Monday, November 13, 2017

End of May (1993 No Expansion)

Bichette has been a big deal for Baltimore.
The Baltimore Orioles continue to roll, as they have the best record in all of baseball at 36-8 (.818 winning pct), making fans think of the "Bless You Boys" Detroit Tigers of 1984... at this rate, the O's are on pace for 133 wins, granted things will certainly slow down.

They acquired Dante Bichette prior to the season from the Minnesota Twins, in exchange for RP-Anthony Telford & LF-Alex Ochoa. His great play, so far (.318, 9 HR & 31 RBI) just landed him an 4-year extension on May 24th, for $8.76 million ($2.19 m per year), while his teammate Chris Hoiles (.290, 13 HR & 32 RBI) continues to play like a strong MVP candidate.

The lineup also features team captain Cal Ripken, Jr, Brady Anderson & Jay Buhner (who bats 6th as the designated hitter).

The rotation has took hits of late, with Tim Belcher & Arthur Lee Rhodes' stats going south, while Mike Mussina (3-1, 2.63 ERA), Ben McDonald (8-0, 2.10 ERA) & Jose Mesa (5-0, 2.48 ERA) continue to dazzle. The Orioles' bullpen is led by 4 veterans who are all having superb seasons, led by their closer Steve Farr (12 Saves, 2.81 ERA), along with Mike Fetters (2-0, 1.35 ERA), Storm Davis (2-0, 1.59 ERA) & Steve Bedrosian (3-0, 0.59 ERA).

The Toronto Blue Jays (second place / 6.5 GB) are having a tough time catching Baltimore; The Jays won their 5th straight, only problem Baltimore is currently on a 6-game winning streak.

The A.L. West meanwhile has 5 teams all within 2.5 games of each other, with the Oakland Athletics currently leading with a 24-18 record. Oakland is led by a healthy Mark McGwire, who is batting .291 with 14 HR & 40 RBI, with his numbers up -- while coming off a 1992 OOTP Season, which he hit 26 HR & 80 RBI (compared to real-life's 42 HR & 104 RBI).

The Montreal Expos are 34-11 (.756 pct) while they are ahead with a very comfortable 12-game lead entering June; The team signed free agents Andres Galarraga & Mickey Tettleton (just days prior to the beginning of the regular season), as they are the meat in the center of this lineup. Eric Karros is a bench-player now due to signing of Galarraga & could be trade bait down the line; The player traded for Karros, Mark Gardner, just got hurt & will likely miss the remainder of the season.

In some bizzare Expos news, their starting left fielder Bill Masse (.343, 4 HR, 8 RBI & 1.192 OPS in 35 at-bats) never played in the majors, he got his chance due to the struggling Ivan Calderon; Masse was acquired with a certain-Panama born reliever (Mariano Rivera) in exchange for SS-Spike Owen & $205,000 in cash.

That above, is one of the reasons that I love this game, how moves elsewhere, may effect teams to do acquisitions that will pave new alternate paths for those like Rivera.

My Atlanta Braves are 33-10, with an 8.5 game lead over the Cincinnati Reds, while Houston is in third place, 9 games back. Fred McGriff, two months in, leads all three Triple Crown categories, batting .414 with 19 HR & 56 runs batted in (1.291 OPS is tops)... while his teammate Ron Gant (.341 AVG, 15 HR, 36 RBI & 1.116 OPS with 11 steals) has been excellent as well.

Steve Avery (6-1, 2.10 ERA) & Greg Maddux (6-0, 2.15 ERA) have a combined WAR of 5.1 at the moment, while they are waiting on Tom Glavine & John Smoltz to heat up. Maddux, by the way, pitched a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 14th.

That pretty much wraps up the May report.

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