WEEK 17 CAME AND WENT AND AFTERWARDS WE HAVE OUR FIRST FOUR SEEDS ALL LOCKED UP HERE: THE MOONINITEZ WILL REMAIN THE #1 SEED, WHICH IS WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN SINCE ROUGHLY THE BEGINNING OF JUNE. THEY WILL BE JOINED IN THE FIRST ROUND BYE…..BY…. THE BARNEGAT BANANA SLUGS, A TEAM THAT SAW THEIR IMPRESSIVE 5 GAME WIN STREAK SNAPPED (see below) BUT ALSO A TEAM THAT HASN’T LOST SINCE LIKE MID-JUNE (SO LIKE A 6 WEEK NON-LOSING STREAK, SEE BELOW I TOLD YOU ALREADY!). BEHIND THESE TWO ARE THE POINT LOMA X-RAYZ AND RIVER CITY BAD DUDES JOSTLING FOR THE 3 AND 4 SEEDS, AND BEHIND THOSE TWO ARE FOUR TEAMS BATTLING FOR THE FINAL TWO SPOTS. LET’S LOOK BELOW AND SEE HOW WE GOT TO THIS POINT……
(Editor’s Note: All the stuff I have said about the Bad Dudes having clinched the 4th at worst is a lie because he is a disappointment, TURNS OUT he can drop lower if the ‘Topes take em to town the way they took em to town in that HR Derby…..)
MVP: Elvis Andrus – A slew of solid performances from the X-Rayz bats but Elvis went out and swatted 7 DOUBLES on the way to a .500 OBP and that helped the X-Rayz set the season record for doubles and that shall be commended herein. 14/29, 3 Rs, 7 2Bs, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, .500 OBP
LVP: Xander Bogaerts – Sure you stole a base and hit a two bagger and scored twice but what ELSE did you really do Xander? And also fuck you ya dirty Red Sawk. 5/21, 2 Rs, 1 2B, 1 SB, .273 OBP
X-Rayz Hitter Of Note: Lorenzo Cain CONTINUES to put up his best season since that season that I used to flip him and a draft pick for Joey Votto (10/24, 5 Rs, 3 2Bs, 2 RBIs, 4 SBs, .440 OBP).
X-Rayz Pitcher Of Note: Anddd the shark man Jeff Samardzija continues his up and down season, has rebounded nicely in his past 3 starts after getting rocked twice in a row by the lowly Padres (14.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 3.77 ERA).
Bad Dudes Hitter Of Note: I had a hard time deciding amongst the bad performers for Lobman’s LVP so let’s ignore Wilson Contrera’s 5 HRs/13 RBIs to highlight Rougned Odor‘s continuing efforts to chase down Alcides Escobar for baseball’s worst OBP (5/29, 4 Rs, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, .172 OBP).
Bad Dudes Pitcher Of Note: On the positives end Ervin Santana tossed up YET ANOTHER CG, the Bad Dudes will be rather pleased with themselves if he can repeat the feat in the playoffs (9 IP, 2 ER, 9 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 1 CG, 2.00 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: Don’t let this score fool you this one was a bit more lopsided than it even appears, as the Bad Dudes offense waited til Sunday to get going and the X-Rayz offense was fairly solid throughout (except for RBIs, where they failed to clear the 40+ plateau I have taken a liking to mentioning). But yes a bit of a wire to wire beatdown by Point Loma, en route to scoring 8 more Runs than any other team in the league and hitting 9 more Doubles than any other team. The X-Rayz also displayed downright PROWESS with their bullpen numbers, 8 Saves 4 Holds, and used their bullpen and their speedsters to go a tidy 5-2 on each side of the CAT COIN. The Bad Dudes actually had a strong power showing in 17, 19 HRs 54 RBIs, accounting for the two cats they took there. And with this impressive victory, the 2nd most impressive victory against Lobman this week (the first being Mikey T’s captivating performance to steal the HR Derby crown #BelieveTheSleeve), the X-Rayz swap placed with the Bad Dudes and slot into 3rd place in the Backyard Bracket. The X-Rayz simply need to beat the 10th place Morning Wood in Week 18 to hold onto that position (a Bad Dudes loss would accomplish the same) and MORE IMPORTANTLY slot on the opposite side of the oleeee Backyard Bracket from yours truly. For the River City Bad Dudes, they head into Week 18
having already clinched the 4 seed I THINK needing a win to hold onto the 4 seed at worst and also to attempt to knock out their HR Derby nemesis and his Astoria Isotopes.
