innings.  But then Bauer got it together, inducing a David Peralta double play and New Orleans were only down 1-0.  Unfortunately for the Ellis, that was the score for the rest of the game.  Gleyber Torres missed a ballpark homer (1-12) for New Orleans.  Nola pitched 7 2/3 for the win and Sean Doolittle got the save.

Game 2: Oceanus 11, New Orleans 10

Walker Buehler (Oceanus) vs. Zack Wheeler (New Orleans).  As you might guess from the score, this was a wild one.  Oceanus was up 4-0 going in to the bottom of the 3rd.  Jesus Aguilar had a 2-run homer, Trevor Story had a solo shot and Joey Votto and Brandon Nimmo had doubles.  Then in the bottom of the 3rd, former Asshole Shin Soo Choo hit a 3-run shot on a 1-3 ballpark chance.  Maybe the Ellis' luck was changing?  However, in the top of the 5th, the Assholes put up 4 runs, with pinch hitter Willians Astudillo hitting a 3-run dinger.  The deflated Ellis manager threw up his hands as his strategy to use Chris Sale in long relief backfired.  Facing an 8-3 deficit, New Orleans kept chipping away.  A run in the bottom of the 6th on a Gleyber Torres sac fly.  2 runs in the bottom of the 7th that featured...a lot of stuff...including 2 walks, a HBP, an error and a double (JD Martinez).  Suddenly it's 8-6 and the periodically maligned Oceanus bullpen was looking suspect.  But it was still a 2-run lead...until the bottom of the 8th when the Ellis scored 4 to go up 10-8!  Didi Gregorious and JD Martinez hit homers.  Harold brings in the redoubtable Blake Treinin in the top of the 9th to secure the save...and he allows a walk to Jose Ramirez, a single to Joey Votto and a three-run homer to Jesus Aguilar.  In a counter-intuitive move, Oceanus brings in Mike Clevinger to nail down the save in the bottom of the 9th.  Clevinger immediately loads the bases with no outs.  Enter Sean Doolittle, who ekes out of the jam for his second save.  David Hernandez was credited with the win, even though he allowed 4 runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Game 3: Oceanus 5, New Orleans 4 (11 innings)

Trevor Williams (New Orleans) vs. Corey Kluber (Oceanus).  Once again, Oceanus struck in the first inning and second innings to build a 4-0 lead.  Joey Votto had an RBI single and Robinson Chirinos and Jose Altuve had doubles as part of the barrage.  In the "abomination" that is the Rehoboth Parking Lot...a 4-0 lead should have stood up.  But 3 4-9 rolls on Kluber's card led to 3 homers (Yasmani Grandal, Justin Smoak, Shin Shoo Choo).  And so, by the 7th-inning stretch, it was tied.  The Assholes had pondered removing Kluber right before the 3rd homer, because there was a gut feeling that another 4-9 was coming...but the analytics guys prevailed and Kluber was kept in.  Neither team could do anything in the 8th and 9th as the bullpens battled it out.  Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, with Jared Hughes on the mound for New Orleans, Willians Astudillo singled, Jason Heyward singled, Adam Eaton singled, and Brandon Nimmo walked in the game winner.  David Hernandez picked up his 2nd win in relief.

Game 4: Oceanus 4, New Orleans 3

Kyle Freeland (New Orleans) vs. Aaron Nola (Oceanus).  This time, New Orleans drew first blood, with a Yasmani Grandal solo homer in the top of the 4th.  Oceanus tied it up in the bottom of the 5th on a Robinson Chirinos double, a Brandon Nimmo sacrifice bunt and an Ender Inciarte sac fly.  Oceanus took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 6th on an Anthony Rendon triple and a Trevor Story sac fly.  New Orleans tied in in the top of the 7th as Dee Gordon reached first on a Rendon error, stole second and was doubled home by Justin Turner.  In the bottom of the 7th, however, Robinson Chirinos singled, Ender Inciarte walked and pinch hitter Willians Astudillo tripled to make it 4-2 Assholes.  In the top of the 9th, Didi Gregorious homered off of Pedro Strop and it was 4-3.  Justin Turner then singled.  With 1/3 of an inning left before his arm fell off, Sean Doolittle retired Aaron Judge to get his 3rd save of the series.

For the series as a whole, for the Assholes, Nola went 2-0, pitching 15 2/3 inning and allowing only 1 earned run.  The limited Astudillo went 3-4 with a triple, homer and 5 RBIs.  Aguilar had 2 homers (his only 2 hits) and 5 RBIs.  For the Ellis, Grandal, Gregorious and Choo each had 2 homers and Martinez had a homer and 5 RBIs.

Naturally it was a split. Robin won game two with a walk off. So there was a coin flip. Arnie called heads, it was tails. Randy gets home-field. Due to tight schedules, this series may begin on Thursday night.

Draft Day Sunday March 29.
(2/23)New Orleans had a satisfying split against Haiku Aggression, clinching first place in the process.  HA took game one, 2-1.  Both teams hit solo HR’s in the first (Turner for NO and Muncey for HA) and that was all the scoring until the ninth when Zimmerman led off with a single and Arenado walked. Peterson popped out and the inning looked over when Molina hit a grounder to Gordon, but instead of a DP, the “1” second baseman booted it to load the bases.  Marte ended the game with a single.

NO pounded HA 14-1 in game two, hitting six HR’s, I believe all on the NO hitters cards. Choo hit 2 HR’s and Didi went 3-4 with a HR. NO took game three 5-3, with Didi hitting 2 HR’s - all three Didi HR’s in the series were on 2-8 rolls on his card.

Game four was a swiftly played 4-3 HA win in ten innings.

So Future away can finish anywhere from 2nd -4th.  If Randy wins 3 of 4 or sweeps, Future Wax finishes 2nd and has home field advantage vs. North Dakota in the first round of the playoffs. If Randy and Robin split, that would result in a coin flip (via FaceTime as I am away skiing) for 2nd place as FW and ND would have the same record and split their season series 4-4. In the unlikely event Bay City wins 3 games, Oceanus takes 3rd and FW 4th as OC and FW would have the same record and OC won the season series 6-2.

Draft Day Sunday March 29.

(2/21)  Oceanus and Constantinople split their series finale, with the Assholes winning the first two and the Manatees fighting back to take the last two.  The split allows North Dakota to clinch at least 3rd place.

Game 1: Oceanus 7, Constantinople 3 (11 innings)

Asshole Aaron Nola matched up with his Manatee counterpart Carlos Carrasco in this one.  The final score doesn't seem that close but it was 3-3 going into the top of the eleventh.  Then Oceanus had a 4 run outburst and Constantinople couldn't rally.  It was a total team effort from the Assholes, with Matt Olson perhaps the standout since he went 3 for 3 with an RBI.  Shohei Ohtani had a homer for Manatees.  Nola pitched acceptably and Carrasco commendably.  Ultimately, it was Sean Doolittle getting the win, with Kyle Crick taking the loss.

Game 2: Oceanus 9, Constantinople 4

Corey Kluber (Oceanus) vs. J.A. Happ (Constantinople).  Another game where from the score you'd figure there was no tension, but Constantinople was up 4-0 after 5 innings.  Anthony Rizzo and Eduardo Escobar hit homers.  But then the Assholes had one of those innings where everything went right and scored 7 runs.  Oceanus tacked on singleton runs in the 7th and 9th innings and the bullpen did it's job.  Anthony Rendon and Brandon Nimmo hit home runs for the Assholes.  Kluber didn't pitch great (allowing 4 earned runs in 6 innings) but got the win anyway.  Carlos Martinez got knocked around and took the loss.

Game 3: Constantinople 4, Oceanus 2

Mike Clevinger (Oceanus) vs. Sean Manaea (Constantinople).  The Manatees went up 4-0 after 4 innings.  Mike Trout and Kurt Suzuki had homers.  The Assholes showed some grit in getting a run in the 5th and another in the 7th, one thanks to a Jose Altuve home run.  But the Constantinople bullpen came through.  Manaea got the win, Seranthony Dominguez got the save and Clevinger got the loss.

Game 4: Constantinople 4, Oceanus 2

Yes, we just copied game 3 and pasted it into game 4. But all seriousness aside, this game matched up Joe Musgrove of Oceanus, sporting a 7.48 ERA coming in, versus Jameson Taillon.  The Manatees once again jumped into the lead with 2 runs in the bottom of the 4th, before Musgrove could escape.  Anthony Rizzo and Eduardo Escobar had the RBIs.  In the top of the 8th, the Assholes tied the game with a home run from Jose Ramirez and an RBI single from Jose "Don't Rip Off My Shirt" Altuve.  In the bottom of the 9th, the Manatee manager decides to bring in Jean Segura to pinch hit and boom - a walk off home run.  Seranthony Dominguez got the win and Alex Colome took the loss.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29

(2/20) Jed not only clinched a playoff spot on Thursday night winning 3 of 4 at Rehobeth Parking Lot, but closed to within one game of 2nd place.  While all the playoff teams are set, Oceanus and North Dakota could finish anywhere from 2nd to 4th.  Future Wax could finish anywhere from 1st to 4th and New Orleans can finish 1st or 2nd.

Game 1: Oceanus 5, North Dakota 3

North Dakota arrived at the Rehoboth Parking Lot and declared the ballpark "an abomination."  North Dakota ace Jacob deGrom faced off against the Asshole's Aaron Nola.  The #1 and #2 starting pitching cards in the set according to Lamanna.  (Sorry, Arnie, I had to get that in there).  In the bottom of the 3rd, the slumping Jose Ramirez hit a 2-run homer for Oceanus.  Meanwhile, Aaron Nola cruised through 6 shutout innings.  But in the top of the 7th, North Dakota got a rally going that a) tired out Nola and b) tied the game.  It was a 2-run shot from Paul Goldschmidt that did the trick.  In the bottom of the 7th, the Assholes got another homer from Ramirez and one from David Peralta to tally 3 runs overall.  A Khris Davis double knocked in another run for North Dakota but the mildly maligned Oceanus bullpen held for the victory.  deGrom got the loss, allowing all 5 runs in 6 2/3 innings.  Pedro Strop got the win in spite of sub-par relief.  David Hernandez got the save.

Game 2: Oceanus 3, North Dakota 1

Patrick Corbin (ND) vs. Corey Kluber (OC).  Oceanus jumps on Corbin early, going up 3-0 after 3 innings.  Joey Votto had a homer and all 3 RBIs.  Kluber pitched 7 scoreless innings but North Dakota wore him out in the 8th, with a Christian Yelich RBI single tightening the game.  But the skeptically praised Asshole bullpen managed to close the door in the 9th.  Kluber got the win and Victor Arano the save.  Corbin, pulled after only 3 1/3 innings, took the loss.  A valiant effort by the North Dakota bullpen (4 2/3 hitless, scoreless innings).

