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Old 09-15-2019, 09:31 AM   #321
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2076 Season (9/18 – 9/20)

Los Angeles Lakers (89-58, .605, 1st NL West) @ San Diego Chargers (71-76, .483, 4th NL West)
The playoffs are slowly starting to slip from the grasp of the “good, but not quite good enough” San Diego Chargers, who at 71-76, find themselves sitting idle at 4th in our division. Theirs is a problem of power, or complete lack thereof at 12th in the HR rankings, and suspect depth in their starting rotation where it’s Burt McElheny, who is a sort of poor mans Ferdinand Loving, and everybody else. McElheny is a sparkplug – he gets the pistons firing – but, if you spark an engine in the woods, does it fire in time? The 30-year old, San Bruno native, with the nasty changeup and serviceable forkball, is out there every 5th day doing his level best to will his team to victory… he’s 15-9 with a 2.98 ERA, 161 K’s, and a 5.2 pWAR. He’s the two-time all-star with a model on each arm – the life of the party, the guy who maximizes every single opportunity that comes his way, an equal opportunity opportunist who will try anything twice. He spent his formative baseball years partying in the Palouse as a Washington State Cougar – binge drinking on Greek row, showing up to his classes still feeling the effects of the previous evening’s escapades – and yet somehow managed to make the Dean’s list in each of his 4 years studying Urban Planning. Here’s a guy who occupied the #5 prospect ranking in 2069, who finished 2nd in RoTY voting during that same season, who has pitched six 3-hitter or better games, and, ever the renaissance man, who owns a chain of “paint n’ sip” establishments aimed at entertaining the bored housewife wine drinking set with mislabeled merlot and finger paints. In short, who really cares about the San Diego Chargers as a unit? Let us just focus on the king of the San Diego underground and enjoy the Burt McElheny experience.

149 of 162: Nat Millard (15-6, 2.83) @ Burt McElheny (15-9, 2.98)
Win, 6-4
. McElheny came out in the top of the 1st like a man without a care in the world – his curve was hanging, his forkball looked like a spoon, and his changeup never really made the type of transformation required to fool Major League level hitters – we, in short order, charged 3 to his account and never really looked back from there. It did, however, come at a cost as we lost Nat to an undisclosed injury after facing only one batter in the bottom of the second and also lost 1B Ian Hanan due to a brutal collision at 2nd base. Lonzo hit a 2-run double, Rudolf got his 23rd save, Ash got his 4th hold, we stole three bags (Lonzo, Otto, Marshburn), and completed 3 double plays. All in a day’s work.

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Note: 1B Ian Hanan is out for 4-5 weeks with a strained hamstring, Rudolf is considered DtD for the next three weeks with a sore shoulder – and, fortunately, Nat’s injury was not serious – a strained oblique – he should be available for his next start.

150 of 162: Lee Myers (14-6, 3.91) @ Reed Pirelli (6-4, 3.30)
Loss, 11-4
. The Chargers got to us early and often in this one – 6 charged to Myers (with another two getting across due to an error committed by SS Larry Williams), and 3 going against Olston who looked like doo-doo water in relief. When we finally woke up in the top of the 9th – where we’d put 3 runs on the board – it was already too late, the damage had been done… 2B Justin Cobb drives in three against us, LF Travis Scharmer scores twice on us… you get the picture, we got caught by a bad one here.

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Elsewhere… the San Jose Sharks won their first-round series against the Newport Beach Gypsies in the International League playoffs. Golden State prospect, SP Reece White, struck out 8 in the closeout game. They’ll advance to take on the Salem Silverbacks who earned a first-round bye during the regular season, due, in large part, to the play of SP Riley Valentine, who, coincidentally is currently biding his time on the Big Club since the rosters expanded where he has pitched 4 innings, allowed only 1 run, and has earned 7 K’s.

151 of 162: Newton Weiser (5-6, 4.58) @ Aden Grey (9-9, 5.01)
Win, 8-7
. This was far from a pitcher’s duel – Newton looked terrible as he gave up 7 runs in only 5.1 innings (his ERA is not a poor 5.06), but our offense was cooking and Barbaccia earned his 25th save of the year. Austin Rollins, who is once again manning 1B with Hanan out, went 5 for 5 with two doubles, a homer, 3 RBIs, and 3 runs, and Oh Hong, getting the start at DH today, responded with a 3 for 4 performance with 2 RBI and a run. Otto went 0 for 5 with 4 K’s, Ethan scored twice, Lonzo gets his 35th steal and contributes an outfield assist. With this win, we are now 19-19 in 1-run games.

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Elsewhere… Jacksonville & Phoenix both secured playoff bids today – the two teams I like the least… in the Bush League, the Naperville Nibblers become the first club to secure a playoff spot, while Decatur, Coney Island, and Columbia were all eliminated…. Orlando City’s CF Masaharu Watanabe still has a comfortable lead in strikeouts in the Majors, but Otto has started to make his move – and after whiffing 4-times in our last contest has moved to 2nd in the league with 162 K’s on the year… and we get a much-needed day off before welcome the Timberwolves to town for a 3-game set – it’s getting close to the end y’all…
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Be excellent to each other.
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