Next Week aka This Week: X-Rayz @ Morning Wood (#3 v. #10), Bad Dudes vs. Isotopes (#4 v. # GOD KNOWS anywhere from 5-8)
MVP: Mike Trout – Mike Trout is back to being Mike Trout, he’s so insanely good that I keep avoiding putting his picture up for these things. HE IS LIKE THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD IN THAT WAY. 10/22, 6 Rs, 1 2B, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs, 1 SB, .571 OBP
LVP: Patrick Corbin – The ‘Topes got saddled with the bad Patrick Corbin start in Week 17. And yes I am only giving him this so I can give him an MVP later on (SPOILER ALERT). 3 IP, 7 ER, 3 Ks, 21.00 ERA
OGTFC Hitter Of Note: Yasiel Puig one of a few different trade deadline acquisitions that came through for the OGTFC this week (Dozier 3 HRs, Verlander SEE BELOW) so they are really getting some bang for their buck at least (6/20, 7 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 2 RBIs, 1 SBs, .417 OBP).
OGTFC Pitcher Of Note: Justin Verlander looked absolutely cooked at a few different points this season but now here we are in early August and he’s rattled off 4 straight QS and 5 outta his last 6 (7 IP, 2 ER, 10 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 2.57 ERA).
Isotopes Hitter Of Note: Heyyyy Cody Bellinger, nearly forgot about this guy ever since he ever so slightly slowed down his HR pace (6/25, 5 Rs, 4 HRs, 6 RBIs, 1 SB, .269 OBP).
Isotopes Pitcher Of Note: Cole Hamels has been pretty good this year TAKE NOTE PEOPLE, I’ll always be a fan (15 IP, 3 ER, 12 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 1 CG, 1.80 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: GOOD GOD we are nearing the Mark of the Beast playoffs scenario we have all feared, as the OGTFC continue to stumble their way towards somehow sneaking into the fuckin’ dance here despite a hideous affront to nature of a record (2-3-3 over their last 8). And worst of all PLAYING PRETTY WELL, as they managed to outslug this season’s top sluggling team (albeit on a bit of a down week for the ‘Topes) and managed to pitch rather effectively (85 Ks, 8 QS, 5 Ws, 5 Saves, 3 Holds, 3.012 ERA, 2nd best mark of the week in ERA and t-2nd best mark for QS and Holds) which hasn’t exactly been a calling card for their titular defensular season. Their one blemish this week was their RBI total, they had the fewest runs batted in for Week 17 but I doubt they much give a shit about that. And for the ‘Topes this is yet another week that fell short of their usually lofty slugging standards; while 13 HRs 40 RBIs certainly aren’t anything to sneeze at, they speak to a team a bit out of rhythm down the stretch here. The Isotopes season-long numbers certainly paint the picture of a team that can’t exactly pitch itself to victory and that showed itself to be the case here, with a Cole Hamels CG representing their only cat win on the pitching side of things (also tied in Wins). The Isotopes could have used this one to possibly climb up the bracket and put the nail in the OGTFC coffin but INSTEAD they now find themselves currently listed as the 7th seed, AND THE OGTFC ARE VERY MUCH ALIVE. The Fishing Club arrive at Week 18 with a huuuuuge matchup awaiting them, a battle with Rojo’s Renegade Force. The Astoria Isotopes find themselves in a huge matchup pretty much only for them though, when they take on the River City Bad Dudes and attempt to beat the Bad Dudes brass twice in 8 days (THE FIRST TIME BEING THAT SENSATIONAL HR DERBY VICTORY).
