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Old 07-14-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
pauwoo
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The Decatur Donnybrooks of the Texas Bush League

Texas Bush League, Est. 2019
In its 67 years of existence, the Decatur Donnybrooks & Denton Dilly’s, have been the class of the Texas Bush League –with 15 & 14 titles to their name, respectively. The Quanah Quackers & Lufkin Lickers each have eight in that span but are nowhere near as consistent a performer as Decatur or Denton – who are the only two teams to have a .500+ winning percentage over the last 67 years of play. Mike Fitch, who played 13 years in the TBL, is the career WAR leader in the history of the league and the namesake of our MVP Award. The two-time champion with the Pampa Peaches won the league MVP award in 2028 and was inducted into the TBL Hall of Fame in 2040. Tony Ramirez, a fireballer from Houston, TX, and 3-time pitching MVP is the career leader in pWAR – we renamed our Pitcher of the Year Award after him at the end of the 2041 season – the same year he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Formed as a 10-team league, the Texas Bush League has one division and plays a balanced 54-game schedule. The season starts on May 1st and the playoffs are usually complete by mid-July… it’s all about beating the heat. The division winner gets a bye in the 1st round of the playoffs to await the winner of our “play-in” game between the regular seasons second and third place teams. Play-In winners have only won 18 of our 67 titles, including the Denton Dilly’s, who accomplished the feat only two seasons ago. The settings are standard – I didn’t mess with anything. Given that we play on 54 games per season – we’ll get a .400 hitter here and there, but other than that – the output is about what you’d expect.

This dynasty will focus on the Decatur Donnybrooks, who are essentially the New York Yankees of this Universe – starting from the 2087 season – as I attempt to continue their reign as a perennial powerhouse. I’m not playing with any house rules – just running through things as-is and hoping to have a little fun.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #2
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The 2087 Decatur Donnybrooks…

The 2087 Decatur Donnybrooks…

Lineup:
  1. CF Brandon Kuiper (27, 59, 1st overall pick in 2078) – Good speed, okay in the outfield with above average range and arm strength, and a solid contact hitter that rarely strikes out – a classic leadoff guy who consistently puts good AB’s together… he’s also known as a decent teammate. Just decent. Not good, not bad, somewhere in the middle, I guess. He’ll be arbitration eligible next year and he has three option years left.
  2. 2B Jonathan Mendoza (26, 58 (tops out at 62), 7th overall pick in 2079) – World class speed and stealing ability with so-so range in the field (he is a DP specialist though – he’s a wizard in a DP situation), and another contact/low-k guy. Great gap power. He hit .302 last season. He’s a born leader who is nearly impossible to intimidate – never afraid of the big moments. He won the Fitch in 2085.
  3. 1B Oscar Segobia (24, 45, 7th pick in 2081) – Another speedy baserunner and solid contact hitter who is getting better at avoiding K’s by the day – he’s got some pop too, though it hasn’t translated to a lot of HR’s yet – great effort guy who is active in the community.
  4. 3B Kymani Jones (26, 54, 18th pick in 2079) – Poor range with a great arm and disaster on the base paths who makes up for it by hitting balls out of the park on a regular basis. He led the TBL with 13 ding dongs in 2086.
  5. RF Alejandro Hernandez (30, 46, Intl scouting discovery out of Mexico) – A decent fielder with above average power and a good eye at the plate. He’s well-regarded by our fans as a stand-up guy with a good head on his shoulders – always smiling and having fun out there.
  6. SS Barrett Hessler (22, 46, 28th overall pick in 2083) – World class potential for infield range, contact, and discipline at the plate who is among the fastest runners in the league. Unfortunately, he’s clueless on base and has poor timing – so his steal numbers are not ideal – and he’s not the most loyal of teammates – a real me first guy who thinks a drive to succeed is unnecessary. I’ll be keeping my on this guy – for all his potential, which he has in spades, I can’t have him creating a toxic working environment in the clubhouse.
  7. LF Bill Davis (26, 43, 22nd overall pick in 2080) – Davis is a think-headed goofball who lacks motivation – never a good combo – but he can hit, doesn’t strike out who is regarded as one of the best fielding outfielders in the TBL – he only has 5 errors charged to his name in 7 years of Major League service.
  8. C Jim McGill (28, 34, We traded for this numskull) – The okayest catcher in the league – he won’t hurt you, but he’ll only rarely help you – here’s a guy I’d like to throw to the wolves… he dogs it far too often and has a weak arm for catching thieves – but, he’s got some discipline at the plate and has a knack for keeping himself comfortably in the middle of the stats table.

The staff:
  1. Dan Crawford (25, 62, 15th overall in 2080) – Just one of the guys – no ego, friendly with everyone – who has some of the best stuff in the TBL with a sick fastball and a slider that’s starting to come along. He’s also great at holding runners, which helps when your catcher has the arm of a 13-year-old. He led the TBL in K’s and ERA in 2086. He’s won the Ramirez in each of the last 3 seasons.
  2. Carlos Guijarro (26, 51, Intl scouting discovery out of PR) – An extreme groundball pitcher that can hold his own with a mix of pitches that includes a good fastball and decent forkball – he’ll need a 3rd go to pitch if he is to take the next step.
  3. Andy Thatcher (22, 50 (tops out at 69), via trade) – A real lunchbox type who likes to arrive early and get after it – he can hold runners, has good, quickly improving stuff, and gets after batters with his cutter. He also has a curve, a slider, and a changeup that he can mix in to AB’s to keep hitters off-balance. He’ll be an Ace eventually.
  4. Steve Merryman (26, 48, 40th overall pick in 2079) – Good control, tip-top stamina… here’s a guy who needs to put in some work to get his array of pitches up to snuff but just can’t be bothered. One of the cool kids who consistently choose a beer with the fellas over putting in the work to improve.
  5. David Martinez (27, 46, 28th overall pick) – Good control with a great curveball and changeup who lacks a consistent punch-out pitch. He tops out at 92 – not terrible… but is often mistake prone and really lacks the ability or mental acuity to learn from his mistakes.

