AT LONG LAST the 2019 season nears its conclusion, as we are actually on like DAY THREE of the BCS and it’s anyone’s chip to win. First I need to tell you how the two teams still standing got here. Let’s do that, using my own personal fave KEY CAT format (the cat key is so kewt)…
(ps if you think I’m covering the consolation bracket you have another thing coming bucko)
Ocean Gate Fishing Club Defeat What Were At The Time Known As The East Coast Kings – 7-5-2
MVP: Lucas Giolito – If Lucas Giolito is even a smidddddge less dominant in his lone start of the week perhaps it’s the Kings that move on to the BCS. But that isn’t what happened, Giolito dominated and the Kings lost. 9 IP, 0 ER, 12 Ks, 1 QS, 1 W, 1 CG, 0.00 ERA
LVP:Brendan McKay – On the flip side of the young stud pitcher coin you have Mr. McKay who was NOT dominant, and only lasted 2 innings in his lone start. First time in the Bracket jitters, one surmises. 2 IP, 3 ER, 1 Ks, 13.50 ERA
Quality Starts. It isn’t too often that you see a QS matchup end 9-7, not in TODAY’S BASEBALL no sir. But that is what happened, in a week where both teams got on base at a pretty good clip and pitched WELL with the Fishing Club pitching well-er. Giolito had that dagger CG shutout, Shane Bieber (2 QS) continued being a lot better than I thought he was gonna be, and some guy named Brock Burke also contributed 2 QS of his own. The Kings got 2 QS apiece out of Kershaw and Strasburg, and pitched quite well overall, but ultimately that slight edge in QS pointed to slightly better numbers across the board for the Fishing Club staff. And because of that, they move on.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: The Fishing Club had the most QS, most Ws, best ERA in Round 2…Jose Abreu had the most RBIs in the round (11)…The Kings had the best OBP in R2 by a pretty good margin, they also owned one of the two players in the whole damned round with 3 or more HRs (GleyberTorres, 3 HRs)… LOOK WHERE THAT GOT EM.…
Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz Defeat Point Loma X-Rayz – 9-5-0
MVP: Justin Verlander – Nobody really JUMPS off the page for their performances here (though there was plenty of decent performances) and I just think that a CG in a playoff matchup is super clutch, particularly if you’re the higher seed, and so fuck it I’m giving it to the other pitcher that threw a CG.9 IP, 2 ER, 11 Ks, 1 QS, 1 CG
LVP:Jon Lester – Gonna pin this one on Jon Lester because he’s still a Sawk to me. THANKS FOR NOTHIN’, JON LESTER. 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 2 Ks, 12.46 ERA
ERA. LIVE BY THE BULK DIE BY THE BULK. The X-Rayz are alway at the forefront of Backyard innovation and the bulk reliever strategy has served them well on many-a-week (it basically did its job of winning Ks and Ws in this week, tbh) BUT the dark side is sometimes your bulk relievers get lit up and sometimes your actual starters don’t pull their weight either and then boom you lose ERA 2.74 to 5.60. Truthfully the ERA is not entirely the fault of bulk relievers (the X-Rayz managed just 2 QS to the Sliderz’ 7) BUT guys like Jalen Beeks (9 ER in 10 IP), Austin Pruitt (6 ER in 5.2 IP), and Wade LeBlanc (4 ER in 4.1 IP) did the X-Rayz no favors. Conversely you have the BackdoorSliderz getting 2 QS out of Aaron Nola (oops) and a CG out of Justin Verlander and a gem out of deGrom (7 IP, 1 ER, 13 Ks) and so yea that team was the one that won. The X-Rayz needed near-perfect pitching to have a shot at the upset and they did not….get…..that. The ERA tells us so.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: The X-Rayz tossed ONE HUNDRED NINETEEN innings utilizing 31 pitchers in this matchup (92 IP from 21 pitchers for Lacey Twp)….The X-Rayz also racked up 7 triples which feels excessive…Freddie Freeman had the most HRs in R2 (4), Juan Sotohad the most Rs (13)in Week 16…
BACKYARD CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES PREVIEW
AND SO IT IS FINALLY UPON US……once again……cuz this happens every year we have a league obviously….
#1 LACEY TWP BACKDOORSLIDERZ VS. #3 OCEAN GATE FISHING CLUB
I mean in a way WHAT IS TO REALLY PREVIEW HERE, it’s Cody Bellinger & Ronald Acuna Jr. vs. Mike Trout & Mookie Betts. But in another way, that’s not entirely accurate as these two teams sneakily finished 1-2 in overall ERA. So let’s try and touch on that as well. In the past I’ve done this corner by corner so let’s start with the CHALLENGERS to the throne, the Ocean Gate (sometimes Trout) Fishing Club. The OGFC finished with this season with the #3 seed, which certainly came in handy when they tied the #6 seed in the first round. They did so riding the bats of the guys I mentioned above but ALSO Josh Bell has 33 HRs and 104 RBIs right now and ALSO Jose Abreu was a smart deadline addition and ALSO Trea Turnerand that trio of Cubs sluggers are still here and ALSO Yordan Alvarez (21 HRs in 219 ABs, .420 OBP) has been on fucking fire. If there’s a team in the league that can challenge Lacey Twp in the Bats Dept., this is the team. And FORTUNATELY, for those rooting against back-to-back championships just on general principle (not sure who would do such a thing), this team isn’t built on bats alone. Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, Luis Castillo, & Lucas Giolito are all very good starting pitcher mens and Felipe Vazquez, Josh Hader, & Seth Lugo are good reliever mens. And the Fishing Club will need just about everyone I name-dropped and/or alluded to in this paragraph to be on their fucking game because uhhh, they’re challenging a team that’s lost once in 19 matchups (TO THE BEARS MIGHT I ADD).
And that team, is of course and unfortunately the top-seeded defending champeen Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz. The Sliderz have breezed through the entire season by pairing a feared group of youthful hitters with an equally impressive pitching staff, truly there’s been no real holes on this team all season (hence only losing once, to the Bears). Acuna Jr., Soto, Bellinger, Albies, Bregman those are all good players and that’s from the paragraph I wrote last season and OH they also have KestonHiuranow and Freddie Freeman is still here and still good and at this point it’s just a small blessing that Fernando Tatis Jr.is donezo for the seasono. Every time I write out these names I feel like apologizing to the rest of the league, so lets switch to pitching so I can just quickly apologize for Aaron Nola (overrated) and move on to the other guys. Verlander, deGrom, Greinke are all older or old-ish but very good, they also have Walker Buehler whom is very young but very good. Their bullpen is solid enough to where I don’t feel like mentioning them but ALSO I probably should because they had 7 Saves in Round 2 (I assume Roberto Osuna is to blame but fuck him). ANYWHO, this team lead the league in Runs and HRs and OBP I do believe and they also were basically top 5 across the board and that’s why they are at where they are at, which is one win away from back-to-back championships for the first time since 2013 (I think we all know whom that was but A REFRESHER IF NEEDED: https://backyardviewsblog.com/2016/08/31/the-history-of-the-league-2011-2013-special-dynasty-edition/).
