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Old 04-27-2019, 07:57 PM   #121
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2074 Season (6/14 – 6/16 @ San Diego Chargers)

Phoenix Suns (37-29, .561) @ San Diego Chargers (37-28, .569)
This is a critical series for us as we sit ½ a game behind the San Diego Chargers for 1st in the NL West. Winners of only 4 of their last 10 games, the San Diego Chargers are a team that hits for average with an OBP that is good enough for 2nd in the NL, but with all that hitting prowess they find themselves last in runs scored. Their wins come by way of lights out pitching from their starters, timely stolen bases, and superb defensive efficiency. With a staff led by Ace Burt McElheny (5-4, 2.03) who has amassed a 2.7 WAR and 188 ERA+ so far this season, the Chargers lead the NL in runs against. At 28 years old, Big Burt has one all-star appearance under his belt and looks primed to earn his second this year. With a good fastball, a serviceable forkball, and a devastating change-up in his repertoire, he has 3 complete game shutouts this season (two came against Montreal). We’ll see him first – bums me out. Coming off 3-straight losses to the lowly Vancouver Whitecaps, the Chargers should come out focused and primed to do damage against us as they attempt to right the ship.

67 of 162: Michael Brisk (7-4, 2.73) @ Burt McElheny (5-4, 2.03)
A semi-rough outing for Brisk as he gave up 13 hits in 7 innings of work, though the Chargers, true to form, only managed to score 4 runs while he was on the mound. McElheny pitched well over 8 innings, with 4 earned runs and 8 K’s – LF Dylan Huerta, a throw-in piece of our trade for Brisk, had his best game in a Suns uniform going 3 for 4 with a HR and a couple of RBI’s while Bootleg Pepper had another key hit for the good guys in the 8th inning that proved to be the difference maker – a timely sacrifice fly to get the job done. Derek hit another double today (he’s looked pretty good lately) and Luca continued to stay hot (2 for 5 with an RBI and no K’s) and improved his average to .315 – he’s putting together a strong campaign in 2074. Suns win 5-4.

68 of 162: Oswaldo Flores (3-5, 4.48) @ Justice Pangburn (6-4, 3.58)
Entering tonight’s contest, Derek is hitting .348 with 1 HR off of Pangburn, unfortunately, that ended tonight as he went 0-3 off of Pangburn and 0-5 for the game. Justice served it up for 5 innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen while Oswald put up 8 solid innings for the team – just no run support tonight. For the game, we had 13 strikeouts and only 1 walk – that’s not how you baseball successfully. CF JR Marsh had a game to forget as he committed 3 of our 5 fielding errors during the game, nearly doubling his total for the season. We’ll need to book him some time with our sports psychologist to move past this debacle. San Diego wins, 4-1

69 of 162: Ash Newman (6-3, 2.82) @ Arnaldo Romero (8-3, 2.76)
Romero pitched a complete game shutout in his last outing in San Francisco but was unable to duplicate it tonight – instead, he earned the W for San Diego in a complete game, 4-run, 8-K performance. Ash pitched like he was blindfolded for 4-innings and RP Jared Hayes came out throwing beach balls in relief. Derek was vintage in a wasted effort – 2-4, with 2 homers… no K’s, 3 RBI’s, and plenty of smiles for the camera. Bootleg Pepper (Luke LaBonte) struck out 3 times in 4 tries and Luca came back to earth in a 0-4 performance at the plate. Suns lose, 6-7.

70 of 162: Graham Doyle (1-2, 4.80) @ Prior Balazs (5-4, 3.19)
These last two have really stung – close games, sure, but an opportunity squandered, nonetheless. Graham, called up for a spot start, was trash… his fastball wasn’t fast, his cutter didn’t cut, and his changeup never changed. 6 runs on a walk and 5 hits – when they got to him, they made it count. It was the kind of performance we could have overcome – instead, we played 17-innings of baseball where we ran out of gas in the 13th and lost on a sacrifice fly. That’s not awesome. We hit 2 doubles, and 2 homers – nearly everybody got to play, and we only had a couple of errors. We needed this result, didn’t get it, and the flight to Vancouver BC will be as quiet as a library during a read-a-thon. Suns lose 7-8, in extras. From ½ a game back to 2 ½ games back – not ideal. Not ideal at all.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:13 PM   #122
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2074 Season (6/19 – 6/20 @ Vancouver Whitecaps)

Phoenix Suns (38-32, .543) @ Vancouver Whitecaps (32-37, .464)
The Vancouver Whitecaps are a good club in a bad way – with 64 HR’s on the season, their power isn’t in doubt and with key players on the DL it’s telling that their offense hasn’t completely bottomed out – that’s called depth folks. They currently sit last in Starters ERA – not completely unexpected when 80% of your rotation has spent significant time on the DL, and improvement in that department will be tough with SP Cuco Verhoeven out for the season with a torn UCL. Their offense is captained by 26-year-old 3B Kevin Palmer, known for making pitchers work, K-Palm is a spray hitter that doesn’t strike out often as evidenced by his .345/.398/.440 line and 130 OPS+. Vancouver are 11-5 so far in June and 2-4 against us this season with one win in their house and one win in ours. We want a mini-sweep.

71 of 162: Del Miller (7-3, 4.85) @ Nick Boyer (0-3, 5.60)
A good start for Phoenix – a 6-2 win after dropping 3 straight in the Republic of California. RF Jong-Hwan Song (2 for 3, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB) and C Norton Manning (3 for 5, 2B, 2RBI) led the way offensively while Del Miller gave us 8.2 innings of work with only 2 runs getting across before handing it over to CL Paul Williams for the SV – he threw 6 pitches and got the K on the only batter he faced. No errors for the Suns today, but we did strike out 11 times. Luke Labonte finished 3 for 5 with 2 K’s and Derek got a hit and scored a run.

72 of 162: Michael Brisk (8-4, 2.88) @ Kevin Herrera (2-1, 4.29)
Brisk was tip-top (8 IP, 11H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K), but so was Herrera (8 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K). The difference today was the two errors committed by 24-year-old SS Maddox Wahlen – a couple of uncharacteristic, yet costly miscues. Our club struck out 10 times but did manage to put a couple out of the yard courtesy of Dylan Huerta (in a DH role) and 1B Jacob Wells. Good effort from the home team – Whitecaps win 5-3.

We really wanted to get both W’s in this two-game set – would’ve made our 5+ hour flight to Philly a bit more enjoyable. Ending our road trip with four games in front of the Philadelphia crowd should energize our club.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:23 PM   #123
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2074 Season (6/21 – 6/24 @ Philadelphia)

Phoenix Suns (39-33, .542) @ Philadelphia 76ers (29-43, .403)
At 29-43, there is not a lot of brotherly love reverberating throughout Philly’s clubhouse. Their offense is poor, their pitching is mostly poor, and everything else is decidedly meh. 7 of their 48 home runs have been launched out of the park by RF Jules Winfield, whose path to the big club is the stuff of legend – Jules spent his early career struggling in Sugar Land in the St. Louis system before leaving for the Bush League where he spent a year playing in Quincy and Decatur, respectively. He credits his time in Quincy for reigniting his passion for baseball and has been a major league mainstay since 2072. Feel good stories aside, Philadelphia also has one of the top young talents on their roster in 23-year-old CF Norris Flaherty who is an incredible fielder and baserunner who can hit for average with a little bit of pop. With an owner who is focused on profit and a minor league system that is middling at best – fans in Philly shouldn’t expect this team to retool in free agency any time soon. Welcome to the bottom – we’ll be here for a while.

73 of 162: Oswaldo Flores (3-6, 4.48) @ Paul Yeager (4-6, 3.84)
Long flight, longer game – a 7-2 win for the home team. Outside of C Norton Manning’s 4 for 5 performance (with a moonshot homerun added for flair), our club was sleepwalking from the first pitch until we hit the showers. Yeager allowed only 2 runs in his 7.2 innings of work – he didn’t have full command of his slider at times but was able to mix in the changeup when it mattered. We struck out 12 times and committed four errors with Norton responsible for two of them (hey, at least he hit it well). Just wasn’t our night – hopefully, with rest, we will be a baseball team again tomorrow.