The Pen:
Closer – Mario Rivera (24, 66, Intl scouting discovery from the DR) – A dedicated and hard working guy whose stuff tracks to be among the all-time great if he continues to acclimate to the role as he has in his 1st 3 seasons… he mixes in a dastardly curveball with his 101 MPH fastball – he’s scary, I’m glad he’s on our team.

Set-Up Man – Larry Bird (26, 58, via Trade) – One of our team leaders – this over-the-top groundballer is looking to bounce back from a tough injury-plagued 2086…. His arsenal includes the sickest knuckle curve I’ve ever seen and his competitive fire, while antagonistic at times, fuels our team late in ball games.

Long-Reliever – Josh Guerrero (21, 46, via trade) – A star in the making with amazing stuff and a curveball that has a chance at being one of the all-time best – here’s a kid who has earned a master’s degree in international business at the age of 21 who spends his nights as a power pitching wild-man for the Donnybrooks. One of my faves, for sure.
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:16 PM   #3
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2087 Season (5/1 – 5/3)

Decatur Donnybrooks (0-0, .000) @ Lufkin Lickers (0-0, .000)
The Lickers aren’t exactly highly regarded by the TBL media pundits – most have them pegged as an 8th place finisher this season. Their pitching is the primary culprit, at least on paper, where they lack depth and don’t seem to have a lot of guys that can hang in this league night in and night out. They do have one of the best hitters in the league though – who may be the only reason for fans to show up – in John Kramp (25, 67, 1st overall pick in 2081). Kramp is known as a good teammate and avid golfer who has a lot of pop, good speed, and some legit range in the outfield. He has yet to reach a double-digit HR total in his 5 years of service… We’re hoping that meeting a club in flux, on their turf, will be a good enough way to start the 2087 campaign – don’t get me wrong, 3-days in Lufkin can be boring – I mean how many times can you eat fried green tomatoes at the Cotton Patch Cafe before you get tired of them anyway? The answer is… I don’t know – I get them every time we visit and have yet to want anything else on the menu. Except maybe their fried okra – it’s got something snappy. Nice waitstaff too.

1 of 54: Dan Crawford (0-0, 0.00) @ Ben Hunter (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 1-0… Kymani Jones hit a 2-out double with 1 on in the top of the 1st to drive in the only run scored in this one and Crawford pitches an 8 inning, 3 hit gem before handing the ball off to Mario Rivera who earns his first save of the 2087 season. Bill Davis & Jim McGill both went 0 for 3 with 3 K’s – these guys better tighten up, I don’t have the patience for lollygaggers – and we get a nice Mendoza-Hessler-Segobia DP to end Lufkin’s attempt at putting a little something together in the 7th. We’ll take it – sure, a 1-0 victory in the Season Opener isn’t the rock n’ roll way to start off a campaign, but it’s always nice to start things off on the right foot.

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2 of 54: Andy Thatcher (0-0, 0.00) @ Jerry Garbie (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 1-0… Second verse, same as the first… another tightly contested 1-0 victory here… Thatcher shuts them out for 6, Jason White holds them off for 1.2, and Rivera gets his second save in as many tries – but, the offense stays stagnant. We’d get our only run in on a bases-loaded walk in the top of the 7th when C Jim McGill patiently draws one off of Garbie who fell off the proverbial control cliff in the frame. We didn’t exactly treat the Lufkin fans to a great baseball game in this one – but, we’re 2-0 on the season now… we’ll take it.

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3 of 54: Carlos Guijarro (0-0, 0.00) @ Josh Mueller (0-0, 0.00)
Loss, 14-4… Well, after getting shut out in two straight, I think it is safe to say that the Lufkin Lickers wasn’t having it anymore – they destroyed us in this one and sent us home with our tails stuck firmly between our legs – Carlos, pulled in the 3rd, got absolutely crushed in this one – 7 earned over 2.1, and our bullpen didn’t fare much better. We hit two doubles, Kymani got his first homer and struck out 13 times as a team – that’s terrible. Lufkin was firing on all cylinders offensively – with every starter except their leadoff man, David Rose, getting at least one hit. John Kramp was the man of the match – he went 2 for 3 with 2 runs, 2 walks, and an RBI.

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Welp, not exactly the ending we were looking for, but it’s always nice to get a series win to kick off a campaign. We’ll head home for the next 6 games, starting it off with a three-game set against the Nacogdoches Nibblers who’ll be traveling to Decatur from Denton where they lost two of three to the Denton Dilly’s.

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Old 07-14-2019, 07:19 PM   #4
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Good start... wacky team names... and you have a way with words.
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene Church View Post
Good start... wacky team names... and you have a way with words.
Hey! Eugene! Thanks, man. That put a smile on my face for sure... much appreciated. I'm a long-time reader of your Islandian Pro Alliance (I'm a Ruthlandia guy!) and I really like the Rec League too.

So, yeah, the team names I'm going with here are suspect for sure, but as a recent Texas transplant, I don't know enough about the area yet to figure out what makes sense for the Lonestar State. Ha! Plus, I dig the logos so I had to make it work.