Next Week aka This Week: OGTFC vs. RRF (WHO KNOWS THEY ARE BOTH FIGHTING FOR THEIR PLAYOFF LIVES I THINK CURRENTLY THEY ARE LISTED AS EIGHTH AND FIFTH), Isotopes vs. Bad Dudes (#4 v. likeeee #7 or something, this is all kinda confusing currently)
MVP: Paul Goldschmidt – Pauly G is arrrrrrguably the top player in fantasy this particular season but also that is maybe Charlie Blackmon but also maybe we should just wait for THE PLAYER RATER AWARDS (be forewarned those things go a bit nuts with their love of the SB, I AM JUST SAYIN’). 6/21, 7 Rs, 5 HRs, 9 RBIs, .400 OBP ***MVP OF THE WEEK***
LVP: Joey Gallo – Not muchhh outta Gallo in Week 16, as he continues to straddle that .200 or so batting average line all goddamned season. 3/14, 2 RBIs, .313 OBP
RRF Hitter Of Note: Apologies to Joey Gallo and his 5 HR/10 RBI week but Chris Taylor JROLL EVERYBODY (8/25, 9 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs, 1 SB, .370 OBP).
RRF Pitcher Of Note: Corey Kluber continues his ass kickery (9 IP, 1 ER, 11 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 1 CG, 1.00 ERA).
BDSliderz Hitter Of Note: Also ALEX BREGMAN JROLL EVERYBODY and a BEAUT but also too bad you lost no MVP consideration for you (10/26, 7 Rs, 4 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, 3 SBs, .452 OBP).
BDSliderz Pitcher Of Note: The Phillies can’t seem to get Aaron Nola a W but he is still good again and ’twas a good pickup for the BDSliderz and good good good (13 IP, 4 ER, 10 Ks, 2 QS, 2.77 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: In perhaps the most important battle of Week 17 for playoffs type stuff, and the most important battle to date in 2017 for each of these teams cuz that is kinda how this works the battles get more important as time goes on…..anyways…..I forget where I was, but Rojo’s Renegade Force won a MUST WIN here and gained the important Season Series Sweep over the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz. Is what happened here. The Renegade Force continued their strong play of late (4-1-1 in their last 6) and as a result they continue to control their own destiny. This latest victory was achieved through strong power numbers (20 HRs, 63 RBIs both tops in the league for the week) and good enough pitching (particularly the Klubez CG) and just basically holding on for dear life on Sunday as Lacey attempted to mount a bit of a comeback, lead by a pitching staff that rattled off 3 QS but 0 Wins (BDSliderz would win QS 9-8, lose Wins 7-4). An Alex Bregman triple helped the LTBS tie that cat but couldn’t get them to tie the week, but GOT A JROLL so yanno……maybe that is what matters most here. Rojo’s Renegade Force knows their work is not done, however, as they now head into another must win when they take on last year’s champs in Week 18. The Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz also find themselves in a can’t lose scenario when they host the Barnegat Banana Slugs, who already have their position in the Backyard Bracket set in stone. So it will be interesting to see how they play that one, LEAGUE INTEGRITY AND ALL.
Next Week aka This Week: RRF @ OGTFC (oh whatfuckingever just wait a week it will sort itself out), BDSliderz vs. Banana Slugs (OhWhatFuckingEver v. #2)
MVP: Eduardo Nunez – GOD THIS IS SO WEIRD giving the Morning Wood an MVP. And weirdly enough, that MVP is also Eduardo Nunez. Weird weird weird. 11/28, 4 Rs, 4 2Bs, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs, .393 OBP ***MVP OF THE WEEK*** CUZ I MEAN THIS IS A MORNING WOOD VICTORY HERE
LVP: Manuel Margot – Manny Margot getting the extended tryout with the Titans as they look for possible 2018 pieces, and he wasn’t all that great I guess but WAS OKAY. 3/14, 2 RBIs, .313 OBP
Morning Wood Hitter Of Note: GOD THIS IS SO WEIRD having their team go first, but yes Justin Upton also helped contribute to this historic week (7/25, 5 Rs, 2 2Bs, 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, .267 OBP).