74 of 162: Ash Newman (6-3, 3.10) @ David Ouwerkerk (6-5, 4.50)
RF Jules Winfield made his presence felt today with 2 home runs and 4 RBI, but it was Derek Jeter that made the biggest impression going 2 for 5 with a HR, 2 runs, and 4 RBI. Ash was dealing for 8.1 innings and gave up 4 runs (and both of Winfield’s homers). The club only put 8 K’s on the board with no fielding errors – it’s amazing what a solid night of sleep can do for a ballclub, ain’t it? Even Donny came into PH for our SS and finished the game 2 for 2 with 2 runs. Solid work – we need to put something more consistent together now. Suns win, 8-4.

75 of 162: Graham Doyle (1-2, 6.10) @ Logan Lightner (3-7, 2.44)
When SP Patrick Keith, acquired in a trade for Cleveland Cornejo, was placed on the DL with a strained hamstring we called up Graham Doyle to plug the hole – he’s not ready for the responsibility, but he’s who we have so another start for the young man it is… Lightner was lights out, Doyle got shelled, we started both Jeter Bros (and they wasted the opportunity), we struck out 10 times, and, ultimately, lost the game. Philly smash… 7-3. We’ll have to settle for a split if we can muster up the energy to have a say at all.

76 of 162: Del Miller (8-3, 4.58) @ Jack Monroe (5-7, 4.62)
Winning is hard and lately, we’ve made it a lot harder than it has to be. Del was solid through 6, which we like… but we couldn’t close it out in the bottom of the 9th and then got walked off in the bottom of the 13th when 2B Elijah Philips put one out to seal the deal. And all that is all well and good… here’s what’s not good: We made 48 plate appearances tonight and struck out in 22 of them. That’s not a typo, that’s a club record.

3 ½ games back now… San Francisco only a game behind us for second… tough road trip for the big club. Might need to shop Donny around again, maybe get a so-so pitcher and a so-so prospect for him. He deserves to start somewhere and that’s not going to happen here.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:48 PM   #124
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2074 Season (Meaningless Trade Alert)

While shopping Donny around for the lulz, I came across a guy that I had to have. He’s not awesome, though he should eventually make the big club. The best part of the trade is that I didn’t have to give up a lot to get him.

I agreed to send 21-year-old minor league RHP Ivey Lochner to the Montreal Impact (why not, they are on their way to town anyways) for 21-year-old minor league RHP Rad Taylor. Your boy Rad is a former Michigan State Spartan with good stuff, good control, and a fastball that should be Major League ready soon. He looks to have 2 pitches that can become MLB worthy – let’s hope he develops a third in Tucson.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:33 PM   #125
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2074 Season (6/26 – 6/28 Vs. Montreal Impact)

Montreal Impact (38-40, .487, 4th NL East) @ Phoenix Suns (40-36, .526, 2nd NL West)
The Impact is 14-9 so far in June, after finishing 11-17 in May (they endured 4-game and 5-game losing streaks that month). After their 6-game winning streak to kick off June, they’ve gone 8-9, and have barely kept their heads above water – so, in that respect, they are a lot like us. Montreal can score runs (351, 4th in the NL), are adept at working the count to get on base (.337, 4th in the NL), has a stout defense (309 RA, 2nd in the NL), and have a lights out bullpen (2.37 ERA, 1st in the NL). When they bring each of those attributes to a game, they usually win. So, they are much better than their record suggests. They have two quality starters on the DL (SP Julius Trowbridge is out for the year with a torn flexor tendon) and are without 3B Eldin Kemp (.315/.436/.416) due to a fractured thumb. They’ve been snake bit so far this year and after finishing 1st in the NL East last year (they lost the NLCS to Oklahoma City) expectations in Montreal were high. There’s a long way to go still – I expect them to get a wildcard spot this season.

77 of 162: Jaxson Mottola (0-3, 8.22) @ Michael Brisk (8-5, 2.91)
Mottola gave up 14 hits in his last appearance. Today he gave up 6 in a complete game shutout improving his ERA by 3 points in the process. Brisk was OK – 12 hits, 4 runs, and 10 K’s over 7 innings of work. No Phoenix player got more than 1 hit, and for the game, we left 13 stranded. There’s really not a lot to say about this one – we were just completely shut down, at home, in front of our wives, girlfriends, parents, kids, and fans. Montreal makes us look foolish, 4-0.

78 of 162: Liam Anderson (4-1, 1.10) @ Oswaldo Flores (3-7, 4.86)
Anderson is in superb form – coming into this game he’s only allowed 1 run in his last 4 starts including two complete-game shutouts against Seattle and St. Louis. At 37-years-old, he’s rarely looked better. Tonight, we hung 4 runs on him in a bounce back 6-5 win. Flores did not pitch well – he allowed 5 runs, but we hung in and managed to do our damage late to secure a much-needed victory. CL Frost Dillard, a recent (3 days ago) contract purchase of ours from the Shreveport Sashimi Samurai of the Bush League, notched his first save for the club – an improvement over his first appearance in a Phoenix uniform. Frosty now has 1 Save and 1 blown save – his lack of consistency makes him a perfect fit for our club. Bootleg Pepper (Luke Labonte) took home player of the game honors – 2 for 3 with a HR and 2 RBI. No fielding miscues today and we only struck out 3 times.

79 of 162: Norm Rodriquez (5-7, 4.31) @ Ash Newman (7-3, 3.21)
Ash was incredible today – 12 K’s, a walk, and 2 earned runs. Luca went 3 for 3 with a run and Donny was 1 for 1 and delivered a timely solo shot in the 9th for the walk-off win! I really need to find more playing time for Donny. Frosty Dillard picked up the win after a lockdown 9th of his own – he now has a win, a save, and a blown save. Frosty does it all folks.

This is what we’ve needed – a series win. Our first series win in the last 5 series we’ve played. We’ll welcome another Canadian club to Phoenix next. We split a two-game set with the Whitecaps in Vancouver a little over a week ago. Since that series, they’ve gone 5-2 and we have not. Hopefully, these last two against Montreal will serve as something of a springboard for us to close out June on a high note.

Note: Rad Taylor is set to make his debut for us tomorrow night against the Hartford Whalers (Philadelphia's AAA affiliate). I have high hopes for the kid.
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Old 04-28-2019, 01:52 PM   #126
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2074 Season (6/29 – 7/1 Vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Part I)

Vancouver Whitecaps (38-40, .487, 5th NL West) @ Phoenix Suns (42-37, .532, 2nd NL West)
The Whitecaps may well be the okayest team in the National League. Outside of a 4.57 Starters ERA (12th in the NL) and a paltry .608 Defensive Efficiency (12th in the NL), they are mired in the middle everywhere else. They’ve been hot lately. Strangely their roster includes two of the best closers in the game and neither one is on the trading block. They find themselves 20th in the league for attendance and currently have the 3rd highest payroll – it seems that GM Bat Hampton has made some questionable long-term financial decisions. In 2072, Vancouver shocked the league and won the World Series despite earning the last wildcard after finishing 82-80 for the season. Notably, they do have the #3 overall prospect developing in Newport Beach – the 23yo LHP Adam Gunter is 4-2 with a 2.21 ERA & 153 ERA+ for the Gypsies this season – he still has a lot to learn though. In recent starts against the Mexico City Diablos and the Cincinnati Bengals, Gunter gave up a combined 9 runs and 10 walks. The former Virginia Cavalier projects to make the majors in 2075.