Overall, it’s hard to argue that these two teams don’t deserve to be in the BCS because ON PAPER they have perhaps the two most impressive rosters and IN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE yanno……one team only lost once all year, the other grabbed the 3 seed (and they’re notorious underachievers). Fortunately this preview is being released while everything’s pretty much a toss-up, everyone feel free to take your sides now because EITHER WAY the league is saddled with another unfortunate champeen. Pick the lesser of two evils I guess? If you give a shit at all?
BECAUSE everyone else is SELFISH (and because I want to properly memorialize the death of the Bad Dudes, and because look how adorable lil Tony Kemp is) I am here to crank out a Quick Hitters despite currently BATTLING for my BRACKET LIVELIHOOD with an X-Rayz team that just blew the doors off us in the Thursday games portion of the matchup. Fortunately these things tend to be decided Friday-Sunday and fortunately, even if I lose it’s just to Odom <3, but STILL. This weight shouldn’t fall on my shoulders, and yet here I am, carrying this pitiful operation to the finish line. I’ll go back and post Quick Hitters for some random weeks we missed in Like November.
But yea Doch you’re selfish, Bad Dudes you’re dead, let’s cover Week 18 so its spirits can finally rest….
Bears (8-9-1) over Kings (10-8) — 10-3-1
MVP: Jonathan Villar (1 JROLL, .519 OBP)
lvp: Gleyber Torres (0-12)
Banana Slugs (7-10-1) over Isotopes (8-10) — 9-3-2
Lets get this out of the way first, shall we? The BackdoorSliderz put the finishing touches on the best REGULAR season in Backyard history, by winning percentage, and did so in LOUD fashion by setting the Runs record and shattering the HRs record and sending the Renegade Force straight to hell. A fitting end for both, now lets all root against Lacey and root for 2007 Patriots memes.
Lets also get this out of the way, The Bears are BACK IN THE DANCE (at least for now) for the first time since they became the Bears in fact. Last season the squad infamously lost 5 in a row to miss the playoffs, this season they won 3 in a row to make the playoffs (#4 seed) after publicly declaring they wouldn’t be able to win said 3 in a row based upon the quality of their opponents. Well turns those opponents all SUCKED, and can suck IT….nerds. But yea lets all root for this team but not too hard, we can kinda take it or leave it at this point in terms of “winning a playoff matchup”. Seems like a chore.
The X-Rayz ended their season in a fitting manner, establishing a new Strikeouts record with their signature (for this season at least, and lets face it probably forever this is Odom we are talking about) bulk-relief strategy. Somehow this team is once again in the playoffs, despite having the ugliest Opening Day roster for like the second or third season in a row, slotting in as the #5 seed….. again despite a truly hideous roster at times, times that extended beyond Opening Day. The roster is less hideous now, Jose Ramirez in particular is less hideous now, and they’re using the Age of the Opener to their full advantage as only they can. Everyone should know better than to sleep on this franchise in the Backyard Bracket.
UNFORTUNATELY the Astoria Isotopes clung to a playoff spot when it was all said and done, but at least the Barnegat Banana Slugs didn’t?
And LAST BUT NOT LEAST, RIP to the last active “never missed the playoffs mehhhh” streak that The Old Heads liked to lord over the newer generation (we are not counting 2 in a row shut up Doch)…. and with it RIP to the River City Bad Dudes. The Dudes had a shot at a spot had a few things broke their way but first they needed to win and THEY DIDN’T, and those things didn’t break I don’t think, and I’m sure there’s a bunch of excuses they’ll give you about all of this but don’t listen to them they are just some loser non-playoff team why would you ever listen to them. The blender half-full view on all this is now they can’t quit the league or whatever and also now they have this delightful new team name: River City Fightin’ Margs LOOK HOW KEWWWWT…….
Oh yea also the Ocean Gate Fishing Club still exists and they’re in the #BYB as the 3 seed. Also the Lakehurst Leviathans still exist and they are not in the #BYB but TRENDING UP. There now I’ve named everyone I think. Oh The East Coast Kings….. they have the 2nd bye, well-deserved, we here in Island Beach appreciate the tenacity with which they approached our Week 18 battle (jkjk look at the #s BRIAN, extra starters wouldn’t have mattered)
MVP OF THE WEEK:
RONALD ACUNA JR.
13/31, 12 Rs, 6 HRs, 10 RBIs, 3 SBs, .471 OBP
LVP OF THE WEEK:
1 Spineless Quitter
Jonathan Villar (IBB, 2) [11/24, 6 Rs, 2 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 SBs, .519 OBP]
Fernando Tatis Jr. (LTBS, 3) [7/25, 5 Rs, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs, 2 SBs, .379 OBP]
MOST JROLLs BY TEAM: Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz & Barnegat Banana Slugs – EIGHT (tie)
FEWEST JROLLs BY TEAM: Astoria Isotopes – ONE, and it was Freddy Galvis, so gross.
AND SO, AS CLEARLY ILLUSTRATED ABOVE, YOUR 2019 JROLL AWARD WINNER…….
ADALBERTO MONDESI. Adalberto was the early season favorite once it became clear that trading him for Carlos Martinez was actually a bad idea, and he takes the JROLL crown despite only appearing in 82 games. WHICH IS IMPRESSIVE. Congrats to Adalberto and to the Lakehurst Leviathans for rostering Adalberto.
Thank you for tuning in to Week 18 QUICK HITTERS. ENJOY THE BACKYARD BRACKET EVERYONE (particularly all you losers that are watching from home)(whom I will eventually join)
OH YEAAAA FEELIN goooood here at the blog. Not so good that I actually want to write out a Week Review but good enough to write out a QUICK HITTAZ. Which honestly will likely offend the people that tried to HIJACK this blog even more. I suspect SOME PEOPLE find Quick Hitters offensive because of its brevity and to those people I say:
“Brevity is the brother of brilliance” — George Steinbrenner, allegedly, like at least once…
I also say fuck you, write a review yourself then you illiterate bastards. ON TO Week 17 Quick Hitters…
BUT FIRST, an important note on the tie-breaking procedures that will undoubtedly affect that whole Backyard Bracket thing that’s gonna start in another week….
Head to Head playoff tiebreakers:
Head to Head
Total Season Stats
Record Last 9 Games
Longest Win Streak
Most 10+ category win weeks
More than 2 team tiebreakers:
Head to Head (requires a complete sweep by one team)
Record Last 9 Games
Longest Win Streak
Most 10+ Category Win Weeks
What does all of that mean for The Backyard Bracket this year?! FUCK IF I KNOW, I thought about writing up detailed scenarios but that already seems really hard. Please refer to Mike’s crudely written charts as a starter course:
BBOTW: BackdoorSliderz (16 and ONE) over Bad Dudes (6-8-3) — 11-2-1
MVP: Walker Buehler (MVPOTW)
lvp: Wilson Contreras (3-16, 1 R, 1 RBI, .188 OBP)
WEEK 17 QUICK NOTES:
The Kings wrapped up the #2 seed in Week 17, and those fux in Lacey have had the #1 seed wrapped up since like early June, so we have our top two all set for the #BackyardBracket. #s 3 through 6 will be an ABSOLUTE MESS, but that mess will have sorted itself out by this time next week (hopefully).
