THE FINISH LINE IS FINALLY NIGH FRIENDS. AFTER MONTHS AND MONTHS OF THIS SHIT WE HAVE OUR TWO POTENTIAL CHAMPEENS ALL LINED UP AND READY TO GO, AND IT TOOK A ROUND 2 FEATURING ONE SNOOZER AND ONE NAILBITER TO GET THERE. LET US REVIEW THOSE MATCHUPS FOR HOWEVER LONG I FEEL LIKE REVIEWING THEM, IN DESCENDING ORDER FROM SNOOZER TO NAILBITER…..
MVP: Rhys Fucking Hoskins Folks – RHYS FUCKING HOSKINS FOLKS. I don’t even know what to say really, other than that Rhys Hoskins has maybe already clinched the finest individual performance ever seen in a BackyardBracket and he’s done it all as a High Minors bat. WON’T SEE THIS AGAIN FOLKS. Folks counter: 3. 10/26, 7 Rs, 1 2B, 6 HRs, 15 RBIs, .448 OBP
LVP: Dominic Smith – Dominic Smith got a lot of ABs this round and maybe more than he deserved and he was not good in those ABs. 2/19, 1 RBI, .100 OBP **LVP OF ROUND TWO**
X-Rayz Hitter Of Note: CONTROVERSIALLY TRADED Trey Mancini just put together a helluva R2 performance so I bet a lot of you feel like jackasses over logging those complaints I know I would that was a picture perfect trade (11/23, 4 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, .519 OBP).
X-Rayz Pitcher Of Note: Anddd Chris Archer is definitely on top of his game at this point of the season, and that is something the X-Rayz should feel good about and they should also probably feel good about his chances in an upcoming matchup with the suckass White Sox (13 IP, 2 ER, 18 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 1.38 ERA).
Banana Slugs Hitter Of Note: CONTROVERSIALLY (I would imagine, because you people bitch about everything) we are going to continue to only highlight the losers of the losers so here take a look at this loser named Jose Bautista (2/18, 1 R, 1 RBI, .190 OBP).
Banana Slugs Pitcher Of Note: Also check out this loser Zack Britton who simply couldn’t stay healthy this season and decided to demonstrate that ON THE BIG STAGE OF THE BRACKET following a blown save (0.2 IP, 2 ER, 27.00 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: I will start by saying the Slugs clearly had a pretty poor week at a pretty poor time to do so, that much is clear. This was a poor time to throw up single digit HRs and a mere 33 Rs and an even mere-er 32 RBIs. And despite the loss they had a helluva season and they should be commended for their work in dealing with their team’s share of injuries and the StarMar suspension. HATS OFF TO EM. But also…… hats off to the X-Rayz for their Round 2 performance, as even a “good” week outta Barnegat would likely have been not good enough against these across the board numbers for Point Loma: 47 Rs, 19 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 13 HRs, 59 RBIs, 10 SBs, .3285 OBP, 101 Ks, 9 QS, 5 Ws, 7 Saves, 2 Holds, 1.958 ERA. EASILY the best and most complete performance the X-Rayz have put together PROBABLY EVER and about as well-rounded of a week as you will ever see out of any team in the playoffs. Which is the time of year you would want to have such a week. A sub-2 ERA this time of year is a huge accomplishment and it has a trickle-down effect, if your ERA is under 2 you’ve probably done a solid job in the rest of the pitching cats. So even though the Slugs pitched pretty well (88 Ks, 6 QS, 7 Ws, 7 Saves, 4 Holds, 3.075 ERA) they only ended up taking 2 cats on that side, and none on the other side, and that’s how you get your breakdown here. THE CURSE OF THE BYE CONTINUES and it is as sloppily researched as the Runner Up Curse, which is now officially dead thanks to these dickhead (Bad) Dudes. But we will talk about them in a sec; in this one, the Point Loma X-Rayz are victorious and they move onto the BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES presumably with confidence at an all-time high. The Barnegat Banana Slugs move on to the offseason, but at least school starts back up or something? Maybe play fantasy football? I don’t want to play fantasy sports for a while but I don’t fault anyone that does.
Next Week aka This Week: #3 X-Rayz vs. #4 Bad Dudes, #2 Banana Slugs vs. The Man In The Mirror (perhaps asking him to change his ways?)
MVP: Giancarlo Stanton – In a matchup as tight as this one Stanton’s performance was crucial, he kinda needed to do the work of a couple superstars at once to make up for a few injuries and he kinda did. And so I hate him and I am glad that baseball hit him in the face back when that baseball hit him in the face. 13/29, 8 Rs, 3 2Bs, 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, .500 OBP **MVP OF ROUND TWO**
LVP: Keon Broxton – Keon Broxton got a lot of ABs this round and maybe more than he deserved was not good in them and THIS WILL BE REMEMBERED come next year when a bunch of young OFs come to take his job on my team (and possibly on his actual team). 2/18, 1 RBI, .111 OBP
Bad Dudes Hitter Of Note: Xander Bogaerts delivered the one fucking triple in this matchup and we spent the rest of the week trying to spot start triples outta Kevin Kiermaier so NOTABLE PERFORMANCE XANDER GOOD JOB YOU FUCK (7/24, 6 Rs, 2 2Bs, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, .393 OBP).