Game 3: North Dakota 6, Oceanus 4 (12 innings)

German Marquez (ND) vs. Mike Clevinger (OC).  North Dakota tags Clevinger with 2 runs in the first inning, including a successful squeeze play from Matt Carpenter.  The Oceanus manager rued not having thought to check Carpenter's bunting rating.  Clevinger settled down, however, and Oceanus cut the lead in half in the bottom of the 4th on a David Peralta home run.  It remained 2-1 North Dakota heading into the bottom of the 7th.  Then Whit Merrifield connected on a 3-run home run for the Assholes, leading the North Dakota manager to shout in frustration.  Some muttering about a sweep was overheard.  But in the top of the 9th, an unlikely hero emerged for North Dakota - Adalberto Mondesi.  Mondesi hit a 2-run shot to tie the game and send it into extra innings.  In the top of the twelfth, Khris Davis hit a 2-run homer and that was all she wrote.  Keone Kela got the win and the normally reliable Yusmeiro Petit took the loss.  The North Dakota manager apologized to his team for doubting them, and to the Oceanus manager for his mild breach of decorum.

Game 4: Oceanus 8, North Dakota 0

Kyle Gibson (ND) vs. Walker Buehler (OC).  The Assholes went up 2-0 after 3 innings and steadily increased the lead to 8-0 after 8 innings.  Joey Votto (homer) and Trevor Story each had 2 RBI.  North Dakota, possibly tired in their last game of the season, had 2 hits for the game.  Buehler got the win as his arm fell off, and Doolittle got in 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief, hopefully a confidence booster after some rough outings.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29.

(2/13) Nothing changed in the SOMBILLA Thursday night with two splits.  Jed needs to win 3 of his final 8 games against ND and CN to clinch the playoffs. Speadking of ND and CN...

For the third time this year, North Dakota won the first two games of a series, only to lose the last two games for quite the unsatisfying split. In game 1, Goldschmidt blasted homers in the first two innings to give ND a 3-0 lead that held up 4-2. deGrom won his 6th game, and Ottavino picked up his 6th save.  

Game 2 was just one of those games where ND could do no wrong.  CN actually took an early 1-0 lead, but Soler blasted a 3-run shot in the bottom of the first, leading to five runs and tiring out Happ.  Tom pulled Happ in the first inning to try and salvage the game, but ND scored 5 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in the 2nd inning off C. Martinez to make it 10-0.  K. Davis hit two homers after that.  Final score 14-2, Corbin (now 8-1) pitches a CG and ND was feeling pretty good.

CN jumps out to a 5-0 lead in game 3 with homers by Trout, Hanigar, and Ohtani.   Three ND solo shots (Lindor, Soler, and Yelich) make it 5-3 after 4 innings.  But ND is able to muster just one hit after that and that would be the final score as Cole and S. Dominguez help Manaea shut down ND for the win.

Game 4 was a close battle.  CN went up 3-1 (HRs by former N. Dakota and Aggression E. Escobar and Trout).  But three ND homers in the 3rd (Goldschmidt, Betts, Yelich) give ND the 5-3 lead.  CN cuts it to 5-4 in the 6th with a K. Suzuki rbi single off Moronta; they tie it in the 8th with a Seager rbi hit off Ottavino, and a solo pinch-hit HR by Bader off Alvarado in the 9th gives CN the 6-5 lead.  Tom masterfully deploys his bullpen (Betances, R. Rodriguez, and Crick) to shut down the vaunted ND lineup and escape town with the split.

In a preview of a possible first-round playoff match-up, New Orleans and Oceanus played four hard-fought games that resulted in a split.  Oceanus took the first two and had aspirations for a series win.  New Orleans showed their mettle by salvaging the last two games.

The real story was the ballpark.  New Orleans hit .210 for the series, Oceanus .198.  Oceanus did out-homer New Orleans 5 to 2.  Which included a ballpark (1).

Harold scored the games so he actually has more detail to go on than I do.  But I'm giving it a shot....

Game 1: Oceanus 2, New Orleans 1 (extra innings)

Aaron Nola of Oceanus went head to head with Trevor Williams of New Orleans.  Oceanus took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the 3rd on an RBI double from Anthony Rendon.  The way Nola was pitching, it looked like it might hold up.  But in the 8th the Ellis got an RBI double from Aaron Judge to tie the game.  It went into extra innings knotted at 1-1.  Finally, with 1 out in the bottom of the 11th, I pleaded with Jesus to help me.  Jesus Aguilar, that is.  And he responded with a walk-off HR.  Pedro Strop got the win in relief while Jared Hughes took the loss.

Game 2: Oceanus 4, New Orleans 1

Corey Kluber of Oceanus took on Kyle Freeland of New Orleans.  Once again, Oceanus jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd.  Kluber was dominating but nothing changed in the score through the 6th as Freeland was holding up his end of the bargain.  Then, in the bottom of the 7th, came a little spate of extraordinary Strat-O luck for the Assholes.  First, Robinson Chirinos got a HBP.  He is a 2-20 guy and has a 3% chance of getting the good lead.  He gets it, and steals second.  Then...David Peralta hits a ballpark homer, where the only chance is a split pick of 1.  So Chirinos would've scored anyway, but still, the amount of luck on two plays in the same inning was kind of astonishing.  New Orleans was demoralized but did fight back to get a run in the top of the 8th, with former Asshole Shin-Soo Choo getting an RBI double.  Kluber deservedly got the win (he had 11 k's in 7.2 innings pitched).  Alex (one from) Colome pitched 1.1 scoreless innings for the save.  Freeland was a tough-luck loser, allowing only 2 runs on 3 hits in 6 innings.  It was Jonathan Holder who couldn't, uh, hold 'er, for New Orleans, as he allowed 2 runs in 0 innings pitched.

Game 3: New Orleans 5, Oceanus 4

A match-up of Trevor Bauer (New Orleans) vs. Mike Clevinger (Oceanus).  These two real-life baseball teammates (in 2018) pitched 4 quick scoreless innings before Oceanus again struck first with a run in the bottom of the 5th.  But then the Ellis put together a break-through inning in the top of the 6th, scoring 5 runs, including a Justin Turner home run.  However, the Assholes responded with 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the 6th.  And then...nothing happened!  The New Orleans bullpen threw 4 shutout innings (Bauer pitched into the 6th inning, but recorded no outs).  Sean Doolittle did little to justify the draft choice he cost as he allowed 2 runs in .1 innings pitched.  Bauer, who didn't pitch great, got the win.  Clevinger, who didn't pitch great, though actually slightly better than Bauer, got the loss.  Blake Treinen got the save.  New Orleans should have scored more runs.  At one point, Dee Gordon turned a home run into a weak single.  New Orleans then had runners at 1st and 3rd.  Can't remember if there were no outs or 1 out.  There was a failed safety squeeze and ultimately no runs scored out of the situation.

Game 4: New Orleans 4, Oceanus 3

Chris Sale of New Orleans vs. Walker Buehler of Oceanus - quite the marquee pitching match-up.  It was scoreless through 3.  But then...Didi Gregorius got a three-run home run off of a 1-6 chance on Buehler's card.  Sale was looking indomitable.  The Ellis added a run in the top of the 7th on a Justin Turner RBI single.  In the bottom of the 8th, the Assholes got a run on a Jose Altuve sac fly.  Then, in the bottom of the 9th, Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer off of Blake Treinin, who nevertheless nailed down his second save of the series.  Sale pitched 6.1 innings and had 9 k's in getting the win.  Buehler took the loss.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29

(2/9) Three playoff positions were clinched as a result of the Future Wax series wins over "What Eric Said?" and Haiku Aggression on Saturday. Three teams remain alive for the 4th and final playoff spot.

On the table, FW's Scherzer took a 3-2 lead into the 9th in game 1, but HA's Muncy and Molina each homered to give Eric a 5-3 win. In Game 2, Springer tied the score at 3-3 with a two-out blast in the bottom of the 9th and Machado's walk off bomb gave FW a 5-3 victory of their own. Springer's heroics continued in the 3rd game, with two more home runs on the way to a 3-1 FW win. FW took the final game 5-2, with 3 more home runs.

In the second series, Scherzer's hard luck continued. He pitched a complete, 13 strike out game, but again got the loss (3-1, on a Acuna HR for WES?). Baez's walk off double gave FW a 3-2 victory in the second game. Voit's three-run shot in the first inning provided the margin of victory (4-1). The final game featured Castillo's debut as an "opener". (The first ever SOMBILLA opener since we implemented the starter yanking rules). He and 5 other relievers set the stage for Robertson's walk off shot as the first batter in the bottom of the 9th.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29

New Orleans opened up a 2-game lead on first place by sweeping CON. Game one, NO 3, CON 0.  5 NO pitchers scattered 5 hits in the shut out.  A triple by Martinez in the first scoring two and s solo HR by Choo in the third was all the scoring.  

Game two, NO 4, CON 3 in 11 innings.  CON picked up solo runs in the second, fifth and sixth, and a Torres 3 run HR in the forth was all the scoring until the 11th.  NO had a chance to win it in the bottom of the 9th with bases loaded and only one out.  Pham struck out and Martinez hit into a clutch out.  They won it in the 11th, with one out and runners on first and third.  CON manager decided to play corners in to go for the inning ending DP (which I would also have done).  Smoak hit into a fielders choice to plate the winning run.

In game three, CON chased Sale after two innings, scoring 7 runs in the first two frames, including Trout hitting two 2 run HR’s in the first and second innings.  But NO answered with 2 in the first and then hit back to back to back HR’s in the second (Grandal, Hicks, Turner) to make it 7-6 CON after two.  Gregorious flexed his power, hiting a 2 run HR in the 5th and again in the 6th as NO pulled away for a 12-9 final.

In game 4 NO won 4-2.  Trout hit a solo shot in the forth, but Judge answered with a 2 run HR in the 5th as NO tacked on an insurance run in the 8th.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29

Game 1: Haiku Aggression 4, Oceanus 3

Marquee matchup of Aaron Nola vs. Justin Verlander.  Haiku Aggression jumps all over Nola, going up 4-0 by the top of the 4th.  Max Muncy hits a home run and AJ Pollock has a 2-RBI triple.  Oceanus chips away with a run in the bottom of the 4th and two more in the 6th,  Jose Ramirez hits a home run and Whit Merrifield socks a triple.  Verlander is tired!  But Haiku Aggression's bullpen comes through with 3 1/3 scoreless innings.  Verlander picks up the win,  Nola takes the loss and Edwin Diaz records the save.

Game 2: Oceanus 4, Haiku Aggression 2

Jack Flaherty in his SOMBILLA debut pitches valiantly but ends up being a tough luck loser.  This contest is a 2-1 nail-biter at the 7th-inning stretch.  Muncy and Jose Martinez have doubles for Haiku Aggression.  In the bottom of the 7th, the Assholes strike for 3 runs.  Matt Olson has a homer and a triple.  Willians Astudillo has a pinch hit two-RBI double.  Corey Kluber gets the win with 7 innings of yeoman work.  Craig Stammen picks up the save.