The Isotopes stopped the bleeding in Week 17 with a much-needed win (previously had lost 4 in a row, previous to this previously had won 7 in a row, previous to the previous to the previous previously had lost their first 5 to start 2019) over the Renegade Force. With the victory they now find themselves poised to grab the #3 seed or the 4 or the 5 or the 6 or the 7.
The Bears lead the league in runs scored for the second week in a row, perhaps coinciding with Jose Altuve having two working legs perhaps coinciding with the team trolling their owner for declaring they couldn’t win out. They still might not win out, but probably need a W combined with a Renegade Force L to make the playoffs. They’ve already won though, when you really think about it.
The Banana Slugs managed to stave off formal elimination in Week 17 with a victory over the X-Rayz, both teams would be out if the playoffs started today (I think? I know for da Slugs) but THEY DON’T, so that’s fortunate for them and for the league as a whole. Need to sort this mess out.
UNFORTUNATELY that means there is one team that has been eliminated from #BYB contention and that team is the Lakehurst Leviathans, a blog favorite. Regardless of coming up short of their goal in the 2019 season the Leviathans can hold their heads hight for TWO (2) reasons: 1- They have more wins this season than their first two seasons combined, in a particularly brutal year within the Backyard. and 2- They called out ESPN in a tweet which netted us a potential free trial on Fantrax, or maybe it inspires ESPN to get their shit together, or maybe some combo of the two. Hats off to the 2019 Lakehurst Leviathans, look forward to seeing what they can do in 2020 (should the league exist, @Brian ;)).
WEEK 17 QUICK AWARDS / JROLLS
MVP OF THE WEEK:
WALKER BUEHLER (partly cuz he was last time so it saves me from finding a new GIF)
OUR LONG BACKYARDONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER. A few weeks ago the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz were some sort of undefeated unstoppable juggernaut (likely influenced by some wholly unsustainable BABIPs but I digress), their heel of an asshole of an owner had taken over the blog with promises of timely content and copious wrestling references, and things looked bleaked folks. Fast forward a few weeks and there has been very little content (FRAUD), and the BackdoorSliderz have finally tasted defeat in the 2019 Backyard season (FRAUD), and now I have returned to write about it in longform while also restoring Jimmy Rollins to his rightful JROLL throne. If you’re threatening an undefeated season culminating in a second straight championship we are forced to take you seriously because that THREATENS the 3PO greatest team of all time narrative. And that allows you a little leeway within the blogosphere. But now you’re just some fraud that’s got a first round bye that’s got to HOPE AND PRAY their team’s insanely good fortunes aren’t running out all at once at the worst possible time. Better to be .450 BABIPing in August and not April, folks. To be fair they also have insanely good players BUT you also have to yanno, HOPE AND PRAY those guys don’t slump or get injured. I see vulnerability in the Lacey’s beady little eyes…..
Oh yea there’s also some other matchups that happened, the X-Rayz finally bulk reliever’d their way to the Ks record, etc. etc. etc. all will be covered BUT FIRST…..
East Coast Kings Perhaps Permanently Pummel Playoff Plans Pertaining Towards The Barnegat Banana Slugs (Probably?) – 12-2-0
MVP: Nelson Cruz – Honestly I forgot the Kings even HAD Nelson Cruz (been kinda outta the review game for a minute) but LOVE IT LOVE HIM love the energy, he’s my second favorite Old Man Masher in baseball (see opening GIF for #1).12/29, 10 Rs, 1 2B, 7 HRs, 13 RBIs, .485 OBP
LVP:Yasiel Puig – Yasiel just didn’t contribute much stuff this week, and that’s about as much analysis as I intend to give here. On the Yasiel front. 4/21, 4 Rs, 2 2Bs, .292 OBP
JROLLs: Francisco Lindor (2, ECK)
HRs. The poor Banana Slugs likely mashed as hard as they’ve mashed all season (7th in HRs) but it still wasn’t enough against a locked in Kings squad, and they lost the HRs cat 25-17. That means 8 more runs for the Kings (the won Rs 60-48), at least 8 more and obviously more than 8 more RBIs for the Kings (they won RBIs 70-57), perhaps a slight OBP bump (the won OBP .363 to .357). Put it all together and you have two teams that had impressive offenses in Week 16 but yanno, one was more impressive. And so that one….won.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Haven’t talked pitching in a Kings matchup so let’s do that, shout out to a weirdly dominant streamed Steven MatzCG shutout for the Kings. Also shout out to the fact that mayyybe just maybe Trevor Bauer isn’t the super-established ace Trevor Bauer likely thinks he is. I consider him a super-established whiny little bitch, however…
What’s Next (Week 17): ECF v. LL (9-7 v. 6-10)
RRF@ AI (7-8-1 @ 7-9)
Pacific Beach X-Rayz Rack Up A Shit Ton Of Strikeouts, Also Do Other Things Well In Big Beatdown of Astoria Isotopes – 10-1-3
MVP: Jose Ramirez – JOSE RAMIREZ SIGHTING. The X-Rayz have turned around an ugly start to the season but Jose has mostly been an afterthought even during said turnaround. That is up until July; 9 HRs in a month that has seen the X-Rayz go 3-0. If J-Ram keeps it going into the #BackyardBracket this team can make noise folks.12/30, 7 Rs, 3 2Bs, 4 HRs, 9 RBIs, 2 SBs, .441 OBP
LVP:Mike Moustakas – More like Mike MOSTSUCKASS, AMIRITE? I hate that I’m dignifying that bad name joke, and also this was a real toss up between Mike and Khris (2/22, 2 RBIs), but ultimately we are going with Moustakas and with that shitty name joke and that is just how things are. 1/15, 1 R, .182 OBP
Strikeouts. In a week where the X-Rayz set a new and rather tough to top record in the Ks department, I guess I have to go with Ks here. Ever the Innovator Odom has really taken a shine to this whole “bulk reliever” craze because of course he has, but it’s worth noting the EFFECTS here. The ‘Topes rocked a 9.513 K per 9 in Week 16, better than the X-Rayz 9.217, but WHAT’S THAT MATTER when the latter team tosses 116.2 innings to your 84.2, THIRTY TWO MORE INNINGS THROWN on the Pacific Beach side. And that’s how you set a Ks record and win the cat 119-89, and that’s how you grab 11 wins, and usually there’s a risk of ERA ruin but the ‘Topes managed to suck more (X-Rayz won ERA 4.71 to 5.53), and that’s how you get your doors relatively blown off (also only hitting like 6 HRs doesn’t help) and get leapfrogged in the Backyard Bracket Standings.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Eight bulk relievers used by the X-Rayz in Week 16, not sure what his usual is but SEEMS LIKE A LOT… ‘Topes were league-worst in Wk 16 in Runs, HRs, RBIs and I guess that’s just what happens when Khris Davis is slumping HARD… Also a real rollercoaster of a season for Astoria, whom started out 0-5 then won 7 in a row and have now lost 4 in a row…
What’s Next (Week 17): PBX v. BBS (6-7-3 v. 5-10-1)
AIv. RRF (7-9 v. 7-8-1)
River City Bad Dudes Best A Super Invested Definitely Started Twelve Pitchers* Rojo’s Renegade Force Squad – 9-4-1
*one was an opener but beggars can’t be choosers