Bad Dudes Pitcher Of Note: Dan Straily gave the Bad Dudes 10 Ks across 6 IP and then turned around and joined my team BECAUSE HE IS A WHORE and only delivered 5 against an equally shitty opponent, dick move Dan (6 IP, 3 ER, 10 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 4.50 ERA for RCBD ….. 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 Ks, 1 QS, 3.00 ERA for BPMZ).
MooniniteZ Hitter Of Note: Andrew McCutchen was no peach himself, no peach at all (3/23, 1 R, 1 RBI, .231 OBP).
MooniniteZ Pitcher Of Note: The MooniniteZ tried to draw a line in the sand about what type of player would be too Red Sawksy to get a roster spot and CLEARLY John Lackey was too Red Sawksy and so fuck him he will never be seen on a squad of mine again (5 IP, 6 ER, 3 Ks, 10.80 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: I don’t even know how to approach this one other than to say it was a fucking battle to the bitter end, as both teams put together shiite weekends (well at least Saturday and Sunday, the Bad Dudes Friday was the ultimate difference maker really) and as a result had to rely upon the machinations of a Mets-Nationals Sunday Night Baseball affair to sort this whole thing out. In the end this thing was razor thin and the Bad Dudes pulled it out.
First the weekend numbers: 10 Rs, 5 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs for River City vs. 13 Rs, 6 2Bs, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs for the BPMZ. So hey SLIGHTLY BETTER FOR THE BPMZ RIGHT? But we had to recover from a fairly weak Friday (7 Rs, 3 2Bs, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs) against a very non-weak Friday for the RCBD (12 Rs, 2 2Bs, 5 HRs, 13 RBIs, superior OBP EVERY GODDAMNED DAY) and that put us in a wee bit of a hole.
Now a cherry-picked display of the razor-thin margins: Runs Bad Dudes +1, Triples Bad Dudes +1, HRs MooniniteZ +1, RBIs TIED, Strikeouts Bad Dudes +1, QS Bad Dudes +1, Wins Bad Dudes +1, Holds Bad Dudes +1.
Now a few words about the Sunday evening game: The MooniniteZ headed into the game needing 9 Ks or a Hold between Tanner Roark and Brandon Kintzler to advance via a Tie, presuming no Runs or RBIs for Wilmer Difo and no Holds for whichever clowns the Bad Dudes picked up for the double header (those clowns were Matt Albers and Josh Smoker). And through the first 2 innings was LOOKIN GOOD as Roark racked up 5 Ks through 2 and Difo had yet to Difuck me. But eventually Difo Difucked me (he would score twice) and eventually Roark ran outta gas one K short of the tie and then Hansel Robles Roblew it all cuz he sucks dick and then albers came in for a hold and got a k cuz he is fat and kintzler never sniffed the game not that it mattered and that was that. The Bad Dudes both SWEATIN BULLETS due to the Mets shittiness and then rescued from the jaws of defeat or defeat via tiebreaker by that same Mets shittiness. Years of fanhood validated in a strangely beautiful way. The MooniniteZ fall short after grabbing a First Round Bye for the second year runnin’
The River City Bad Dudes will advance to their third straight BCS, and fourth overall, to take on the Point Loma X-Rayz. The Bellcrest Park MooniniteZ will do none of these things.
Next Week aka This Week: #4 Bad Dudes @. #3 X-Rayz, #1 MooniniteZ @ Retiring To A Quiet Cabin For Months To Ponder What Lies Next For The Franchise But Also Updating This Blog For A Bit Longer So Not Being All That Quiet And Also Not Going To Any Cabins
BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES PREVIEW
AND SO IT IS FINALLY UPON US, after months of annoying trade offers and transactions and complaining about trade offers and transactions and number of DL spots and whether or not people need to adhere to agreed upon start limits in the long weeks and so on and so forth man I am already burnt out on the fantasy front BUT FIRST…..we have a Backyard Championship Series to play out y’all. And it is a good one between two opponents each finding themselves in the BCS for the FOURTH time overall, the third in a row for Bad Dudes ownership and the first appearance for X-Rayz since they joined forces with yours truly to rattle off 3 straight championships in their first 3 years in this league (a league full of the still fantasy bitter and still fantasy jealous that will complain about me even citing those appearances but HEY THEY HAPPENED if “we couldn’t compete with a team with two owners in the playoffs because we aren’t fantasy good enough to do that” is the hill you all want to die on DIE LIKE A DOG ON THAT HILL)…where was I? Sometimes I use too many parentheses and they don’t necessarily function the way I think the inventor of the parentheses intended, WHOMever that person may be. Le’ts talk about this matchup a bit more below, yanno in the actual preview part.