Anyways, I appreciate the compliment - thanks for that!
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Old 07-14-2019, 08:33 PM   #6
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2087 Season (5/4 – 5/6)

Nacogdoches Nibblers (1-2, .333, 10th) @ Decatur Donnybrooks (2-1, .667, 5th)
The Nibblers are coming off a tough set against the Denton Dilly’s where they dropped two of three to open the season – and they really, even at 10th in the league, aren’t that much different than us. We both have a league-worst -8 rDiff and we both lost our last contest – so this series is a good opportunity for both of us. Our offense, where we rank 8th or worse everywhere, is struggling so far, while their pitching, ranked dead last, is in shambles – something’s got to give. Nacogdoches has a power hitting 2B, Adam Kerrigan, who currently leads the TBL with 2 HR’s, and a legit Ace in Bunji Imamura, who was destroyed his last time out when he lasted only 2 innings and gave up 6 runs. We’ll see him in the 3rd game of this set – but we don’t expect a repeat performance. The Nibblers were pegged as a middle-of-the-road, .500 ballclub at the beginning of the season – they’ve played like it – and, so far, they haven’t made any moves to dispel that opinion. If we can make their starters work, and get after them a little bit – we could end up on the right side of a sweep in this one – best-laid plans, though, right? It’s early in the season, I know, but I can’t lie – it will be nice playing our next 6 in Decatur… for me, that means sleeping in my own bed and getting a bowl of the best migas in town for breakfast at Fuzzy’s before I head to the park each day… The life of a TBL GM is hard you guys…

4 of 54: Tyler Richter (0-0, 0.00) @ Steve Merryman (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 13-6… This was the breakout performance we’ve been searching for – Oscar Segobia went 3 for 4 with a double and 3 RBI, Kuiper hit a solo shot and scored 4 runs, and Jonathan Mendoza went 3 for 5 with 2 runs and 2 batted in… Merryman was trash – he gave up 5 and was pulled before the end of the 3rd, but our pen was able to stop the bleeding in this one and gave us a chance to win – Larry Bird went 2 innings late and struck out 4 while Jason White closed the show in the top of the 9th on 17 total pitches.

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5 of 54: Johnny Evans (0-0, 0.00) @ Dan Crawford (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 3-1… Jonathan Mendoza stays hot in this one and hits 2 doubles with 2 RBI for the game while Crawford gives us 4 innings of okay work before handing the ball off to the pen – 2 hits, 8 K’s and only 1 earned, so better than okay, but he faded too fast to carry it much further. The pen only allowed 3 more hits in the last 4.2 frames. Simon Shea got the save – he strikes out three to end the game – and Rivera got us the hold but was pulled when his command started to go south. We hit 3 doubles, a triple, and completed 2 DP’s in this one – giving the fans some solid baseball tonight.

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6 of 54: Bunji Imamura (0-1, 40.50) @ Andy Thatcher (1-0, 0.00)
Loss, 4-3… Tough game three loss to close out the set against Nacogdoches – Imamura is much better his second time out throwing 6 innings and striking out 8 batters while allowing only 3 runs to plate, while Thatcher only manages to go for 4 innings before getting pulled from the game – he was dealing, so this was more of a strategic decision by our skipper. Davis, Kuiper, and Kymani Jones all drove in runs and Kuiper hit two doubles in this one, but, unfortunately, we just couldn’t punch any more through and ended up taking the loss.

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Another solid set from the Donnybrooks – we’re now 4-2 on the season and sitting at the top of the table with Denton, Fredericksburg, and Lufkin. We’ll welcome the 3-3 Pampa Peaches to town for another 3-game set before heading out on a quick road trip to Fredericksburg. You gotta enjoy that home cookin’ while you can in this league.

Last edited by pauwoo; 07-14-2019 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 07-14-2019, 09:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauwoo View Post
Hey! Eugene! Thanks, man. That put a smile on my face for sure... much appreciated. I'm a long-time reader of your Islandian Pro Alliance (I'm a Ruthlandia guy!) and I really like the Rec League too.

So, yeah, the team names I'm going with here are suspect for sure, but as a recent Texas transplant, I don't know enough about the area yet to figure out what makes sense for the Lonestar State. Ha! Plus, I dig the logos so I had to make it work.

Anyways, I appreciate the compliment - thanks for that!
Pauwoo, thank you for checking in on the IPA and NIRL.

It is much appreciated.

Last edited by Eugene Church; 07-14-2019 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:31 AM   #8
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2087 Season (5/7 – 5/9)

Pampa Peaches (3-3, .500, 6th) @ Decatur Donnybrooks (4-2, .667, 1st)
At 3.3 runs per game, the Pampa Peaches find themselves ranked 8th in the TBL for offense with only Quanah and Beaumont struggling to manufacture runs worse than they are and their everyday roster only boasts one batter who is hitting above .300 so far this season. They’ve been more successful with their pitching, where they are ranked 4th, and boast a team ERA of 3.19 - but find themselves dead last in K’s. So, they are making their living on defense for now but will need their starters to start sending guys back to the dugout on their own – it’s just not sustainable to ask your everyday guys to do it all by themselves. 1B Justin Ferris is sort of their do-everything guy – he leads the squad in Avg, OBP, Slugging Pct, OPS, and wOBA and with 16 total bases is miles ahead of the next guy but he needs some help out there. This one should be an interesting series – it’s early, much too early to judge by statistics… but given that this team was picked to finish 8th this season we should be okay here. That is, if we play Donnybrook baseball the way we are designed to play it.

Note: Pampa is making some moves, maybe not the right ones, but some moves nonetheless… they signed free-agent RP Jim Deaton to a 1-year, $12M contract to bolster their already solid bullpen. Looks like they think that their path will be paved on lockdown pitching.