MVP: Miguel Sano – Miguel Sano is a fat turd (whoever had “turd” twice in Blog Bingo gets a prize) who strikes out too much and is probably a piece of shit, BUT he’s mashing taters this season and mashed some taters in Week 16 and I guess that’sa ll the MVP of the week part cares about. Nice tie-in to the River City Mashers hidden in this paragraph, FAN SERVICE for longtime Backyard fans. The Doch Blog never delivered this sort of stuff, or any sort of stuff really. A totally Weak and Low Energy blogger. ANYWHO YEA MIGUEL SANO. 9/27, 6 Rs, 4 HRs, 11 RBIs, .379 OBP
LVP:Masahiro Tanaka – I mean, FOR FUCKS SAKE Masahiro. You get LVP of the Week cuz I’m not sure I’ve seen that many runs given up in quite some time. And it was against the Red Sawks so SHAME ON HIM. 3.1 IP, 12 ER, 4 Ks, 32.40 ERA ***LVP OF THE WEEK***
Holds. You lost AT YOUR OWN GAME ROJO. The Bad Dudes won Holds 4-1and that isn’t necessarily why they won the MATCHUP (the .342 to .311 OBP disparity probably more damning) but it IS necessarily all I want to talk about here cuz this matchup bores me.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: Renegade Force perhaps making league history as the first team to knowingly (I think) start an “opener,” THIS LEAGUE JUST GETS WACKIER AND WACKIER…
MVP: Didi Gregorius – Both Didi and JD Martinez did real work in Week 16 (pretend Judge is JD in the GIF above) but Didi did slightly better work and fuck the sawks and so on and so forth.11/26, 5 Rs, 4 2Bs, 1 3B, 2 HRs, 13 RBIs, .448 OBP
LVP:Francisco Mejia – On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mejia did the very opposite of work and contributed nothing but a few base hits and no wonder this goddamned owner always harrasses me about Gary Sanchez. 4/16, .294 OBP
JROLLs: Trea Turner (2, OGFC) ; Adam Eaton (1, LL)
Triples. This matchup was tiiiiiiiight all over the place man, but it’s always an unfortunate circumstance when your team musters more than one three-bagger and still loses the cat. And that was the case here so lets highlight Heroy sadness, two triples (AND ONE JROLL) out of the OGFC and they get bested by a Leviathans team that put up four despite the absence of Adalberto. Tough break kiddo. Other tough breaks include 1 “point” losses in SBs, QS, and Holds but this paragraph was about the triples so we are gonna STICK TO THE TRIPLES.
Assorted Musings Should I Feel Like Musin’: The Leviathans had 69 RBIs (nice.)… ALSO, with this victory the Leviathans have more wins in Year 3 than they had in Years 1 and 2 COMBINED (double nice.)(#TrustTheProcess)…
What’s Next (Week 17): LL @ ECK (6-10 @ 9-7)
OGFCv. IBB (8-7-1 v. 6-9-1)
2019 WEEK 16 BACKYARD BATTLE OF THE WEEK, SPONSORED BY THE 1985 CHICAGO BEARS’ WEEK 13 DEFEAT
Island Beach Bears Accomplish Everything They Needed To In 2019 Season, Slay The Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz Beast Fucking Finally (they are now allowed to go win the championship or whatever I guess*) – 7-6-1
*jkjk we root against any and all back-to-back chamPEEN challengers ’round here, fuck them I want ’em bounced in Round 2..
MVP: Edwin Encarnacion – Were there better performers in Week 16 both on the Bears and on other teams? I mean yea PROBABLY (definitely). But this was another performance in a long line of CLUTCH PLAYOFF PERFORMANCES (as far as I’m concerned I just won the playoffs) wherein Encarnacion, win or loss, gave us a heroic effort. In this case we needed doubles and he HEROICALLY contributed FIVE, 45% of his total heading into Week 16. Good. Man. 11/32, 6 Rs, 5 2Bs, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, .400 OBP ***MVP OF THE WEEK/PROBABLY YEAR***
LVP:Alex Bregman – Bad week outta Breggy and a quiet week outta a few other ButtSliderz Starz in Week 16, it’s almost like that’s how baseball is supposed to work as opposed to having EVERYTHING GO YOUR WAY ALL YEAR LONG. Suck it, turds. 1/17, 3 Rs, 1 2B, 1 RBI, .238 OBP
Bears Hitter Of Note: Jonathan Villarheard rumors of other owners BALKING at requested returns (probably justifiably so) when those owners came asking about himand so he went out and had himself a week on them basepaths (10/33, 9 Rs, 1 2B, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, 5 SBs, .361 OBP).
Bears Pitcher Of Note: When you trade away all of your other good pitchers you’re left with one good pitcher and then that good pitcher likely ends up your pitcher “of note” in these winning situations, and his name is Mike Clevinger (14 IP, 4 ER, 14 Ks, 2 QS, 2 Ws, 2.57 ERA).
BackdoorSliderz Hitter Of Note: Lets all point at Cody Bellinger and laugh because he DIDN’T absolutely bludgeon me in Week 16 and perhaps he isn’t Barry Bonds, which would be nice for me and my trade psyche (he’s still really good and young and I regret that trade and that trade only)(I’ll still trade any mothafucka)(4/18, 4 Rs, 1 2B, 2 RBIs, .333 OBP).
BackdoorSliderz Pitcher Of Note: And just for FAIR and BALANCED reporting of the FACTS I’ll not do the thing where I try and single out a bad performance here… Robbie Ray had double digit Ks in back-to-back starts so good for him, STILL LOST LOSER (12 IP, 5 ER, 21 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 3.75 ERA).
How many words does one owe history? When will enough be written about our triumphs in WWII, about the moon landing, about the moments that DEFINED civilization? Can enough words ever be written? I posit that they cannot, which is why this blog will fail regardless of how long I write about one of the greatest regular season victories (if not THE greatest) in Backyard history (and I intend to write a buncha words and they won’t even be particularly interesting but THE WORD COUNT, oh the word count). Sure teams have gone on some runs, won some games in a row, even won some championships in a row 😉 . But has there ever been a team that remained undefeated this late into one of our regular seasons? No seriously I am asking. And IF SO, could that team have possibly been helmed by a more despicable owner than the one that currently presides over the Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz? This one I can answer myself: no, for that would be impossible.
Comeuppance has been a long time coming for this team, a talented unit to be fair but one that also has been hashtag BLESSED with some lucky bounces in its day. I think they beat the Banana Slugs in a week when they had like a .270-something OBP, I think Fernando Tatis Jr.and Keston Hiura have had UNSUSTAINABLE BABIPs to begin their respective careers, I think this had to happen the way it happened. At the hands of your fearless, really at this point less-than-part-time, blogger (and perhaps part-time lover) because only HE would then chronicle the great moment in glorious detail. And only HE, thanks to his own human failings, would be able to perfectly set up a Sunday Night Scenario that quite frankly I didn’t see enough applause for the in chat. Edwin Encarnacion is a BACKYARD TREASURE and he deserves your respect. Perhaps no player is more synonymous with their respective franchise, and obviously no player more perfectly epitomizes the GLORY DAYZ of back-to-back-to-back championships for this (once proud, now multiple times renamed) franchise, and now he has basically delivered a fourth championship. Feels like I’ve won the championship this season. You’re all free to keep playing and do the whole “Backyard Bracket” thing but yanno…..whatever.
