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Old 05-12-2019, 08:59 PM   #161
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2075 Season (4/5 - 4/7)

Los Angeles Lakers (2-1, .666, t-1st NL West) @ San Francisco 49ers (2-1, .666, t-1st NL West)
San Francisco is not Hamza’s team. He’s not their captain or their lynchpin - he’s a better-than-solid contributor and occasional spark plug with a mustache that rivals the one Brisk wears. We need him on our club - we are mustache collectors. The 49ers, then, belong to SP Landon Sampson. When he goes, the club follows - he sets the tone, charts the course, and leads the way. He was the most critical component of a club that made an improbable run through the 2074 playoffs that ended with a Championship Banner. They’ve filled some gaps in the off-season, and look primed to be in the mix again this year... They are, essentially, the self-appointed leaders of the NL West, and while San Diego, and hopefully our club, may disagree we will have to earn it against them throughout the year. That we get our first crack at it this early in the season feels like more of a blessing than a curse... we’ll find out which it is over the next 3-days as we work through the backend of our rotation before seeing our Ace Kawka for his second outing.

Some notes before I play out the next series...
Josiah Weber – Josiah’s still got it. He won the 2074 Pacheco and then signed a 2-year, $68M contract with Philadelphia. In his debut for the 76ers, he went 8.2 innings, gave up 0 runs, and struck out 12 batters for his first win of the 2075 season. At 38 years old, he’s far from finished.

Donny Jeter – Donny signed with the Golden State Warrior for 1-year at 6.6M where he got the start at SS in each of the teams first three games. He’s currently batting .091 and has 1 fielding error.

Josh Allen – Allen, frustrated with OKC’s move to Minnesota, elected to sign with the Brooklyn Citizens in the offseason. They got him on a 3-year contract valued at 87.5M. He made his debut as the opening day starter for his new club and went 7.2 innings with 9 K’s and 1 earned run.

4 of 162: Julen Morales @ Samuel Herbert
Otto opened up the scoring in the top of the first with a 3-run 442ft blast to dead center, bringing Ethan Mullens (who opened the game with a triple) and Ruben Zarate (who got a free pass from Herbert) home. Otto followed that up with a throwing error in the bottom of the frame that allowed a freebie across… by the time we got to the first, the 49ers had gotten 2 of the 3 back. An Ethan Mullens solo shot in the top of the 3rd extended our lead – he now just needs a double & a single to complete the cycle – should be easy, right? Right. Hamza gets himself a triple on the bottom of the 3rd and reaches home a few batters later… We lead 5-3. We get a little cushion on the 7th to run it up to 6-3 and that’s where we leave it… the new look Lakers are 3-1.

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5 of 162: Phillip King @ Ryan Wiggins
Ethan starts it off with his second triple in as many games – the boy is hot, people. San Francisco gets a run in each of the first three frames for an early 3-0 lead – we’re not doing much so far, only three hits… Fregoso changes that with an RBI single that brings Pepper home – your boy led us off with a well-hit double to right… a double steal gets us a second after the catcher makes an errant throw to second trying to catch us in the act… we follow that up with ANOTHER double steal for a run after ANOTHER errant throw from Munguia. Wow, that’s unusual. Bovie follows that mess up with a 2-RBI double – and then our SS Jenkins gets us another. 7-run 3rd inning for the Lake Show! We’re blowing the doors off this thing – 7-3 lead into the bottom of the 5th. San Francisco goes down with a fight and manages to put three more on the board before our Closer Saul Guzman shuts the door in the bottom of the 9th for his second save of the series. Lakers win 8-6, are basically invincible. Bad news: Phillip King is not invincible – we lost him for the season with a torn UCL. Bummer biscuits, y’all. We’ve moved Merl to the rotation – slotting him in at the #5 spot (scary) and called Ellison Miller up from Compton.

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6 of 162: Josiah Kawka (1-0, 3.00) @ Foster Bantel (0-0, 0.00)
Ethan Mullens did not start us off with a triple – he popped out to left… Ruben Zarate, however, hit a 386ft solo shot in his first at-bat to get us an early 1-0 lead… Nehemiah Jenkins brought home 2 with a double in the top of the 2nd – no outs – and it feels like we are off to the races here… We’d get another in the top of the 5th, but SF starts to come alive in the bottom of the frame when they plate one and follow that up by plating two in the bottom of the 6th… 4-3 Lake Show as we enter the stretch. In the bottom of the 7th, Pepper commits his first error of the season at 3rd – allowing the bases to load up, but Kawka gets out of the jam off a weak pop up to left… Former Sun, Frosty Dillard strikes out our side in the top of the 9th, giving Guzman a chance at his third save of the series – and he did not disappoint. Saul finished it off with two K’s, a walk, and a weak grounder, Lakers win 4-3 and sweep the defending champs in their ballpark.

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A 5-1 start to the season, power ranked at #5 in the first poll, and ranked no lower than 6th in any of the NL categorical rankings – I think it’s safe to say that we have come out of the gate hot. I think we’re good, I’m under no illusion that we are this good. Otto had a heck of a series (4 for 13, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI) and Kawka brought us home in that last game even if he was a bit shaky at times. I’m beyond happy with Pepper – he’s hitting .300 with a HR and 4 RBI and only ONE error. We’re a little dinged up and losing King for the season really sucks – but, it’s hard to find much to complain about – we are amongst the lowest in the league in errors at 6, but are one of only three teams that have not completed a single double play… conversely, we’re the only team that has stolen home twice.

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Old 05-12-2019, 11:53 PM   #162
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2075 Season (4/9 - 4/10)

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Los Angeles Lakers
Shawna Betts and her new look Minnesota Timberwolves are heading to town for a two-game set. Outside of losing SP Josh Allen to free agency, I’m not seeing much in the way of player movement from Ms. Betts and her brain trust of witchcraft mathematicians. Perhaps that will come in time, or maybe it won’t... maybe her work in the field of cognitive sciences is just a sham, superior salesmanship of wolf tickets, or perhaps the Red Queen can’t remember ish... it’s difficult to get up for this two-game set with the lingering resentment amongst the casual fanbase surrounding the teams unceremonious move from OKC to Minneapolis - the general line of thought is that Shawna and her legion of nerds came in like thieves in the night, baseball charlatans who had no patience for the long con and went with the ‘ol smash n’ grab instead. I will enjoy spending time in Minneapolis though - that town has some funk to it, a bitterly cold funk, but funk, nonetheless. Without Josh, the Minnesota pitching staff is in even more disarray than it was at its most injury-depleted in 2074 - but the offense, led by 26yo Catcher Rex Engelstad, is stout even if they haven’t yet clicked in 2075. The former Kansas Jayhawk is hitting .400, but without any help, he only has 2 RBI on the season... at 2-4 this season (they dropped 3 on their trip to Vancouver BC), MIN is overdue... let’s hope they don’t start cooking against us.

But first… Oof:
Josiah Weber gave up 7 earned runs in only 4 innings of work during his second start for Philadelphia. Also, SP Patrick Keith of the Phoenix Suns is slated to miss 5-6 weeks with an oblique strain. Maximum suckage in my old stomping grounds.

7 of 162: Tim Kelly (0-1, 3.12) @ the Michael Brisk (1-0, 2.00)
Brisk gives up a run in the first – he hasn’t looked like the guy we saw during his last time out – still time for him to dial it in. after a leadoff walk in the bottom of the frame for Newman, Ethan moves him to 3rd on a well-hit double… and after Newman scores on a wild pitch, an Otto sacrifice gets Ethan home – this is followed up by a 2-run homer for Kumar and we are off to the races – 4-1 lead after one. In the 2nd – Pepper earns his 2nd error of the season on a booted one-hopper, the only price to be paid is his pride though as nothing gets across for the T’Wolves. We’d get another in the bottom of the 5th before Minnesota finally found some go and plated 3 in the top of the 7th – 5-4 Lakers lead now… 3 more cross for Minnesota in the 8th putting them up 7-5, their offense is starting to play up to its ability – that’s not great for us. Bottom of the 9th – Mullens hits a solo shot, one run game, Otto up to bat next… and he strikes out swinging – hard – like he wanted to hit the ball to Alaska. T’Wolves get a W on their first ever trip to LA – 7-6. Man, oh man, Brisk lets 7 get across in 7 innings, Mullens goes 3 for 5, Kumar goes 2 for 3 with a homerun, a double, and a walk.

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8 of 162: Elijah Rizzuto (0-1, 23.63) @ Case Tunnell (0-0, 9.64)
We find ourselves in a 2-run hole early but get creative in the bottom of the 2nd with our third double steal of the season and take home on an errant throw by Minnesota’s best player. Weird – I’ll take it. PEPPER’S bat wakes up a bit – he adds an RBI single to the mix and we tie it up in the bottom of the 2nd – we’d get another for the lead, but Minnesota answers in the next frame with another couple of runs to take the lead again, 4-3. Solo shot from your boy Pepper ties it up in the bottom of the 4th – The Timberwolves explode for 5 in the top of the eight and we answer with 2 in the bottom of the 8th and 9th respectively but lose it when Otto is gunned down by Colt DeWees trying to stretch one out to a triple. I like aggression – just not reckless aggression. Minnesota wins 8-7 and we get mini-swept during our first homestand of the season.