80 of 162: Jake Renfer (2-10, 4.97) @ Graham Doyle (1-3, 7.30)
Note: Renfer is one of 4 starters in the majors with 10+ losses this season.
Doyle finally gives us a good performance. Prior to tonight’s game, the recent call up had given up 12 runs and 2 homers with only 5 total K’s. Tonight, he gave us 6 innings with 5 K’s and only one earned run. C Yoshi Nakamura went 3 for 3 and hit 2 doubles, while Donny, in a rare start at DH, went 0 for 5. 1B Jacob Wells opened the flood gates with a bases-clearing extra-base hit – we scored a couple of runs in each of the next two frames after enjoying his handiwork. Our 3-double, 2-homer game as a team was enough to overcome our 6 fielding errors. That’s a season-high for errors folks. Suns win 8-5, despite an interesting approach to defense.

Note: LHP Rad Taylor was a complete disaster in his Tucson debut. He gave up 6 runs, 2 walks and struck out 4 in 2 innings of work. The struggle is real.

81 of 162: Nick Boyer (1-4, 4.86) @ Del Miller (8-3, 4.30)
Miller completes the game with only 1 run on his name and the Suns explode in the 5th to complete the 10-1 victory for the hometown fans. We had four players with 2 RBI with 8 of our 10 runs coming from the bottom of the order. Donny went 2 for 4, Derek went 2 for 5 and the club only struck out 6 times. We also hit for the cycle as a team – 12 singles, a double (thanks Kai-Fa Chang!), a triple (thanks Norton Manning!) and a home run (thanks Donny Jeter!). I mean, that’s not really a thing, right?

June recap coming soon, then I'll finish this series.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:43 PM   #127
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2074 Season (End of June – MLB)

The Pittsburgh Steelers put together a really strong start to the month of June but finished by dropping 7 of their last 10 games. They still have the best record in the majors but have some issues to address as they head into July. Meanwhile, in the NL West, there hasn’t been much movement as each team stayed at or near .500 for the month – though Phoenix managed to close the 2-game gap for 1st in the NL West on the last day of the month. Jacksonville, who closed out June by winning 7 of their last 10, rode the resurgence of Josiah Weber (10-5, 2.71) to a 2 ½ game lead over the New York Jets in the AL East (Green Bay fell from 1st to 3rd in June). The defending champion Seattle Sounders have stayed hot and have a 2-game lead over the Los Angeles Galaxy – they’ve mixed a potent offense with the best starting rotation in baseball all season and have achieved the expected results (and they have the #3 prospect in baseball developing in AAA). They’ll be around at the end of this thing – unless Josiah has something to say about it.

Batters of the Month:
AL: 1B Monte Lofthus (PDX): .356 AVG, 10 jacks, 23 RBIs – drafted 16th in 2064 out of Houston.
NL: LF Tony Voorhis (PIT): .386 AVG, 8 ding dongs, 18 RBIs – drafted 9th in 2068 out of Nebraska.

Pitchers of the Month:
AL: SP David Arney (SEA): 5-0, 1.93 ERA – drafted 23rd in 2066 out of East Carolina.
NL: SP John Aivazian (LAL): 5-0, 1.43 ERA – drafted 51st in 2067 out of Ole Miss.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:52 PM   #128
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2074 Season (6/29 – 7/1 Vs. Vancouver Whitecaps, Part II)

82 of 162: Kevin Herrera (4-1, 3.93) @ Michael Brisk (8-6, 3.03)
Brisk was so-so, he gave us 4 innings of work and the pen was able to hold on. The story of this one, a 10-5 win and 3rd series sweep of the season for us, was our offense. C Yoshi was 2 for 4 with a HR and 3 RBI, SS Maddox Wahlen was 2 for 2 with an RBI and a run, and Donny finished 2 for 4 with a double, a jack, an RBI and 2 runs. All but one player got a hit for us in this one, we limited our K’s to 6, and had 4 fielding errors. We continue to approach defense like it’s optional. 2 doubles, 2 jacks, and 21 total bases today – fun Sunday day game with lots of families in attendance – it’s always nice when you attract 42-thousand fans to the park and put on that kind of show.

Always wonderful to get a sweep before heading back out on the road - stops in OKC & LA coming up.
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Old 04-28-2019, 06:20 PM   #129
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2074 Season (7/2 – 7/8, 3 @ OKC & 4 @ LAL)

(7/2 – 7/4): Phoenix Suns (45-37, .549, t-1st NL West) @ Oklahoma City (42-40, .512, 3rd NL West)
We are 6-3 against Oklahoma City so far this season and have yet to face their Ace Josh Allen. That changes as we are scheduled to see him in the second game of the 3-game set. OKC has the best offense in the NL right now. They are 1st in runs scored (416), batting average (.300) and OBP (.354) but their bullpen lets things spin out of control all too often and have the worst ERA (4.21) in the NL. The key to beating this team lies in our ability to get their starters out of the game early. OKC represented the National League in the 2073 World Series where they fell to the Seattle Sounders and have struggled to recapture the form that resulted in a 100-win season.

83 of 162: Oswaldo Flores (3-7, 5.00) @ AJ Hinson (0-7, 6.15)
OKC earns a 3-2 victory and AJ Hinson gets his first W of the season after a complete-game, 2 run performance. 28-year-old 3B Vincent Parm went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI in the win. Phoenix continues to daydream about rainbows and unicorns in the field – 4 errors on the day. Embarrassingly bad. 2B Luca Milbrandt hit his 7th out of the park & 1B Jacob Wells hit his 10th HR of the season.

84 of 162: Ash Newman (7-3, 3.13) @ Jimmy Garcia (7-2, 2.80)
OKC pushes Josh Allen’s start back a day but it didn’t matter as OKC gets the series win in a 4-3 victory. Ash only gave up 1 run in 6 innings, and we managed to get Garcia out of there in 5.1 innings but were unable to capitalize on the notoriously poor pitching of their bullpen. RF Brandon Roa hit a 3-run homer in the 7th that sealed it for the Thunder.

85 of 162: Graham Doyle (2-3, 6.16) @ Josh Allen (8-3, 3.13)
OKC earns a sweep – and another 4-3 victory. We managed to get Allen out after 4 innings and even scored 2 on him – but the Thunder bullpen was able to close the door on us again. To add insult to injury we got walked off in the bottom of the 9th when 1B Iraj Mansouri hit a run-scoring single.

Yikes… Swept in OKC. Tough way to go out – battling the boredom of OKC while mired in a prolonged defensive malaise. After our sweep over Vancouver, it’s hard to figure out how we played so poorly in OKC. We are now tied with OKC and the San Diego Chargers (who were swept by the 49ers) for 1st in the NL West. Elsewhere: Rad Taylor continued to struggle for the Tucson Arrowheads. He gave up 5 runs in 5 innings of work yet improved his ERA to 12.38 – a fine trade that was.

(7/5 – 7/8) Phoenix Suns (45-40, 5.29, t-1st NL West) @ Los Angeles Lakers (38-46, .452, 6th NL West)
Los Angeles has plenty of pop. Their 81 home runs lead the National League. It’s everywhere else that is problematic. Their bullpen is led by reliever Toby George, the middle reliever throws a slider & a splitter that usually keeps opposing batters off balance – the problem is, he’s only pitched 9 innings this year. They have an above average farm system with the best of the bunch being #2 ranked prospect, SP Newton Weiser. He’s currently 6-8 with a 2.97 ERA and 118 ERA+ for their Compton Raiders affiliate.

86 of 162: Michael Brisk (8-6, 3.00) @ Phillip King (2-1, 3.38)
Make that 4 losses in a row for Phoenix. Brisk gives up 4 runs through 5 innings in the 5-2 loss. 3B Mick Udelhoven picked up a couple of RBIs for the Lakers and SP Phillip King pitched 6 scoreless innings before handing it off to the pen. We struck out 12 times and committed 4 errors. A tough stretch for the Suns – we can’t seem to get anything going. Elsewhere: OKC took sole possession of 1st with a 4-3 win over San Diego.