Game 3: Haiku Aggression 4, Oceanus 2 (12 innings)

Jose Berrios and Mike Clevinger battle evenly and it is 2-2 after 7 innings.  Oceanus has singleton home runs from Joey Votto and Robinson Chirinos.  Haiku Aggression gets doubles from Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts and Yadier Molina.  The battle of the bullpens begins.  And goes on until the only somewhat maligned Oceanus bullpen cracks, surrendering another double to Bogaerts and ultimately two runs.  Sam Dyson gets the win in relief and Edwin Diaz another save.  Craig Stammen takes the loss.

Game 4: Oceanus 5, Haiku Aggression 1

A relative laugher in terms of the final score, this one stays 0-0 through four and a half innings.  Then the Assholes have a 5-run outburst.  Joey Votto and Brandon Nimmo hit doubles and Trevor Story hits a home run.  Haiku Aggression gets one back when AJ Pollock hits a solo shot.  But...that's it for both teams.  Walker Buehler pitches 5 shutout innings for the win.  Noah Syndergaaaaaaaaard takes the loss, allowing 5 runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Draft Day, Sunday, March 29

(2/2) Future Wax dropped the first game then won three straight, holding Tom to just 2 runs total across the 3 losses. It was a rough series with 5 hit-by-pitches for each side, leading to 3 Future Wax and 1  Constantinople injuries (with 2 others shaken off).

In the first game, Scherzer yielded only 2 hits in 8 innings, but  Escobar's double and the Ohtani's home run each knocked in two runs. Meanwhile Happ and pen yielded 8 hits but only 2 runs, giving Tom a 4-2 victory.

In the second game, Ohtani gave up solo blasts to McCutchen, Baez, and Cervelli. Kershaw and Vazquez allowed solo shots by Trout and Segura, but the Wax pen held on for a 3-2 win.

Greinke, whose homer problem against righties was offset by Tom's RHB BPHR=1, held Tom scoreless over 8 innings, yielding just 5 hits. Tom had two runners thrown out at the plate on his way to being shut out. With home runs by Voit and injury call-up Blackmon, the Wax turned 8 hits, 3 walks, and 3 hit batsmen into a 6-0 victory.

Despite giving out 8 walks, Folty and company managed to shut Tom out again in game 4, with timely strike outs and yielding only 2 hits. Good thing, too, as Future Wax mustered only 1 run themselves. It came in the 4th, when Turner walked, stole second, was bunted to third, then scored on a hit by injury-replacement Gomez through a drawn-in infield.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29

(2/1) Streaking North Dakota continued its winning ways over New Orleans, winning 3 of 4 Saturday to close within a game of first place.  N. Dakota had incredible luck throughout the series, no question about it.

Game 1: Solo shots by Goldschmidt and K. Davis gave ND the 2-0 lead, but New Orleans scored 4 runs (3 of them unearned) in the bottom of the 4th to take a 4-2 lead.  One of the two costly ND errors was a shocking miscue by Mookie Betts (1e1).  Betts got one of the runs back in the 7th with an rbi double but they still trailed 4-3. In the 8th, North Dakota scores 4 runs off the great Treinan, featuring pinch-hit singles by T. White, injury callup B. Lowe, a 2-run double by Goldschmidt and another rbi double by Betts.  Lame 26th man callup R. Osuna (lame because he had only 2/3 of an inning left), gets his 2 outs and his arm falls off.  Ottavino pitches the final 4 outs for his 4th save.  Final score: North Dakota 7 New Orleans 4.

Game 2: K. Bryant homers for NO to give them a 1-0 lead, but ND scores 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk in the 5th to take a 3-1 lead.  Two more runs on 4 hits in the 6th make it a 5-1 lead in the 6th, but New Orleans scores 3 in the bottom of the 6th, two of which score on bases loaded walks. Great managing by Harold (surprising the ND manager with a bunt) and an rbi double by Bryant score the tying run in the 8th.  10th inning.  ND's Joey Gallo, in the game only as a defensive replacement, has to bat against the great Treinan.  Gallo homers; Kimbrel pitches the bottom of the 10th for his first save.  Final score North Dakota 6 New Orleans 5 (10 innings).

Game 3:  New Orleans jumps in front agqain, 1-0, on a sac fly by Choo.  But Matt Carpenter belts a 3-run ballpark homer on a 1-3 roll in the 6th to make it 3-1 and Harold is demoralized.  But Grandal comes back and smacks his own 1-3 ballpark homer, a 2-run shot and the score is tied 3-3 in the 7th.  Top of the 9th inning, ND's K. Hernandez misses a 1-12 bp homer.  No matter.  With one out and one on, Lindor hits a straight 2-run homer off Robertson and Harold is demoralized again.  Final score North Dakota 5 New Orleans 3.

Game 4:  Harold is convinced he is about to get swept which would mean an 8-0 season series. Also, the winner of this game takes over first place.  ND jumps out front on a K. Davis sac fly in the first but Turner's lead-off HR for NO ties it up.  New Orleans' managerially maligned JD Martinez smacks a 2-run homer off K. Gibson in the 3rd to make it 3-1, and Trevor Williams, Rogers, Holder and Perez pitch shutout ball against North Dakota until the 8th inning.  Thankfully for ND, the great Treainan comes in and T. White hits a pinch-hit homer to make it a 3-2 game.  ND gets 2 on with 2 out in the 9th, but Treinan strikes out K. Davis to end the game, and Harold retains first place.  Final score New Orleans 3 North Dakota 2.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29.

(2/1) Harold suspiciously is in between a new computer and an old broken computer and is excused from Twits Notes.  The tone of the first series against Bay City was set in game 1 when JD Martinez got injured and pinch-runner Chris Taylor came up again in that same inning and hit a grand slam.  Harold hit another grand slam in that series: Gleybor Torres off Blake Snell. The series with Future Wax was "a close series where luck evened out".  

North Dakota and Bay City can now call up a 26th man.  New Orleans, Oceanus, Future Wax, and Haiku Aggression are at the game 40 rest day/post-season eligibility trading deadline.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29.

(1/25) Eric is the best host.  He's got a toasty wood stove, plays good music, provides tasty snacks and beer, and all the luggage you'd want to consume. Sue always gives a friendly smile and laugh.  He has a sweet new black lab, Luna, who will melt your heart and a cute new orange kitty named Hedy who is curious and fun to watch, to go along with holdover friendly pooch, Henry.  And oh yeah, you win all 4 games at Strat-O.  What a guy.

Some may view this with suspicion as Eric just traded away 3 relievers, but he has still has solid starters, a few good relievers and some decent hitters.  All 4 games were close (2 one-run games and 2 two-run games). Verlander is a true ace and matched up against deGrom in game 1.  North Dakota lost 3 of 4 earlier this year in Eric's park and was hoping that home cooking would help this time.  Star of the series Khris Davis (6 for 14, 2 homers, 5 rbi) gave ND a 1-0 lead with a solo shot in the first. HA scored two in the 5th to take the lead, but ND tied it. Xander Bogarts crushed a deGrom fastball in the 6th for a solo HR and gave HA a 3-2 lead. Betts missed an easy (1-16) bp homer in the 7th that would have given ND the lead. HA strands 3 runners in the top of the 9th and takes a 3-2 lead into the bottom half of the 9th. Carpenter blasts a HR off Verlander to lead off the inning and tie it. HA reliever Sam Dyson, just called up from AAA hits hits his first batter, A. Mondesi and knocks him out for 6 games. With 2 out, Goldschmidt doubles, and pinch-runner Gyorko has a chance to score the winning run 1-14.  Jose Marthinez guns him out at home and we go to the 10th inning. With one out in the bottom of the 10th, ND's K. Davis hits a walk-off homer to end it.

Game 2: ND jumps out to a 3-0 lead (K. Davis 2-run single and Lindor sac fly) off Eric's starter Joes Berrios.  AJ Pollock homers off Corbin to make it 3-1 in the 6th. Berrios and reliever Pressley yield no more hits to ND after the 4th inning to keep the score close, and when Muncie homers off ND's Reyes Moronta in the 8th, it's a 3-2 game. But Moronta pitches an uneventful 9th for his 3rd save.  Don't look now but winning pitcher Patrick Corbin is 7-1 with a 2.69 ERA.

Game 3: After Goldschmidt leads off the first inning with a homer for ND, the Aggression from Haiku responds with a Bellinger homer and Pollock 2-run blast to take a 3-1 lead after 2. In the 4th, ND comes back to score three runs on a single, HBP, rbi single by K. Davis and 2-run single by Ramos to take the lead back 4-3.  A Hernandez solo shot in the 6th for ND makes it a 5-3 game.  Meanwhile, Kimbrel and Ottavino pitch the final 5 1/3 innings without yielding a hit for North Dakota and the teams is now up 3 games to 0.

Eric's team strikes first in the finale with an rbi single by J. Martinez in the 3rd inning. But bad luck and an inopportune rare play situation for HA in the 4th inning epitomizes Eric's afternoon.  HA loads the bases with nobody out!  ND brings the infied in.  Wendell rolls a 3B(x).  Uh-oh, Carpenter is a 4e23.  But he somehow makes the play, getting the force out at home. Bases still loaded for Soto.  He hits a long blast to RF.  Y. Molina, on third, is off on the crack of the bat and is stunned to see Mookie Betts make a spectacular running catch.  Molina, standing near the dugout by this point, can only watch helplessly as the ball is thrown in and he is doubled off for the third out.  Eric can only laugh. (Arnie notes if it were his player, he'd be pulled from the game). K. Hernendez homers to lead off for ND to make it a 3-1 game.  HA gamely makes it a 3-2 game on an unearned run in the 5th, but Alvarado, Kimbrel, Kela and Moronta pitch the final 5 innings of shutout ball for ND.  Final score 4-2, and 2nd place North Dakota has won 16 of its last 21 games.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29.
MLK Day, AM over coffee and bagels CN faced off with Jeff with Sam managing Jeff's team in Sam's house in Vermont. 

Game 1:  WES? goes up early 4-0 abusing Happ for 2 homers and 2 doubles. But CN got all the rolls in the 6th scoring 8 runs started by a 3 run Ohtani blast to tire Mikolas and then the WES? bullpen comes in and 3 relievers then give up 7 consecutive hits or walks before striking out 2 and leaving the bases loaded.  CN finishes the game 9-4 never looking back from that inning.

Game 2:  After all the offense of the first game, the opponents end the first inning 1-1.  WES? ran all over Suzuki and goes up 3-1 in the fifth and then the two teams decided that hitting was for losers – for the rest of the way WES? had a double and CN had two BBs and the game ended 3-1 with the series starting over even and then the rainout dice said the weather was clear and very different then snowy VT.

