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1877 - Season end

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Posted 03-20-2017 at 03:43 AM by TheEquinox

The season is over and, against all odds, it turned out to be close in the end. In the second half of the season, some of our key players found back their normal form and we managed to close up to the Cincinnati Reds in the table.

After game 50, everything seemed possible:



We had a great run there, sitting 2nd in the power ranking behind Cleveland for almost the entire 2nd half of the regular season. Cincinnati once again couldn't keep up their initial pace and we came closer and closer.

We finally were only 1 game behind them when we faced them directly in games 55-57, but then it all went against us. Former Boston pitcher Hugh Campbell showed some great performances and they managed to win 2 of 3 games. In the end, they crossed the finish line one game ahead of Boston to win their first NL division title ever:



Hugh Campbell was the key for their success, with an incredible ERA of 2.33 over the whole season. Nobody else, not even our front man Yin X could keep up with that. Was it a smart decision to let him go? Probably we ruled him out too early...

In the AL, the Cleveland Blues seem to be absolutely unstoppable. They took their fourth division title in a row, once again by large lead of 6 games. Who is going to break this reign?

Luckily, my owner was still quite happy with the result. He wanted us to end the season with a positive W/L ratio and we delivered that:



I'm a bit worried about that 'Build a team that can truly be considered a dynasty in the next 6 years' part, though. Does that mean he expects me to win the division for six years in a row? Is he serious?

Lets have a look at the final team stats, starting with the pitchers:



As you can see, Yin X also improved during the 2nd half of the season and pushed his ERA down to 2.77 in the end.The occasional games I gave new signing John Cassidy however, made me wonder whether he's ready for the MLB yet or not. Maybe he should spend some time in AAA to sharpen his skills?

Batters:



The same question is valid in terms of Lew Brown. The 19 y.o. seems like a nice talent, and his contact skill is already about 50, but in the games he got this season, he failed to convince me. Thankfully Jim H O'Rourke found back to his old strength and finished the season with a conciliating 1.9 WAR.

On the 1B position, the biggest disappointment of the season was last year's key player Orator Shafer. With an AVG of .218 he played his worst ever season and ended it with a negative WAR. On the other hand, Jack Manning, who has a below 50 contact rating, ended the season with his best ever AVG of .317 which compensated Shafer's lack of performance a bit, but I have serious doubts about both of them. I'd love to get somebody else in here, but Orator is the team captain so I'm not sure if it's worth the risk there...

Nick Wehman kind of recovered in the 2nd half, still ending the season far behind last year's stats, but at least he was a safe bet during those final 30 games. J P Peters did quite okay as a backup for Nick and Davy Force on the SS position. No changes needed here I guess.

On the third base, Levy Meyerle finished his season with a WAR of 1.7 in the end. For any other player, that would be a decent season, for Levi it's one of his worst ever. He got better towards the end of the season, but compared to our championship run, he couldn't give the team that little bit extra this time. He's still the player with the highest career WAR in the MLB, so we'll keep him of course. Things can only get better for him. New signing Fred Waterman hit quite well which is good enough for a backup I guess.

Davy Force played a solid season on the SS position once again. Didn't give me much headaches this year and remains a constant part of the team.

On the overcrowded LF position, player performances were quite inconclusive to be honest. In the first half of the season, 35 y.o. Steve King put in the best performances, but he disappointed in the second half of the season. Young talent Johnny Ryan batted in a homerun, but other than that, he still doesn't seem to be able to take the regular seat on the LF position. Charlie Pabor, who I had almost ruled out already, put up some great performances in the 2nd half of the season and even was on 2nd place in AVG throughout the NL for a while. Not sure what to do here in the next season, but I really want to get rid of at least 2 players on this position.

The best player of the 2nd half was George Hall on the CF position. He finished 3rd in AVG and kept our title ambitions alive until the end with 3-4 hits per game on average. His backup, 18 y.o. David Quintero, got a lot of games when George picked up an injury, but he's obviously not yet ready for the MLB. However, according to my scout's development reports, he benefitted greatly from the experience and improved his stats with every update. I might just keep him in the active roster and try to give him some more game time.

The right field was a disaster this season. George Bechtel had a pretty forgettable season, his backup Mike Schulze was even more terrible and his time in Boston is definately over. I'm not surprised my owner wants me to improve this position in the next season, because that's my number one priority as well.

Before we conclude the season by taking a look at the playoff results, let's first take a moment to look at an impressive achievement:



This guy is just 21 years old and got to play his first full season in Cleveland. An overwhelming ERA of 2.01 and 35 wins in 60 games is more than just impressive. The Blues are doing a great job there in finding new talent and I wonder how much longer they're going to dominate the AL.

Let's look at the playoff coverage:



I would've bet my money on Cleveland here, but I guess the pressure of a playoff series was too much for that triple-crown youngster on their pitching spot in the end. Taking the title is really something for Cincinnati there, as they've been a walkover team in the NL for many seasons. Congratulations for their first title, they really developed nicely throughout the last two seasons. NL is getting tougher, I guess.

This concludes the regular season review. I'll return with the player awards.
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