87 of 162: Del Miller (9-3, 4.02) @ John Aivazian (7-6, 3.53)
And just when you think it can’t get any worse… it does. A 6-4 loss to the Lakers. Aivazian worked for 8 innings and only allowed 3 runs while the Lakers offense teed off on 3 pitches (two of which came in the 6th inning). We committed 3 errors, got caught stealing twice, and struck out 7 times and have now managed to go through our entire rotation without a win.

88 of 162: Oswaldo Flores (3-8, 4.72) @ Al Van Amerongen (5-8, 5.35)
1B Jacob Wells had seen enough – he went 2 for 4 with 2 homers to lead Phoenix to their first victory in 6 tries. Oswaldo gave us 8 innings of 9 hit ball and Luca hit his 20th HR of the season in the 6th inning. We struck out 16 times in the game and had 1 error. That’s the most K’s we’ve had during this 6-game stretch yet somehow, we get the W – baseball is a funny business. We are now 1-game behind OKC for 1st in the NL West.

89 of 162: Ash Newman (7-3, 3.04) @ Julen Morales (4-7, 2.30)
Ash Newman pitched a complete game allowing only 2 earned runs and giving our bullpen some much need rest. 2B Kai-Fa Chiang went 3 for 3 with a HR and 5 RBI – that’s his 3rd HR of the season. We hit 4 home runs and a double in the game – stole three bags (and got caught trying 3 times), committed our customary 3+ errors and struck out 8 times – just another day of Suns Baseball, folks. This thing is a high-wire act. Suns win 9-3.

Well that was a disastrous week… 5 straight losses before we managed to reign it in and win the last two games against Los Angeles. Yet, for all our poor play, inadequate defense, and lack of discipline at the plate, we find ourselves in the exact same spot as we were when the week began – in a 3-way tie for 1st in the NL West. You gotta be thankful when your division is the most mediocre in baseball. We’ll enjoy the all-star break before we get back to it… Derek & Luca made the team.

Notes of the week:
Green Bay SP Cliff Slavinski pitched a no-hitter against the Carolina Panthers. The former 2064 1st overall pick out of Florida State is 10-3 with 132 K’s and a 3.09 ERA in 18 starts this year.

Phoenix prospect RHP Cam Murphy (#6 overall prospect) recorded a 2-hit shutout against the Long Beach Dirtbags. He struck out 9 in the game.
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Old 04-29-2019, 11:22 PM   #130
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2074 Season (7/9 – 7/15: ASG, 4 v PIT)

American League All-Stars @ National League All-Stars
Bradley Hughes (8-3, 2.81, SEA) @ Landon Sampson (10-4, 1.59, SF)
The National League All-Stars dominated every facet of the game against the AL All-Stars, winning by a score of 13-5. Phoenix was represented by 1B Derek Jeter and 2B Luca Milbrandt and neither would disappoint. Derek finished 1 for 2 with a walk, a run, an RBI and a K, while Luca had a game to remember – he finished 4 for 5 with 2 RBI, a run, and the MVP trophy. Luca hit two 2-out RBIs on the game. This was his 2nd All-Star appearance and first since 2070. Really cool to see Luca take home the POtG – hopefully he’ll carry this forward in the second half.


7/12 – 7/15: Pittsburgh Steelers (55-34, .618, 1st NL East) @ Phoenix Suns (47-42, .528, t-1st NL West)
If the Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t the best team in the league, they are at least the best team in the National League. Winners of 8 of their last 10, the Steelers are good everywhere – the only ranking they find themselves lower than 4th in is Home Runs. But when you have the 2nd best team average and the 2nd most steals – you know how to get runs across the plate. Even without their #2 pitcher Cole Guzman (out for another 46 days with shoulder inflammation), their staff has the 3rd best Starters ERA in the National League. On offense, they have the best Left Fielder in the National League in Tony Voorhis (.328/.394/.537), the 2nd best 3B in Andy Gardner (.352/.387/.508), and the 2nd best Catcher in Jorge Teixeira (.333/.378/.448). Basically, when you play these guys you just have to keep your hands up, chin tucked, and hope for the best.

90 of 162: Gregory Morgan (8-4, 3.34) @ Michael Brisk (8-7, 3.15)
Steeler 1B Tad Monroe went 4 for 5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI and played a significant role in Pittsburgh knocking Brisk out of the game early in the 4th inning after they’d pummeled him for 11 hits and 8 runs. Luca, fresh off his All-Star MVP win, did all he could to help the home team with a 3 for 5 and 2 runs scored performance – but it, unfortunately, wasn’t enough as the Suns fell by a score of 12-9.


91 of 162: Kikuzo Ueno (10-4, 3.61) @ Oswaldo Flores (4-8, 4.61)
Phoenix came alive in the second game of a four-game set and won 6-4 on the back of Oswaldo’s 8 innings of work. The Phoenix starter allowed 9 hits with only 3 earned runs. LF Dylan Huerta went 2 for 4 with a HR and 2 RBI in the winning effort. Phoenix won the game despite striking out 15 times while the Pittsburgh batters only took that lonely walk back to the dugout 5 times.

92 of 162: Ethan Hardoon (3-1, 2.75) @ Ash Newman (8-3, 2.96)
Hardoon went 8 strong innings for Pittsburgh, allowing only 6 hits and 1 run. 3B Andy Gardner was disruptive in a 3 for 5 performance on the day. Phoenix showed more discipline at the plate, striking out only 6 times, but their lax defense reared its ugly head again as they committed 3 errors resulting in an unearned run for the Steelers. We lost RP Marshall Louis for 2-3 weeks due to elbow tendinitis – he’s been one of our stronger relief pitchers with 20 appearances, 35 innings pitched, a 3.53 ERA, and a 1.26 WHIP. He will be missed. Steelers win 4-1.

93 of 162: Sam Knaak (0-1, 5.63) @ Del Miller (9-4, 4.15)
Andy Gardner went 3 for 5 with an RBI and 2 runs and 2B AJ Love went 4 for 4 with a couple of doubles and a run. Sam Knaak gave Pittsburgh 7 innings of solid work – only allowing 2 earned runs. Pittsburgh played wonderfully, but it wasn’t enough. Phoenix earned a nice team win with 5 players getting 2+ hits, and six players scoring one run each. As a team we hit 5 doubles, only struck out 5 times, and kept our errors under 3. Luke LaBonte came through with a 2 for 4, 2 RBI performance and RF JR Marsh went 2 for 4 with a run and 2 RBI’s of his own. Great team win – and a great way to end our series against Pittsburgh. Suns win 6-5.

Note: Andy Gardner won NL Star of the Week for his performance against us – he went 11 for 20 with 4 runs and 4 RBI’s while in town. Rad Taylor’s struggles continue – he gave up 8 hits and 6 runs in 2.2 innings of work. He keeps this up and his future may include a stint with the Nolanville Nibblers of the Bush League.

Well… alright, alright, alright… after last week’s debacle, we earn a series split against the best team in baseball and got to watch one of our own earn the All-Star MVP trophy – we’ll take that week, every week. Unsung hero at the leadoff spot – SS Hamza McDonnell hit .388 for the series and the team all shouldered some of the RBI load – some good team play on display this week in Phoenix. Having said all that – we are now a game out of 1st and will head to Brooklyn for a 3-game set as the 3rd place team in the NL West – at 50-40, they have the 2nd best record in the NL – tough stretch for us. Meanwhile, the 1st Place OKC Thunder get the 39-51 St. Louis Rams and the 2nd place San Diego Chargers get the solid 47-48 Montreal Impact.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:41 PM   #131
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2074 Season (7/16 – 7/22: 3 @ BRK; 3 v STL)

(7/16 – 7/18): Phoenix Suns (49-44, .527) @ Brooklyn Citizens (50-40, .556)
At 6-5 so far in July, Brooklyn is a good club that has experienced some uneven play as the days get longer. Their top 3 starters are nearly as good as any, and their bullpen is even better – they are 6th in starters ERA and 3rd in bullpen ERA. They’re good defensively too (.638 d-Eff – 3rd) and they are 6th in fielding errors (by contrast we are tied for 11th – with San Francisco). The problem with this club is their hitting or lack thereof. So far this year, Brooklyn has hit .231 against us with only 10 runs scored. Of course, this is not to say that we’ve been any better against them – we’ve hit a dismal .234 against them with only 7 runs scored. So, really, this series is a coin toss. A roll of the dice. If we don’t sweep, we riot.