Game 3:  This was all CN as 3 pitchers pitched a shutout and the offense woke up for a 9-0 victory and hope for a winning series was kindled.

Game 4:  WES? dashed those hopes as Pereza and Ohearn had 2 run homers to give WES? a 5-1 lead going into the ninth.  WES? hit a RFx single on Harper and then a long single bringing up Fleet Freddy Freeman.  He hit a lomax and rolled a 5 for the triple play – at the time I could not find it in rules worth remembering and did not want to look it up in the rules.  So Conforto came to the plate and hit a second lomax to underline the situation.  It was indeed a triple play for the first triple play for CN in modern history (ie with me rolling for them) (Commissioner note, its a triple play on lo max for rolls of 1-7).  CN came up in the 9th and got 3 walks and a BPS* chance to load the bases with one out.  K, then BB (scoring 1), then CFx out and it is over and the split comes in a 5-2 finale.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29.

With Tom in an advisory role and Jeff watching from above, Sam made his SOMBILLA debut as the manager of What Eric Said?  Carrying on Jeff's Asshole-kicking tradition, WES took the first two games before their offense went dormant in the last two games.  The result - a hard-fought split, with two extra-inning games.  While Oceanus was well-satisfied salvaging the series, WES was pondering what might have been.

Game 1 - WES 5 OCE 2 (11 innings)

Aaron Nola pitched 8 innings of shutout ball for Oceanus, allowing only 2 hits and striking out 13.  He left with a 2-0 lead courtesy of a David Peralta single and a (former Asshole) Robinson Cano error.  Newly-acquired Sean Doolittle entered in the top of the 9th after Victor Arano allowed a hit.  Doolittle promptly gave up a homerun to Freddie Freeman (I believe - sorry, I didn't save the detailed box score) to tie the game.  On to extra innings.  Ultimately, in the top of the 11th, WES scored 3 more runs, partly thanks to a David Dahl homer (Dahl and Freeman both homered in the game...just not sure of the order).  The Assholes went down meekly in the bottom of the 11th as Josh Fields was credited with a win and John Gant with the save.  Who is John Gant?  Craig Stammen ran out of gas and took the loss.

Game 2 - WES 6 OCE 2

It was a tight game through 7 innings.  Tied 2-2 after 5 and 3-2 WES after 7.  But WES tacked on 2 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th and the Assholes had no response.  For Oceanus, Corey Kluber once again gave up a HR on a 4-9 roll.  He blamed the manager for bringing up the 4-9 in a recent league-wide memorandum.  WES's Robinson Cano (I believe on a BP HR 1 split) hit a homer, as did JT Realmuto.  Trevor Story had two hits, including a double, and an RBI for the Assholes.  Clay Buchholz pitched a serviceable 5 innings for the win, and the WES relief combo of Raisel Iglesias and Aroldis Chapman hurled 4 shutout innings of relief.

Game 3 OCE 3 WES 0

Mike Clevinger pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings for Oceanus, collecting 11 K's and the win.  Sean Doolittle made an appearance and gave up a hit but did not sabotage the victory.  Dependable David Hernandez and Pedro Strop pitched 2 1/3 shutout relief innings, with Hernandez getting the save.  Tough luck loser Rick Porcello pitched a complete game for WES, only allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and garnering 7 K's.  Jose Ramirez had a double and two RBI for the Assholes.  Robinson Cano and Freddie Freeman combined to go 4 for 5 with two walks and a HBP for WES, who stranded 9 runners on base.

Game 4 OCE 1 WES 0 (11 innings)

Craig "Kosher Salt" Morton pitched 5 no-hit innings for WES but Walker "Ferris" Buehler countered with 7 shutout innings (scattering 6 hits) of his own for Oceanus.  It was still 0-0 after 9, so on to extra innings again.  Ultimately, in the bottom of the 11th, Jose Altuve singled in Joey Votto with a lucky split pick (a 1) off of Robinson Cano.  The "maligned only a little bit" Asshole bullpen, including Sean Doolittle (!) pitched 4 shutout innings of relief, with Victor Arano getting the save.  WES got doubles from Lorenzo Cain and JT Realmuto and a triple from David Dahl (I think it may have been a HR 1-17, TR 18-20 chance?) and due to the vagaries of Strat-O-Matic, couldn't push anyone across, ultimately stranding 10 runners.  Reliever Raisel Iglesias took the loss for WES.  Oceanus only got 3 hits, all singles.

One other general series note - the fleet-footed WES only got the good lead once in the entire series, and was pegged out on that one SB attempt.  In such a close series, that may have been the difference between a split and a WES series win.

(1/18) North Dakota moved into 3rd place Saturday defeating rival Bay City 3 games to 1. deGrom won his 4th game in a row in game 1.  He was staked to a 5-0 lead after 6 innings with a balanced attack (Mondesi 2 rbis) off starter Brad Keller.  But in the 7th, BC scored 4 times - two on bases loaded walks and HBP to knock out deGrom and make it a 5-4 game.  But Ottavino pitches the final two innings for his 2nd save to seal the win.

Game 2 featured a rarity, two complete games!  Patrick Corbin (5-hitter, 1 walk) outdueled Gerritt Cole (9 hits, 5 walks) 4-2.  An rbi double by Yelich and bases loaded walk by K. Davis gave ND the 2-0 lead in the first, and Carpenter's sac fly made it a 3-0 game.  Castellanos (rbi double) and Reyes (rbi single) made it 3-2 in the 3rd but Corbin yielded just one hit the rest of the way to shut the door.

Game 3 was crazy.  Bay City scored 4 in the 3rd off Marquez on a 2-run shot by T. Shaw and a double by Benintendi combined with a three base error on Soler.  It stayed 4-0 until the 8th as hard luck BC ace Blake Snell (0-3, 2.88) carried a shutout, keeping ND off balance.  4 straight hitters reached base for ND to make it 4-2, and Snell left to a standing ovation.  Cishek comes in, gives up a run on a groundout, and then Joey Gallo hits a pinch-hit 2-run homer to give ND the 5-4 lead.  Bottom of the 9th, Ottavino in for ND, hoping to pick up another save.  He hits Laureano, knocking him out for 3 games. After an out, BC's Buster Posey comes up and hits a walk-off two-run homer.

Game 4: Yelich singles in two runs in the top of the first for ND off McCullers.  Starling Marte hits a sac fly to make it 2-1 in the 3rd.  Lindor hits a solo shot in the 5th to make it 3-1, and Yelich triples in Carpenter in the 8th to make it 4-1.  Jesse Winker, finally back in the Bay City lineup after a 15 game injury homers in the 8th, but its too little, too late as Kyle Gibson (6 innings, 2 hits, one run) and Jose Alvarado (2 1/3 innings, one hit, one run), and Reyes Moronta (2/3 inning, save) hold BC to just 3 hits.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29.

(1/11) It was North Dakota winning the first two games and losing the second two games of a series for the 2nd time in three days. After deGrom pitched a stellar 5-hitter in a game 1 5-1 win, MVP candidate Mookie Betts (.333, 10 HR, 38 RBI) was injured for the rest of the series in the third inning of game 2.  North Dakota still managed to win that game in 12 innings with a Rhys Hoskins 2-run homer and 7 1/3 innings of shutout relief from Ottavino, Alvarado, Kimbrel and Kela.  

In game 3, Betts injury replacement Nelson Cruz homered in his first at bat to give ND a 1-0 lead, but FW loads the bases on three Marquez walks in the 6th, and then an Upton single and Machado sac fly are all FW needs to win 2-1.  Foltynewicz (had to look up that spelling), newly aquirred E. Ramos, and Castillo hold the Betts-less Gacklonians to two hits.

For the last two games, Gold Glove Betts (1e1) is replaced by 5e4 Cruz in RF.  Sure enough, in the 5th inning with FW up 2-0 (sac by McCutchen and Chapman HR), Cruz misplays a fb(X) into a double and error scoring Springer to make it 3-0.  ND loads the bases in the 8th.  K. Hernandez belts a double, scoring two, with K. Davis barreling home to try and tie it. Upton throws and Cervelli blocks the plate on a 1-10 to keep it at 3-2, and that's the final score, as the still newly acquired E. Ramos gets the save for FW and the series split.

Oceanus came into Bay City with thoughts of winning 3 out of 4 or even sweeping the depleted Rollers.  In the end, even after injuring two additional Bay City-ites, the Assholes were happy to salvage a split.  Here are the slightly-edited, computer-generated game summaries.

Game 1 In a nail-biter the Oceanus Assholes got by the Bay City Rollers in 15 innings by the score of 4 to 2. Both teams were tied at 2 runs apiece after nine innings. Oceanus came out on top in the 15th inning.  After an out was recorded, Brandon Nimmo started the rally when he slapped a base-hit.  David Peralta followed and he laced a base-knock.  After another out, Anthony Rendon then lined a one-base hit scoring two teammates.  Bay City was set down quietly in the bottom of the 15th.  

Yusmeiro Petit allowed no runs in 1 and 1/3 innings, and picked up the victory. Scott Oberg was the loser in relief.  He gave up 3 hits and no walks in 2 and 1/3 innings.

Game 2 Designated hitter Jeff "Frickin'" McNeil had 4 hits and scored 3 times as the Bay City Rollers beat the Oceanus Assholes in 13 innings by the count of 8 to 7. The score was knotted at 7 after nine innings as former Roller Pedro Strop couldn't nail down a save.  Bay City won the hard fought contest in the 13th inning.  McNeil tripled (again).  Salvador Perez was next and he smacked a single giving Bay City the win much to the delight of the home town crowd.  Bay City finished with 14 hits in the victory.  

The victory went to Will Smith who went 2 innings, allowing no runs.  Victor Arano absorbed the loss in relief.  He allowed 5 hits and 1 walk in 3 and 2/3 innings.

Game 3 Catcher Buster Posey had 3 base hits and scored 3 times as the Bay City Rollers defeated the Oceanus Assholes 5 to 3. Lance McCullers contributed a very nicely pitched game.  He didn't give up much, just 5 hits and 4 walks in 8 innings.  Oceanus made it exciting in the 9th, but they were unable to push the needed runs across.  Steve Cishek preserved the game for McCullers, recording his his 1st save. Mike Clevinger was the loser.  'It was a tough one to lose' said Jed.  'We'll get them next time out.'

Of note was a double-play in the top of the first with Assholes on 1st and 3rd.  You'd think a run would score, but no!  It was recorded as a 6-4-3 double-play, but somehow I ended up with a runner on 3rd, who was then stranded.  And after that it was all Bay City until the ninth inning rally came up short.  I think Jose Iglesias was the star for the Rollers as he started 3 DPs, killing the few chances the Assholes had to get back into it.

