Thursday, June 28, 2018

Some Interesting Stats from 'Projections'.

The Evil Empire Ascends

The dreaded New York Yankees, they have been so good, the rest of the league is looking at them as if they actually have a death star attached to them.
22 Games in, they are 17-5.
On offense the lineup is raking (as expected), led by Didi Gregorius who leads the entire league with 11 HR (unexpected), while batting .326 with 22 ribbies.
Masahiro Tanaka has pitched above his Grade C-XZ... He is a perfect 5-0, 1.29 ERA with 34 K's (1.029 WHIP) in 35 innings, including a shutout. The rotation has 4 complete games, including a Jordan Montgomery no-hitter.
The team's pitching has a 2.28 ERA, but the more amazing stat comes from its bullpen... 5 earned runs allowed in 45.1 innings, making it a 0.99 bullpen ERA!

Two Sides to a Coin

The Kansas City Royals' Ian Kennedy has two key stats, one of them good, the other bad, but I found interesting to say at the very least.
Kennedy has struck out 30 batters in only 20.1 innings (13.28 K per 9 innings) which is good.... while on the other side, he has allowed 19 earned runs (8.41 ERA) & 32 hits in that span... which is bad! To top it all off, his WHIP stands at 1.967... yikes! That's two base-runners per inning.

When Grades Don't Matter...

Entering April 20th during my 2018 MLB Projections season, the Colorado Rockies have 3 Grade C& below starters that are pitching well-above their grade. All have pitched 4 games...
Jon Gray: 2-1, 1.80 ERA, 25 K / 8 BB in 25 IP.
Kyle Freeland: 3-0, 0.95 ERA, 21 K / 10 BB with 2 complete games & a shutout in 28.1 innings.
Tyler Anderson: 3-0, 2.95 ERA, 20 K & 7 BB in 18.3 IP.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

1994 Regular Season Finish (Atlanta Braves)

For those that have been following, the 1994 Atlanta Braves Season takes place in an alternate world where expansion never happened in 1993. These alternate realities are brought to you by Out of the Park Baseball 18.

My Atlanta Braves keep getting hurt at the most unfortunate times, Ron Gant who has already been on the disabled list two times prior is lost for the season with a sprained ankle & will miss 6 weeks. I really put all my eggs in the basket for this season, falling short of a World Championship will be devastating.

Plus I am not sure how long I will be able to keep the current roster together, I may have to free up some money this off-season & I will definitely not being going after major upgrades.

The Braves once again won the N.L. West (for a 4th consecutive season) with a 103-59 record, 16 games over the 87-75 Los Angeles Dodgers. The Houston Astros, the team that was the favorite to possibly knock the Braves off their division pedestal (entering this season) fell short of expectations, falling to 4th place at 82-80.

The Montreal Expos (103-59), the defending champs, once again won the N.L. East, winning the division over the Barry Bonds-led Pittsburgh Pirates (98-64); Bonds resigned with Pittsburgh prior to 1994, signing a 6-year deal worth $24 million with a player option to opt out after the 1995 season. Bonds had a solid season, batting .317 with 46 HR, 108 RBI & 31 steals.

Pittsburgh's Orlando Merced won the N.L. Batting title with a .345 batting average, while Atlanta's Javy Lopez finished 2nd (.342) & San Diego's Wade Boggs (.341) finished 3rd.

David Justice cooled off after a red-hot start, finishing with a .280 batting average, 35 HR & 119 RBI, while his teammate Fred McGriff led the N.L with 48 HR & 144 RBI, making both totals near duplicates to his 1993 totals (48 HR & 142 RBI).

The National League favorite for Most Valuable Player may be outside of Atlanta in Montreal's Larry Walker, who had a well-rounded season & sat near the top of all the N.L. leader boards. Walker finished the 94' season, batting .338, 41 HR, 118 RBI (1.043 OPS) with 135 runs & 25 steals.... It should be noted he won last year's award.

The A.L. hitting leaders are dominated mostly by the Toronto Blue Jays...

Tony Gwynn (TOR) won his 5th career batting title, but first in the A.L., while batting .361... His teammate John Olerud finished 3rd (.350), while California's Gregg Jefferies (.354) finished 2nd.