94 of 162: Graham Doyle (2-3, 5.94) @ Bruno Scott (3-10, 5.97)

You must appreciate that Bruno plays for Brooklyn – just another gift in a long list of them that the OOTP engine supplies. Graham goes 6 – gives up 5 hits and ZERO runs. RP Johnny Dial gives up the game-winning walk-off walk. That hurts. 1B Archie Imanov was 1 for 1 with an RBI (he got the game-winning walk) and 5 walks on the day. That’s called plate discipline folks! Do you know what didn’t help our cause? That we struck out 18 times. Brooklyn wins 2-1. Note: Bruno Scott left in the 4th with an undisclosed injury.

95 of 162: Michael Brisk (8-8, 3.59) @ Logan Gorsline (4-4, 5.32)
Hamza McDonnell goes 4 for 5 with a double and 2 RBIs and Michael Brisk was sharp over 9 innings – he gave up 11 hits and 2 runs with 9 K’s. Derek Jeter hit a 3-run shot in the top of the first and Luke LaBonte went 1 for 2 with 3 runs and 3 walks – taking a page out of Archie’s book! Do you know what really helped our cause? The fact that we only struck out 4 times – that’s called discipline at the plate, folks! Note: Bruno Scott will miss the rest of the season with a torn ulnar collateral ligament – yikes! That bums me out.

96 of 162: Oswaldo Flores (5-8, 4.53) @ Ryan Burg (10-5, 2.50)
Another loss, another mind-blowingly bad way to get walked off – Ernie Sparacino (I mean, is OOTP the best or what – last name of a Brooklyn mobster!), with two out in the bottom of the 9th reaches on an error by Hamza, driving in the winning run. Good grief. Never mind that we put 5 runs up on them in the 3rd and they killed us late with all 6 of their runs coming from the 7th on… bummer biscuits. Tough loss. Luca played well – 2 for 2 with a 3-run homer. Everybody else was garbage – 4 errors on the day, caught stealing 5 times.

Well… that was just hurtful. Why you got to be so mean, Baseball? Two walk-off losses and both in bizarre ways. At this point, we are just looking for ways to drop games. After this series, we are a sturdy 3 games out of first and in a tailspin. We can’t defend, we can’t run the bases, we make the most juvenile of mental errors… but, let’s be honest, we look great in the burnt orange & eggplant. So, let’s ride this one out, shall we? It’s summertime in the MLB – what else is there to do?

(7/20 – 7/22) St. Louis Rams (42-51, .452, 5th NL East) @ Phoenix Suns (50-46, .521, 2nd NL West)
Jonah Dove has been fantastic so far this year (.304/.364/.525, 14 HR, 57 RBI’s), and is navigating his best season in 3 years – nice to see him come this far after a series of injuries limited the former Boyce Rigg Award-winning Right-Fielder. But, with the state the Rams are in, it’s hard not to feel like his is a wasted effort. With the 5th rated offense in the NL, one would expect this club to be in playoff contention, but when you also have the 10th rated pitching staff in the NL it’s not hard to understand why they aren’t. This is a franchise that needs to make some moves before the trading deadline passes on the 31st or at least pick up some FA’s in the offseason as their Minor League system is in shambles. Impatience has led them to call up their two best prospects leaving nothing but a collection of stiffs in Sugar Land.

97 of 162: Lenard Henos (0-3, 5.70) @ Ash Newman (8-4, 3.03)
We took a bad one on the chin in front of the home crowd in this one – thanks for coming, how about an 11-5 loss? Mike Duncan – one of the recently called up prospects mentioned above – was the difference maker in this one… he went 2 for 5 with the run-scoring single that opened up the flood gates to what would become a 6 run top of the 3rd for the visiting club. Donny played today and went 1 for 4 with 2 of our teams 7 K’s. Note: Your boy Rad Taylor got another start in Tucson today – he finally started to turn the corner for us a little bit with a 6.2 inning, 6-hit, and 2 earned runs performance. We’d like some more of that, sir.

98 of 162: Octavio Cervera (0-1, 9.64) @ Del Miller (9-4, 4.21)
We got shut out. At home. AND lost by a score of 7-0. There nothing else to see here, folks. Walk away… slowly… now turn around and… RUN!

99 of 162: Dimitri Pimentel (11-6, 2.13) @ Graham Doyle (2-3, 5.10)
Graham left early with an injury to his finger (he’ll be out for 6 days – could be better, could be worse) – but the bullpen came through and only allowed 2 runs to score for the rest of the 11-inning contest. CF Mitchell Cusac got us some get back with a 2-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th bringing the 31,758 fans who didn’t throw their tickets away to their feet. Derek got an RBI, Donny went 0 for 1, and, as a team, we had fewer errors that STL – we’ll take that!

We finished the week at 2-4! Break out the Champaign – let’s celebrate! We are 6-11 so far in July – this has been quite the slog. We welcome the 49ers to town next week (they’re just meh, we’re interested) and then spend the weekend in OKC (they’re just meh, but they swept us last time). This will be a critical week for us as we attempt to close the book on July on a high note... I’m hoping for a couple of series wins and a good start to our series in Vancouver on the 31st – we need to come out of this nosedive before we find ourselves out of the playoff picture.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:45 PM   #132
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2074 Season (7/23 – 7/29: 3 v SF; 3 @ OKC)

(7/23 – 7/25) San Francisco 49ers (50-50, .495, 6th NL West) @ Phoenix Suns (51-48, .515, 2nd NL West)
Other then the fact that San Francisco has been a tad better than us in July (9-9 vs 6-11), we are, basically the same team. Outside of our being 2nd in runs and 1st in HR’s, we are about the same in the hitting department, and while their starters are collectively better than ours, our bullpen is much better than theirs. They continue to be led by SP Landon Sampson who is 11-5 with a 1.79 ERA thus far and their Closer Justin Covert is regarded as one of the best in the game (even though he has struggled this year with a 4.14 ERA). Offensively, they don’t really have anyone that stands out – their entire order is an average barely above replacement crew who field about as well as our guys do – though we do have one more error than them. This will be a closely contested series, no doubt.

But first… A trade! We traded Bootleg Pepper (Luke LaBonte) and LF prospect Jeff Melanson (our first pick in the 3rd round) for an above average prospect (RHP Jack Sanchez-Flores) and a so-so prospect (but excellent fielder) SS Jess Alford.

100 of 162: Ryan Wiggins (3-12, 5.29) @ Michael Brisk (9-8, 3.49)
The 49ers got to Brisk a little early, earning a couple of hits and a run in the frame – it took him 27 pitches to get out of the inning, while we got a couple on but ended the inning on back-to-back K’s (courtesy of Donny and Hamza). Things went quiet until the bottom of the 4th when Hamza hit a 2-run homer to get us the lead. 1B Jacob Wells gave us his best Hamza impression when he did the same in the bottom of the 5th – it would be all we needed as we managed to hang on for the win despite allowing them to get a couple of those runs back (including one in the top of the 9th). Brisk settled down after the rough start and finished with 8 innings, 2 runs and 8 K’s. We won despite committing 5 errors while San Francisco only had two – if you’re counting, we now lead them by 4 errors for the last place in the NL. Suns win, 4-3.