7 of 54: Jon Casterline (0-0, 0.00) @ Carlos Guijarro
Win, 5-3… Guijarro gives us 5 innings of 5-hit, lockdown ball, and Jim McGill, who is at times called McBum behind his back by his teammates, went 2 for 4 with a double, a HR, and 2 RBI for us in this one. Rivera gets save #4, we get a yo-yo DP (McGill-Mendoza-McGill), and Curt Dermer made the most of a PH opportunity with a 2-run single. Pampa plays the part here striking out 10 times as a team and getting caught trying to steal bags twice.

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Elsewhere: Waxahachie’s new SP, Kim-Hu De, who they signed only the day before, pitched a 7-inning gem in his Whiffs debut – he allowed only 2 hits and struck out 8 in Waxahachie’s 4-1 win over the Quanah Quackers. The former Donnybrook won a title with Lufkin last season before failing to resign with the club – Waxahachie is his third TBL club in 7 years of major league service.

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8 of 54: Mark Tiegs (0-0, 3.00) @ Jason White (0-0, 0.00)
Win, 6-0… White was magical in his first start of the season – 8.1 innings, 4 hits, 0 earned, 1 walk, and 9 K’s for the young stud and Bill Davis punched out a 3-run triple in the bottom of the 2nd that was more than enough to close the door on this one. Kuiper, Jones, and Segobia all contribute an RBI, we get another web-gem DP, and Larry Bird comes in for the last two batters dispatching them on only 2 total pitches – that’s supreme efficiency right there folks.

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9 of 54: Ian Hundertmark (0-1, 4.50) @ Steve Merryman (0-0, 16.88)
Win, 10-4… Our first sweep of the season! Kuiper is huge in this one – 2 for 3, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, and a walk for him and Steve Merryman bounces back nicely from his last dreadful start giving us 6.2 IP and allowing only 5 H and 4 R to keep us in a position to secure the W. Kuiper and Jones both put balls out of the park, Alejandro Hernandez went 3 for 4 with an RBI, and the team hit 3 doubles, a triple, and two home runs in this one. Leaving town on a high note!

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Old 07-15-2019, 06:54 PM   #9
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2087 Season (5/10 – 5/12)

Decatur Donnybrooks (7-2, .778, 1st) @ Fredericksburg Footlongs (6-3, .667, 2nd)
Ahhhh, yeah… the moment we’ve all been waiting for – a heavyweight battle for the championship of the world! OK, you’re right, let’s take a step or two back here – this isn’t quite Ali-Frazier, but it’s the closest thing we have to it in the TBL this year, so let’s just make do, shall we? The Fredericksburg Footlongs are formidable – 5th in offense & 4th in pitching – they know a little something about how to play baseball. That much is clear. And, they are stacked – a collection of heavy hitters, a band of brothers, and ne'er-do-well’s… these aren’t the guys you want to find at the end of a dark alley, that’s for sure. Take, for instance, their Catcher, Mike Todd, who is hitting .296 with 3 jacks and 10 RBI so far – do you really want to mix it up with that guy? He’s built like a brick house, thick-necked and broad-shouldered, and always ready to wreck things – a Charlie Hustle for the post-internet age. No? That’s cool, I’m with you. Howse about their Ace, Jaden Gilmore, then? 6’2” of raw steel and sex appeal who has five, count ‘em, FIVE big league pitches at his disposal and tops out at a crispy 97 MPH. He’ll go inside on you, too. Don’t get all chesty and think you’re gonna crowd his plate – you’ll end up wearing one. And don’t think that rushing the bump is an option either, he’ll mount you like a spider monkey and Nolan Ryan the **** out of you on national TV. So, um, yeah – this is gonna be a tough 3-game set – I’m a little worried, but, I have a sixer of Miller Lite and an Enya playlist on tap to help me find my chill…

10 of 54: Dan Crawford (1-0, 0.73) @ Luke Anderson (1-0, 1.29)
Win, 4-2… Crawford spins a solid outing in game one of this 3-game set – he gave us 5 the hard way and only allowed 4 hits and 1 earned run in the contest. That’s called, “getting it did, y’all”. Big Red Barrett Hessler went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI, Kymani jones hit his first triple of the season and drove in a run and scored one of his own, and Oscar Segobia drove in his 5th run this year in the winning effort. Bird gets the hold here – 18 pitches of pure magic in the 8th – and Rivera picks up save # 4 on the year. We’d get a couple of double plays in this one – we’re slick in the field – and rise above the challenge brought forth by the Footlongs of Fredericksburg despite striking out 10 times as a team – a nice win. Now, how do we get back to the hotel without being knuckle-dusted by the locals?

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11 of 54: Andy Thatcher (1-0, 0.87) @ Jaden Gilmore (1-0, 0.00)
Loss, 3-2… The Footlongs wrapped us up in a sausage casing early and served us up on a Kaiser roll with fresh-made dill pickles and stone-ground mustard in this one – Thatcher was serviceable – 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, and 4 K’s – but RP Simon Shea gives up the ghost in the bottom of the 8th and takes the loss in this one. We’re still not firing on all cylinders offensively yet, and this contest was no different as we spent most of our time at the plate mired in a state of bewilderment while looking at the pitches being thrown in our general direction. Fair play to the Footlongs, they took it to us here and won the round – but, with the rubber match up next, Kymani Jones and the boys will be looking for some of that sweet, sweet revenge.

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12 of 54: Carlos Guijarro (1-1, 8.59) @ Blake Hartig (0-1, 3.60)
Win, 6-2… Our first rubber match of the season went down like a 4th-grade tetherball match where we slammed the ball into Fredericksburg’s face and he ran into the nurse’s office to tattle on us for getting all aggro out on the playground – all is fair in love and tetherball. Guijarro is fine – 6 innings with only 1 earned – and Kuiper kept being super posting a 2 for 4 day with a HR and 2 RBI’s. Jones finished 0 for 3 – he’s batting .200 so far and is either in a coma or thinks this is a basketball game. Save #5 for Rivera today – this guy has not failed to convert a save opportunity yet and, as a team, we have yet to drop a series in 2087. Mint, absolute mint.