There was a time when I planned to break down each day of this HISTORIC VICTORY FOR THE ISLAND BEACH BEARS, but holy shit that sounds exhausting and its difficult enough to piece together the play-by-play just from Sunday. So yea with that caveat in place lets now get fucking pumped up and lets fucking LETS BREAK DOWN THIS HISTORIC MATCHUP’S HISTORIC SUNDAY, SHALL WE?! FUCK YEA LETS:
DAY 7 (Sunday, 7.28.19 Anno Domini)
The Island Beach Bears enter day 7 of their battle WEARY and sensing defeat. Things were lookin’ kinda solid with the BackdoorSliderz offense scuffling, and then Saturday they uhh unscuffled. Categories as of Sunday AM were as follows (not because I think anyone wants to read this shit, but because I want to pump up this word count to up the obnoxious):
Runs – Bears lead 53 to 38
Doubles – Sliderz lead 14 to 12
Triples – Bears lead 2 to 0
HRs – Bears lead 11 to 9
RBIs – Sliderz lead 44 to 37
OBP – Sliderz comfortably ahead just take my word for it
SBs – Bears lead 7 to 4
Ks – Bears lead 80 to 69 (nice.)
QS – Bears lead 9 to 5
CGs – Bears haven’t had one all goddamned year, surprised the ButtSliderz didn’t grab one but yea this ended up 0-0
Ws – Tied 6 to 6
Saves – Sliderz lead 4 to 1
Holds – Bears lead 5 to 1
ERA – Sliderz lead like 2 something to 3 something
BEARS LEADING 7-5-2
This lead, this lead is a mirage and the Bears know it. For what you DON’T see up there, though certainly I had the room to note it, is the Bears have maxed out their starts by Sunday AM (and amassed a measly 80 Ks doing so) while the BackdoorSliderz would be trotting out four arms for the final day: Kyle Gibson, Robbie Ray, Walker Buehler, and AARON NOLA. The last arm is of obvious added significance, it’s an arm that already logged a start for the Bears earlier in the week and an arm they then traded away because dynasty is boring make some trades you pussies. It is also an arm that what was SUPPOSED TO BE starting only once in Week 16, was sort of important to me to avoid facing my sweet sweet Aaron in 2019. Alas he ended up getting bumped up to Sunday, and Lacey ownership did what Lacey ownership does best: paid lip service to sitting him as some sort of courtesy or signaling of their high moral fiber but MERELY A SIGNAL, they were never gonna sit him WERE THEY (Bears ownership wouldn’t have wanted that, but also was drinking at the time of the initial message so didn’t really offer that opinion clearly one way or the other, so could Doch have even KNOWN what I wanted? Has he ever known what anyone else ever wanted? Has he failed to please everyone in his life?)?! ANYWHOM, ultimately Nola got the nod and that was the right move I wouldn’t have wanted a bullet left in the chamber.
SO, and stay with me now, what we have at this point is the Bears BASICALLY expecting Ks and Ws to go to Lacey, with a possibility of them going 4-4 in QS and tying that up as well….. things seemed bleak to say the least. As I alluded, the BackdoorSliderz had already used a 16 run/4 double/5 HR/15 RBI/.460 OBP Saturday to overtake OBP and generally signal the end times for the Bears upset chances. Or so we thought :))))))))))))))) It would require a good amount of good Lacey pitchers pitching poorly for the Bears to retake the ERA lead, and we had already done everything in our power to try and grab more Ks or more Ws or whatever by signing a buncha shitty SP-eligible relievers and treating it like BCS Sunday. And so at this point Bears ownership was on the beach not paying much mind to these sorts of longshot hypotheticals, is what I’m saying.
FAST FORWARD to late afternoon and suddenly the BackdoorSliderz pitching staff has managed to blow the ERA lead by pitching jusssttttt poorly enough, suddenly the Bears are told they’re clinging to a 7-6-1advantage, and even more suddenly they must reckon with all of those fucking random SP relievers they brought in to try and grab additional pitching stats. Pretty quickly it was assumed by Bears ownership, QUITE CORRECTLY (because they’re actually super smart and stuff), that those shitty relievers were shitty for a reason and so they would fuck said Bears and return said ERA lead and the overall lead with it probably upon their first opportunity…. almost instantaneously Colin McHughdid just that. Around the same time just GENERAL LIFE LIVING, the sort of thing Rojo has tried to tell us all about from high atop the mountains, prevents Bears ownership (me) from subbing out a resting Nicholas Castellanosfor a not-resting Hunter Renfroe. By the time of this realization the DEFINITELY EXPECTED Luis Perdomo earned runs have also crossed the plate and we’ve officially written off ERA (evidently we shouldn’t have we only lost 3.90 to 3.86, I would have been haunted by Josh Tomlinif things broke poorly), now turning the attention to catching the evil LTBS RBIs and/or 2Bs while also defending a slim lead in HRs.
This is gripping stuff, one would imagine, if both owners were both scowling MLBTV and furiously refreshing computer screens to follow along. And in fact for the sake of this blog post we are going to say that Doch definitely was doing precisely that, in some sad little Lacey cave like the ones people used to pretend Bin Laden was hiding in. There’s some parallels there. At some point we know the LTBS closed the HR gap to one (thanks to Soto or Confortoor Santana or one of those fucks, but this isn’t their story) and at some other point we now know Marcus Semien and Danny Santana have homered to give the #DongsCat it’s final margin of victory for the Bears. Small margin, small total overall but it’s not the size that counts. So ALL GOOD ON THE HRs, hooray for the good guys. RBIs inched close (another size pun in here somewhere), some thanks due to Travis D’Arnaud for contributing 7 RBIs for the IBB while only bequeathing 2 RBIs for the LTBS (he’s filled in admirably for Gary Sanchez), but ultimately despite our best efforts bad things sometimes happen to good people and good things sometimes happen to bad people (see Doch’s 2018 season) and so we couldn’t close the gap there. And by “best efforts” I mean we couldn’t close the gap because Hunter Renfroe hit a grand slam on the fucking bench, with plenty of space for him in our not-being-used RF slot.
SO RBIs weren’t working out and its down to doubles to slay the beast. Ozzie Albies knocked the lone Sunday double for Lacey, the very excellent Danny Santana and Jonathan Villar and Travis D’Arnaud chipped in their own two-baggers for Island Beach (left out a “two-bagger” joke about Dorothy here), and by the time the dust had settled we arrived at a very unsatisfying 6-6-2 tie heading into Sunday Night Sawks-Yanks. This could not stand, however….
SUNDAY NIGHT SAWKS-YANKS (7.28.19 Anno Domini)
The Yankee-loathing Lacey outfit has no participants in the Sunday night game, the Bears have ❤ Edwin Encarnacion ❤ and Aaron Hicks. The Bears need one double or 4 RBIs to finally hand the BackdoorSliderz a much-needed loss in 2019, and the presence of Edwin in this equation has them quietly CONFIDENT….. so confident they are not watching the game one bit, and are going to Mellow Mushroom. I think I’m back from Mellow by the time Edwin evidently smokes a single in the top of the 5th…..