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Well – maybe there is something to Shawna’s theories… whatever she dreamt up worked pretty well in LA. It sure was fun to see Pepper go gonzo in that last one tho – 3 for 4, 1 HR, 2 Runs, 2 RBI – your boy did his level best to will us to victory. We ended the series by sending 6 pitchers to the mound – it’s a good thing we have a day off before our three-game series against Vancouver – they’re good, we can’t go out there throwing meatballs against them. After this last set, our offense is rated first in the NL, our defense is slipping, and our Starters are suddenly trash.

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Old 05-13-2019, 09:07 PM   #163
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2074 Season (AAA Update)

The City of Compton…
Incorporated in 1888 and situated in the heart of Los Angeles County, Compton has hosted our AAA affiliate for all 73 years of our existence. Its development of our players is paramount – critical to our future success. That our staff down there hasn’t been good at it for quite some time is another story altogether…

A look at some of our top prospects (all pitchers… our system is woefully uneven):

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P Newton Wiser, 24 (#4 OSA Rank) – Wiser has Ace potential and might have a Pacheco or two in him before all is said and done. He has an MLB ready fastball, a curve that’s getting close, and a slider that needs some work. Good WE/INT. We got him with the 2nd overall pick in 2072 out of Seton Hall. This will be his 4th year in AAA – we need to see a huge skill jump this year or he’s trade bait. He’s 21-37 with a 4.00 ERA, 4.7 rWAR, and a ERA+ of 93.

P Rad Taylor, 22 (#64 OSA Rank) – Your boy Rad has some work to do. I see him as a solid middle of the rotation type – it’s a rose-colored glasses situation. Rad has 5 pitches, but only 3 of them will ever be MLB worthy – his fastball, cutter, and changeup have a chance. He’s 5-10, with a 7.65 ERA, and 0.1 rWAR in 3 seasons in AAA. He’s been traded 3 times so far in his career – I was involved in all of them. He will either be my biggest bargain or just another bad decision I’ve made in a library full of them.

P Vincent Urquhart, 22 (#65 OSA Rank) – We traded for Urquhart just before the start of the season. He’s got some potential but has a lot of work to do if he’s going to get his slider up to the level of his changeup and fastball. Another good WE/INT guy, so we have some confidence in his ability to get to where we will need him to be. The former Vanderbilt Commodore went 8-8 with a 4.44 ERA in his first AAA season.

Note: Compton opened the AAA season with a 3-2 win over the Sugar Land Skeeters. Newton got the start and showed some real promise – he finished with 8 K’s, 3 BB’s, 5 hits, and 1 earned run in 7.0 innings pitched.

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Old 05-14-2019, 01:03 AM   #164
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2074 Season (4/12 - 4/14)

Vancouver Whitecaps (4-5, .444, 5th NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (5-3, .625, t-1st NL West)
I feel like the Whitecaps are a good club, and while their play so far this season has done nothing to confirm that feeling - I feel it nonetheless. They have an above average staff - though their Ace (Bill Marvin – 2 starts, 17 innings, no runs so far) is not as Ace-ly as 10 of the 12 SP’s that hold that designation in the National League (from a rating perspective – his performance thus far has been stellar) - and they have the best set-up man (Enzo Mercado) and closer (Gage Stark) in the game. On a whole, this is a classic case of the sum equaling more than its parts. On offense they have enough - serviceable hitters with above-average patience at the plate - they have enough to get it done, just not enough to pique the imagination of the casual fan. Dictionary definition of ‘workmanlike’. Nowhere is this makeup more personified than in Filonas Polyclitus - a solid player (.278/.435/.333, 2 RBI) with a stellar last name and a pretty sweet ‘stache. It might be worth trying to put a package together for that guy… Even still, this is a series we should win. Why? Because we baseball better than they do. That’s why.

9 of 162: Bill Marvin (2-0, 0.00) @ Julen Morales (1-0, 3.38)
Morales goes 1, 2, 3 in the top of the 1st on 11 pitches – dig… Bill Marvin, the man with two first names, returns the favor on fewer pitches – he does it in 6… do not dig it. Vancouver gets 2 in the top of the 3rd and take the early lead – and Pepper commits his 3rd error of the year… I’m starting to think that he was lying about working on his glove-work in the offseason. A solo-shot from Otto breaks Marvin’s scoreless streak at 20 innings – we’re on the board now, down 2-1… Pepper hits a double a couple of batters later and is moved over to 3rd by Jenkins before scoring on a wild pitch from Marvin – a gift, we like gifts… knotted up a 2 each. Marvin loads the bases on two walks and a HBP – Zarate gets us our 3rd run on a well-hit single down the third base line. Sac fly hit by Benavides brings in our 4th before Marvin finally retires the side. A solo HR for Fregoso plates our 5th in the bottom of the 6th, Marvin hits a batter with the bases loaded to help up bring #6 across, and Otto hits a 2-RBI double down the first base line for #’s 7 & 8 – we’re crushing Marvin tonight – Benevides gets another RBI before we’re retired – 5-run 6th for the Lakers. The Whitecaps managed to get one back before it was done, but in the end, they were cooked – a 9-3 win for the good guys. Morales put a nice start together – 7IP, 6H, 3ER, 5BB (yikes), 4K – and Otto was awesome – 2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI.

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Note:
Rad got his first start of the year in Compton – nice line too… 7IP, 7H, 3ER, 1BB, 6K’s – he did give up a couple of homers though. His best start under my employ? I think it is. Your boy Rad Taylor may make something of himself yet…

10 of 162: Jake Renfer (1-1, 3.46) @ Josiah Kawka (2-0, 3.18)
We played a tight game through 5, each team with only one run to show for themselves until Otto hit his 5th home run of the season to get us a 2-1 lead… the Whitecaps answered in the top of the 8th – 2 runs scored to take a 3-2 lead – it’s getting late and we seem groggy, not a lot of action in this one. 2 more for the Whitecaps in the top of the 9th and that’s all she wrote – the good guys stumble, lose to Vancouver 5-2, and vow to come back tomorrow and try again – I mean we have uniforms and everything, so why not.

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11 of 162: Adam Gunter (0-0, 0.00) @ Merl Crawford (0-1, 40.50)
Otto starts off the scoring with a solo HR – his 3rd in as many games – this guy is a lot of fun to watch, a real one-man wrecking crew. Pepper got across later in the inning – 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd. Vancouver got one back in the 4th, but we managed to get 4 across in the bottom of the frame to take a 6-1 lead… Pepper got his second run of the game during the spree and in all batters 1 through 5 have scored. Good guys get the win, 7-1. Merl, after a disastrous appearance in relief earlier in the season, was brilliant in his first start – 7.2 IP, 5H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Otto stayed hot, 2 for 4 & 1 HR, your boy PEPPER finished 2 for 5 with 2 runs and an RBI, and Fregoso went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI – good all-around effort to secure our first home series win of the season.

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A solid series win against a solid club – we took care of business here and our offense has been unbelievable. We’re now 1st in HR’s and OBP & 2nd in Runs & AVG – that’s good enough for the best offense in the NL folks. Things have started off well in LA – the team has, for the most part, played out of its mind. We got 4 in San Diego starting tomorrow – always a tough team to beat and a tough place to play.

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Old 05-14-2019, 10:34 AM   #165
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2075 Season (Prospect Update)

During my, admittedly short, tenure in Phoenix, I successfully stocked their development system with top prospects. My favorite of the bunch, SP Cam Murphy, was inherited - Phoenix drafted him 2nd overall out of Blue Mountain State one season before my arrival. Note: Cam was originally named something else - he was a Travis or Phillip or Wayne - not 100% sure... I often find prospects prior to the draft and rename them using one of the facegen’s I’ve made, in this case using a facegen of one of my favorite Seahawk players, but I digress. Cam has something snappy - good command potential, tip-top control potential and three good pitches, he’s on my soon-to-be stud list. The problem with him - and this, really, is a theme of my universe - is that his development is taking too long. I think this is a problem with how I set up the universe - there’s levels to major league development and currently I only have one where players can earn their stripes. Another note: I’ve been slowly working on adding a AA league, but gathering logos for all the teams has taken some time, and I’ve not had the wherewithal to focus on it yet - chalk it up to Strangeverse ADHD. I’m hoping that this is Cam’s year, the one where he makes the required skill-jump, joins the big club, and sticks. There’s still time, of course, even as he finds himself mired in the long & arduous minor league slog - and given his superb W/E and an INT rating that puts him a couple of ticks above ‘ponzi scheme target’, he should find his way to the show eventually. In his first start for the Tucson Arrowheads, Cam went 5 innings and gave up 3 earned - he also struck out 7, walked 2, hit a guy, and gave up a monstrous home run while on a pitch count. The K’s were cool even if he had to work pretty hard to get them, and the aggressiveness was nice even if he needed to pick his spots a bit better at times - I’m hoping this is the year he gets slotted into the Suns rotation, as a legit, you’re ready call up, not a roster expansion, let’s see what you got for a minute, call up.