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Last edited by pauwoo; 07-16-2019 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:02 PM   #10
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Loving the logos! Loving the style! Will be following for sure!
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:54 PM   #11
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Loving the logos! Loving the style! Will be following for sure!
Hey! Cool! Thanks, man! That makes me happy - much appreciated.
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Old 07-16-2019, 10:17 PM   #12
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2087 Season (5/14 – 5/16)

Quanah Quackers (6-6, .500, 5th) @ Decatur Donnybrooks (9-3, .750, 1st)
At 6-6 so far in 2087, the Quanah Quackers are better than their record suggests – not much better, just better. Their offense sits in the middle of the road – they hit so-so (4th in Avg), they get on base so-so (4th OBP), they score runs so-so (5th), and when it comes to HR’s – they get squished, like grape (9th HR’s). Serviceable at the plate – they got a little bit of what it takes, but not enough to get started (album number ten!). Pitching, then, is where Quanah shines – 1st in RA & Starters ERA, 3rd in Bullpen ERA, and 2nd in both FIP and pWAR– they can huck it alright. With Tommy Bell as their Ace – a classic Fastballer with a wicked Change – they always have a shot to put a bad one on you when he takes the hill. Add in Danny Lamb (Fastball (99 MPH) & Slider) and Ron Kryshak – devastating curve – and you have yourself a solid staff – capable of keeping things close enough for their middling offense to get enough across to secure some W’s. And – can I just say that these guys keep it more than close most of the time – Quanah has a +15 rDiff and according to the Pyt should be 8-4 & near the top of the table with us and Waxahachie. They’re nobodies patsy – and unlike us, the Quackers are coming off a sweep (at home over the Denton Dilly’s) and looking to do some damage….

13 of 54: Ron Kryshak (1-0, 3.00) @ Jason White (1-0, 0.00)
Win, 3-0… So, about that Quanah offense – they are actually pretty clueless about some pretty important things – like hitting baseballs at key moments. They’d outhit us in this one 8-7, but we found ways to get runs across and managed to get our hits in the moments that counted. Kryshak performs admirably – 7IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K – but couldn’t get any run support because Jason White twirled a 7.1 inning 6 hit masterpiece. He’d add 7 K’s to his tally and managed to keep his scoreless inning streak intact – 15.2 innings of work so far and no earned runs. Kymani hit a 2-run double, Mendoza, Davis, and Kuiper scored, and Hessler went 2 for 2 with a walk. Solid start to the set.

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14 of 54: Juan Maria (1-0, 2.92) @ Dan Crawford (1-0, 1.04)
Win, 6-0… Stop me if you heard this one before: So, about that Quanah… man, they can’t hit a lick! Crawford gives us 6 innings of 3 hit ball with 9 K’s, and Alejandro Hernandez is a one-man hurtin’ crue (DECENDENTS!)… 2 for 3 with a HR, 3 RBI, and 2 runs. Firing on all cylinders – we hit a team cycle in this one – Kuiper gets us the double, Hessler gets us the triple, and Hernandez gets us the bomb – a towering solo blast in the bottom of the 2nd. Hey – we’re pretty good – we got a double play, a sac bunt (Crawford), and a Sac Fly (McGill) in this one too. Dominating every single facet of the game, folks!

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15 of 54: Jose Del Toro (1-1, 2.92) @ Steve Merryman (0-0, 8.68)
Win, 2-0… Um, you guys, we swept them… AND kept them scoreless for 3 straight! Where’s our parade?!? I’ve not seen much of this in my many, many, many days of playing OOTP. Merryman went 6 innings and gave up 5 hits while striking out 8 and Brandon Kuiper went 2 for 4 with an RBI (hey, it was a low scoring game, what can I say…). David and Segobia scored – and that’s about it for highlights. This wasn’t exactly the finale of a 4th of July fireworks show – but we’ll take it. Break out the brooms!

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Listen, after this complete annihilation of the Quanah Quackers, I fully expect the fans to burn whatever hotel we call our home during our visit down. To the ground. With us in it.

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Old 07-18-2019, 08:41 AM   #13
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2087 Season (5/17 – 5/19)

Decatur Donnybrooks (12-3, .800, 1st) @ Denton Dilly’s (5-10, .333, 8th)
At the beginning of the season, when we looked at our schedule most of our players circled this set as a critical series in the 1st half of the season. As the consensus pick to finish this campaign at the top of the table, Denton looked formidable with a marvelously constructed lineup and a staff that went from lights out to dark with only a sliver of light peeking out from underneath the door to the master bathroom. So, when, at 15 games into the regular season we arrived in Denton to face a 5-10 team who have made an art of underperforming it came as a bit of a surprise. After all, they have depth at most positions, speed, and versatility on the bench, and a first baseman who is widely considered the best in the game. Until they didn’t. 1B Chris Colombo, two years removed from winning the Texas Series MVP, was to be firmly entrenched in his prime – making athletic picks at the bag, drawing walks as he wore opposing pitchers out, and dropping balls into the gap seemingly at will – instead, merely 5 games into the season and after a 4-1 start, Colombo broke his kneecap sliding into 3rd. An unfortunate development – for sure – but, really, you wouldn’t have expected this kind of drop off after losing a single guy from your roster – they have depth – speed & versatility, remember? His backup – Collin Fernandes would start for a lot of other TBL clubs, so when he came in on the 6th as a replacement teams didn’t exactly breathe a huge sigh of relief. But, when, just 4 days later, in a game against the Fredericksburg Footlongs, he went down with a torn meniscus while sliding into 3rd, and after their fanbases, existential dread and severe foreboding waned, all bets were off. That’s when the tailspin gathered steam, there would be no centering the ailerons, and, for the Denton faithful that laid bets on their club winning the TBL title outright – that’s when they started to come to grips with the fact that they probably would lose a sizable chunk of their youngest’s college fund. It’s a sad state of affairs, man.