Game 4 (According to the computer-generated summary, but not in reality) the Oceanus Assholes easily handled the Bay City Rollers by the score of 9 to 5. Oceanus scored the decisive runs in a big top of the 8th inning plating 2 runs on 3 base hits.  After two outs Brandon Nimmo got things rolling when he laced a base-knock, and an error was also committed.  Jose Ramirez stepped up to the plate and he delivered a base-hit plating a run.  Ramirez took second on the throw.  Joey Votto then tripled scoring the final run of the inning. This was a game of many highs and lows for the home town fans, as the lead kept changing - 5 times in all.  

The victory went to Craig Stammen who went 2 innings, allowing no runs. Scott Oberg suffered the loss in relief.  He allowed 3 hits and no walks in 1 and 1/3 innings. It was not easy though.  Bay City had a 5-3 lead after 6 innings.  Oceanus scored 6 in the last 3 innings.  Also, prior to this game, there had been no errors by either team.  But as soon as this fact was mentioned, David Peralta of Oceanus made the first.  Then Bay City made four, leading to 3 unearned runs.

Draft Day, Sunday March 29.

(1/9) North Dakota won the first two games against Jeff's team to run its winning streak to 7 games, but Jeff gained the satisfying split (via his conduit Tom) and the last laugh as he won the season series 5-3.  
Unlike the first series, I did not feel his presence mocking me, but he still enjoyed kicking my ass.

In game 1, deGrom finally pitched like his card says he should pitch, with a complete game 3-1 win, scattering 7 hits.  Carpenter, Goldschmidt, and Yelich (HR) provided all the offense needed against Mikolas who pitched well for WES? but not as well as deGrom.

Game 2 was the opposite; a high scoring affair.  ND jumped on Buchholz in the first, plating two runs on a bases loaded walk to Hoskins and sac fly from K. Davis.  WES? took a 4-2 lead with a Flowers HR, Bregman rbi hit, and a Peraza 2-run double in the 2nd.  ND took the lead for good in the 4th on a Carpenter HR and a Betts 2-run double that made it 5-4.  ND kept pounding away with a couple of more HRs (K. Hernandez, Betts) and an unearned run to make it 9-4 in the 7th.  It was 10-5 going into the 9th.  Freeman hit a 2-run homer off Kimbrel to make it 10-7, then got 2 on with one out to bring the tying run to the plate.  But Kela gets Realmuto and Dahl to end it, 10-7.

ND is up 2-1 after 5 innings in Game 3 with premature visions of a sweep.  Acuna homers off Marquez and its 2-2.  In the 7th, Cain singles in Cano off Alvarado to make it 3-2.  After Conforto walks, Moronta comes in for ND and Acuna greets him with a 3-run blast, his 2nd HR of the game, and that's all she wrote.  WES? wins 6-3.

It was all WES? in the finale, as Acuna added another homer, Puig hit a 2-run shot and Morton, Jeffress, Chapman, and Gant scattered 7 hits to win 7-2.

WES? is now at game 44 and can call up a 26th man.  Remember that all teams get a day off after games 20, 28, and 40.  Send your stats to Tom, don't be left out of the leaderboard!  Draft Day, Sunday March 29.

Oceanus visited Future Wax and took 3 out of 4 hard-fought games.

In game 1, the Assholes jumped on Max Scherzer early and had a 5-0 lead after 4 innings and a 6-0 advantage after the top of the 6th.  Oceanus got 2 homers from Trevor Story and one apiece from Altuve and Inciarte (HR 1, out otherwise).  Future Wax did get a run back, with Javy Baez finally connecting on a ballpark homer chance (FW went 1-5 on ballpark chances).  The somewhat maligned Oceanus bullpen did allow Future Wax to scrape a couple more runs together in the bottom of the 9th to make it interesting, but Victor Arano was able to limit the damage.  Aaron Nola got the win, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in 7 2/3 innings pitched.

In game 2, Oceanus once again grabbed the early lead - 3-0 after 3 innings.  Anthony Rendon and David Peralta hit homers.  This score held all the way through the top of the 8th inning.  In the bottom of the 8th, mutant Luke Voit hit a 2-run homer to put the squeeze on the Assholes.  However, recently-acquired Pedro Strop pitched a clean bottom of the 9th for the save.  Final score: Oceanus 3, Future Wax 2.  Corey Kluber got the win, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits in 8 innings pitched.  Mike Foltynewicz was a tough-luck loser, only allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits in 7 innings pitched.  An error from gold glover (I believe) Mark Chapman was arguably the difference in the game.

In game 3, yet again Oceanus took an early lead - 1-0 in the top of the 1st - with Jesus Aguilar singling in Brandon Nimmo.  Future Wax tied the game in the bottom of the 3rd and then went ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the 4th on homers from George Springer and Manny Machado.  The Assholes struck back with a solo shot from Aguilar.  Then, in the top of the 8th, Randy brings in his best reliever, Jose Leclerc, to face Jose Altuve with two on.  Altuve cranks a 3-run homer and vaults Oceanus to a 5-3 lead.  The somewhat maligned Asshole bullpen bent but didn't break in the bottom of the 9th, allowing a run on a Javy Baez single for a final score of Oceanus 5, Future Wax 4.  Reliever David Hernandez got the win while Felipe Vazquez was pinned with the loss.

In game 4, Future Wax too an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd on a Brandon Belt homer.  Oceanus tied the game in the top of the 5th as Jesus Aguilar's sac fly scored Whit Merrifield.  Future Wax went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the 6th on a Manny Machado single.  Then in the bottom of the 8th, Future Wax tacked on 2 more, as Asshole reliever Yusmeiro Petit looked overwhelmed.  Justin Upton doubled and Francisco Cervelli singled to key the outburst.  Final score: Future Wax 4, Oceanus 1.  Reliever Seth Lugo got the win.  Jose Leclerc pitched 1 2/3 innings of outstanding relief for the save.  Walker Buehler took the loss for the Assholes, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 9 in 5 2/3 innings pitched.  Buehler got tired unexpectedly early.

(1/6) First of all, welcome to the SOMBILLA Sam Bechard! Sam is taking over Jeff’s team next year and he will now be on the SOMBILLA email distribution list. 

Typically Twits Notes is written by the manager who won the most games. 

From Eric:

This is new: The Aggressions played 8 games, 4 against Constantinople and 4 against WES, spilt each series, yet their manager is still required to submit TWITS because, as Tom craftily put it, he won 2 games, Tom-as-Jeff won 2 games, but Eric-as-Eric won 4 games. So…

Scores, Series One:

HA 7-2: Verlander goes 8 for the W as the Aggressions score 5 runs in the 7th to break a 2-2 tie

HA 7-6: Arenado hits a walk-off double off Dominguez to score Muncy

CN 4-2: Manaea shuts out HA’s lefty killing lineup for 5 innings as CN nickels and dimes their way to 3 early runs and an easier win than the the final score indicates

CN 7-5: CN takes advantage of a huge 9th inning error by Arenado and a BP HR (1-4) by Trout to score 4, as Diaz blows the save and take the loss. 

Series Two:

HA 7-2: Verlander is masterful again, who’s perfect through, going 7.6 in a breezy win

WES 4-3: All the runs come late in this game, with Realmuto getting the big hit, a 3-run jack in the 6th for WES

WES 6-4: Crazy game as each team strands 13 and HAs bullpen gives up single runs in each of the last 3 innings to blow the hold and save

HA 5-4: Soto comes in on a 2-base error by Freeman for the walk-off win. HA also scored an un-earned in the 8th on a Cain error, as WES’s defense falls apart and lets down the bullpen.

(12/28)  It was a reversal of first-half fortune as North Dakota swept into a tie for 3rd place with a sweep over erstwhile high-flying New Orleans Saturday in Marblehead.  Statisticians would refer to it as a regression to the mean with North Dakota unlikely a .458 team and New Orleans certainly not a .750 team.  But no matter how you analyze this, it was a pounding.  Home-cooking helped North Dakota outscore New Orleans 40-15 in 4 games, outhomering them 15-5.  North Dakota did not miss any ballpark homers, and also hit a few other homers not deserved (e.g., "1", "1-5"), while New Orleans rolled nary a ballpark homer.  The scary North Dakota defense made no errors in the series. 

In game 1, deGrom gave up a homer to the first batter of the series (Turner).  But in the bottom of the first inning, Goldschmidt homered, K. Davis hit a 2-run homer, and with the bases loaded and 2 out, Lindor hit a grand slam to give ND a 7-1 lead before most of the Gackle Park capacity crowd of 453 had even taken their seats.  But this is deGrom and a Gregorius 2-run homer made it a 7-3 game in the 2nd, and when NO's Tommie Pham hit a pinch-hit bases clearing double in the 6th, it's a 7-6 game and New Orleans loads the bases with 2 out for JD Martinez against deGrom.  He strikes out, North Dakota plates 3 more in the bottom of the 6th and deGrom pitches a complete game for a 10-6 win, his first.

Patrick Corbin is dazzling in game 2, pitching 7 2/3 innings of shutout, 3-hit ball.  Meanwhile Goldschmidt (HR), Ramos (2-run double and HR) and T. White (2-run homer) provide all the offense needed.  Final score 6-0.

In game 3, its 1-1 going into the third, when the teams use the tiny dice.  North Dakota dangerously hits his first foul of the series and one of the die is scarily missing.  It's finally found, near a crevice in the floor that could have required a crowbar and digging up Harold's floorboard to rescue it.  Immediately after, the ND manager accidentally drops another die, but its found.  The next roll seems to produce a missing white tiny die.  Was it buried in the dip?  No, it is just blending into the scoresheet.  Keeping the tiny dice within sight, North Dakota proceeds to find 5 obscure walks off Trevor Bauer in the inning, who walks in 3 runs, yielding 5 runs in all to make it 6-0.  The managers use the giant dice in the 4th inning but no runs are scored.  Mookie hits a 3-run homer in the 5th to make it 9-1.  NO scores 4 in the 7th and 8th to make it seem close (9-5), but not really.  Final score 10-5.

New Orleans jumps to a 3-0 lead by the 5th inning of game 4 thanks to two homers by Aaron Hicks.  But in the bottom of the 5th, North Dakota scores 7 runs on 3 homers, including a Betts 2-run ballpark HR, a Hoskins 2-run pinch-hit (on a HR 1), a 1-5 three-run shot by A. Mondesi.  New Orleans scores 1 in the 6th to keep it close 7-4.  But two solo shots by ND (Hoskins again and Yelich) in the 7th and 5 more in the 8th (including a 3-run blast by Goldschmidt) make the final score 14-4.  Harold takes notes and vows revenge  4 weeks hence in his park.

Star of the series was Goldschmidt (9 for 15, .600, 3 homers, 6 rbi). Betts, Ramos, and Mondesi had 5 rbi each.