Morning Wood Pitcher Of Note: They had a debut from their team’s future (Erick Fedde) that I could note but instead I want to note Jacob Faria who CONTINUES to be real good for the Rays, so good that I’ll probably try and acquire him with yet another overpay to the QTC this very off-season (6 IP, 1 ER, 9 Ks, 1 QS, 1.50 ERA).
Titans Hitter Of Note: Tim Beckham, another guy getting himself a tryout for the Titans, HAD HIMSELF A WEEK with 14 gotdamned hits great time to finally give up on him Tampa (14/24, 6 Rs, 3 2Bs, 1 3B, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs, .600 OBP).
Titans Pitcher Of Note: Chris Sale got hit the hardest he’s been hit all season and, as with all Red Sawks, good fuck him (5 IP, 5 ER, 7 Ks, 12.60 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: WHAT CAN REALLY BE SAID HERE?! The last time the Morning Wood won a game Richard Nixon was president. That isn’t true but I wish it was, particularly considering the ineptitude of the current administration. But lets not get all political this is about the AM Bonerz triumph, a triumph they maybe couldn’t have risen to (hehe) without the help of the Titans (only started 7, probably paid little to not attention to the proceedings, etc. etc.) but A TRIUMPH NONETHELEAD. The Morning Wood rose to the occasion (hehe) in what was possibly their last decent chance at a win in the 2017 season by posting PRETTY GOOD across the board numbers that would have given plenty of teams some trouble, I’ll highlight the category wins here: 49 Runs, 18 Doubles, 19 HRs, 48 RBIs, 86 Ks, 6 Saves. High quality numbers, certainly good enough to beat a Titans franchise that is in a bit of a tryouts phase at best here. The Titans only started 7 AND I HOPE THEY REALIZE the symbolism, failing to start 12 in a few other matchups is maybe the reason they aren’t in this jumbled mess of a playoff picture to begin with. Chew on THAT Ryan. Anyways, both of these teams will play other teams in Week 18 and what they do in those games will not matter. Actually this isn’t entirely true, the Morning Wood can look to possibly knock the X-Rayz down to 4th and grab their SECOND 2 game win streak of the year and their first since the first two weeks of the goddamned year. So that is something to play for. The Toms River Titans take on the already-clinched-first-place Manchester MooniniteZ and FORTUNATELY that is the case because 1) I didn’t really want to have to participate in Week 18 I was looking ahead to 20 already and 2) We might have seen a meltdown if the Titans didn’t start 12 and gave us the 1 seed. Not gonna name names. Fortunately none of that will be the case and now it is debatable if these two teams will even COMBINE for 12 starts. BUT WE ARE OFF THE RAILS HERE, AGAIN THIS IS ALL ABOUT THE Q-TIP CITY MORNING WOOD, CONGRATULATIONS ON WIN NUMBER THREE Q-TIP CITY MORNING WOOD.
Next Week aka This Week: Morning Wood vs. X-Rayz (#10 v. #3), Titans @ MooniniteZ (#9 v. #1)
2017 WEEK 17 GAME OF THE WEEK, SPONSORED BY THIS KEWL GAME OF THE WEEK THING AGAIN
MVP: Patrick Corbin – Patrick Corbin pulled a realllll fucking magic trick that ended up being the difference this week, as by the time late Sunday rolled around a lot of Ks were needed and a QS was needed in order for the MooniniteZ to salvage a tie and he delivered BOTH. The magical part is he actually gave up 6 Runs and we just got enough luck with the way the errors worked out to grab the QS and grab the tie, which is swell. 6 IP, 3 ER, 10 Ks, 1 QS, 4.50 ERA
LVP: Trevor Story – VINDICATION I TELL YOU! 3/18, 1 R, 1 SB, .211 OBP ***LVP OF THE WEEK***
MooniniteZ Hitter Of Note: Joey Votto is good, currently has a .469 second half OBP second only to Paul Goldschmidt who is better (9/19, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, .583 OBP).