16 of 54: Andy Thatcher (1-0, 1.76) @ Alex Zavala (1-1, 8.64)
Loss, 2-1… Denton put on a stout defensive display in this one – maybe they’ve started to turn the corner, maybe they’re starting to dial in how they can win with this version of their club. Thatcher pitches them tough – 6 innings, 3 hits, and only 1 earned – before handing it off to the pen to start the 7th. In the end, Denton only needed us to make two mistakes – we gave them three… errors for Hernandez (2) and Bird, did us in. Bird, in just 22 pitches, walked the 1st batter in the 9th, gave up a double that moved him to 3rd, and then allowed the winning run in the bottom of the 9th when he threw an errant fastball that got by our catcher. What do you even call that kind of a walk-off anyways?

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17 of 54: Carlos Guijarro (1-1, 4.23) @ Jon Fountain (1-1, 5.67)
Loss, 8-5… The Dilly’s, in a good way after their win yesterday, gave us the business in this one – scoring early, often, and with a reckless abandon. We’d get 9 total hits, 13 total bags, and 4 doubles in this one – the problem is – we didn’t do jack & squat with most of them. So, the difference here, in addition to Alex Fernandez’s 2 for 5, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI performance, was that we sort of sucked and they sort of didn’t.

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18 of 54: Jason White (2-0, 0.00) @ Bill Repress (1-1, 6.32)
Win, 6-4… Danny Murphy goes full hero in the top of the 8th when hit hits a 2-out grand slam as a PH to cap off what would be a 6-run inning. Segobia brought in the other 2, White gave us 6.2 innings of solid work – allowing two total runs (only one of which were earned), and we turned 3 critical DP’s in this one. Here’s one of those games where you have your moments, but nothing is really clicking on a consistent basis, but where, seemingly out of nowhere, you explode and get the W. It only takes a couple of great AB’s sometimes…

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Old 07-19-2019, 08:12 AM   #14
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2087 Season (5/20 – 5/22)

Decatur Donny Brooks (13-5, .722, 2nd) @ Waxahachie Whiffs (14-4, .778, 1st)
Three days in Waxahachie to battle the newly crowned 1st place club in the TBL… the Whiffs have been somewhat of an early surprise this season. They were supposed to be more competent than good, maybe a game or two above .500 – a mid-table club with mid-table fan interest and mid-table talent. Instead, they’ve gone Gonzo… Waxahachie is 1st in nearly every offensive category with home runs being the only category where they have tumbled all the way down to…. 2nd. Put simply: they get on base, wreck the base paths, and score… a lot. They can also huck it around a little bit – their pitching staff is ranked 3rd as a unit with only starter Gene Manzano holding them back. Manzano, a serviceable back end of the rotation guy, has been anything but serviceable so far and instead has preformed like a rookie member of an Italian restaurants waitstaff – he’s al dente - noodle-armed and serving up meatballs (14.40 ERA). We’ll get him first here – so game one may be our best chance to avoid a sweep here after showing such poor form against Denton in our last set.

19 of 54: Dan Crawford (2-0, 0.77) @ Gene Manzano (1-0, 14.40)
Win, 8-7… Alejandro finished at 3 for 4 with two doubles, a homer, 2 RBI and a run while Danny Murphy went 1 for 2 with an RBI in this one to lead our offensive charge. As a team we hit 2 HR’s off of Manzano – like taking cannolis from a baby – and 4 for the game with Segobia and Kuiper joining in on the fun. Team cycle – 2 doubles, a triple (Ben Davis – stand up!), and 4 ding dongs in this one for the Donnybrooks – a fine offensive showing and one that allowed us to overcome the 3 earned that Crawford and David Martinez allowed. Larry Bird got the save – it’s his 1st of the year.

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20 of 54: Steve Merryman (1-0, 5.28) @ Nick Tidmarsh (2-0, 2.53)
Win, 3-2… We managed to secure the series win in this one and reassert ourselves as the top club in the TBL against one of the better pitchers in the league. Merryman battled for us in this contest – 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned, and 6 K’s – and Barrett Hessler did the damage that put us over the top with his RBI single in the top of the 3rd that would turn out to be the difference-making run by the time this thing was all said and done. Kymani and Oscar both brought in runs, Merryman hit a double, Kymani stole a bag, and we turned a really tasty double-play to end it in the bottom of the 9th. We were a tightly woven defensive juggernaut in this one.

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21 of 54: Andy Thatcher (1-0, 1.69) @ Joe Ilgner (2-1, 3.00)
Loss, 4-0… Well – this was unfortunate – Thatcher struggles a bit with his command – he was good, just not good enough – and Igner was in fine form lasting 8.2 innings of shutout ball. We’d strike out 11 times as a team, managed only 4 hits for the game (but one was a double and another was a triple), and Dias racked up a really nice OF assist – but, that’d be just about all she wrote for us in this one. Not a lot of highlights to go around when you get shutout. But, at the end of the day, we came to Waxahachie looking to kick ass and chew bubblegum – it just turns out that we may have brought too much bubblegum. These things happen. Is normal.