Time will tell... patience Grasshopper...

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Old 05-14-2019, 11:21 PM   #166
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2075 Season (4/16 – 4/18)

Los Angeles Lakers (7-4, .636, 1st NL West) @ San Diego Chargers (6-5, .545, 3rd NL West)
San Diego’s offense has been bad – nearly the worst in the NL bad. 11th in runs and OBP, 9th in AVG and home runs. Their pitching, however, is lights out. 1st in starters ERA and 2nd in bullpen ERA. They are led by Burt McElheny and his 2.38 career-ERA – the two-time all-star & $21M dollar man is 1-1 so far, with a 2.53 ERA. Arnaldo Romero – their #2 – is 1-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 18 K’s in two starts. We’ll see him in the first game of the 4-game set and most likely miss McElheny this time around. So far this year, they’ve split a couple of series against Minnesota & Phoenix, got a mini-sweep in Vancouver, and lost a set to the 49ers. If there is a groove to find, they’re still looking. This is a hard club to figure, they finished 1st in the NL last season, were swept out of the playoffs by San Francisco and did nothing to get better in the offseason. They extended McElheny for a year, and are paying 1B Ben Compton $15 after arbitration, and, in their biggest move signed 35-year old SP Heath Zody away from the Sounders to a 2-year $21M sheet. Zody is solid, but he’s old and definitely not a difference maker.

12 of 162: Michael Brisk (1-1, 4.86) @ Arnaldo Romero (1-0, 1.02)
Lakers get a one-run win in San Diego, 4-3
San Diego basically falls apart in the 3rd and hands the game to us – two of our guys get on by error and 2 of our runs come by way of sac flies. Zarate & Otto both get 2 hits, and Brisk, in an improvement over his last time out, gives us 8 innings with 9 hits, 2 earned runs, 3 walks, and 5 K’s. Saul Guzman picked up his 4th save – walked 1 & no K’s… living on the edge. Gifted a win in the opener – nice! Not so nice: Arnaldo left after 5 with an injury – diagnosis not good… he’ll be out for the season with shoulder inflammation.

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13 of 162: Case Tunnell (0-0, 8.38) @ Heath Zody (1-1, 3.38)
Clipped late by 2-run walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9th, SDC wins 8-6.
The Chargers ran roughshod over us in the 4th – putting 5 runs on the board but stayed quiet after that until getting the walk-off win at home. Otto finished 3 for 4 with a triple and 1 RBI – Newman went 2 for 3 with a HR and 2 RBI, and Case Tunnel can’t make it through the 4th inning for the second time this season. 3 costly errors in this one cost us the game.

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14 of 162: Josiah Kawka (2-1, 3.24) @ Prior Balazs (0-1, 1.69)
Lakers rally for the late win, take game 3 by a score of 8-4.
Your boy Pepper came through in the clutch, he went 3 for 5 with a HR and 2 RBI’s and Newman brought in the run that put us ahead in the 9th – a tasty little RBI single. Jenkins put up 2 hits and 2 RBI – Kawka only managed to give us 5 innings and gave up 4 runs in the effort – his second sub-par performance in as many tries.

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Elsewhere: Eloy Delando is still angry, y’all.

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In AAA (City of Compton): Rad put another solid start together, this time against the Mexico City Diablos – 6IP, 9H, 2ER, 2BB, 2K. Improvement.

15 of 162: Julen Morales (2-0, 3.60) @ Burt McElheny (1-1, 2.53) … I was wrong about McElheny.
Lakers take 3 of 4 off of the Chargers, 7-4
We backed up a 4-run 5th with a 3-run 8th to secure a series win over the San Diego Chargers. Morales gave us 8.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 1 K in a winning effort and Joshua Newman went 2 for 4, with a HR and 3 RBI. Good stuff from Newman lately. Otto finishes 2 for 4, stays hot, and is now batting .414 for the season – he’s on fire. Your boy Pepper got in on it too – 2 for 4 with a couple of runs. We’re on something of a roll.

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At 10-5, we are in control of the NL West (for now) and our offense is still playing out of its mind – 1st in runs, OBP, and HRs. We’re 2 games up on San Francisco and have started the season by beating up on most of the NL West. Next, we head to Dallas for the start of interleague play. We’re off to a phenomenal start – much, much better than I would have dared to expect. For now, we’re a fun club to watch.

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Old 05-15-2019, 10:58 PM   #167
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2074 Season (4/19 – 4/21)

Los Angeles Lakers (10-5, .667, 1st NL West) @ Dallas Cowboys (7-8, .467, 4th AL West)
A quick trip from San Diego to Dallas before traveling home to take on the Galaxy. The Cowboys have had a slow start to the season at 4-8 before winning 3 straight versus the LA Galaxy. At the end of this series, Dallas will have played a Los Angeles based club in 7 straight games. Outside of their bullpen (rated 2nd in the AL), nothing has really clicked for the Cowboys – they find themselves in the bottom half of the AL in every offensive category. Team Captain, and best overall player, RF Timmy Simpson was off to a slow start - .167/.444/.667 with 1 HR before he went down with a fractured thumb in the 2nd game of the season – out of action for 5-6 weeks. In his absence, the offense has sputtered. Ace Matthew Krebs is also cold – he’s started the season 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA and walked 5 batters during his last start – we’ll see him in Game 1. It’s early and this is a club that has made the playoffs 4 times in the last 5 seasons – we haven’t heard from them yet, but there is still time.

16 of 162: Merl Crawford (1-1, 3.24) @ Matthew Krebs (0-2, 6.43)
A 3-run top of the 1st followed by another in the top of the 5th would be all we needed in our 6-3 win in game one. Krebs pitched well giving the home team 6 innings of 5-hit ball, and our guy, Crawford, only gave up 3 runs in the same amount of innings to earn his second W of the season – he’s filled in nicely for Phillip King. Dom Cooke hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 1St, Mullen went 3 for 5 with 3 runs, and Otto/Zarate both got a couple of hits in the win. Pepper went 0 for 5, but only struck out once – and was error-free at 3rd. Dallas committed 4 errors and used 8 pitchers. That’s too many for an April game.

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17 of 162: Michael Brisk (2-1, 4.01) @ LaVaughan Stewart (1-0, 4.64)
Brisk gave us 8.1 innings with only two earned and earned the W – a 3-2 win in Dallas. Stewart pitched great – good enough to deserve the win – 7 innings of 1-hit baseball. Jenkins got us the lead in the top of the 9th – a nice little run-scoring single. Otto stayed hot, 2 for 3 with a home run – his 8th of the year – dude is unstoppable. Pepper got a hit and was error-free for the second game in a row.

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18 of 162: Case Tunnell (0-0, 6.91) @ Steve Allen (0-2, 3.86)
Case has his best and lengthiest start of the season – 8 innings, no earned runs, and Ethan Mullens goes 2 for 3 with a 2-run HR in the 3rd. Otto goes hitless for the first time in I don’t even know how long. Los Angeles wins, 4-1 and we earn our first sweep of the season. We’re 8-2 in our last 10. With the win, we moved to the #2 spot in the weekly rankings.

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Elsewhere: Seattle lost SP Logan Lightner for the rest of the year – torn flexor tendon. At 41-years old, that might be it for him. During his career, he has made 8 all-star appearances and won the Pacheco in 2062. He spent 14 of his 18 seasons in the Lakers Purple & Gold and is our all-time leader in wins (236) and K’s (3833) – the man is a Laker Legend and we wish him a speedy recovery.

AAA Notes: Newton Weiser got his third start this week and went 7 IP with 4 hits and 2 earned runs in a losing effort to the Supersonics. He’s 1-1 with a 2.38 ERA and 160 ERA+ so far this season.

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Headed home after earning our first sweep of the season. We’re still leading the NL in runs scored and our pitching is starting to come around – that’s scary. We play the LA Galaxy in their ballpark next – they are 8-10 for the season, 6-4 in their last 10 with 3 of those 4 losses coming against Dallas. There is a better than good chance that the good times keep on rolling for a few more games in Laker Land.