(12/23) From Jed:
Oceanus took care of business at home, winning 3 out of 4 against Constantinople, in spite of injuries to 4 major Assholes (Altuve, Nimmo, Story and Rendon).  For some reason, the computer (which did behave pretty well after the initial obligatory kill and restart) didn't generate game summaries, so I'll provide a human-generated recap.

Game 1 Oceanus eked out a 2-1 victory in 15 innings!  Constantinople took a 1-0 lead when Bryce Harper hit a straight shot in the top of the 1st.  The Assholes cobbled together a run in the bottom of the 5th, if I recall correctly involving a hit off of J.A. Happ's card.  Aaron Nola pitched 8 innings of y3-hit ball but got tired so the battle of the bullpens began.  Both teams had chances in extra innings but mercifully in the bottom of the 15th, Oceanus pushed one across.  I think it was Brandon Nimmo with the game-winning hit, but it could have been Joey Votto....

Game 2 Constantinople kept connecting on the 4-9 off of Corey Kluber's card, ultimately resulting in a 12-6 victory.  It was a 4-4 game after 4 innings but Constantinople blew it open with 4 runs in the top of the 5th and 2 more in the top of the 6th.  Oceanus made it something of a ballgame by getting 2 back in the bottom of the 6th.  A tired Kluber, who was planning to take one for the team, got pulled and the Oceanus bullpen was given a chance to keep the game close.  Which they didn't, because the Manatees pushed two more runs across in the top of the 9th and the Assholes were done offensively.  Constantinople got 15 hits total, including 4 homers (all off of Kluber).  Scooter Gennett went 4-4 with a homer.  Jean Segura went 3-4.  For the Assholes, Jesus Aguilar and Trevor Story hit homers.

Game 3 Mike Clevinger bounced back from a rough outing against Haiku Aggression, pitching 7 innings of 1-run ball in a 4-1 Asshole victory.  Once again it was tight early - 1 to 1 after 3 innings.  But Oceanus got 2 in the bottom of the 4th and an insurance run in the bottom of the 7th.  The now only somewhat maligned Asshole bullpen (including new pickup Pedro Strop) came through with 2 scoreless innings.  Jose Ramirez (now hitting over .160!) was the hero for Oceanus, going 1 for 3 with a double and 3 RBI.  Kurt Suzuki went 2 for 3 for the Manatees.

Game 4 Walker "Ferris" Buehler pitched 8 innings allowing only 1 run on 2 hits in another 4-1 Oceanus win.  The Manatees took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd on a Mike Haniger sac fly.  But the Assholes pushed 3 across in the bottom of the 3rd, including a (former mutant) Matt Olson homerun.  Oceanus added a run in the bottom of the 6th.  Constantinople could not seem to roll on the batters' cards, having a streak of at least 6 in a row on Buehler's card at one point.  The game was chippy starting in the 2nd inning when Oceanus hit Anthony Rizzo in retaliation for injuries in the previous games.  Rizzo did have to come out.  So in the 3rd, the Manatees hit Brandon Nimmo, who also could not continue.

Overall, Constantinople batted .182 for the series and had a 3.66 team ERA.  Oceanus hit .248 with a 3.00 ERA.  Segura (5-17 2 doubles) and Gennett (5-18 triple, homer, 4 RBI) were the hitting stars for the Manatees.  7 Manatee relievers combined to throw 13 scoreless innings.  Peralta (6-13 2 doubles) was the hitting star for Oceanus, although 6 other players hit .300 or better.  The Asshole starters, aside from Kluber, only allowed 1 run each.

From Eric:
Nutty season so

Far from the bottom where I

Want to be (with you)


“You” being Robin (relax, Arnie) or whoever’s in last--but unfortunately she had one too many syllables to squeeze into that final line, and I couldn’t edit my way out of the conundrum…


Anyway, that’s the Haiku gist. Year of nuttiness: The Aggressions are 0-8 vs. Harold and Tom, 14-6 vs. everyone else, and 9-3 vs. Arnie/Jed/Randy. See what I mean?


This weekend it was a 3-1 series triumph over Future Wax, in Natick. It was a rough day for Randy. His defense couldn’t quite get comfortable at Sandover Fields, coughing up 9 unearned runs on 3 painful, ill-timed errors in games 1 and 2, leading to 9-3 and 6-4 losses. In his defense, he was a bit distracted by a plumber named Tom, who was summoned for a Sunday visit to Roto-RooterŪ a clog that’s been growing somewhere in the pipes beneath Didi and Randy’s kitchen since 1958. Between rolls and several stoppages there was much talk about unfixable plumbing, rusted threads, rice clots, and the perils of fruit peels…


Anyway… Game 3 provided fans the most bang for their buck, a walk-off 4-3 victory by the Aggressions, who scored 2 in the bottom of the 9thto knot the game at 3, and then won it when Arenado doubled in Bogaerts in the 11th


This was especially tough for Randy. Gambling for more offense, he played injury call-up Dave Murphy (5e6) at first the entire game, and Murphy managed to escape ranging either a foot to his left or right till the 9th, when Arenado hit a two-out bouncer with Bogaerts at third that Murphy waved at as it rolled passed him into right. Adding to Randy’s exasperation was Saurez, who missed a 10thinning leadoff HR (1-18) that went for a double instead, and got no further than third when Baez missed a BP HR (1-4) with 2 out.


Future Wax managed to pull out a game 4 win, 3-1, behind a gutsy Greinke, who pitched a masterful 8.3 innings, giving up just 4 hits, 1 runs 2 walks and 6 Ks. And Tom the plumber? He’ll be back on Monday to install a new trap.


For Haiku Aggression, Bellinger had 2 HRs and 4 RBIs in game 2, and the bullpen was stellar, pitching 15 innings and giving up just 2 runs. Teams combined to miss 10 BP HRs. 


(12/19) The jealous North Dakota manager watched helplessly as the other SOMBILLA managers had their way with Bay City during the first half of the season. Finally, it was North Dakota's turn in line.  Unfortunately, deGrom had to pitch game 1 and he got pounded again, this time by a score of 9-3.  Carmago homered. Pisctotty hit an rbi double, Polanco had an rbi, McNeill hit a 2-run triple off deGrom, now 0-4, 4.11.  Lance McCullers became the latest SOMBILLA pitcher to outduel the so-called NL Cy-Young winner, as he pitched 6 innings, scattering 5 hits a 2 runs for the win.

North Dakota came back to win a tight game in game 2 after Rhys Hoskins had all 5 rbis (2-run double and 3-run homer) to jump out to a 5-0 lead after 5. Casetellanos HR makes it 5-1 and in the 8th, then ND's Moronta comes in and gives up 2 walks and a single to load the bases.  The ND defense once again fails as Yelich drops, then kicks it for 2 runs and its 5-3.  An error on the catcher Ramos makes it 5-4.  Jose Alvarado makes his season debut to get the third out, then pitches the 9th for the save and the 5-4 ND win.

Game 3 was the pivotal game.  This time it was BC jumping out to the 5-0 lead, helped by 3 solo homers (Shaw, Marte, PIscotty) and a Shaw 2-run single.  But solo ND homers by Yelich, K. Davis, Ramos, a 2-run shot by Betts, and an rbi double by Yelich give ND the 6-5 lead after 6 innings.  Iglesias homers off the ineffective Moronta to tie the game 6-6 in the 7th inning.  Bottom of the 8th, with 2-out and one on, Lindor belts a 2-run homer off Cishek for the apparent game-winning homer to make the score 8-6.  But in the 9th, 2 singles and a walk load the bases for Benintenti against Kimbrel with one out.  Kimbrel walks him to make it 8-7.  Carmago strikes out.  9th inning, 2 outs, bases loaded, down 8-7 for Buster Posey.  He hits a 2- run single.  Cishek pitches a 1-2-3 9th and Bay City wins 9-8.

With the season on the line for ND in game 4, Betts hits a 2-run homer off Keller for the early 2-0 lead.  They trade solo shots and its 3-1 going to the 7th.  Sal Perez homers off guessed it...Moronta, to make it 3-2. In the bottom of the 7th, Ramos hits a sac fly for the insurance run to make it 4-2.  BC scores another unearned run in the 8th (error on Ottavino), but strand a runner.  Ottavino pitches a 1-2-3 9th for the save and the series split.

Reminder that all teams get a rest day after games 20, 28, and 40.

CN swept the hard luck Aggression Based Lifeform formerly known as Eric. CN was an extremely bad host feeding Eric two beers he did not like. Next CN kept hitting ballpark homers and The Aggressive Poets kept hitting into double plays.

In game 1, CN hit 5 of 6 BP Homers to beat Verlander 8-1. No Ballpark Homers in game 2, but Trout and Haniger (RHBs) hit solo shots to get the game to the 9th 2-2.  Harper lead off with a double, Escobar knocked him to third and Rizzo singled him home for the walkoff.

Game 3 had Rizzo hit a ballpark 2 run homer and CN scored 3 while the angry non rhyming poets counted syllables and scored no runs.

Rizzo hit a ballpark homer in game 4 to give CN a 2-1 lead and the Haiku spouting ones came out in the 9th determined to avoid the sweep and get a single on a Px and then a LFx error followed by a single to tie the game.  But hit into a double play before more unearned runs could score.  Scooter came out to led off the ninth to … you guessed hit… hit a ball park homerun for the sweep.

8 of 9 ballpark homers 1-10 for left handers is probably the most improbable result in CN series history.  Enjoy the Holidays!

(12/17) Haiku Agression reluctantly moved into 3rd place Sunday night after it's second consecutive series win over a pre-season favorite.  No Twits Notes have been received from the normally loquacious managers...2nd half schedule will be published today or tomorrow.

(12/15) New Orleans continues its winning ways, taking 3 of 4 from CON.  In game one, NO won 5 to 3, with the big story being the SOMBILA debut of Shohei Ohtani, who singled in his first at bat and hit a two run HR in the 9th in his second AB.   It was not enough to over come the 2 rin pich hit HR by Pham in the 8th.  In game 2, NO had all the luck, winning 4-3.  CON missed two single 1-17 rolls (rolling 19 both times) which could have tied the game.  Judge and Hicks both hit 2 run HR’s as the difference.  CON won a 13 inning marathon 3-2, with Ohtani hiiting a game winner in the bootom of the 13th.  NO won game 4, 4-2.

(12/13) From Eric: Didn't think I'd have to suffer penning Twits this year, but at least in Arnie's case he just can't seem to wrap his head around being the pre-season favorite. Employing the odd strategy of burning out shitty relievers (Arnie's comment - actually only two of them are truly shitty) early in the season to protect the innings of better relievers down the road may explain why North Dakota is now inexplicably two games under .500, after dumping 3 of 4 to lowly lottery hopefuls Haiku Aggression, though there's grumbling in the front office that Arnie  just can't motivate his team to hit. 