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Old 07-22-2019, 08:43 AM   #15
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2087 Season (5/23 – 5/25)

Beaumont Bullies (8-13, .381, 8th) @ Decatur Donnybrooks (15-6, .714, t-1st)
After six games on the road, where we amassed a 3-3 record, we return to Decatur to welcome the Bullies to town. I have a soft spot for the Bullies – always have – they have one of the top three logos in the league, a great looking ball cap, and Belvedere the Bulldog is, hands down, the most inspired of all team mascots. If championships were decided on marketing & design – these guys would be a perennial favorite. But, it’s not, and they, most assuredly, are not. Over the history of the TBL, Beaumont has earned the second to worst lifetime winning percentage (.481) and have won the fewest championships (2). It’s been over 30 years since they hung a banner and 18 years since they’ve made the playoffs. They have been a historically poor franchise that makes its living on the fringe – the lovable loser with the lovable mascot – dependably floundering their way through yet another ill-fated TBL campaign. 2087, then, is no different – they’ve been terrible, they have the tenth rated offense (that’s last, folks), the 7th rated pitching staff, and outside of having a good zone rating and nearly great defensive efficiency rating these guys are textbook flunkies. Their best player, CF Daniel Blankenship, is one of the best in the game and is having another great year for Beaumont – he never shows a lack of effort and subscribes to the, “always look on the bright-side of life” philosophy. But, even he wants out, and with one year left on his contract – he will, soon…. Just not yet.

22 of 54: Matt Boger (0-2, 8.22) @ Carlos Guijarro (1-2, 5.87)
Win, 14-6… Dismantled in Decatur – a complete and thorough shellacking. We scored 10 runs before the 5th, got home runs from Kuiper & Hessler, and 6 doubles for the game. This one felt a little like coach pitch to our offense – they’d lob them in and we’d hit the stuffing out of it. Kuiper finished 2 for 3 with a HR, 2 RBI, and 3 runs, and Mendoza went 3 for 4 with a double, and RBI and 2 runs of his own. The Bullies got to Los a bit in this one – charging 5 to his account before we yanked him midway through the 4th – but the bullpen took over from there and the Bullies were unable to close the gap.

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23 of 54: Matthew Box (1-2, 2.50) @ Jason White (2-0, 0.36)
Win, 5-1… Not necessarily a shellacking, but a thorough flogging, nonetheless. Whit gives us 5 innings and only allows three total hits, Kuiper is at it again – 2 for 3 with an RBI – and Bill Davis hit a double and a triple in this one. Bird navigates the 8th on 16 pitches, and Martinez gets through the final frame on 15 pitches – lockdown relief. The Bullies really found a way to lose this contest – their 2 errors led to 3 of our 5 runs. With their much-vaunted defense, it’s highly-ranked efficiency and superb zone rating, failing – the Bullies weren’t left with much in the way of routes to victory today. We’re a tough out for anyone – but when you give us an inch, you can expect us to take a mile.

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24 of 54: Ryan Wussow (1-0, 3.50) @ Dan Crawford (2-0, 1.57)
Win, 6-5… Close, but no cigar, as they say. Who says that? Dunno – but I’ve heard it somewhere before. We get our third sweep of the season here on the back of Crawford’s 7-inning performance – he struck out 11 and only allowed 3 to plate. Segobia wakes up a bit – 2 for 4 with a triple, a HR, and an RBI – and Kymani Jones adds a solo shot of his own. This is the second straight game where we hit at least one double, a triple, and a homer as a team. Bird closes out the show on 27 pitches over the last two frames and earns his second save of the year. We’ll need to watch his usage unless our Skipper is intentionally turning him into a save vulture. I guess a little internal competition never hurt anyone.

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Old 07-26-2019, 09:11 PM   #16
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2087 Season (5/27 – 5/29)

San Marcos Supremos (14-10, .583, 3rd) @ Decatur Donnybrooks (18-6, .750, 1st)
San Marcos is a fun town – great recreational opportunities, a paddleboarders paradise, and plenty of live music. They also have a fun, if historically underachieving, ballclub in the Supremos. This year’s edition looks a lot like the club we beat in the play-in game last season – they’re good, better than most, just not quite good enough. They have plenty of power (#2 in HR’s) and they absolutely wreck the base path’s (1st BR @ +6.7) but are pretty pedestrian in every other offensive category. Again – they’re good, just not good enough… And they don’t really excel in pitching either where they find themselves ranked 6th in the TBL. They have their outliers – and oftentimes, in sport as in life, it’s the outliers that can make all the difference. Their Ace, Paul Reay, is an absolute stud – 2-3, 1.85 ERA, and 9 K/BB in 34 innings pitched. He’s nasty too – he likes to put his fastball down & inside when he’s not dropping his curve off the table. We’ll see him in the 2nd game of this 3-game set – so, something to look forward to, I guess… They also have the best 2B-3B combo in the game – with each being, arguably, the best at their position in the league. 2B Billy Moore – a slick-fielding, power-wielding nightmare of an opponent – leads the league in HR’s, OBP, and Slugging %, and 3B Josh Mathes – a 25-year-old dynamo in the field who hits for average (currently 2nd in the TBL for AVG) and steals bags – are as tough a duo the TBL has to offer. Could be a long three days in San Marcos folks…

25 of 54: Steve Merryman (2-0, 3.86) @ Dave Anderson (1-0, 6.66)
Loss, 5-3
. Merryman looked good over 6 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 2 earned runs, but a couple of errors in the 4th that led to a run for San Marcos was the culprit here. Anderson was good enough for the Supremos over 5 innings allowing only 2 earned runs of his own and late-sub Nick Wireman hit a solo home run in his only plate appearance in the 8th to seal the deal. Kymani Jones got an RBI, Kuiper quietly went 0 for 5, and Mendoza went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI – just not enough of that to go around in this one… tough way to start a road series.