101 of 162: Martin Rigby (7-7, 3.61) @ Oswaldo Flores (5-8, 4.46)

Rigby contributed 7-innings of shutout baseball and 9 K’s to San Fran’s winning effort and preserved the 49ers chances at getting a series win on the road. Oswaldo wasn’t bad – just not good enough (which has been a consistent theme of his this season). As a team, we committed 2 errors (SF had 1 – make it a 5 error lead for last in the NL) and we struck out 11 times. We called up SS Jess Alford (he’s a better fielder than Hamza) to give him a taste of the big time and he didn’t like it much as he contributed 3 to our strikeout total. 49ers win, 4-1.

102 of 162: Erik Melluzo (5-5, 3.54) @ Ash Newman (8-5, 3.38)
We went with Donny at SS today, making him our 3rd different SS to start a game in this series – he went 1 for 4 with 2 K’s but fielded well. Mitchell Cusac put out a nice two-run homer while Ash pitched well over 8 innings – 7’k and two earned. As a team, we had only 1 error (SF had 4, our lead is now a more manageable 2 for last in the NL). Suns win, 4-2, and earn our 2nd series win of the month.

Well… that’s as good of a start to the week as we could have hoped for given our recent play, and while San Fran is a team we are supposed to beat – sometimes it just feels good to get the job done.

(7/27 – 7/29) Phoenix Suns (53-49, .520) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (51-51, .500)
Oklahoma city, fresh off a 4-game split with the Los Angeles Lakers, is now 10-11 for the month with 5 of those wins coming at the very beginning of July – they are 2-8 in their last 10 games with Pittsburgh being the only real heavy hitter they faced during that stretch. Even still they have a top flight offense (rated #1 in runs scored, AVG, and OBP) – unfortunately, they are really bad defensively with the second worst Defensive Efficiency in the NL. They’re solid, but given their current form, we feel good about our chances here.

103 of 162: Del Miller (9-5, 4.61) @ AJ Hinson (2-9, 5.37)
We came really close to pulling the trigger on a trade with the Lakers that involved Derek – it fell apart at the last minute – but due to some solid work by the media, the word got out. Neither Jeter Bro was happy about it, so we gave them both the night off (they each would be called upon to PH for us late in the game). This was a close one – and it got away as the Thunder put together just enough plays to take the win by a score of 6-5. We had some good opportunities and squandered every one of them – the heart of our order hit well, but they couldn’t get home with any regularity – some good news… only 1 error on the game.

104 of 162: Graham Doyle (2-3, 4.80) @ Damon Smith (5-1, 5.06)
C Norton Manning hit a 3-run homer in the top of the 8th that sealed the deal for us in this one – a nice 8-4 win over the home team. Jacob Wells hit a 3-run bomb of his own in the top of the 4th as well – our power was on full display. Derek was back in the lineup as our DH and went 1 for 5 with 2 runs scored and, as a team, we had our second straight game with only 1 error.

Trade alert: SP Oswaldo Flores was traded to the Seattle Sounders today for 26-year old LF Preston Wallace. This is a good move for our future – but it probably won’t pay any dividends this season. Basically, we’re tired of watching Oswaldo blow it. We brought Sam Lund up from Tucson to take the #5 spot in our rotation.

105 of 162: Michael Brisk (10-8, 3.43) @ Tim Kelly (10-9, 3.89)

We end the week by getting annihilated 9-1 in the rubber match – 2B Brentley Ioannidis went 3 for 4 with a HR, 2 R, and 3 RBI’s – a one-man wrecking crew. We left Brisk in one batter too long – he gave us 7.1 innings and gave up 8 earned runs with 5 of those coming in the 7th. Didn’t help that our lackadaisical play in the field reared its ugly head again – 4 errors and 1 unearned run.

Well… that just about saps all the good vibes we got from winning the series against San Fran. It’s been a rough month, and while a 3-3 week is better than we have been lately, it’s just not going to get it done with 57 of these games left to go. We are either going to slowly fade from contention or get our crap together and start playing some real baseball again. Oh, before I forget, your boy Rad Taylor was moved to the #5 spot in the Tucson rotation after giving up 9 runs in 1.1 innings against Sacramento. This is not the Spicoli I was looking for.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:11 AM   #133
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2074 Season (Trade Alert)

Patience has never been a virtue of mine, and Rad just wasn't tubular enough for me to keep around - cool name, uncool skills. So we bid him adieu. Hopefully, he justifies my shortlist designation and performs better in Salt Lake City for the Houston Dynamo. Also, and perhaps more importantly, we get a major upgrade at 3rd from a fielding perspective in Homer Wingard. At the plate, they are a wash, but Homer has a cannon for an arm, a nice infield range, and is anything but error prone.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:12 AM   #134
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2074 Season (A deal at the deadline)

I don’t run teams often in OOTP - I generally subscribe to the watcher/shortlist method of play. The sit back and watch the world I’ve created style where many an unforeseen development unfolds to my surprise, delight, and sometimes, dismay. So, playing as the Phoenix GM, while outside of my OOTP comfort zone, has been quite enjoyable, even if our play on the field has been less than stellar of late. I’ve taken over one of the basement dwellers in Strangeverse and they are, surprisingly, in the hunt for a playoff spot. Now, a lot of our success occurred early in the season when my team played well above the sum of their parts - more unwarranted good fortune than general management skill. Since then, we’ve come back to earth, but I’ve managed to position the Suns for a better future. I’ve stocked the minors with a dearth of future MLB talent - no one otherworldly, though I did have a solid, if top heavy, draft that should produce a couple of low key stars, and I’ve shed players who I liked and developed a real affinity for that, from a contribution perspective, just weren’t cutting it for similar talents that are a couple of ticks younger and who have a smidge more untapped potential - though my staffs ability to unlock said potential is suspect.

One area where I haven’t kept my eye on the ball, however, is balance. My focus has been on improving our overall defensive prowess for the everyday set, and guys with stuff that should become solid in time. Unfortunately, this means that positional strength has been feast or famine. SS Hamza, as a result, has found himself bouncing back and forth between the big club and Tucson. He’s more than good enough to start somewhere in this league - and probably should be starting on my club - but for whatever reason my Manager isn’t sold on that role for him anymore (he’s a below average fielder, maybe that’s it). So, I’ve shopped him around at the deadline, and while I didn’t really come up with much - I was able to get an outfield prospect (currently projecting to be a CF) in Jason Bland - a contact hitter that is above average in the avoid K’s department with great speed and a good arm with some range in the field. To make it work I had to throw in a couple of borderline prospects for a couple of guys who look more likely to washout than stick. File under suspect: the trade was with San Francisco - whose lack of fielding prowess rivals only our own. Looks like they value contact hitters (with a little bit of pop), above average speed, and guys they can, eventually, slot into middle relief more than they do slick fielders with range and a knack for not striking out.

Skipper Mo is keen to promote Bland to the big club where he will trade starts with Cusac, who’s been good but is sometimes a fielding liability. I don’t think Bland’s bat is ready for the majors, but I am interested in what having a guy with his range at center will look like.

So... I’ve now achieved some modicum of positional balance on my team and in my dev system, but have taken a linear approach to my moves by focusing on a type - speed, avoid k’s, fielding on offense & ground ball pitchers with good stuff and a change up that has the potential to be low key devastating. We have 4 guys (three pitchers and a SS) that could make the big club as early as next season who are trying to get their skills to catch up with their perceived potential, if one of them contributes next season we might be a bit stronger club in 2075 with a little bit of money to spend.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:13 PM   #135
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2074 Season (7/31 1 @ VAN)

Phoenix Suns (54-51, .514 2nd NL West) @ Vancouver Whitecaps (53-51, .510 3rd NL West)
Vancouver is 15-9 so far in the month of July. After starting the month at 5th in the NL West with a 38-42 record, the Whitecaps have really started to put it together lately. They have a +14-run differential for the month, and have been involved in a lot of close games – so it’s hard to tell how much of this run has been skill versus how much has been the product of good fortune. They barely crack the top 6 in AVG, SB’a, RA, and Bullpen ERA – and find themselves no higher than 9th in anything else. Theirs is a club that inspires confusion – are they as good as they have seemed lately or is this just a mid-season aberration? We’ve had some success against Vancouver this season – we sit at 8-3 against them so far – let’s hope the trend continues.