….that moves Hicks to 3rd and no farther, so yea running out of innings but WE ARE FINE EVERYTHING IS FINE. STILL. I think at this point I’m “watching a documentary” on PFAS, Edwin would not betray this organization.
In the 7th inning, we get what we need and by “we” I mean THE LEAGUE AS A WHOLE needed:
Encarnación doubled to left center, Hicks to third.
Print that out and smoke it folks, I’m giving you PITCH TYPE and everything here. I will also note the double was hit off of Bad Dudes RELIEVER PHENOM EXTRAORDINAIRE Darwinzon Hernandez.
Bears win 7-6-1
Bears win self-proclaimed “last week they give a shit about winning”
Undefeated season for the ButtSliderz is off the table, which is a bit of a relief I think we can all agree
Bears now have to keep giving a shit until formally eliminated from playoffs (TAKE NOTE ROJO), which isn’t a relief per se but is still FINE ITS FINE we can pay attention to a fantasy baseball league while still existing in the world (TAKE NOTE LOBMAN, OR MAYBE ROJO, I am forgetting the gripes at this point)….
The league is saved and you’re all fucking welcome
Look I know this one was a bit of a coin flip in several spots and we just have easily could have allowed the LTBS to escape with yet another win and they’re still the current favorites (though clearly I think we’ve exposed some kinks in the armor, not gonna tell anyone what they are it’s a big secret) for that OTHER champeenship still to be awarded. I know all these things. But I also know that this shit needed to end and so Edwin ended it, and so nobody ever ask me if he was available to trade for ever again. Notta one of youz. ANYWAYZ Week 17 has the Bears still in the bracket hunt weirdly enough, so they’re gonna head to Ocean Gate and try and beat those jackasses. And if they don’t at least they beat this jackass. This jackass and his ButtSliderz take on the River City Bad Dudes in our Backyard Battle Of The Week.
YEA I DON’T really have much to say here. My team continues to be bad, there’s that OTHER TEAM that continues to be good, uhhhh everyone that won in 10 did so fairly breezily. Yea that’s all I got. It is called Quick Hitters people. ON TO Week 10 Quick Hitters…
WEEK 10 QUICK RESULTS:
BackdoorSliderz (TEN AND OH) 11-3-0 over Fishing Club (5-4-1)
Renegade Force (5-4-1) 10-2-2 over Banana Slugs (2-7-1)
X-Rayz (2-6-2) 10-3-1 over Bears (4-5-1)
Kings (6-4) 9-1-4 over Bad Dudes (3-5-2)
Isotopes (5-5) 11-2-1 over Leviathans (4-6)
WEEK 10 QUICK NOTES:
Pretty much alllll massacres in Week 10. The Kings were the only winners not to take double digit cats, and they weren’t exactly engaged in a nailbiter (9-4-1).
A NEW ALL-TIME RECORD for two-baggers set by the Fishing Club (32), but even with that fortune those schmucks couldn’t defeat that team that’s also defeated everyone else in the league thus far. A team The Blog officially Does Not Respect.
In other record news the X-Rayz tied the all-time Wins record whilst CLOBBERING me and my Bears. So that’s somethin’ to note. Shout out to Adrian Sampsonfor his 7 K CG, partly cuz I was told to and partly cuz he’s weirdly good all of a sudden? news, being halfway through the season also means our evil defending champeen
And SINCE I’m shouting out records shout out to the Banana Slugs for a truly abysmal offensive showing, a (possibly all time but possibly not but definitely in my eyes) record low .254 OBP. Gross stuff.
Also the ‘Topes have now won 5 straight after losing their first five so that’s uhhh QUITE THE TURNAROUND. There’s possibly another team with a stronger win streak but who really gives a fuck, about that…..or about ANYTHING, when you really think about it.
AND LO, I have more to write this week. And so I shall write it right now. And it shall be right. We gotta get to the June Power Rankings but ALSO I should get some Mid-Season Awards in here but ALSO I don’t feel like predicting which owner will die before the season ends (Doch) or which team will win the championship (maybe Doch’s) or whom has the hottest relative (definite not Doch) and all that shit. Awards shall be all business because I am a mature, non-pretentious, adult man. Let’s do those real quick:
(All stats through 06/03/19 I think….)
FIRST HALF ROY: Pete Alonso (RCBD) – 56/213, 34 Rs, 12 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 19 HRs, 44 RBIs, .335 OBP
honorable mention: Chris Paddack (BBS)
FIRST HALF ROLAIDS RELIEVER OF THE YEAR: Kirby Yates (BBS) – 26 IP, 3 ER, 45 Ks, 22 Saves (0 BS), 1.04 ERA
honorable mention: Roberto Osuna (LTBS)
FIRST HALF IMMODIUM BEDSHITTER RELIEVER OF THE YEAR: Craig Kimbrel (ECK) – HE’S JUST SITTIN’ THERE…
honorable mention: Pedro Strop (RCBD/PBX/AI/RCBD/LL)
FIRST HALF LVP (Pitcher): Mike Foltyniewicz (LL) – 38.1 IP, 26 ER, 32 Ks, 2 QS, 1 W, 6.10 ERA
honorable mention: Corey Kluber (RRF)
FIRST HALF MVP (Pitcher): Justin Verlander (LTBS) – 87.1 IP, 22 ER, 103 Ks, 11 QS, 9 Ws, 2.27 ERA
honorable mention: Christian Yelich (ECK), Adalberto Mondesi (LL)
AND LO, there’s your MIDSEASON AWARDS. They are a better effort than last season because last season’s MIDSEASON AWARDSwas just a bunch of pictures of a dead dog so at least I’ve improved since then. We must always strive to be a bit better than our last shitty attempt at something. Write that down. And ON TO THE JULY POWER RANKINGS:
NEW FEATURES ALERT: Shall be noting Top Hitter First Half MVP and Top PitcherFirst Half LVP (never mind ESPN kinda kills LVP with no active stats #TeamFantrax) for each squad, one for Hitters and Pitchers which is generous of me because I don’t want to stare at your fucking teams for too long I have other things to stare at (projected starters because half my bats sit against lefties). AGAIN shall be withholding my unnecessary commentary for the teams I currently deem outta the top 6 and thus undeserving of said commentary. Deal with it dog.gif…
#1 – Lacey Township BackdoorSliderz (9-0)
So I s’pose they’ve won a couple more coin flips since I last called them lucky fucks for winning a few coin flips, and by THAT I mean they’ve mostly rolled through ever since. Let’s see the numbers: Runs 1st, Doubles 6th, Triples 9th, HRs 2nd, RBIs 2nd, SBs 5th, OBP 1st, Strikeouts 2nd, QS 2nd, CG t-1st, Wins 1st, Saves 3rd, Holds t-8th, ERA 1st, MOVES 3rd. PRETTY DOMINANT GODDAMN LINE THERE (through 9 weeks), one that certainly backs up the flawless record and one that can be thrown in Doch’s face whenever he creeps into your DMs talkin’ all sorts of “always room for improvement” nonsense. There isn’t much room for improvement here, on either side. The staff is anchored by Verlander but getting great #s from Greinkeand deGrom, Buehler is rounding into form, Osuna probably did that shit but all three closers (Holland, Colome) have sub-1 ERAs and double digit Saves (lets just round up with Holland, the passage of time is an illusion). So all of this is unfortunate. The offense discussion can basically begin and end with Cody Bellingerso THAT is what I am going to do. This league wasn’t around for Bonds so the only thing that compares to this was Bryce Harper‘s bonkers 2015 season, whom’s first 2.5 months were sorta similar actually (18 HRs, 42 Rs, 43 RBIs) but still cannot….quite….compare…..to….this: 50 Rs, 13 2Bs, 1 3B, 20 HRs, 52 RBIs, 7 SBs, .462 OBP. The most dominant first 9 weeks The Backyard has ever seen I’m quite certain. WHO WOULDA THUNK IT.