MooniniteZ Pitcher Of Note: Jimmy Nelson has quietly been dealing and even though he gets NO RESPECK around these parts I have been happy to have him aboard, save it for Round 2 Jimmy (14 IP, 3 ER, 16 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 1.93 ERA).
Banana Slugs Wood Hitter Of Note: Josh Donaldson for like the first time all season kinda looking a bit like himself, BETTER LATE THAN NEVER SAVE IT FOR ROUND TWO J-DON (6/21, 6 Rs, 2 2Bs, 3 HRs, 6 RBIs, .429 OBP).
Banana Slugs Pitcher Of Note: And in other good news for the Slugs, Luis Severino he a beast (11.2 IP, 2 ER, 17 Ks, 1 QS, 2 Ws, 1.54 ERA).
ASSORTED MUSINGS/ANALYSIS: WELL THAT SETTLES THAT. The Manchester (or whatever they are eventually named) MooniniteZ will be your #1 seed, and by virtue of tying this one rather than winning or losing this one the Barnegat Banana Slugs are locked in as your #2. This one was a helluva battle folks, I know ‘cuz I was there. Runs bounced back and forth all weekend (da Slugs would pull away Sunday and win this Cat 40-37) and upon briefly grabbing the lead due to Matt Carpenter triple Manchester ended up RELINQUISHING said lead after 3 Sunday Holds came pouring outta the Barnegat bullpen. This put the MooniniteZ in a sitch where they basically needed 6 Ks and a QS from Patrick Corbin just to eke out a tie, and as you may have read above they got 10 Ks and a QS and BOOM ballgame (Kenley would add 3 Ks later as Kenley sometimes does). Despite losing a chance at the #1 seed the Slugs have to be feeling pretty okay with a tie here, as they clinch a bye and now get to sit back and relax in the Backyard Championship League’s First Round and really the 1 seed vs. 2 seed thing might only matter if they end up tying the MooniniteZ again in the BCS and LET US NOT GET AHEAD OF OURSELVES HERE. For now, both these teams will be at their leisure for the next two weeks. TECHNICALLY the Manchester MooniniteZ will be playing the 9th place Titans in Week 18 and maybe they want to set some sort of win percentage record for the new 18 game format but also maybe they don’t give a shit either way. The Barnegat Banana Slugs have a more interesting matchup, as they take on a Lacey Twp team that really would like to win in order to get themselves into the Backyard’s Big Dance. The Banana Slugs can ruin that, and the Banana Slugs still have a 6 week uhhh not losing streak and can tie the season high streak of 7 (set by ME) with a tie or a win. If that sort of thing matters, not sure it does. Pretty sure it doesn’t. The point is the Slugs MooniniteZ and X-Rayz all have had 5 week winning streaks and of those three the Slugs have lost uhhh least recently. But they also didn’t beat me this season. ALMOST NONE OF YOU DID (yet). So….. nana nana boo boo.
Next Week aka This Week: MooniniteZ vs. Titans (#1 v. #9), Banana Slugs @ BDSliderz (#2 v. # WhoFuckingKnowsAtThisJuncture)
AND SO THE STAGE……….HAS BEEN SET. TOP 4 SEEDS ALL BUT FIGURED OUT, ALTHOUGH THE X-RAYZ CAN STILL SURRENDER THE THREE SEED IF THE BONERZ SOMEHOW WIN TWO WEEKS IN A ROW (HIGHLY UNLIKELY). AND THEN YOU HAVE FOUR TEAMS BATTLING IT OUT FOR THE FINAL TWO PLAYOFF SPOTS. TRULY BEAUTIFUL. ALMOST AS BEAUTIFUL AND DOWN TO THE WIRE AS MIKEY T’S THRILLING WIFFLE BALL HR DERBY VICTORY. TUNE INTO WEEK 18 FOR SIMILAR THRILLS AND CHILLS AND LESS ELBOW INJURIES, AS WE WILL BE SITTING THIS ONE OUT AS WELL (AND ROUND 1, SITTING THAT ONE OUT TOO)