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Old 05-16-2019, 09:18 AM   #168
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2075 Season (4/22 -4/24)

Los Angeles Lakers (13-5, .722, 1st NL West) @ Los Angeles Galaxy (8-10, .444, 4th AL West)
Going back to Cali… where we have not necessarily been the toast of the town, historically speaking. The Galaxy has a .505 winning percentage since 1992 with 43 playoff appearances and 1 world series banner, while we are .491 lifetime with 39 appearances and ZERO banners. In fact, we’ve only been to the World Series once, in 2045, when we lost to the Golden State Warriors in 5 games. Our best pitcher that year was Maxwell Quarnberg, who went 19-10 with a 3.75 ERA and made his 1st of 3 all-star appearances (2 with us and a 3rd with the Galaxy, where he contributed to their lone championship team). With our respective starts in 2075, the hope is that this will be the year we change that. And why not? Our offense is humming, the pitching is starting to turn the corner from respectable to good, and we’re seeing more of LA’s sun-soaked citizenry donning the purple and gold than ever before. It’s our turn. Our time to ignite an oft-dormant civic pride – consistently lost in the Angelino malaise – and to inspire the early adopters with active social media accounts who slum it in Hollywood. We’re becoming the trend – an often temporary and fleeting designation that pays some immediate dividends (see Diamond Club ticket sales). This should be our weekend – the weekend where our fans deliver the prom-posal we’ve all been waiting for – as we go head to head against our crosstown rival whose pitching is in a state of disrepair and whose offense is a shell of its former self.

19 of 162: Josiah Kawka (2-1, 3.86) @ Larry Ramirez (1-1, 6.63)
Our hot start continues in game one of the three-game set – a 3-2 win made possible by Joshua Newman’s run-scoring double in the top of the 5th. Kawka was effective (1 earned in 8 innings), Guzman earned his 7th save in a 12-pitch 9th, and Otto did as Otto does – 2 for 4 and now batting .411 so far. Our streak now extended to 6 games as we continue to find creative ways to get it done. 14-5 now with some lucky breaks (12-7 against the Pythagorean expectation) and 12-2 on the road.

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Notes from Compton: Your boy Rad Taylor’s 3rd start is his best yet – 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, and 8 K’s against the Supersonics. He looks good out there with the Old English C on his cap.

20 of 162: Julen Morales (3-0, 3.52) @ Adam White (0-2, 11.74)
Our luck runs out in this one as the Galaxy earn a hard-fought 3-2 win. A 2-run 7th does us in, capped off by a 2-run double from LA’s shortstop Layton Powell. Otto got a day off, Pepper went 0 for 4, and we strike out 11 times as a team. We’re now 13-3 on the road and looking to start another win streak.

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Bad news out of the NL West: The San Diego Chargers lost SP Prior Balazs for the season with a torn UCL.

21 of 162: Merl Crawford (2-1, 3.77) @ Medardo Garcia (1-1, 2.16)
Medardo is great over 6 innings, but the 4 runs we put on the board through 5 are enough to win the day – 4-3 victory and 2-1 series win for the Lake Show. Guzman gets his 8th save and 3B Lee Sobania (subbing for Pepper) goes 2 for 3 with a 2-run double in the top of the second. Otto starting to fade – he went 0 for 3 today, and he’s hitting .390 for the season now. LAG 3B Scott Crosser is out for a week after this one with a strained back – happened on an errant throw to first.

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I honestly thought that, after losing the 2nd game, we would come back to earth and lose the series. Even with the win, though, that statement is partially true. We didn’t hit particularly well in this one – neither team did. We did just enough to win and maybe just enough to extend this new period of goodwill in our hometown for a few more weeks. The notoriously fickle Los Angeles fan base is always one shiny new toy away from moving on to something else – but, if we can just hold on to their attention for a bit longer it will go a long way towards helping me hit my owner’s revenue targets. We’ve been feasting on weaker clubs – or, just clubs that haven’t found their groove yet. That’s about to change tomorrow when we welcome the Brooklyn Citizen to town who are 9-1 in their last ten after a 4-9 start to the season. A hard-charging lot that will own us over the 3-game set if we don’t start swinging the bat a bit better.

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Old 05-16-2019, 09:12 PM   #169
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2075 Season (4/25 – 4/28)

Brooklyn Citizens (13-10, .565, 4th NL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (15-6, .714, Class of the NL West)
Brooklyn prides itself on authenticity, even if said authenticity was largely lost long ago after a self-inflicted transition to a mecca for genre-hopping Hipster types more concerned with staying up on trends than finding their true selves. Brooklyn is operating in a bubble of sorts – preoccupied with niche (in its many forms) and esoteric ideologies that make little sense outside of its confines. The Citizens don’t necessarily subscribe to the mold described above, however, as they are built on homegrown hustle with a bit of flair they added in the offseason. The addition of Josh Allen is starting to pay some early dividends and the club has really started to gel in a demonstrable way – 9-1 in their last 10 and winning the games they should – the Citizens have something snappy. Their confidence is high, their performance has, recently, been elite, and they are starting to click on both sides of the ball. This, then, will be our first true test of the season. MLB clubs have played enough baseball to find their groove and what Brooklyn has found is a smash-mouth, hard-scrabble style that they’ve coupled with rock solid pitching and solid defensive efficiency. Ignore their record – we are equal mass objects on a collision course for NL supremacy (no, not really – I often assign undue import on these things).

22 of 162: Ryan Burg (1-3, 3.77) @ Michael Brisk (3-1, 3.55)
**Cancelled initially, now part of a Dbl Header**

L, 5-3. Burg was big pimpin’ – 8IP, 6H, 2ER, 10K’s – in Brooklyn’s game one, 5-3, win. Brisk gives up 5 in 7, Mullens finishes 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs, Zarate goes 3 for 4 with nothing else to show for it, and Otto finished 0 for 3. Pepper was particularly poor at the plate today – 0 for 4 and 3 K’s.

Elsewhere: A bit of bad luck has fallen on the Phoenix Suns today as they learned that starting pitcher Patrick Keith had suffered a setback in his recovery from an oblique strain and will miss more time than expected. The setback will cost an additional 4-weeks – resistance band training is hard you guys!

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23 of 162: Nick Lyle (2-1, 4.01) @ Case Tunnell (1-0, 4.43)
W, 3-4. Big win in extras – we come through with 2 runs in the bottom of the 12th after they got the go-ahead run in the top of the frame. Your boy Pepper was the hero – 2-run single, my man looped a fastball to left for the walk-off. Case & Nick were engaged in a real duel – each only gave up 2 runs in 8+. Otto got a hit, Zarate picked up 4 plus an RBI, and Pepper got 2 (the walk-off and a double). 12 error-free innings for the Lakers in this one.

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24 of 162: Sarkis Canby (2-1, 2.79) @ Josiah Kawka (3-1, 2.29)
L, 8-6. Errors for Pepper, Jenkins, and Fregoso do us in – 4 unearned tonight. Guzman blows the save – shelled… 3 runs get across on him in the 9th. Pepper hit one out, Otto wakes up – 3 for 4, 2 RBI, and a run. Fregoso got 3 hits, Newman with 2. Good offense – the D and our pitching is the culprit here.

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25 of 162: Kevin Herrera (3-1, 2.43) @ Julen Morales (3-1, 3.48)
L, 9-2. Destroyed. Just laid to waste tonight. Brooklyn’s Joey Cory went 3 for 4 with a double, 3 RBI, and 2 runs. Herrera was lights out and our bullpen is leaking – 7 runs get across on our relievers. 5 doubles and a HR for the Citizens. Otto got hurt – waiting on the prognosis. Nothing about tonight was any good.

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AAA Update (City of Compton): Newton Wiser went 6 innings and gave up 3 earned in his last start against the Salem Silverback – he got the decision and is now 2-1. 80’s Playboy Rad Tay-Tay went 7 innings and gave up 4 in his start against the Silverbacks – he got the decision and is also now 2-1. A nice 1-2 punch is developing in Compton.


No rest for the wicked – it’s all about putting this disastrous 4-game set behind us as the 17-8 St. Louis Rams head to town for a 3-game parlay. They’re 5-5 in their last 10 and we’ll be looking to end our 2-game losing streak. We got bashed so hard in that last one that it may as well be a 3-game skid.

Transaction Log:
Signed free agent RP Regis Cook to a minor league contract – AAA filler.
Signed free agent RP Cade Pitz to a minor league contract – Good stuff, no movement.

Important stuff: Angry Eloy has hit 4 doubles since his return from suspension. Take that Commissioner!

