Wednesday, December 3, 2014

BoS Week 1 (American League)

"Off and Running"

The second season of the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League is underway. The first week had plenty of action, I didn't think it was possible to top last season's opening week, but I think some of the interesting storylines from this week may have topped that.

Chicago's Jacoby Ellsbury doing his best Rickey imitation.


The South Shore Fighting Imps, as you all know, are on a quest to repeat. They are off to a good start with a 4-2 series victory in Week 1 over the new Brooklyn Mets (former Carolina Eagles).  Hyun-Jin Ryu, their first round 2014 BoS Draft pick showed why the Imps took him with a two quality starts (including a complete-game shutout), going 1-0 with a 1.62 ERA, plus 14 K's. The team has a 2.47 ERA, while batting .267. Four regulars are batting over .300, led by Allen Craig's .346 average; Two of the other 3 hitters that are batting over .300, have 2 HR's (Shin-Soo Choo & Matt Holliday). Mariano Rivera starts his going-away party with 2 saves.

The Imps kept the Brooklyn Mets to a .198 batting average, while Brooklyn also had a league low .259 on-base percentage for the week. The team had a few bright spots with speedsters Michael Bourn and Jose Reyes getting it done with the bat; Bourn batted .316 (6-for-19) with a HR & 3 RBI, while Reyes batted .273 (6-for-22) with a HR & 3 RBI. Justin Verlander, last season's runner-up to American League Cy Young, is off to pretty good start -- although he has not recorded a win, but a complete-game loss, he does have 17 K's in 16,1 innings, while sporting a 3.31 ERA. Adam Dunn did hit 2 HR's with 6 RBI (both currently team best), but is batting below the Mendoza line at .130.

The Boston Bravos finished the week tied, going 4-2 on the road to Chicago. Every starting pitcher oddly pitched a compete game, not sure if I ever have seen that. The pitcher that truly shined was Kris Medlen who got a little revenge on the team that traded him, Medlen is the first player to have been traded twice in this league's existence. Medlen went 2-0, 1.50 ERA & 17 K's in 18 innings. The Bravos' catcher Matt Wieters had a big week at the plate, hitting .381 (8-for-21), 3 HR & 8 RBI; His teammate Adam LaRoche didn't do too shaby either, with .333, 2 HR & 5 RBI against the Nine. The only problem, the rest of the team was absent, as the team batted .213 during the series.

Now Matt Wieters may have beat the Chicago Nine with his bat, but Wieters couldn't stop Jacoby Ellsbury, to save his life -- who set a few records. In two separate games he stole 5 bases, he ended the six-game series with 12 steals! The team stole 18 bases for the series, while Ellsbury broke the record of 4 steals in a ballgame set by Buffalo's Rajai Davis; the 12 steals in a series is most likely a record. David Ortiz .346 with his new team, while leading his team with 6 RBI -- his most interesting accomplishment was his two triples in the opening series (he had only 2 triples that season in the MLB). Nolan Arenaldo made a rookie impact in the hit column with 10 hits in 23 AB's (all singles, one RBI). The King, Felix Hernandez went 1-0 with 8 K's in 7 innings, allowing only 2 hits & a walk -- sporting a 1.29 ERA.

The Buffalo Yankees are off to a nice 4-2 start this season, and look to contend with Fairgrove this season. Koji Uehara has already saved 3 games for Buffalo, he has 8 K's (which leads the team) in 5 innings of work, allowing only 3 hits & no runs. On offense, Buffalo's Brandon Moss (batting .316) has put three over the fence, with 5 RBI; He has already drawn 6 walks. Jay Bruce is batting .407 (11-for-27) with a HR & 5 RBI. The team is batting .270, which is a great sign as Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez -- the team's two offensive stars from last season, for the most part, have not got rolling just yet. That plus, a new & improved pitching staff should be a formula for better success this BoS Season.

The Swatara Eliminators are 2-4, but don't let their record or start fool you. They only have a -3 scoring differential, and their team improved in a few areas from their last season version of the Washington Filibusters. Each game with Buffalo was decided by no more than 3 runs, and two of the games went to extras (11 innings & 16 innings -- splitting the two games). Hector Santiago had a good season debut with 7 K's & a 1.50 ERA in 6 innings. The team hit a total of 10 HR's for the first series, with 4 players at 2 HR's each in Brandon PhillipsVictor MartinezAnthony Rizzo & newly acquired Lorenzo Cain (acquired from South Shore in the Carlos Beltran deal). "V-Mart" is enjoying his good start, especially since he had to sit out the entire 2013 BoS Season with a leg injury (2012 MLB Injury), he also added four doubles. Phillips is batting .369 with 6 RBI. Yadier Molina leads the team with a .476 batting average, with 10 hits & 3 doubles.

The Fairgrove Tigers are 4-2, and are on a quest to repeat as A.L. West Division ChampionsMadison Bumgarner is picking up where he left off, with one complete game, two quality starts that have resulted in a 2-0 record, with a 2.12 ERA & 18 K's in 17 innings. Joe Nathan logged 3 saves to start the season for the Tigers, with a 3.86 ERA. The Tigers showed some troubles with their lineup, the team falls off dramatically after the production from Adam JonesAndre Ethier, and Paul Goldschmidt. Jones hit two solo HR's and leads the team with a .400 batting average. Ethier hit a solo HR & went 6-for-16 (.375), while Goldschmidt batted .348 with 2 HR & 5 RBI. Salvador Perez (1-for-24, .042) & Jason Heyward (1-for-21, .048) are sluggish out of the gate.

The Bronx Bombers opened up their season series with only two wins, the good news is that they were both complete-game shutouts by starting pitchers James Shields and Jarrod Parker (a free agent acquired in the 2014 BoS Draft); Both were shutouts against a really tough ballclub in the Tigers. Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright had two dates with bad luck, going 0-2, with a 4.61 ERA. The team's lineup had only one bright spot, and that was Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez batted .357, with 2 HR & 4 RBI with a double & steal. The Bombers only batted .209!

That was the highlights in the American League for Week 1, National League highlights for Week 1 are out tomorrow.

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