So yea this team is CLEARLY the team to beat, don’t feel like I need to point that out but here we are once again. Fuck them, though.
First Half Team MVP (Pitcher): Justin Verlander (87.1 IP, 22 ER, 103 Ks, 11 QS, 9 Ws, 2.27 ERA)
#2 – Ocean Gate Fishing Club (5-3-1)
Well well well…..IF IT ISN’T, the team I’ve claimed should re-brand as the “LessWithMores”….yanno doing a little bit. At least enough of a little bit to claim the 2nd bye if the BYBracket broke today. Show me the rankings: Runs 7th, Doubles 2nd, Triples t-4th, HRs 5th, RBIs 6th, SBs 4th, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 4th, QS t-3rd, CG t-3rd, Wins 6th, Saves 2nd, Holds t-8th, ERA 2nd, MOVES 10th. The offense is weirdly low in Runs and middle of the pack in most other things, I say weirdly because they STILL carry the two best fantasy hitters on the planet (maybe two of the three now, see above) in Mike Troutand Mookie Betts. Even rosier, their dynamic Cubs duo (Rizzo/Bryant) is back to actually being pretty goddamned dynamic after a few up and down campaigns. Josh Bell and Austin Meadows are all of a sudden both awesome and YANNO WHAT now I am mad at these underachievers once again let’s switch to pitching. Pitching is in many ways what sets this team apart from previous Fishing Clubs, as they now have a BUNCHA legit young arms (Glasnow RIP for now but also Luis Castillo, Shane Bieber, Max Fried, Griffin Canning) to pair with Gerrit Coleand a mildly resurgent ColeHamels and a perhaps even more resurgent Kyle Hendricks. If this team makes some noise this season (and they can start by stopping this ButtSliderz win streak) the resurgent pitching will be behind it, methinks.
I still don’t know how this franchise hasn’t won multiple championships, would require some sort of blog DEEP DIVE, and maybe one day I get to that (very very unlikely) but for now yanno….there’s worse teams to bet on this season (the Banana Slugs).
First Half Team MVP (Hitter): Mike Trout (57/188, 43 Rs, 14 2Bs, 14 HRs, 37 RBIs, 7 SBs, .468 OBP)
First Half Team MVP (Pitcher): Gerrit Cole (77.2 IP, 34 ER, 116 Ks, 9 QS, 5 Ws, 3.94 ERA)
#3 – East Coast Kings (5-4)
APROPOS that I just kinda sorta gushed about a pitching staff for the #2 in the rankings (get it? cuz Greg is a piece of shit) and we now arrive on the team that spent years YEARRRS I TELL YOU as the gold standard pitching staff in the Backyard. Almost to a fault. Well this year they’ve fallen off that a bit, father time being undefeated and all. Well here’s the #s: Runs 6th, Doubles t-4th, Triples t-6th, HRs 3rd, RBIs 3rd, SBs 2nd, OBP 2nd, Strikeouts 7th, QS t-3rd, CG t-3rd, Wins 5th, Saves 7th, Holds 9th, ERA 4th, MOVES 8th.Hey good thing Yelich is out here absolutely raking huh? Cuz the pitching, while still good, ain’t what it once was. But the hitting has been pretttttttty special, lead by the NL MVP in a world where Cody Bellinger doesn’t exist and by weirdly excellent middle infielders (Gleyber Torres, Ketel Marte, Javier Baez but a lil more expected outta him). Much like the Ravens at the height of the Joe Flacco offense, THE SCRIPT HAS FLIPPED and now hitting is carrying the pitching (really bad reference that offense was terrible). Which isn’t to say that pitching has been TERRIBLE, just perhaps not tops in the leage no mo’. Kershaw Paxton & Price (the world’s sorest law firm) are still good when healthy, Stephen Strasburghas been good in general and THUS FAR healthy. But Darvish is toast, Carrasco was unlucky and now has mono or something, Syndergaard has been a bit unlucky but also a bit worse than he’s ever been (HE IS HARVEYING). Mix that all together with a LAZY bullpen that’s carried by Brad Hand and you have a pitching staff that is vulnerable, which is a shame because the offense doesn’t appear to be.
All in all the East Coast Kings display a balance most teams can merely dream about, so don’t let some negativity over pitcher health make you think I don’t think this team can win it all cuz I do think that so you shouldn’t think I don’t think that I don’t want you thinking that I think that you think that I don’t think they can. I believe in this team more often than not, even when they miss the playoffs and win like 5 games so….yea.
First Half Team MVP (Hitter): Christian Yelich (60/192, 46 Rs, 8 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 22 HRs, 49 RBIs, 12 SBs, .425 OBP, 1 JROLL)
First Half Team MVP (Pitcher): Stephen Strasburg (79 IP, 28 ER, 98 Ks, 8 QS, 5 Ws, 3.19 ERA)
#4 – River City Bad Dudes (4-4-1)
WHAT can I really say about the Dudes this time? They’re always in it, their offense has been great despite some great players being injured, blah blee blah blee blee blew. STATS ME: Runs 2nd, Doubles 1st, Triples 8th, HRs 1st, RBIs 1st, SBs 10th, OBP 7th, Strikeouts 6th, QS 5th, CG t-5th, Wins 3rd, Saves 6th, Holds 7th, ERA 7th, MOVES 2nd. So yea just LOOK at that offense. Actually look at everything. Actually there’s a case they should probably have more wins but they don’t and fuck Mike. All those bombs and RBIs are coming with a hurt Stanton and a hurt Pollock (if these are shocking to Dudes ownership that says more about them than anything, though) and also a bit of a ho-hum campaign from Manny Machado. But Pete Alonso ain’t hurt and Matt Chapman ain’t hurt and Xander Bogaerts is having a helluva year and Bryce Harper hasn’t been ho-hum okay he’s actually been a little bit ho-hum. The pitching rankings are actually most impressive here because I don’t find a single pitcher of theirs impressive. Won’t even talk about them. Marcus Stroman is trash.
ALL IN ALL there is some nice numbers in River City and they probably find a way to make it into the playoffs and after that WHOM KNOWS, like all of these teams on this list it’s more about how everyone is playing in August than how everyone played in May. Also it looks like there will be no Banana Slugs for them to knock out, so that may be a motivational problem.