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Old 05-18-2019, 10:22 AM   #170
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2075 Season (4/29 – 5/1)

St. Louis Rams (17-8, .680, 1st NL East) @ Los Angeles Lakers (16-9, .640, 1st NL West)
The St. Louis Rams have been the class of the league, they have 7 Championships, and most recently won 2 in a row during the 2067 & 2068 seasons. In the last 6 seasons, they’ve finished no higher than 3rd in the NL East, and if you drill that down to the last 4 seasons, they’ve been no better than 5th. They aim to change their fortunes this year – coming out of the gates like they were shot out of a cannon, they’ve laid waste to every team in their path. Until recently, anyway. They’ve stumbled of late – like us – and head to town with the aim of turning things back around. Outside of home runs, they rank no lower than 2nd in any category and their pitching staff has been the best in baseball – only their Ace Max Harrington has an ERA above 4… everyone else is 3 and below (with three of the four remaining starters making their living in the 2’s). Harrington is a 6-pitch guy whose movement and control are tip top – the 2071 NL Pacheco winner is known as a hard-working lunch pail guy that is willing to put in long hours working on his craft. He’ll come around soon enough but we're hoping that he doesn’t dial it in during our 3-game set (we’ll get a look at him first). On offense they are led by former Boyce Rigg award-winning RF Jonah Dove, who has seemingly put his injury woes behind him and is off to a .323/.411/.479 season so far. The 7-time all-star & 6-time silver slugger is in good form and picking up speed. This will be a tough one for us – it’s hard to find a lot of routes to victory against this club…. Where we are good, they look better. Otto is DtD – strained ribs was the diagnosis – and if he’s can’t go in this, it’s hard to believe that we will be able to in his absence.

26 of 162: Max Harrington (4-0, 4.14) @ Merl Crawford (3-1, 3.80)
Harrington got his groove back – pitched a 1-hitter before getting lifted in the 6th in the Rams’ 5-1 win. Zarate got a couple of hits for our side – and that’s about it for highlights. Merl gave up 3 in 5.1, including a home run courtesy of STL 1B Calvin Rowan. Otto finished 0 for 4, with 3 K’s – his rib strain is wreaking havoc on his swing – it looked nowhere near as sweet as it has lately.

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27 of 162: Dimitri Pimentel (3-2, 2.08) @ Case Tunnell (1-0, 3.82)
DH Lee Sobania, in the bottom of the 12th, ends this stretch of misery for us, with a walk-off run-scoring single. We hung tough in this one and gave our fans something to cheer about. Otto (0 for 6), Pepper (1 for 5), and Fregoso (1 for 5) all stay cold – and part-timer Sobania (9 played, 6 starts in our first 27 games) gets an opportunity to be the hero. A hard-fought, 6-5 win, for the good guys.

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Some notes as we put April in the rearview…. Max Harrington won the Pitcher of the Month Award for his 5-0 start…Green Bay, Seattle, St. Louis, and Us are the class of the league so far – of the four division leaders, we have the lowest winning percentage, but not by much… Otto led the league in WAR for the month, but his hot start has been put on hold due to rib issues (0 for 11 in our series against STL so far). Josiah Weber is off to a brutal start in Philly – 1-4, 3.95 ERA… uncharacteristic. Donny Jeter has only played in 7 games so far this season for Golden State while Derek has been an everyday guy in PHX - .368/.469/.588 with 3 homers and 11 RBI so far for the struggling 12-15 club.

28 of 162: Nick Colbaugh (2-1, 2.43) @ Michael Brisk (3-2, 4.05)
Brisk dominates through 7 with 8 K’s and ZERO earned – and SS Nehemiah Jenkins hits a 2-run HR in the 3rd to get us on our way in today’s 3-1 win over St. Louis in the rubber match. Otto finished 0 for 1 with 2 freebies, Pepper scores a run and finishes at 1 for 4, but Jenkins & Brisk are the stories here. We’ve played some good baseball in these last two games against a rock-solid ball club. Let the good times roll (again).

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Big series in Vancouver BC is up next – they are 1 ˝ game back and starting to put things together. 7-3 in their last 10 with a +17 rDIFF. They’ll put their 11-7 home record against our 13-3 away record.
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Old 05-18-2019, 12:29 PM   #171
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2075 Season (5/3 – 5/5)

Los Angeles Lakers (18-10, .643, 1st NL West) @ Vancouver Whitecaps (17-11, .607, 2nd NL West)
In our first meeting with Vancouver, in early April, we took the series 2 games to one and outscored them 18-9. Since that meeting, they are 12-4 and have outscored their opponents by a combined 21-runs and they are fresh off the heels of a sweep over Orlando City. They’re not great at any one thing – good everywhere, but they don’t really steal bags much. Their bullpen is second only to St. Louis and defensively they are among the best in the NL – though they have committed 10 more errors than us and have a subpar zone rating, so something may give there before all is said and done. We’ll start off against their #5 guy, before turning it over and getting their Ace & #2 in games two and three. The player to watch in this one for Vancouver is 25-year old Arthur Grant – off to a great start with a .409 average, the former 95th overall pick out of St. Johns is playing at a level above his potential – hard work pays off. He’ll either come back to earth soon or those scouts will need to adjust their expectations.

29 of 162: Josiah Kawka (3-1, 2.91) @ Martin Rigby (1-0, 2.70)
The Whitecaps came in hot but didn’t leave that way as a multi-HR day for Mullens help us overpower Vancouver by a score of 12-6. Josiah goes the distance – a serviceable effort where he gave up 6 runs and only struck out 5 – to earn the W. Momentum shift, courtesy of Mullens, in the top of the 5th and then smooth sailing from there. Otto finished 3 for 5 with an RBI and 2 runs while Pepper paced him in a 3 for 5 day with an RBI and a run of his own. Zarate finished 4 for 5 with nothing to show for it. Mullens is the star here – 5 RBI in total and 3 for 5 at the plate.

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30 of 162: Julen Morales (3-2, 3.49) @ Julian Brooks (0-1, 3.86)
The ‘Caps shuffled their rotation, so we get their #5 today and look to see their Ace in the third game of this three-game set. Nothing doing though as we lose a nail-biter by way of walk-off in the bottom of the 12th when LF Greg Macias takes us out with a solo-HR. Otto is rolling, another 3 for 5, 2 RBI, 2 Run day, and Pepper comes close to that mark in a 3 for 5, 2 RBI, 1 Run performance. Zarate finishes 0 for 5 and out bullpen bursts at the seams late to open the door just wide enough for Vancouver BC to get it.

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31 of 162: Merl Crawford (3-2, 4.05) @ Bill Marvin (4-2, 3.14)
Marvin dominates in a CG shut out over us, earning the Win a 1-0 loss for Lake City. Merl went the distance for us, a 6-hit & 1 ER performance, but we offered no support. Jenkins gave us 2 hits, and Otto & Pepper add one each – but no one does anything with them. Two errors at 1st for Zarate today and he finishes it off with a 0 for 4 performance at the plate – 0 for 9 in the last two games of the set. We only reached second once in the game – a stolen base by Newman brings us as close as we would get to home in this one.

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With the series win, Vancouver moves into a tie for 1st in the NL West with us and we are now 3-3 against them this season. Not the result we were looking for – the walk-off loss hurts, but there’s not much you can do when Marvin is dealing so the game three loss is justifiable. Onward to LA where we will welcome the struggling Chargers to town… forward, never straight and all that…

AAA Update (City of Compton): Newton Wiser posts another quality start - gave up only 2 earned in 7.2 innings of work while Rad Taylor gives us 8 innings against the Columbus Bluejackets with only 3 earned runs. They're almost ready... well, Wiser is almost ready at least.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:08 AM   #172
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2075 Season (5/7 – 5/9)

San Diego Chargers (14-17, .452, 4th NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (19-12, .613, 1st NL West)
We’ve seen the Chargers once this season, a 4-game set where we won 3 and dropped a close one. The season is young and there is a lot of baseball left to be played, but after an unceremonious 14-17 start it’s hard not to think about the fact that San Diego won the NL West only a year ago. The problem isn’t that they’ve taken a step back though, it’s that they have 8 players on the IL – including three key starting pitchers and two offensive lynchpins. SP Arnaldo Romero out for 7 months – he won 17 games for SDC last season. 1B Ben Compton – he hit .369 in 79 games last year. CF Smith Wells - .311 with 85 RBI in 2074. It adds up – with 3 guys from the bullpen moved to the starting rotation and their replacements moved up from AAA, their bullpen ERA has ballooned to worst in the NL, without Ben and Smith they can’t plate runs and are now at 7th in the NL. With a Minor League system that sits somewhere between whatever and poor, their window would be a short one – and the dearth of injuries they’ve sustained in the early part of 2075 may have slammed it shut prematurely.

32 of 162: Heath Zody (3-2, 4.40) @ Michael Brisk (4-2, 3.40)
A complete game, 4 hits, and 1 earned run performance from Heath Zody did us in as the Chargers take game one by a score of 6-1. Heath is an innings eater – he’s pitched a league-leading 52 so far this year and is doing more than anyone in San Diego can ask of him given their injury predicament. We get two doubles from Otto and an RBI from Zarate – nothing else to see here folks. Brisk went 6 and had 4 of the 6 runs charged to his name. A fielding error from Zarate allows two runs to score in the top of the ninth – all but squelching any hope of a winning rally in the bottom of the frame.

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Elsewhere: Orlando City RF PJ Trudell clubbed his 300th home run against the St. Louis Rams in a 7-3 City win. At 983 RBI in his career – he’ll reach the 1000th RBI milestone sometime this season as well.