Gwynn also led the league with 233 hits, while Olerud led the league with 55 doubles.

Toronto's Matt Williams led the league with 50 HR & 169 RBI, while topping the 400 total bases mark (401).

The Toronto Blue Jays (99-63) will be facing the defending A.L. Champion Oakland Athletics in the 1994 A.L, Championship Series.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Injuries Keep Rearing Its Ugly Head (1994 Braves)

Wohlers is the latest big injury for Braves.
Just a few days ago, I sent a post about my 1994 Atlanta Braves losing Tony Phillips for the season. The Braves decided not to make any trades at the deadline and pressed on with Ron Gant as the Braves' center fielder, then two days after Phillips' injury, Gant was placed on the 15-day disabled list for a sore elbow.

Matters continued to get worse for the Braves, as they lost John Smoltz for 5 weeks due to an oblique strain. The Braves will have to bump Steve Avery to the #3 slot, with Alan Benes bumped up to the #4 slot, while Pete Smith will come over from the pen & serve in the 5th slot. The Braves made a call to Triple-A Richmond, bringing up reliever John Kelly.

Then a few weeks later (Sept 6th) Ryan Klesko was placed on 15-day disabled list for a bruised collarbone. The Braves called up Tony Tarasco for outfield depth.

Then September 18th with Mark Wohlers lost for the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, he will be out 8-9 months. Roberto Hernandez will be moved back to closer role, with Mike Stanton & Mike Maddux as his setup men.

Then Deion Sanders on September 19th, fractured thumb out for 4

Every time the team starts to roll, the team hits a snag of injuries, we'll see how this plays into their chances at a World Championship. The team is currently 94-49, and are about to clinch their division with a 19-game lead on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Their potential playoff opponent is between the N.L. East-leading Montreal Expos (91-51) and the Pittsburgh Pirates, who trail Montreal by 3 games. The Expos are the defending champs, who defeated the Oakland Athletics in the 1993 World Series.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Panthers Keep Rolling (BoS Update)

The Traverse City Panthers keep on rolling in the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League, they entered their series against the Buffalo Yankees, winners of 10 straight, while also winning 17 of their last 20 games prior to the series.

They kept it up, by sweeping Buffalo & winning 16 straight... Their 16 straight victories ties the BoS Record set by the Portland Microbrewers in 2014.

The Panthers currently have the best record in the entire league at 45-18 (.714).

Here is their game-by-game recaps that were sent to the league, via email.

Game 1

Traverse City winners of 10 straight & winners of 17 of their last 20 games, host the Buffalo Yankees (28-29). Corey Kluber after a two-week break, came back with a vengeance with a 5-hit (7-0) shutout that spawned 13 strikeouts... improving his record to 6-3 with a 1.74 ERA. Justin Turner hit his 7th HR, while Nicholas Castellanos hit his 10th, while collecting his 33rd RBI. 

Game 2

Home runs by Corey Seager (11), Nelson Cruz (11) & Yonder Alonso (7) helped Aaron Nola get his 5th win... Nola pitched 6.1 innings, allowing only 5 hits, 1 walk & 1 run, while striking out 6 batters. Panthers win 5-1, making it 12 straight victories.

Game 3 

Back-to-back HRs by Giancarlo Stanton (21) & Carlos Gomez (6) got the ball rolling for the Panthers. This game came down to a lot of pitching strategy for the Panthers, as they squeak out a 4-2 victory. Godley improves to 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA, while striking out 10 in 6 innings.

Game 4

Bullpen & Stanton saves the day! Down 4-1 (top 5th), The Panthers pull starter Reynaldo Lopez (4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 ER/4 R) in favor of Trevor Hildenberger. The bullpen would pitch 4.2 solid innings of relief, while not allowing another hit or run. Giancarlo Stanton's 3-run HR during bottom of 5th would give the Panthers a 5-4 edge, while it was Stanton's 2nd HR of the game (8th Inning) that would help David Robertson get his 3rd Save of the series, bringing his total to 12.

Game 5

It appeared the Panthers' day came, Daniel Norris gave Buffalo a 6-1 lead during the top of the 3rd, but the APBA gods keep coming through for Traverse City, as they score 5 runs during the bottom of the 4th, tying the game at 6-6. Once again, the bullpen (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) saves the day, while Brian Dozier went 2-for-5, HR, 2B & 3 RBI. Giancarlo added 2 doubles, while going 3-for-3, with 2 runs & 3 ribbies. Mychal Givens pitches 2.1 inning save for his 1st save of the season. 