First Half Team MVP (Hitter): Pete Alonso (56/213, 34 Rs, 12 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 19 HRs, 44 RBIs, .335 OBP)
First Half Team MVP (Pitcher): Marcus Stroman(76 IP, 24 ER, 59 Ks, 8 QS, 3 Ws, 2.84 ERA)
#5- Rojo’s Renegade Force (4-4-1)
This is one of my FAVORITE rosters in all the Backyard, partly because #FORCE ownership declared in pre-season they would trade their roster for any other roster in the leauge. And now look at em, ACTUALLY KINDA GOOD! Here take a look see: Runs 3rd, Doubles 10th, Triples 10th, HRs 4th, RBIs 5th, SBs 8th, OBP 4th, Strikeouts 10th, QS t-7th, CG t-5th, Wins t-9th, Saves 9th, Holds 3rd, ERA 3rd, MOVES 7th.Weirdly low energy stuff on the doubles and triples markets but everything else looks fairly lovely to this guy, fair reader. Marcell Ozuna has been downright great and Gallo and Springer were great and are now injured and I believe they can be great again. And Devers just seems to benefit from being a Red Sawk and Goldy should be better and they’re FINALLY getting something out of Victor Robles(i traded him to Rojo 9 seasons ago). KEWT lil offense. And KEWT that they have Hyun-Jin Ryu out there dominating and Charlie Morton being very serviceable and are working through it a bit despite a rough year from Corey Kluber and a seemingly aging Bumgarner and meh Tanaka. Alright the pitching may actually be a problem. But AT LEAST they have SP-eligible Diego Castillo out there getting Saves, THE RRF ARE NOT LAST IN THE LEAGUE IN SAVES NOR ARE THEY FIRST IN THE LEAGUE IN HOLDS.
THE RRF ARE NOT LAST IN THE LEAGUE IN SAVES NOR ARE THEY FIRST IN THE LEAGUE IN HOLDS. This isn’t a typo I just wanted to hit on that point again. Apart from that though, the pitching could ultimately end up being a problem. Also fuck this guy for taking my childhood home away?
First Half Team MVP (Hitter): Marcell Ozuna (53/216, 42 Rs, 12 2Bs, 16 HRs, 51 RBIs, 4 SBs, .324 OBP)
First Half Team MVP (Pitcher): Hyun-Jin Ryu (73 IP, 12 ER, 69 Ks, 9 QS, 1 CG, 8 Ws, 1.48 ERA)
#6 – Astoria Isotopes (4-5)
UGH, these PIECES OF SHIT that sort of prevented me from writing about the Lakehurst Leviathans because I had this weird code about trying to accurately nail down Power Rankings and also this new weird rule to prevent me having to write 5000 word opuses about your stupid little teams and their stupid little rosters. The 2018 FIRST LOSERS were well on their way to an epic run at the once-fabled BCS curse and now they’ve won 4 in a row and I just don’t know. Their numbers, please: Runs 5th, Doubles 7th, Triples 1st, HRs 7th, RBIs 9th, SBs 9th, OBP 6th, Strikeouts 5th, QS 9th, CG t-5th, Wins 7th, Saves 8th, Holds 2nd, ERA 8th, MOVES 5th. So Nolan Arenado is obviously someone that is very good that can anchor an offense (not BELLINGER GOOD, but good) so obviously that helps. What also helps is fucking Eduardo Escobar consistently begging me to give him MVP o’ the week honors. Eddy Escobar, forreal. So that’s good and fine, and Khris Daviswill ultimately be good and fine, and they’ll be getting Blackmon back soon after a quick lil DL sting and Aaron Judge back soon and he has missed FOREVER. So those are important pieces that could dictate a matchup or two in the ‘Topes future. Also important will be Chris Sale continuing to shake off an awful April, German Marquezuhhh idk avoiding pitching at home somehow? Zach Wheeler finding dat positive regression would also be nice for Astoria, as would Wade Miley avoiding the LIKELY SIGNIFICANT NEGATIVE REGRESSION. It will likely be somewhat significant. But idk I’ve seen like Ervin Santana and Jason Vargas avoid it for long stretches so idk mannnnn. Also the ‘Topes were smart enough to be the team that finally picked up Ryan Pressly setup man extraordinaire so that is good. Also the ‘Topes currently have two SP eligible relievers (Gant & Romo) in their RP slots while they await Robertson & Betances returns like fucking puds. So that is bad.
I could see this team coming out the gates now and losing another 5 in a row and I could also see them winning another 4 in a row. Definitely one or the other though. so WHO KNOWS.
YANNO WHAT like all things in this blog I’ve just been slapping shit together and I’ve decided I am far too busy to be writing long Week Reviews, so THE WEEK REVIEW IS DEAD. Long live the Week Review. It’s a shame I only got like one or two weeks in with those adorable little cat key pictures but here we are.
ANYWAYZ welcome to WEEKLY QUICK HITTERS, where I quickly(ish) recap the week that was and also try and find speedy players with uniform #s corresponding to the week that….was. One for one in that department. Week 9 in the books, month of MAY also in the books, so there will be a June Power Rankings at some point this week and possibly a brief midseason awards baked into THAT but yanno… I’m not gonna live my life on these deadlines mannnnn *angrily strums acoustic guitar* Also the JROLLbobblehead has been recovered so expect that to be awarded to the team rostering the 2019 JROLL AWARD winner… again at this point these things, and my entire existence, are mostly about tracking those increasingly elusive (but a little less so this week) JROLLs…..
WEEK 9 QUICK RESULTS:
Bears (4-4-1) 7-6-1 over Kings (5-4)
X-Rayz (1-6-2) 9-4-1 over Leviathans (4-5)
Bad Dudes (3-4-2) 6-6-2 TIE Fishing Club (5-3-1)
Isotopes (4-5) 6-3-5 over Banana Slugs (2-6-1)
BackdoorSliderz (9-0) 9-4-1 over Renegade Force (4-4-1)
WEEK 9 QUICK NOTES:
Officially halfway through the Backyard regular season, so why not have a quick gander at the #BackyardBracket IF IT STARTED TODAY: #1 BackdoorSliderz & #2 Ocean Gate Fishing Club would have your two byes, #4 Rojo’s Renegade Force would host #5 Island Beach Bears, and #3 East Coast Kings would host the SIXTH SEED LAKEHURST LEVIATHANS.
That’s right, if the season ended today Shane would be in the playoffs folks. Granted that’s based off victories over the ‘Topes and ‘Dudes and granted they all currently have the same win percentage and granted they all have to play again, still a real accomplishment for an owner that was typically all but Gone Fishin’ by now.
In sadder news, being halfway through the season also means our evil defending champeen has now gone one turn through ye ole’ schedule unscatched. Not UNPRECEDENTED per se (Ryan’s squad last year won 10 in a row, league historians may recall a certain dynasty that won 14 straight then tied in the last week of the regular season then steamrolled through the playoffs on the way to their 3rd straight championship, etc. etc. etc.) BUT perhaps a record for most wins to start a season, who fucking knows. Sounds about right. Will just make it sweeter when they DON’T win back-to-back championships AMIRITE?! (*Groupme pulling at collar emoji*)
In other intriguing news the Astoria Isotopes have come ROARING BACK after an 0-5 start, could also be some sort of historical bullshit should they make the Bracket I DON’T KNOW MAN I haven’t been in the league since inception. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. But the Astoria Isotopes have won 4 straight after starting 0-5 and so that, is of note, I guess.
Also the Pacific Beach X-Rayz won their first matchup of 2019. Congrats to the Pacific Beach X-Rayz and their delightful ownership group (one individual).