#3 POINT LOMA X-RAYZ VS. #4 RIVER CITY BAD DUDES
We are gonna take this shit apart corner by corner, in honor of boxing being briefly relevant again for a hot moment there, and IN OUR FIRST CORNER we have the #3 Seed Point Loma X-Rayz. I dunno if you are supposed to put the lower seed in the first corner but who fucking cares, the X-Rayz are HERE ladies and gentlemen and they are here to take your beloved trophy and whisk it across the continent baggage fees be damned. And they got here with the same formula that’s gotten them into the playoffs every goddamned season since they took over their individual franchise, and that formula is speed + speed. They were 1st in Triples and Stolen Bases and 2nd in Runs on account of all those speedsters getting into scoring position, they were also last in RBIs BUT DON’T TELL THAT TO THE PLAYOFFS VERSION as they just got finished using Rhys Hoskins and co. to rack up 57 RBIs on a mere 13 HRs, six of which came from Rhys. The X-Rayz actually find themselves 9th in RBIs as a result of all this madness, surpassing those dumb OGTFC because they have everyone on their bench. “WAHHHHH BUT THINK OF THE SEASON LONG STATS.” The point is the X-Rayz can absolutely steal the RBIs category in this matchup (HRs I would likely be a bit less confident in but with Hoskins and an ailing Bad Dudes roster WHO KNOWS) while also maintaining their usual paces in the speed-centric cats and if all that comes together that could spell trouble for their opposition here. So let us meet said opposition.
In the other corner we have the #4 Seeded River City Bad Dudes, making an IMPRESSIVE third straight appearance in the BCS. Would be more impressive if they had one last year, and will end up feeling kinda sad if they lose two in a row, but FOR NOW IMPRESSIVE (take that takedown you fuckers). The Bad Dudes CONTINUE to press on despite mounting injuries to fantasy studs (Harper, Contreras, I guess Lester to an extent, Salazar and now Cespedes) and that is commendable but also fuck them is what I think. River City was the second most prolific HR and RBI team this season so you’ll get a bit of a power vs. speed matchup here, but when this lineup is on and at least relatively healthy they can put up some eye-popping numbers. Their Round 1 offense was so good that I intentionally talked up the X-Rayz Round 2 offense just as a way of ignoring it, but the numbers were the best of the playoffs in most cats and they were as such: 59 Rs, 20 2Bs, 3 3Bs, 21 HRs, 67 RBIs, 7 SBs, .4087 OBP. Just OBLITERATED the Isotopes down to their electrons. They are also as good as anyone at pushing the right buttons this time of year. HENCE the third straight BCS appearance and all. It should also be noted that with Giancarlo Stanton being on another planet the way he is right now (shades of what I presume Bryce Harper was like back in 2015?) you have more wiggle room to push the wrong buttons or push no buttons at all or what have you.
These two teams battled twice in the regular season, I suppose at some point I can stop saying that as it can just be assumed going forward, but yea they did and just as in the first two rounds the Bad Dudes will be taking on an opponent that SWEPT em. Maybe law of averages is on their side or something. In Week 8 it was the X-Rayz defeating the Bad Dudes 7-6-1, and in Week 17 SAME but with a much healthier margin of 10-4-0. Surely the X-Rayz are hoping the Week 17 matchup bodes well given its proximity to this current week (which would technically be Week 21), surely the Bad Dudes are hoping I dunno that it is really hard to beat a team three times in a row or something. And in true baseball playoffs type fashion we have the River City Bad Dudes representing our National Division or League or whatfuckingever and the Point Loma X-Rayz representing our American Division or League or whatfuckingever. So that is cute.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: JUST WATCH. These two teams are as adept as anyone at playoff maneuvering so there could be plenty of fantasy tradecraft along the way but really this is just going to be a real good championship battle, as both teams want this one badly and won’t feel badly about taking it from the other guy. PLENTY OF NARRATIVE here: the Bad Dudes attempting to beat 3 teams they went a combined 0-6 against in the regular season, the X-Rayz attempting to win their first title as a standalone franchise, uhhh they are both named “Mike” or whatever if you’re into that one. I think the Bad Dudes knocked out the X-Rayz last year so there is that. JUST GONNA BE A BATTLE and I expect it to be every bit as tense and down to the wire as the battle the Bad Dudes just endured. You know just to insert myself into the narrative. And WHILE I AM HERE the Bad Dudes would also be reaching 3 titles by going through the other two owners with 3 titles so that’s a narrative thing. LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME. No I am kidding don’t look at me but pay attention to this BCS, because this was a helluva competitive season and as such I expect a competitive finale.
AND SO IT HAS BEEN DECIDED, ONE OF THESE TWO TEAMS SHALL BE OUR 2017 CHAMPION COME THIS TIME NEXT WEEK. I EXPECT THIS ONE TO BE A BATTLE START TO FINISH SO EXPECT SOME LATE-BBQ DRAMA NEXT WEEKEND AND A BUNCH OF BUDDY BUDDY “COMPLIMENTING EACH OTHER’S TEAMS AT 11 PM EST WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IS NOT IN THE CHAT” TYPE STUFF EVERY NIGHT BEFORE THEN. MAYBE NOT SATURDAY. BY SATURDAY SHIT WILL GET REAL. I HOPE.