33 of 162: Artyom Fadeyev (0-1, 10.38) @ Case Tunnell (1-0, 3.68)
San Diego DH Zach Martin finished 2 for 3 with a 3-run homer and Fadeyev went 7 strong with 5 hits and 2 runs as the Charger’s patchwork pitching staff befuddles us again in their 7-4 win. Case manages only 4 innings with each of the Chargers 7 runs charged to his account – his ERA raised by nearly a point after this mess. Otto went 0 for 4, but we got 2 hits each from Kumar Bovie, Jenkins, and Fregoso (who sees his average get above 2… finally).

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Elsewhere: Vancouver won a wild one over the Phoenix Suns by a score of 16-11 – that’s all of the fireworks, ladies and gentlemen… the win puts the Whitecaps into 1st in the NL West where they now have a 1 game lead over us. Thanks for nothing Phoenix. In the NCAA league, some bad news for MIT Equations fans… SP Matheo Trachtenburg (on my future draftee watchlist) is out for the season with a torn back muscle – at 24-16, MIT has a shot of making the postseason tournament, but without Trachtenburg they will likely not make much noise if they do earn a bid.

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34 of 162: Rod Garcia (1-0, 3.57) @ Josiah Kawka (4-1, 3.42)
Josiah single-handedly stops the bleeding with a complete game shutout win over the Chargers – we are dominant on both sides of the ball in the 9-0 win. Dom Cooke goes 4 for 5 with 2 RBI and Kumar finished at 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Otto & Newman scored twice in the win – Newman adds three hits to go with his runs. We needed this one – it’s nice when your Ace can take things in their own hands to deliver a critical win – the flood gates were ajar there for a bit.

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AAA Update (the City of Compton): Weiser added a notch to the L column in his last start – a 3-2 loss in Austin – and your boy Rad Taylor did too… he gave up 4 in 6 innings of work in another loss in Austin, this time by a score of 5-4.

A forgettable 3-day stretch in Laker-land, wouldn’t you agree? Angry Eloy and his Timbers of Portlandia, Oregon will be in town next – I’m hoping for a bench-clearing donnybrook. Isaiah Zuno, a casualty of one of my Michael Brisk trades during my time as the GM in Phoenix is looking to get the game one start against my new club. Should be interesting - too bad Morales is up for that game.
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Old 05-19-2019, 11:41 AM   #173
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2075 Season (5/10 – 5/12)

Portland Timbers (17-18, .486, 3rd AL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (20-14, .588, t-1st NL West)
There are two types of fans of the Portland Timbers – the first group is your vocal minority who leave no opportunity to defend the shenanigans of Angry Eloy unturned, your typical run of the mill apologists whose steadfast belief in their flawed logic demands your appreciation on the basis of their commitment to it, and the second group is comprised of ‘head in the sand’ types who are as adept at changing the subject when Eloy comes up as they are in pretending it isn’t happening – they subscribe to the King Arnulf ideology where simply repeating, “this is not happening”, over and over will make it so. It’s understandable – everybody loves a power hitter, and Eloy’s 64 home runs in the last two years more than makeup for his personality flaws in the eyes of Timbers fans. That good will, however, may be running out as Delando's power is seemingly in decline – 3 home runs in 31 games just won’t get it done. So far, Delando’s power outage hasn’t hurt PDX too much – they are the top-rated offense in the AL, are only 7 team HR’s behind the New York Jets for the lead in that category, and, following the lead of 2B Zippo Hollins (he accounts for 21% of their run production), they score 5.7 runs per game. Pitching is their Achilles – currently 10th in the AL and allowing 4.9 runs per game. This is, of course, to be expected when you have Isaiah Zuno listed as your Ace – the Timbers are an upgrade or two to their pitching staff away from being a serious World Series challenger.

35 of 162: Isaiah Zuno (3-4, 3.14) @ Julen Morales (3-2, 3.47)
It’s smooth sailing for Isaiah until our inner Sven the Berserk makes an appearance in the bottom of the 5th frame – we batted him around for 5 runs and never looked back in the 5-1 win. Morales was lights out over 8 innings of 3 hit, 1 run ball – and Saul Guzman retired the side in 11 pitches in a non-save situation. We hit 4 doubles as a team in this one while Angry Eloy went 0 for 4 with two broken bats.

Elsewhere: Sunrise Supremos C Josh Wooten will miss three months of action due to a broken leg – dig this, my man was trying to jump on the plate after rounding the bases to celebrate, couldn’t stick the landing and broke his own leg. Yikes – how bad do you have to flub that landing to break your own leg?

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36 of 162: Peter Garcia (2-2, 4.88) @ Merl Crawford (3-3, 3.38)
Ethan’s 3 for 5, 2 RBI, with a HR and a Dbl performance isn’t enough in game 2 as we fall to PDX by a score of 7-5. Merl got beat up for 5 runs in as many innings, Otto plated twice on 3 BB’s, Pepper struck out three times, and reliever Matt Olson blew it in in the 6th when he allowed 3 runs to score (he’ll be charged with 2 of them). Eloy finishes 1 for 4 with a run, a walk, 2 K’s, and 1 broken bat.

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37 of 162: Rex Marler (1-3, 6.52) @ Michael Brisk (4-3, 3.69)
Sammie Fregoso scored 3 runs and brought in 2, Brisk picked up the win, and Saul got his 9th save of the season in our 4-2 victory of the Timbers. Newman, batting leadoff, went 3 for 5 with a 2 RBI triple, and Otto gets his first hit of the series to go with his 3 free passes – Portland did not want to pitch to him in these last two games. Eloy got most of the day off – he got an at-bat late and struck out on three pitches… he did not break his bat this time. The equipment manager must’ve had a talk with him.

Elsewhere: Phoenix third baseman Homer Wingard won player of the week honors in the National League - .524 with 2 HR and 7 RBI for the week. The 26-year old is making his mark in 2075.

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Our first series win in our last three tries…we’ll take it. Eloy finishes the series 1 for 9 – we like that, it gives him something to stew about on his way home. Portland walked Otto 6 times in the series and he went 1 for 8 with 3 runs, an RBI and 2 stolen bases – that’s called making the most of it. After the series we find ourselves ranked 2nd in the NL in both offense & pitching and are now two games up on the Whitecaps at 1st in the NL West. Tied for the 3rd best record in the league – Green Bay is 1st… 26-11 so far for the corniest team in the land.

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Old 05-19-2019, 12:44 PM   #174
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Structural Notes...

There are a few performance issues in Strangeverse - some aesthetic (I sometimes lose immersion into the universe due to my MLB team name and logo set - I’ve toyed with the idea of rebranding, but it takes a while) and some that materially affect gameplay - namely all the errors, and more pointedly the disproportionate errors committed by third basemen. Let’s just say, when I took a gander at the settings as they stood, my high league-wide error totals came into focus... as did a few other things, like the fact that the player creation engine doesn’t produce a lot of good fielders and is pitcher heavy and produces far too many Closers with maxed out potential.

As a result, I’ve updated the player creation & performance modifiers - matched them to the default settings that OOTP uses for the NPB, though I dialed back the bunting - they leg out too many bunts in the NPB... Side note: I created a verse where I brought Kruk over to the Nippon-Ham Fighters - plugged the 1991 break out, 1st time All-Star Kruk in and watched him wreak havoc for a season. I planned on reporting on it - it was tentatively titled Kruk-zilla... ultimately it was so fun that I hammered through it in a few days. He led the league in average and finished 3rd or 4th in HR’s - the Fighters finished 5th. But, I digress - I was just going to say that I chose those settings because NPB games are a lot of fun to watch in OOTP - small ball at its finest and most disruptive.

I’m also adding 4 new clubs to the MLB for the 2076 tricentennial season... and have 3 new unaffiliated colleges in the mail for the NCAA feeder... but, I’m just getting ahead of myself now.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:58 PM   #175
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2075 Season (5/13 – 5/15)

Houston Dynamo (18-19, .486, 3rd AL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (22-15, .595, 1st NL West)
More interleague silliness, this time against the Houston Dynamo – who get bonus points for having a leadoff hitter named Sfinx. You don’t see that every day. Houston has the 4th rated offense in the AL and the 6th rated pitching – so they are essentially a more balanced version of the Portland Timbers, built to survive, not necessarily to win. They are 6-4 for their last ten contests including three blowout wins against the Chicago Fire, Golden State Warriors, and San Francisco 49ers, respectively. They are led by SS Rich Bell – the 26-year old out of New Mexico State is batting .356 so far this season – and longtime Dynamo member 1B Danny Green – he’s been a mainstay since 2062 and is the all-time Dynamo leader in games played (1636), hits (1675), and home runs (322). Their cupboards are bare – 19th ranked AAA system – so if they are going to make a run at it this season, they’ll need to make & win some trades before the deadline.