106 Of 162: Ash Newman (9-5, 3.31) @ Nolan Wilkins (7-10, 4.87)
3 of our first 4 batters struck out, and the first person we got on base was the result of being drilled in the back – ahh, the proverbial inauspicious start we’ve become known for in July. We follow that mess up with 3 errors in the 3rd and an unearned run – we are nothing if not consistent. In the end, we managed to chip away at it and came away with the tight 3-2 road victory. Ash pitched wonderfully over 8 innings – 7H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 4K. He really let our fielders eat as he induced a lot of groundballs in the effort and save the disastrous 3rd our retooled defense handled it well. Suns win, 3-2.

Note: Orlando City scored 22 runs against the St. Louis Rams at home today. Every player in the lineup got a hit, and 6 of them got 3 or more. Recently traded (like this morning recent) Hamza has been penciled into the leadoff spot for his debut with the 49ers. Glad he’s getting the vote of confidence from his new club. Pepper Grant is getting no love in Chicago… he’s been moved to first and seems to get ~2 starts per week – oh how the mighty(ish) have fallen. Rad Taylor is set to get his first start with AAA Salt Lake tomorrow against the Tulsa Drillers - let's hope that it goes swimmingly for the dude.

Strangeverse Report Notes:
  • Pace of play is bringing me down – toying with the idea of moving to a monthly summary format. Not sure yet.
  • July MLB summary is up next…

Another note: When I pulled up my game save to complete the July MLB write-up a glitch in the matrix occurred – somehow the game I described above didn’t save and when I moved to 8/1 (before I noticed that the previously played game was no longer in the books), I saw that – in this new multiverse – we lost Game 1 of the 2-game set to Vancouver by a score of 5-3, extending the Whitecaps winning streak to 6 instead of ending it at 5. Well, that’s frustrating – the universe is a strange and mysterious place.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:18 AM   #136
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2074 Season (July Review)

2074 Season (July Review)
While the Vancouver Whitecaps ascent to 2nd in the NL West is a good news story for fans of the British Columbia based club, it warrants only this mention given that they did it in the mediocre NL West. The real good news story of the month belongs to Orlando City who earned their 60th win in July and climbed to 3rd in the competitive NL East from 5th place at the end of June. A big part of their success was due to the July performance of SP Nacho Valadez who went 5-1 during the month, including an 18-K performance on July 1st (the all-time single-game K record belongs to Pete Gauthier who recorded 23 against the New York Jets in 2053 – he led the league in K’s that year with 395 and finished the campaign with an insane 14.3 K/9). Orlando finished the month a 16-9 and won 8 of their last 10. They look to be a factor over the next couple of months as teams jockey for playoff positioning.

Batters of the Month:
AL: RF Andrew Beck (TOR) - .323, 4 HR, 25 RBI, 20 Runs
NL: 1B Nolan Steffan (VAN) - .364, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 21 Runs

Pitchers of the Month:
AL: Adam White (LAG) – 4-0, 38 IP, 38 K’s, 1.18 ERA
NL: Steve Unger (ORL) – 5-0, 47.2 IP, 43 K’s, 2.08 ERA
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:55 AM   #137
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2074 Season (Phoenix Suns – So far)

Some notes as we head into August...
  • We are scheduled to play 20 of 26 games at home in August (through July we are 28-20 at home). Looking forward to it.
  • Entering August, we lead the league in strikeouts at 1049.
  • We lead the NL in HR’s, but are only ranked 8th in the league – most of the MLB’s power is housed in the AL.
  • Phoenix is one of only two teams in the league that hasn’t recorded any CG SHO’s. The other is the New York Jets (4th in the AL East with an identical 54-52 record).
  • Phoenix doesn’t have a single player in the top 7 in any of the major batting and pitching statistical categories.
  • Derek has appeared in 87 of our 106 games while Donny has only appeared in 72.
  • After posting a .654 winning % in April, we’ve only posted a .467 winning percentage since.
  • Survey says… we’re living on borrowed time.

The burnt orange and eggplant purple’s faithful seem to be a dying breed... and these next two months will have a lot to say about my future as the GM in Phoenix.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:59 PM   #138
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2074 Season (7/30 – 8/5)

2074 Season (7/30 – 8/5)
After dropping the first two games of the month to Vancouver, and after I woke up on Wednesday morning before the 2nd game believing in an alternate reality where we won the first game only to find out that, according to the local newspaper, we did, in fact, lose that game 5-3, we headed home to welcome San Diego to Phoenix. How'd we end up on the wrong end of a mini-sweep despite Jess Alford’s 2 for 3 performance with a triple and 3 RBI? I guess it didn’t help that Vancouver hit 3 HRs in their 7-4 win on Wednesday evening…

107 of 162: Game 2 @ Vancouver – Del Miller takes the L – he’s now 9-7 with a 4.98 ERA. Jess Alford is 2 for 3 with 3 RBI, but we continue to play poorly in the field and commit 3 errors on the day with 2 unearned runs. Vancouver’s power was on display – 3 HR’s for the resurgent Whitecaps. They are playing their best baseball of the season right now.

We head home for a 3-game set against the San Diego Chargers – a 58-win club with a 3 ½ game lead over us at 1st in the NL West. They are good everywhere we are not and better than us in most areas where we are. They steal bags at a league-leading clip, have lights out pitching from their starters, and are everything we want to be defensively.

108 of 162: Game 1 Vs San DiegoDonny hits his 9th HR of the year, we commit no errors, only strikeout 7 times, and still lose 11-8. The story here is our awful pitching – Graham can only get through 3 innings (6 earned charged to his name) and reliever Jackson Krohn gives up 4 runs in one inning of work (15.43 ERA… yikes). We’re a .500 ball club now.

109 of 162: Game 2 V SDC – Brisk nearly gets the clubs first CG SHO – 9IP, 3H, 1ER, and 11K. Luca goes 4 for 4 with THREE doubles. Suns win 10-1, every starter gets a hit. 7 doubles, a HR, we only strike out 5 times, and commit no errors for the 2nd game in a row (a season record? Feels like it should be).

Yikes… almost forgot… Hamza went 1 for 3 with 2 RBI and no errors at SS in his 49ers debut. They beat OKC by a score of 7 to 5. Rad Taylor gave up 6 runs in 7 innings in his SLC debut – he was up & down – touched up in the 1st for two and bashed in the 5th for 3.

110 of 162: Game 3 V SDC – We get a team shutout and a rare series win against a good club, winning 3-0. Starter Patrick Keith left in the 6th with back spasms – he’s now listed as DTD. 1B Jacob Wells hit a 3 run homer in the 6th – difference maker. Only 6 K’s and NO ERRORS (3 games of error-free baseball – definitely our best stretch of the season – I didn’t check, but I don’t have to).

A pleasant surprise here – after taking a crowbar to the knees against Vancouver we come home and take 2 of 3 off the NL West-leading San Diego Chargers. Vancouver is now tied for 1st with the Chargers and we find ourselves 2 ½ from the top spot and have a 1 ½ game lead over San Francisco. Our fielding has been a welcome surprise as has our discipline at the plate – we got something snappy going right now. Dig.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:07 PM   #139
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2074 Season (8/6 – 8/12)

2074 Season (8/6 – 8/12)
We start the week with 4 at home against the 49-win Los Angeles Lakers, who, at 10 games back, hold the distinction of being the most mediocre team in the NL West. We’re 7-3 against them this year and are starting to play with some real verve. They got some pop and the ability to occasionally wreck the base path’s – so our recently stout infield defense will be key here. We’ll end the week with a rare August road trip to Jacksonville for some interleague silliness.