Okay, enough of Arnie, and the paltry 15 runs he scored in 4 games, or his lucky win in game 2, when Goldschmidt hit a 2-run blast of Pressly in the top of the 9th to eek out a 6-4 win. Instead, let's our turn attention to Eric, and his bumbling blind luck that somehow managed to pay itself forward throughout the series. 

Game 1: 3-1, Haiku Aggression. Verlander did a nice job holding ND to a single run through his 7.3 innings before handing it over to Diaz for a 5-out save. The winless DeGrom took the loss, hearing from the one fan who made the long ride from Minot to Haiku-land in 7 syllables ("That's what you get with a Met!") and who looked remarkably like Arnie.

Game 2: 6-4, North Dakota. The aforementioned win, which also included a pinch-hit blast from Solar off Hader to begin a well-timed late inning comeback. ND's Corbin didn't have his best stuff, but he gutted out seven stressful innings before giving ND's beleaguered pen a chance to shine, which it did, giving up nothing from the 5th inning on.

Game 3: 7-5, Haiku Aggression. It's late, so let's just say that ND had 5 singles, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR, 3 walks, & 2 stolen bases, and still managed to lose to a team that had 9 singles and 2 doubles. 

Game 4: 12-3, Haiku Aggression. It's later still, so let's end on a positive note... We're giving stars of the series to little Joey Wendle, who went 8 for 16 and scored 5 runs, and Jose Martinez, who thankfully managed to avoid having the ball come his way, and went 9 for 16 while driving in 7 runs.

SOMBILLA managers, please return your 2nd half schedule surveys by Sunday.

(12/9) Future Wax won 7 of 8 games at the bash to vault into 2nd place.  This was after New Orleans had swept Bay City to go to 15-1, the best 16 game start in SOMBILLA history.  

The day started off poorly for Future Wax as Carrasco outdueled Scherzer for a 3-1 loss to Tom. But after that everything came up roses. Rallying from a 3-0 deficit in game 2, homers by Springer, Suarez, and Chavez turned the tide, as the Wax sailed to a 8-5 victory. In game 3, Tom again raced out to a 3-0 lead (on Haniger and Trout blasts). In the 7th, Belt's belt made it 3-2. In the bottom of the 9th with two outs, Dominguez boats a comebacker to the mound, then hits Springer with his next pitch. Baez cracks a double, and Springer scores all the way from first for a walk off win.In the final game of this series, Tom jumps out to a 2-0 lead, but Baez ties the score in the 5th with another 2-run double. In the 6th, Suarez singles, pinch runner Blackmon steals second, moves to third on a passed ball, and scores on a Machado single. LeClerc and Castillo shut the door for a 3-2 win.

On to Harold, who had just taken 3 of 4 from Robin, upping his record to a ridiculous 15-1. In game 1 of the second series, Scherzer outdueling Sale, yielding just 5 hits and 1 run for a complete game 2-1 victory. Gregorius' homer was matched by Belt's in the 8th, and then Chapman hit a walk off dinger to finish it. Next, Eovaldi claims a win despite giving up 3 home runs in 5 innings (Turner, JD, and Gregorius). FW rallies to make it 3-3 in the 3rd, Baez homers in the 5th to take the lead. A Stanton (called up for injured McCutchen) sac fly added an insurance run, and LeClerc snuffs out an comeback for a 5-3 FW win.

In the 3rd game Harold scored 2 in the 5th, but pinch hitter Pham gets a clutch out with men on first and third. Then with 2 outs in the bottom of the inning, FW is gifted 3 consecutive walks, and Machado's single drives in 2 for the lead. The FW pen is again outstanding, holding on for a 5-3 win. FW then completes the sweep as Harold strands 14 runners, including bases loaded with 1 out in the 9th, losing 2-0.

The FW bullpen was outstanding in both series, with LeClerc and Castillo each recording 2 saves and a win, and Lugo also getting two Ws in relief.

New Orleans and Future Wax are now at the roster freeze.

(12/5) Tom and I split, but I volunteered to do TWITS Notes as it's likely to be my only chance this season. In Game 1, Bader hit a 2-run homer in the 1st off Snell but Albies led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer, which was followed by a HBP (plus inj) for Iglesias and a Sal Perez homer. Tom regained the lead via a passed ball and a double by Escobar in the 4th, but a New Orleans-esque parade of relievers could not contain BC, as Piscotty hit a walk-off 3-run homer for the 6-4 win. Game 2 was a pitchers' duel between Toussaint and Cole. Robin did not try to score on a 1-12 shot in the first because the cute and clutch Benintendi was up, but he struck out and she was shut out. Tom won a 1-0 game on a run-scoring GDP in the 3rd. Game 3 saw the cute Lance McCullers give up 7 runs in the second as CN more than batted around in an inning featuring a 3-run homer by Morales and a 3-run double by Escobar. BC's Travis Shaw hit a pinch-hit 2-run homer in the 7th, but it was too
little too late, as CN cruised to a 13-4 victory. Game 4 was another pitchers' duel, with Taillon shutting out BC for 5 innings and Cole Hamels no-hitting CN for 4 2/3 innings. A passed ball and a solo Winker homer gave Robin the 2-0 lead in the 6th, and Smith and Cishek shut down and shut out the Manatees, who managed only 4 singles (and 3 stolen bases against the +6 Hamels).
Bay City is now at the roster freeze.
(12/4) A hard fought series between the two preseason favorites ended in a draw.  Internet Strat-O was surprisingly co-operative and the series was played quickly with only one minor glitch. Aaron Nola pitched a 2-hit shutout in game 1, easily besting deGrom (still looking for his first win).  Shoddy ND defense, a recurring theme in the series led to the first OC run and they never looked back, cruising to a 3-0 win.  The computer said "Nola didn't realize how many strikeouts he was racking up. When told he had 10 he was obviously surprised, 'No kidding? Man, I knew that I had a decent total, but I didn't think I had K'd that many. Say, that's pretty good, isn't it?' "

North Dakota came back to tie the series, 6-2, in game 2, led by Mookie Betts (2-run double and 2-run homer).  Patrick Corbin pitched well for the win, allowing 2 runs in 7 2/3 innings to go along with 12 k's.  According to the computer "Arnie was asked about the performance of Corbin, 'He had his good stuff out there tonight. The fans really get into it when the strikeouts start mounting up - and that seems to give him even more adrenaline.'

The Assholes jumped in front in game 3 as they did all series, but ND came back and held a 3-2 lead after 3 innings.  Marquez settled down to get his 2nd win, and Mookie had another 3 rbis.  It was 4-2 in the 9th.  An Asshole rally off mutant closer K. Herrera fell short with the tying run on base.

Oceanus took advantage of more shoddy defense as errors by Carpenter and K. Hernandez led to two unearned runs in the 5th and gave OC a 4-3 lead they never relinquished. The teams combined to use 35 players in this one, emptying benches and bullpens, but OC held on to gain the split. Walker Buehler reeled off a total of 10 strikeouts as the Oceanus Assholes defeated North Dakota by a score of 5 to 4 at Gackle Park. Buehler(1-0) pitched well for Oceanus in their victory. He surrendered 6 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings. David Hernandez was perfect in relief and gained credit for his 2nd save of the series.

Jed is now at the roster freeze.
(11/24) Amidst the rash of 'slammed-at-work' related cancellations, the SOMBILLA has some good news to report.  Sam Bechard has agreed to take over Jeff's team next season!  We will welcome him to our email chain after the new year.  Meanwhile, on the table:
FW moved to a tie for fourth place Saturday.  They won game 1, 5-3.  M. Chapman hit the go ahead rbi in the 3rd and asshole Machado hit a big 2-run HR in the 4th off McCullers to provide all the offense needed for Scherzer. Robin came back to win game 2, 6-2.  BC was led by back to back HRs by Albies and F. Reyes, with 4 pitchers combining for the win. The Wax scored 6 runs on 6 hits in the bottom of the 8th inning of game 3 off Hamels and Oberg to break the 3-3 tie for a 9-3 win. In game 4, Eovaldi, S. Lugo, and C. Ferguson pitched a combined 6-hit shutout for FW's 4-0 win to take the series, knocking last place Bay City to 9 games out of first.
Send your stats to Tom and have a Happy Thanksgiving!
(11/14) The last time ND and FW played each other 8 months ago, Dustin Pedroia hit a game 7, 10th inning, 3-run home run in his last SOMBILLA at bat to win the SOMBILLA World Series for North Dakota.  Much less was at stake in this weird early season match.
In Game 1, Max Scherzer pitched a 2-hit, complete game 4-0 shutout for Future Wax.  The vaunted ND offense saw its team batting average fall to .189 after nine games.
Game 2 was an instant classic.  FW took a 2-1 lead into the 7th inning, despite missing two 1-16 ballpark homers, but Tyler White stroked a pinch-hit 2-run double off Seth Lugo to give ND the 3-2 lead. ND’s Osuna blew the 9th inning save when Matt Chapman hit a game tying homer to send it into extra innings.  In the top of the 12th inning, Suarez doubles in Baez to give FW the 4-3 lead.  Out of good pitchers, Randy brings in Caleb Ferguson in the bottom of the 12th.  After an out was recorded, Wilson Ramos cracks a homer to tie it.  Goldschmidt then doubles and Mookie Betts hits a walkoff 2-run homer.
The much maligned German Marquez pitched a 4-hit complete game 6-2 win in game 3 for North Dakota.  ND hit 5 home runs in the game (Goldschmidt 2, Betts, K. Davis, Ramos).
Future Wax salvaged the split with a ridiculous 21-10 game in the finale.  Mutant Luke Voit hit a grand slam, McCutchen had two homers, while Gomes, Upton and Baez had one each.  It was 11-9 after 4 innings, but Future Wax kept pouring it on, while the ND offense shut it down.
(11/8) In a hard-fought series, Oceanus took 3 out of 4 from the visiting Future Wax to move into 2nd place, percentage points ahead of WES?.  At one point in every game Future Wax had a lead.  But the Assholes battled back.  Apologies for the minimal details below - the computer didn't record the detailed scoresheets so I can't see who got what hits when.
Game 1: Max Scherzer vs. Aaron Nola.  Oceanus takes a 3-0 lead after 2 but Future Wax ties it in the 4th and goes up by 1 in the 8th.  The Assholes then score 2 in the bottom of the 9th to win 5-4.  David Peralta had 2 doubles and Robinson Chirinos had a triple for Oceanus.  Brandon Belt had a homer for Future Wax.  Both starters pitched solidly.
Game 2: Zach Greinke vs. Corey Kluber.  Oceanus scores 2 runs in the bottom of the first inning and then nothing for the rest of the game.  Future Wax scores 1 run in the top of the 2nd but nothing more through 6 innings.  Finally, in the 7th and 8th, Future Wax pulls ahead and the bullpen preserves a 4-2 victory.  For Future Wax, Charlie Blackmon and Manny Machado combined to go 4 for 7 with 3 runs and 2 rbis.  Joey Votto went 3-4 for Oceanus.  Greinke and Kluber dueled to draw.  Relief was the difference.
Game 3: Mike Foltynewicz vs. Mike Clevinger.  Heckuva starting pitchers' duel as Folty allows only a run on 1 hit and Clevinger a run on 2 hits.  Oceanus, trailing 2-0 going into the bottom of the 7th, gets 3 runs to take the lead and adds 2 more runs in the bottom of the 8th.  Homers by Rendon and Story do the damage.  Final score: Oceanus 5, Future Wax 2.  This time the Oceanus relief comes through.  Belt has another homer for Future Wax.
Game 4: Kershaw vs. Musgrove.  Even more of a pitching duel as it was 0-0 after 5.  Oceanus strikes first with a run in the bottom of the 6th.  But Future Wax gets 2 in the top of the 7th,  Oceanus manages to tie in the bottom of the 9th.  The Assholes had a 40% (1-8) chance of scoring the winning run with 2 outs but got pegged out at the plate so it was on to extra innings.  Oceanus ultimately wins it in the 11th, final score 3-2.  Jose Altuve goes 2 for 4 with 2 doubles for Oceanus.  Javy Baez has a double for Future Wax.  Not much offense in this one.