38 of 162: Thomas Deane (3-1, 3.52) @ Case Tunnell (1-1, 4.83)
Otto gets HR’s 12 & 13, and Tunnell pitches 8.2 innings of shutout baseball in the 5-0 game one win over the Houston Dynamo. Isaac finished 3 for 3 with 2 HR and 4 RBI, and Ethan Mullens hit his 10th double of the season. Case is the story here – improves to 2-1 and pitched his longest outing of the year by one batter. It will be interesting to see if Houston is willing to pitch to Otto in the last two games of the set – after today, they should seriously consider adopting the Portland strategy.

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39 of 162: Hunter Lamb (3-4, 5.32) @ Josiah Kawka (5-1, 2.94)
Hunter Lamb was anything but an oxymoron on the mound today – he carried a one-hitter through the 6th and went 7 innings with no runs allowed in Houston’s 2-0 in Los Angeles. In total we get six hits, two each for Newman and Cooke (one was a double) and leave three runners stranded in scoring position & a total of 10 left on base. Pepper goes 0 for 3 with an error and Otto was silenced in an 0 for 4 performance.

Elsewhere: Phoenix RF Preston Wallace went 5 for 5 in a 10-1 over the Portland Timbers for the Suns. I traded for him last year – seems like an ok move in retrospect.

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40 of 162: Cleveland Cornejo (2-3, 5.82) @ Julen Morales (4-2, 3.13)
Former thorn in my side, Cleveland Cornejo gave up three costly home runs (Otto (14), Zarate (3), and Somma (1) all got to him today) and Pepper added another in the bottom of the 8th to put us up for good (his 6th of the season) in a hard-fought 7-6 home victory. Zarate was huge – 3 for 3, a HR, and 3 RBI, and Otto’s 2-run shot made the most out of his only hit. Mullens stole third and three of our runs came in 2-out situations. A nice series win – we had to gut this one out.

Elsewhere: Compton’s Rad Taylor is now on a 2-game losing streak and has given up 10 runs in his last 17 innings of work, 5 to Austin and 5 more to the San Jose Sharks. Conversely, Newton Weiser is 1-1 over the same stretch and has only allowed 2 runs over 13.2 innings of work – including 7 innings of lockdown pitching against San Jose is a 4-1 Compton win.

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We’ve now come out on top in our last two series – and with Phoenix headed to town for four games, I need our guys to lay on the gas a bit more. This one is a little personal to me. We took 2 of 3 off of them to start the season, which felt wonderful, but I want a 4-game dismantling here. Destruction. I want to raze the castle that I built – let them eat cake!

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Old 05-19-2019, 07:31 PM   #176
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2075 Season (5/16 – 5/19)

Phoenix Suns (19-20, .487, 5th NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (24-16, .600, 1st NL West)
Taking a floundering franchise with a suspect developmental program to the playoffs while restocking said AAA system to the degree that it is shortly thereafter ranked at the top of the class is enough to pay the bills - if you build it they will come - it just might not be enough to satisfy the outlandish margins that the former owners son demands. Phoenix is still my team. Any offseason changes made by the new regime were immaterial and now they just have to wait for the players I stocked them with to mature. Or they could mess it up... who knows? The only thing that is certain is that the new regime isn’t interested in my trade offers and while they still take my calls, they are no longer waiting for me to finish before they say no. In LA things are different - same amount of sunshine, but with a light ocean breeze - the checkbook is open, ownership interference is minimal, and expectations were low. I’ve brought in top-flight talent, improved the developmental program, delivered a desirable product, and even installed a top of the line Nespresso machine in my office without the top brass taking notice. Things are good - much better than they are in Phoenix where the Suns are off to a poor start. At 19-20 for the season and without key contributing starters Patrick Keith & Evan Frasier, the Suns find themselves last among NL pitching staffs and are mired in the unfortunate circumstance of being forced to call Al Van Wilder their de facto Ace. This will be a rough stretch for the Eggplant Purple and Burnt Orange’s faithful – and it should be, they deserve it.

41 of 162: Del Miller (2-2, 5.28) @ Merl Crawford (3-3, 4.05)
For five innings, Del was our marionette – we did whatever we wanted to do with his pitches – 11 hits, 5 runs, 2 homers, 3 doubles, a walk. By contrast, Merl went the other way – 7 innings of pinpoint control allowing only 4 hits and 1 run in our 6-1 opening game victory over the Suns. Otto went 1 for 3 where the one was a 2-run HR, Mullens hit a triple, Pepper scored, and we fielded 3 double-plays on the day. 12 total hits with two doubles, a triple, and two home runs. Complete team effort here – a good dismantling of Phoenix and all that they stand for.

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42 of 162: Al Van Wilder (2-3, 4.72) @ Michael Brisk (5-3, 3.64)
We get to Van Wilder early, but the Suns get to Brisk late and rally for the 6-5 win. Jacob Wells finished 3 for 3 with a run-scoring double that put Phoenix up for good, and Luca Milbrandt scored twice to help the cause. Zarate gets a double and 2 RBI for us, but it’s not enough in this one – a tough loss for the good guys here as the ball bounced Phoenix’s way.

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43 of 162: Ash Newman (2-3, 6.92) @ Case Tunnell (2-1, 3.99)
Case comes through – his 8 innings of 2-run baseball gets the job done and assures us a series split against the Suns by a score of 3-2. Tunnell finished with 9 K’s and only allowed 5 hits. Guzman picks up his 11th save, and Kumar, Mullens, and Newman get an RBI each. Pepper went 0 for 3 and Otto had the night off.

Elsewhere (City of Compton): Weiser was dominant for 7 innings in his last start only allowing 1 run and 4 hits with 8 K’s – Compton lost Sugar Land by a score of 3-2 despite the performance.

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44 of 162: Shiro Nakamura (3-2, 4.97) @ Josiah Kawka (5-2, 2.85)
An early 7 run deficit against Phoenix proves to be too much for us to overcome in a frustrating 8-3 loss for the Lakers. Kawka was out there throwing BP for 6 innings allowing 13 hits and 7 runs across. Fregoso finishes 2 for 4 with a couple of RBIs, but we don’t get much from anyone else – the club is dragging after 13 games straight with three more left before a day off. Jake Wells, Cash Crouch, Preston, Homer, and Jess Alford all get 2+ hits for the Suns. I ain’t even mad – those are all still my guys.

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Elsewhere: The NCAA Playoffs are set and the annual tournament is upon us. The odds-on favorites are Tennessee & St. John’s with MIT, Notre Dame, and Cal among the most popular dark-horse picks. Some interesting match-ups in the first round to look out for… Blue Mountain State @ Binghamton, Ridgemont Community College @ Troy, and Texas Tech @ Notre Dame.

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Old 05-19-2019, 11:26 PM   #177
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2075 Season (5/20 – 5/22)

Los Angeles Lakers (26-18, .591, 1st NL West) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (22-21, .512, 4th NL West)
What kind of sadistic schedule maker decides that the last three games of a 16 consecutive game stretch should conclude with a road trip to Minneapolis? Honestly – he hate me, he really do. 3 hours in a plane with 30+ cranky dudes that prioritize baseball above nearly everything is not my idea of a good time. I’d like to take some solace in the fact that we will be facing a 22-21 club with a subpar pitching staff and relatively ho-hum offense, but we’ve been beaten by worse. And it’s never fun to face C Rex Englestad – easily the best catcher in the game – whose .331/.414/.463 slash, 127 wRC+, and 1.9 WAR provide a formidable challenge for any opposing staff. Really, I’m just looking forward to this series being over, looking forward to our day off in Orlando before meeting City at their park for a 3-game set before returning home for another day off before we welcome Josiah and the Sixers to town.

45 of 162: Julen Morales (4-2, 3.41) @ Elijah Rizzuto (3-3, 6.14)
A closely contested affair until we break it open with a 5-run top of the 5th, we ably shake off the cobwebs and take game one by a score of 7-3. Minnesota 1B Iraj Mabsouri did his level best to secure the win for his Timberwolves – 2 for 3 with a HR and 3 RBI, but in the end, his teammates were unable to keep up with our onslaught. Otto contributes a 2-run double, Bovie gets 2 RBI of his own, and Fregoso sent his 5th ball out of the park in the win. Morales lasts 6 innings allowing only two runs to score despite walking 5 batters, and we get two double plays from our defense.

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Elsewhere: Tennessee survives a scare against New Mexico, winning their first-round game by a score of 1-0… Texas Tech outlasts the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a 4-3 win… Binghamton dispatched the BMS Goats by 2 runs… MIT still can’t get out of the first round against Vanderbilt, dropping a close on by a score of 3-2… Ridgemont Community College gets utterly dismantled by Troy, falling to the Trojans by a score of 14-3… the NCAA tourney is off to a solid start – Cal’s Liam Clarke and Tennessee’s Ardolph Goldberg both earned complete game shutouts… not sure if that’s a first or not. Probably not.