111 of 162: Game 1 V LAL – A 9-1 victory for the burnt orange and eggplant purple – and our 4th straight game of error-free baseball. Ash goes 9 and gives up only 1 run, Jess bats two in on a 2 for 4 performance and Homer Wingard goes 2 for 3 with a HR and 3 runs scored. Norton Manning gets us a 3-run double to pad our lead in the 8th. We look like a baseball team.

112 of 162: Game 2 V LAL – Del Miller looks good through 7 and only allows 2 of the 3 runs Los Angeles was able to muster – he comes away with a 4-3 win. Luca went 3 for 4 with a walk-off RBI in the bottom of the 11th and Derek, back in the lineup after a couple of days off, finishes 2 for 6. Norton Manning breaks our errorless streak with an errant throw to 2nd on a successful steal attempt by the Lakers. I’m good with it.

113 of 162: Game 3 V LAL – We take a tough loss in game 3 by a score of 6-2. LA starter Aivazian befuddles us as completely as the spelling of his last name confounds journalists everywhere. We strikeout 7 times as a team but commit no errors – I’m liking the defense. Derek goes 0 for 4 with 3 of our 7 K’s. Maybe he needs another day off?

114 of 162: Game 4 V LAL – We get brutalized in game 4 by a score of 8-1. We’ll have to settle for a split against the NL West cellar dwellers. No errors though… and Luca gets HR #9. Still 3 ½ back, our verve has been sapped.

Note: The New York Jets have won 10 in a row – they are really locked in. With the move to 1B in Chicago, your boy Pepper Grant has seen his playing time increase – he’s already racked up 3 errors at the new position though.

@ Jacksonville… the flight to Florida takes about 4 hours. 4 hours to think about all the ways we can lose to the 67-win Jags. Currently, they have Josiah penciled in to start on Sunday – not looking forward to that. They are an incredibly balanced club and will be a good test for our retooled defense. Though at 3 ½ games back we aren’t really looking for tests, we’re looking for patsies.

115 of 162: Game 1 @ JAX – We bashed today and put up a tasty little 6-run top of the 8th. Preston Wallace finished 4 for 5 with 3 RBI, only Homer Wingard went hitless for the Phoenix side, and SS Maddox Wahlen committed our only error (his 9th in 33 starts a short). Suns win, 8-1.

116 of 162: Game 2 @ JAX – We lose a heartbreaker by a score of 10-9 after Jacksonville rally’s in the bottom of the 9th – 3 late ones on us and our 1st multiple error game in some time. We hit 3 out – courtesy of Derek (15), Jacob Wells (19), and Luca (10) – but it wasn’t enough. 32 hits between us… a wild one in Jacksonville.

117 of 162: Game 3 @ JAX – Josiah Weber did to us what he does to everybody – 9 inning, 1 earned, 10 K’s and the W – Jags take the series on a 5-1 win. LF Cash Crouch touched Weber up for a solo-HR in the 5th – our only highlight – he also was charged with our lone error on the day as he mishandled a fly ball in Left Field. It’s only his 2nd error, so, we accept that the sun probably played a major factor.

Okay… a 5-6 start in August, same as it ever was… still 3 ½ back though, and our lead on San Francisco remains unchanged. Luca was honored as the player of the week - .517, 2 HR, 5 RBI, but we lost 4 of 7 for the week.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:19 PM   #140
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2074 Season (8/13 – 8/19)

2074 Season (8/13 – 8/19)
We start the week with a day off on Monday before gearing up to take on a 65-win Green Bay club that is playing well in August. They are 8-4 so far this month, including a 4-game sweep over the Carolina Panthers (a series where they outscored their opponent 30-10 in aggregate). Green Bay has a ho-hum offense – though they are 2nd in stolen bases in the AL. Theirs is a club built on pitching and defense with 5 starters boasting a sub-4 ERA and a 3rd best runs against ranking in the American League. They are five games off of Jacksonville’s pace and undoubtedly are looking at this 3-game set as an opportunity to make up some ground – we’ll need to recapture our April form to do damage here.

118 of 162: Game 1 Vs GBP – The Pack did their most significant damage against us late in this one and earned a 4-3 result taking game one of our series. Starter Graham Doyle was a’ight through 5-innings, but after walking 3-straight batters despite having 2 outs in the 5th we had to yank him. Derek played well – 2 for 3 with 2 runs and a walk. Green Bay wins despite committing 4 errors (we had nada) – no, our issue, again, was our pitching as RP Chip Gaytan gave up the tying run in the 8th and RP Frosty Dillard gave up the game-winner in the 9th – he’ll wear the much-deserved L in this one.

119 of 162: Game 2 Vs GBP
– We put up 13 runs on the vaunted Green Bay defense – Jess Alford hits 2 out and drives 5 runs in for us and Brisk gets another CG dealing 12-K’s during his 4 hits, 2 Earned Runs performance. Derek has another good day as well, going 2 for 4 with a homer and 2 RBI’s. Green Bay committed an ungodly 7 errors on the day (we had 2) and we hit a double and 3 HR’s (Donny got one – not sure, but this could be the 1st game where both Jeter Bros hit one out – I’ll have to research that one). Suns win, 13-4.

120 of 162: Game 3 Vs GBP – Aargh… shut-out at home in the rubber match. We needed this one, but didn’t have what it takes or enough to get started. Patrick Keith gave up only 1 run in 7 innings of work – a wasted effort as our lone error allows 2 unearned runs across. A costly miscue for 3B Homer Wingard – he needs to be better than that. With the loss, we find ourselves tied with OKC for 3rd and only ½ a game up on San Francisco. GBP wins, 4-0.

Note: LAL CF Malcolm Charlebois hit his 300th home run as a Major Leaguer in a losing effort against the Carolina Panthers. Malcolm has had a decorated career – 6 All-star appearances, 5 Silver Slugger Awards, Two Championships (both as a member of the St. Louis Rams).

We’ll need to shake some evil after two tough losses in our series against Green Bay as we welcome San Francisco to town for what could be the most important series we’ve played this season. In addition to facing SS Hamza McDonnell for the first time since we traded him last month, we’ll face SP Landon Sampson in game one of the series. We’ve faced him 3 times so far this year – and he’s earned the W in each of those contests. He’s given up only 1 earned run in the 22 innings he’s pitched against us. After that, there’s not really a lot to the 49ers – of course, that’s probably similar to what they are saying about us.

121 of 162: Game 1 Vs SF – We finally break through against Sampson – sort of. He goes 7 and only gives up 2 runs, but Ash Newman was just a little bit better today going 8 with 4 hits and 1 earned run. Good stuff from Ash today. Light-hitting defensive-minded CF Jason Bland went 1 for 4 with a solo home run (his 1st in 2074) in the 3rd and LF Cash Crouch hit one of his own in the 6th. 3B Homer Wingard commits another fielding error, our only one on the day, and as a team, we matched San Fran’s strikeout total at 11. Suns win, 2-1 – and we’ll take it.

122 of 162: Game 2 Vs SF – 49ers Pitcher Erik Melluzzo only allowed 1 run in 8 innings of work while Del Miller allows 3 in 7.2 innings of work – we let two additional runs get by unearned due to fielding miscue’s – wasting another strong pitching performance. 49ers win 5-3. Frustrating.

123 of 162: Game 3 Vs SF – Aargh – nearly shut out at home in the rubber match. We lost 7-1, only managed to get 4 total hits, we struck out 11 times, committed an error, got caught attempting a boneheaded steal – and, well, lost. This one is tough – as critical a game as we’ve played all season and we got… nothing.

Well, well, well – Tied for 5th in the NL West and now 6 ½ games behind the San Diego Chargers – who have really started to run away with this thing… 68 wins, 7-3 in their last 10. We are now a sub .500 ball club, I don’t know, maybe we always have been. 3-7 in our last 10 and 7-10 so far in August. It’s a sad state of affairs, man.
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