(11/14) After splitting the first two games against Oceanus, game three started with OCE tiring Sale with the first 5 runners scoring, including back to back to back HR’s.  The New Orleans manager then ordered the 6th batter Votto intentionally hit.  That seemed to change the day for the Ellis’.  Sales gutted out 4 tired innings and NO tied the game.  After New Orleans took the lead in the 8th inning, they only traoled in 2 of the next 45 innings on the day versus OCE and HA.  Anything that could go right, did.

11-1 is not the best start in league history.  A study from 1999 shows that the Manila Folders of all teams, began the season 12-1 (they finished 29-27 and lost in the firs round of the playoffs).  CN was 13-3 in '04-05 en route to a 23-5 first half  (they won the World Series).

In other news, Oceanus hosted Bay City and managed to win 3 of 4.

In the first game, the resilient Rollers kept coming back against Asshole Ace Aaron Nola and the game was tied 4-4 after 9.  Enter Asshole reliever Corbin "Mister" Burnes and Travis Shaw hits a solo HR.  Steve Cishek is a little shaky in the bottom of the 10th but gets the save for the Rollers.  The cute Andrew Benintendi managed to hit a ballpark HR for Bay City on a 1 roll.

In game 2 the Assholes jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 2 innings.  Bay City chipped away late but the final was 4-2.  Corey Kluber pitched 7.2 solid innings allowing only 5 hits.  Gerrit Cole settled down to pitch 7 solid innings.  Jeff McNeil hit a solo HR for Bay City.  Joey Votto went 3-3 with a walk for Oceanus.

Game 3 was a 15-4 stat-padding laugher for Oceanus as Jake "What's that smell?" Odorizzi stunk up the joint and the relief staff poured gasoline on the fire.  Mike Clevinger pitched a complete game for Oceanus.  Jesus Aguilar had a double, triple and homer along with 5 RBI for the Assholes.

Game 4 was an intense pitching duel tied a 0-0 entering the bottom of the 9th.  Blake "What's that" Snell had bamboozled the Assholes, allowing only 4 hits to that point.  Walker "Ferris" Buehler and 4 relievers combined to hold the Rollers to 4 hits.  In the bottom of the 9th, Story got on due to an error by Jorge Polanco, who had pinch-hit for the gold-glove level Jose Iglesias in the top of the 9th.  Aguilar moved Story over.  The Altuve doubled Story in.  I think it might've been a double 1-5 out otherwise, and I rolled a 5....

                     L          R          Fences

"What Eric Said"?  S 1       S 1-10        High
                  HR 1      HR 1-10    

North Dakota      S 1-3      S  1-3        High       
                 HR 1-13     HR 1-16

Oceanus           S 1-10      S 1-10       High
                  HR 1        HR 1            

New Orleans        S 1-12     S 1-12       High
Doc Ellis Field   HR 1-3     HR 1-12
at Orchids of
Asia Mall                  

Haiku Aggression   S 1-7     S 1-14        High
                  HR 1-11   HR 1-4         

Constantinople     S 1-10     S 1          High
Manatees          HR 1-10    HR 1

Bay City         S 1-12      S 1-12        High
                HR 1-9      HR 1-3

Future Wax      S 1-6       S 1-15         High
                HR 1        HR 1-10       

(10/30) Despite some of the typical computer flakiness, Oceanus and What Eric Said? were able to complete a series in less than 2.5 hours.  The result, a mostly satisfying split.

Game 1

A marquee matchup between Nola and Mikolas is scoreless through 4.  WES strikes in the bottom of the 5th when the mutant O'Hearn cranks one out of the park.  But OCE manufactures a run to tie it in the top of the 6th.  WES goes right back up by 1 in the bottom of the 6th.  Another singleton WES HR (Puig - a series hero) in the bottom of the 8th doubles the lead.  OCE does score one in the 9th on a PB but the rally falls short.  Final: WES 3, OCE 2.  Votto and Altuve each go 2-4 but the anemic OCE attack includes 0 extra base hits.

Game 2

Kluber vs. Buchholz, scoreless through 3.  Then OCE breaks through with 2 runs in both the 4th and 5th innings as Altuve and Story hit HRs.  OCE is stunned when WES comes right back with 4 runs of their own in the bottom of the 5th including a Realmuto HR.  In the top of the 8th, Merrifield doubles and Eaton singles him home.  The much-maligned OCE bullpen pitches 2 scoreless innings, with Stammen getting the save.  Final: OCE 5, WES 4.

Game 3

Clevinger vs. Porcello.  In the top of the 2nd, OCE takes a 1-0 lead on a Rendon HR.  But once again, WES storms back right away with 2 unearned runs in the bottom of the 2nd.  Clevinger makes the error and WES hits 3 singles in a row.  OCE scores 2 in the 4th to retake the lead.  And from there, OCE keeps adding runs...1 in the 5th, 1 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th.  A DeJong HR in the bottom of the 9th gives the fans some hope but the shaky OCE relief holds on.  Final: OCE 6, WES 3.  OCE has 4 HR in the game: Nimmo, Peralta and Chirinos and Rendon.  Dejong is the star for WES going 2-4.  Also for WES, Cain and Dahl both double.

Game 4

Buehler vs. Morton.  Hell of a pitchers' duel.  OCE scores singleton runs in the 5th and 9th inning - one on a PB and one related to an error.  Buehler pitches 7 1/3 innings of one-hit ball only to have the much-maligned bullpen do something malign worthy.  In the bottom of the 9th, against a combination of relievers David Hernandez and Craig Stammen, WES gets a double from Cano, a double from Cain and a walkoff HR from Puig.  Only 4 hits for both teams as Morton and the WES relief does a fine job.  Final: WES 3, OCE 2 (kind of a bookend score).

(10/27) Eric took the first two, Jeff/Tom took the next two. In their wins, WES? tossed consecutive shut-outs (2-0, 5-0) with Porcello and Morton getting the wins. Haiku Aggression took the first two games, 2-1 and 5-2. Identifying offensive stars is virtually impossible, but if one must pick, I'd go with De Jong and Freeman for WES, and Arenado for HA.

WES? is now at the roster freeze!

(10/19) In the series today, New Orleans swept WES, I’m sure really pissing off Jeff.
Game 1: NO 5, WES 3.  Martinez hits a pair of HR’s, Bauer gets the win going 6ip and Chavez with a 3 ip Save.
Game 2: NO 6, WES 3.  WES gets out to an early lead with a Flowers first inning HR, but Didi gives NO the lead with a 2 run HR in the 5th.  NO busts it open in the 8th with a Judge 3 run HR.
Game 3: NO 6, WES 2.  NO is all over the WES starter Porcello early, with a Judge HR in the 2nd, and Choo hitting a solo shot in the 3rd followed up by a Hicks 3 run HR also in the 3rd. 
Game 4: NO 3, WES 2.  Super pitchers' duel between Williams and Morton, no score after 4ip.  WES gets the lead with 2 runs in the 5th.  NO comes back to tie it with 2 in the 6th.  Hicks hits a sole HR in the 7th which would be the difference.

(10/13) Jeff's team took 6 of 8 in Holliston earlier today.  Tom will send the gory details in the next day or two, but, basically Jeff kicked my ass.  I could feel his mocking presence, as his team came from behind in all the games and had a chance to sweep me with the running run at bat in the last at bat of the series.  He first won game 1 in 14 innings.  Then, in game 2, Tom pulled a 'Jeff'; inadvertently starting his lineup vs righties against Patrick Corbin, a lefty.  But Jeff still won anyway, with Yelich getting injured for the series.  In game 3 he capitalized on questionable ND defense, and Jeff controlled all the karma before his 4th game 9th inning rally fell one batter too short.

Jeff's team played two more extra-inning games against Robin, a long day for Tom.

(10/7): Future Wax and WES(?) split a hard fought series to open the 2019-2020 SOMBILLA season.   In case you missed it, Tom has volunteered to manage all of Jeff's team's games this year (other than those against CN) and the league is helping him out by playing 6 series at WES? during October.
After lighting a ceremonial candle and a commemorative toast to Jeff, the teams got to work. Scherzer and Mikolas kept the game scoreless through 6. Homers from Baez and Upton put FW up 3-0, but a 2-run shot by Freeman in the bottom of the frame made it a one-run game, and a Puig solo shot in the 8th tied it. Dejong missed a 1-10 BPHR chance in the 11th and Suarez did the same in the top of the 13th. WES?'s Puig finally ended it a half innning later with a walk off blast off Lugo.
In game 2, Foltynewicz allowed only 2 hits and 1 run in 7-2/3s. FW plated 1 run in the 1st on 4 hits, another on a Belt homer in the 3rd, and added 2 more in the 4th after Maeda walked the first 3 batters to cruise to a 4-1 win.
In game 3, Kershaw yielded hits to the first 5 batters he faced to dig an early 4 run hole, before settling down. McCutchen's 3-run shot in the 5th closed the gap, but Kershaw then allowed 5 singles to the first 7 batters he faced, while Lugo in relief walked the first two he faced, to build the WES lead up to 5 runs. Homers by Cervelli, Suarez, and Springer made it a one-run game again, but a Realmuto dinger added an insurance run and Chapman got his first save in a 9-7 WES win.
WES started strong again in the final game, opening with a 2-run moonshot from Acuna. But Cervelli answered with one of his own in the 2nd. Machado put FW up for good with his first home run of the season. FW tacked on 2 insurance runs late for a 5-2 victory.
SOMBILLA managers - please remember to return your schedule surveys by this Sunday if you have not already done so.