46 of 162: Merl Crawford (4-3, 3.59) @ Alfredo Mendez (1-5, 5.98)
Zarate’s timely play continues as he sets the tone for our club with a 3 for 5 performance at the plate with a HR, while reliever Brent Durkin comes in and does an admirable job cleaning up Merl’s mess before handing it off to Saul who earns his 13th save of the season. DH Gerardo Benavides adds a 3-run homer for Los Angeles who win despite allowing 5 doubles from the Timberwolves and leaving 22 batters stranded.

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Elsewhere (the City of Compton): Make it three poor outings in a row for your boy, Rad Taylor. He’s now given up 14 runs in his last 24 innings of work. He’s also handed out 9 free passes during that span – yikes. No confidence in his stuff, not attacking, pitching away from contact... we need to get his head right.

47 of 162: Michael Brisk (5-3, 3.91) @ Tim Kelly (4-2, 3.80)
Minnesota avoided the sweep and overcame Brisk’s 8 innings of 6 hit ball to take the 3rd of this three-game set, 3-2. Tim Kelly picked up the winning despite only putting in 5.1 innings of work – sometimes laziness is rewarded in baseball. Iraj got himself a measure of revenge with a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 5th that put the T’Wolves up for good in this one. Mullens finished 3 for 4 with an RBI, Otto went 4 for 13 in the series but only brought in 3 runs, and Pepper could’ve been more productive riding the bench.

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Elsewhere: Tennessee is bounced out of the tournament in the second round by the Fresno State Bulldogs by a score of 4-3… I didn’t expect that. Kentucky destroyed the NAU Lumberjacks by a score of 14-4 to advance… Texas Tech may be on a Cinderella run as they knock off Cal on the road by a score of 9-3… All the favorites are wiped out before we reach the great eight – I dunno, I guess Texas Tech is the favorite now.

With our 2-1 series win over Minnesota, we now have a 1 ˝ game lead over the Whitecaps who just won’t go away – Green Bay has stayed hot so far in May, they are tops in the league with a 31-15 record so far… We are leading the league in defensive efficiency, which is sweet, and are 2nd in HR’s (12 behind the hard-hitting New York Jets), which is not as sweet, but still pretty ok if you’re desperate. A much needed off day in Orlando coming up – looking forward to bagging some rays on cocoa beach with an old fashioned in one hand and a good murder book in the other.

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Old 05-20-2019, 11:03 AM   #178
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The City of Compton references remind me of when I used to have slugging right fielder Mark Compton (now retired) on my Brewers (WPK) team.
Pretty much every time Compton hit a home run I would yell out- City of Compton!
(Yes, I live alone. And yes, I yell strange and sometimes even random things during game play.)

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Old 05-20-2019, 12:43 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
The City of Compton references remind me of when I used to have slugging right fielder Mark Compton (now retired) on my Brewers (WPK) team.
Pretty much every time Compton hit a home run I would yell out- City of Comtpton!
(Yes, I live alone. And yes, I yell strange and sometimes even random things during game play.)
Incidentally, I have a minor leaguer in Compton with the last name of Compton. Ha! When I yell out, “city of Compton”, my unfortunate wife feels the need to check in on me to make sure I haven’t completely lost my marbles.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:06 PM   #180
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2075 Season (5/24 - 5/26)

Los Angeles Lakers (28-19, .595, 1st NL West) @ Orlando City (21-25, .456, 4th NL East)
I’m disappointed in my team’s creativity, their collective inability to see beyond the Magic Kingdom’s formidable haze. I extended no less than 15 invites but was unceremoniously shot down each and every time with a version of, “you should come to check out Disney with us instead”. No, I will not young squires, oh ye of little faith - working through the math on this one is elementary... a manufactured horizon of man-made make-believe or a seat on the beach with a real view? Overpriced eats with trumped up prices and toddlers buzzing around like drunken bumblebees or a moderately priced seadog on the pier? Poorly constructed garb with Mickey or one of his ilk printed on the front or an expertly tailored Ron Jon original? Cocoa Beach wins them all - a clean sweep... I got my whodunnit, a fistful of petty cash (shh, don’t tell), and some zinc-based sunscreen, so who needs company? Throw in my mirror shades and you have yourself a party - the only thing I’m missing is a metal detector and a fanny pack. An entire day off from baseball to take in the view, of expertly drawn tattoos placed in suggestive locations, of many a loquacious beach bunny itching to tell you all about the meaning behind said tattoo, and of the most beautiful sunset one could imagine... This is how you prepare yourself to take on Orlando City in a 3-game set. At 21-25 with the 5th rated offense and 10th rated staff, City doesn’t give you much to prepare for. They’re top heavy with a staff led by Nacho Valadez, his impossibly high leg kick - easily the funkiest wind up in the bigs that could only be made funkier if he wore a monocle on the mound and finished it off with a Wonka roll - and his charitable predisposition to grant free passes (he led the MLB in walks last year). On offense it’s PJ Trudell or bust, feast or famine, with a foundation held together on a wish and a prayer - so, as you can see, Orlando doesn’t inspire much in the way of game planning. Instead of doing actual work - I idle my time by powering through my book - Colonel Mustard did it with a spork and evil in his heart - taking in the scenery, imbibing too many sugary cocktails, and feeding dill chips to the shorebirds. That I’m too faded to drive the rental back to the hotel and instead bum a ride off a yoked out beach bum who pilots a Vespa and is wearing only a speedo and full back tattoo of an eagle, wings spread, with a fish taco in its talons at the small of his back is a story for another time - I came here to gnash sunflower seeds and play baseball and I’m all out of sunblock...

48 of 162: Case Tunnell (3-1, 3.75) @ Mike Clendenin (2-1, 4.81)
Newman hits a double on the very first pitch of the game, is quickly moved over to third by Ethan Mullens, and then brought home by Otto who hits a 3-run homer on the 2nd pitch he sees… should be all we need, right? Wrong. City puts four on the board in the bottom of the 4th as Case unravels – total loss of control. We get one back in the top of the 5th but go quiet from there – City wins game one, 5-4. All the stress I released during my day at Cocoa Beach is now back in spades… Avery Robinson’s 3-run shot in the 4th is all she wrote – Otto goes 1 for 4 with 4 RBI, Newman gets 3 hits, and Fregoso finishes with 2… Case gets rattled in this one – it seems that there is such a thing as too much cotton candy on the day before a start.

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Elsewhere: The NCAA Final Four is set – Kentucky gets past Fresno State, 6-3, Texas Tech’s run ends in Binghamton, 4-3, UCLA beats Auburn in extras, 6-4, and Stanford shuts South Carolina out by a score of 2-0. Kentucky will face Binghamton while UCLA meets Stanford in the Final Four.

49 of 162: Josiah Kawka (5-3, 3.42) @ Gary Benoit (2-4, 6.75)
Two homers for Otto and a sublime 2-run complete game for Kawka helped us exact a measure of revenge in a game two drubbing as we defeat City by a score of 8-2. Otto is 3 for 5 with 2 HR and 4 RBI… Newman, Cooke, and Fregoso drive in a run each, and Kawka was in prime form. City starter Benoit left early in the 2nd inning with an undisclosed injury and his replacement, Morgan Holguin, wasn’t ready for us – he lets 5 score in 2 innings…

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Elsewhere: Suns SP Patrick Keith was shelled in his first rehab start today against the Salt Lake Alpines. He gave up 5 runs in 3 innings including a moonshot HR to CF Livan Frias (he’s not ranked among the top 100 prospects).

50 of 162: Julen Morales (5-2, 3.41) @ Nacho Valadez (3-2, 4.17)
The usually charitable Nacho only gave up two walks today and Morales was supreme over 7 strong innings where he only allowed 3 hits while striking out 8 batters. Guzman picks up his 14th save for the Lakers who take the series in Orlando by a score of 2-0. Team shutout! Morales (7), Sebastian Balmer (1 – his second hold of the season), and Guzman (1) all contributed to the cause. Pepper and Mullen take responsibility for our only runs and were credited with an RBI each – Pepper’s was a solo HR. Otto finished 0 for 5 with 3 K’s – Nacho is a puzzle he can’t solve.

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Elsewhere: UCLA destroyed Stanford by a score of 19-2… that’s just embarrassing, and Binghamton’s Peter Parrow threw peppers (but run rocked rhymes) in a spicy complete game shutout to lead the Bearcats to a 2-0 win over the Wildcats – lots of cats in this one.

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We’ll settle for the series win here – had our entire team not spent the entirety of their day off eating sugary treats and riding rollercoasters we surely would have got the sweep. Headed home to La-La Land where we have another day off before squaring off against the 76ers over three games – chances are good that we won’t have to face Josiah in this one. He’s 4-4 with a 3.39 ERA this year but has wins in his last 3 appearances – the old man is getting warm folks, look out… he’s still got his speed.
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