Game 6

Down 3-1, Panthers would score 3 runs with help by back-to-back HRs by Nelson Cruz & Nicholas Castellanos, giving them a 4-3 lead. Heading into the 7th, Panthers call on Mychal Givens who gives up back-to-back HRs to Brandon Moss & Jay Bruce, with Buffalo taking back the lead, 5-4. Corey Seager ties game up 5-5, with a two-out RBI double during bottom of the 7th. The game goes to extras, whiles Panthers are running out of relievers, with Blake Parker on mound (Might have to call on Kluber or Nova)... bottom of the 11th, Nelson Cruz delivers walk-off blast off Chris Devenski... PANTHERS WIN! 16 straight victories, while going 23-3 during last 26 games!

Not to toot my horn, but this team has a lot of swagger right now, they just seem to find ways left and right to pull out wins, I have had my back against the wall in what seemed to be non-winnable situations, and they keep coming up clutch on both sides of the ball. 

Owner of the T.C. Panthers

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Rounding the Bases

A few things from a few of my projects...

Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League

My Traverse City Panthers have been rolling of late, winners of 10 straight, while we also won 17 of our last 20 games. My Panthers currently own the league's best record at 39-18, while holding a 4-game N.L. East Division lead on the Holland Hitchhikers.

The Hitchhikers' Bryce Harper is having a monster season, leading the National League in hitting (.353), On-Base pct (.455), Runs Created, Runs Contributed & OPS (1.167) to go along with his 13 HR, 43 runs & 29 RBI.

Harper's teammate - Aaron Judge leads the entire league with 21 HR, while his Yankee teammate Giancarlo Stanton (Panthers) trails with 20 home runs.

The Panthers, who had a historic offense last season, is among the top offenses again, batting .260 (tops) with 92 HR (4th) & 5.4 runs per game (tied for 3rd). This year they have pitching now, as they top the league with a 3.33 ERA, while opponents are only batting .225 against -- plus only allowing 57 HR (21 HR less than the next best team).

The Hitchhikers' Stephen Strasburg has a perfect 9-0 record to go along with 2.51 ERA & 86 strikeouts in 79 innings of work.

By the way, I no longer the commissioner for this league (that I founded), as I handed the league off to Brad Stark, who is doing a marvelous job running it.

2018 MLB Projections Season

I am currently finishing up the last series of the April portion of the 2018 MLB Schedule, while accumulating all the stats from the first 370+ games, I am half-way done with those, with plenty to come. I hope to be off-and-running (in this case, rolling) in a couple weeks. Up until June 3rd, I have been averaging 33-34 games a week.

I also got new printer ink to do some updated cards & new debut cards as well.

1994 Atlanta Braves Season (Out of the Park 18)

Every time my Braves get rolling, injuries mount up... Our latest blow came with the loss of Tony Phillips for the season (including playoffs).

Since that last post, we have had more injuries rear its ugly head, more in-depth info to come out on that season in my next post. It appears we will be limping to the finish line.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

End of April Approaching

The 2018 MLB Projections Season is almost done with April, while I will attempt to catch up my stats & update cards during the next couple of weeks.

I have been really satisfied with the progress so far, the last group of series for everyone was a bit of a grind that took 10 days or so, but that also had a lot to do with my work schedule constantly changing of late, plus there was Mother's Day and my wife's birthday which was May 22nd.

With new cards in place, I will have a little more easy flow with the game progress and that should help me get rolling again. I am still averaging 33-34 games a week, and that's definitely something not to frown at. Every series is progress, you can't look at a long season as a job, you can't play every single day, that's not at all possible, I am really proud of the fact that I have been able to play at the rate that I have been playing at.

I have made some new updated cards for Justin Verlander and Mookie Betts, who are both having excellent seasons in 2018. I also had to take players down a notch that have been disappointing in the MLB so far.

I plan to do an League Leaders report at the end of April, which will be really cool to see who is doing what, there has been a few surprises and it will be very interesting to watch this season evolve.

More to come...
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