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26 of 54: Andy Thatcher (1-1, 1.71) @ Paul Reay (2-3, 1.85)
Loss, 5-4
… Ruh-roh, a 2-game skid – our first of the year. Reay was brilliant – 8 pitched, 4 hits, and 1 earned from the Ace, and Emilio Pardo finished 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run for San Marcos. Thatcher was good, just not good enough – 5 innings, 4 hits, 2 earned, and 5 K’s… and our offense sputters a bit with small contributions here and there that don’t add up to enough to secure the W in this one – Kuiper gets a hit and a run, Kymani does the same, and Jim McGill goes 2 for 3 with a run of his own. We hung in there though and in the end hung ourselves when Kymani commits his 2nd error of the game in the bottom of the 11th allowing the winning run to plate. What kind of walk-off is that? The worst kind.

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27 of 54: Carlos Guijarro (1-2, 6.75) @ Carlos Vega (3-0, 4.03)
Loss, 5-4
… On the wrong side of a sweep, on the road, with a long ride between us and home to run it back in our heads over and over. Who can I trade? Everyone? Who should I fire? Our Skipper? The first base coach? Myself? Listen, Guijarro was good – 9 K’s & 1 earned over 6 innings of work – and Hernandez & McGill get us a couple of RBIs each… just wasn’t enough. San Marcos plates 5 – with each run charged to a different players account – they were just incrementally better in every facet of the game throughout this 3-game set… SMH. I thought we were a pretty solid team too. Baseball, man, you just never know how this thing is going to shake out – one minute you’re on top of the world and the next you find yourself waking up in some mysterious alley wearing nothing but a way too tight pair of lacey drawers and a pair of tube socks you’ve never seen before & wondering just what the heck you’ve done with your life. It’s a sad state of affairs, man.

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Old 07-28-2019, 10:12 AM   #17
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2087 Season (5/31 – 6/1)

Lufkin Lickers (11-16, .407, 8th TBL) @ Decatur Donnybrooks (18-9, .667, 2nd TBL)
So we’ve turned the corner on 2087 - halfway home now - and are looking to work the schedule flipped. The Lufkin Lickers are an interesting case study in ineptitude, or more pointedly, situational ineptitude. They are a few pieces away from serious contention - but the core is there... now they just have to keep them and add in some color - those happy little trees that add the necessary details to bring home a banner. We own a 2-1 record against the Lickers in 2087 - though our -8 rDiff against them would suggest otherwise - and are looking to improve that to a 5-1 season tally by the end of this 3-game set. A tall order against any TBL club to be sure, but after the stumble in Sunrise that saw us lose our place at the top of the table, we find ourselves in a position where we need to make up some ground. There are, of course, a couple of things that Lufkin does well – they hit for average (2nd in the TBL), they steal bags (3rd in the TBL), and their starters are solid (4th in Starters ERA) – but, same as it ever was, it’s what they don’t do so well that has come to define their season so far. They are middle of the road nearly everywhere else and are particularly bad in Bullpen ERA, HR’s, and Errors. Still, it’s that young core that you have to watch out for – C Nate Bloniarz (56, 24yo), LF Gobbler Kramp (62, 25yo), and SP Ben Hunter (52, 26yo) are all good & getting better… we’ll have our work cut out for us here, but given our talent should navigate this series successfully, nonetheless.

28 of 54: Bryan Kuentz (4-1, 1.84) @ Jason White (3-0, .30)
Loss, 9-1
Schtoops! That rDiff is at -16 now as the Lickers put a bad one on us in this one. White wasn’t great (he gave up 3), our bullpen was worse (they gave up the rest), and our offense looked dazed & confused (8 scattered hits – 7 singles and a triplet). Two of their guys put up 4 RBI’s (Rochester & Thompson), while our guys looked on, completely devoid of emotion, resigned to their fate aboard the rapidly sinking USS Donnybrook. Just a complete butt whooping here and at home no less… 4-game losing streak now… gross.

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29 of 54: Ben Hunter (3-2, 3.00) @ Dan Crawford (3-0, 2.00)
Loss, 1-0
. 5-game skid now. Just what in tarnation is going on with my ballclub? Crawford was brilliant – 8 innings of work, 8 K’s, 4 hits, and only 1 run gets across. Our offense was the opposite of brilliant – dull, lackluster, unbrilliant – we struck out 8 times, could only manage 4 hits (3 singles and a triple), got caught stealing twice, and flubbed two easy defensive plays that should have been double plays. We’ve hit the wall… were in an absolute tailspin here and may not have the altitude for it.

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Note: We are now in a 3-way tie for second place on the TBL table with Fredericksburg & San Marcos. That’s not ideal.

30 of 54: Steve Clayton (0-0, 27.00) @ Steve Merryman (2-1, 3.68)
Loss, 10-9
. Well, crap. We find ourselves on the wrong end of a sweep again – our second in a row – and this time it happens in front of our crowd. We can’t even show our faces at the local watering hole at this point – our groupies won’t look at us, the beer costs double, and the peanuts are no longer free. Merryman gets shelled, Bird blows a prime hold opportunity, Kymani drives in a couple, Mendoza & Kuiper do the same, and we hit three doubles in this one – but it is all for nada as Lufkin seemingly has had our number this season. They say that matchups make fights – and if this were a jiu-jitsu competition then we just got put out by twister. Embarrassing is what it is.

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Side Note: San Marcos & Fredericksburg lost today as well – so our three-way tie remains intact. We’re 3-7 in our last 10… oh how the mighty have fallen.
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:26 AM   #18
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2087 Season (6/2 – 6/4)

Decatur Donnybrooks (18-12, .600, 3rd TBL) @ Nacogdoches Nibblers (9-21, .300, 10th TBL)
What is there to be said about the Nacogdoches Nibblers? They suck. They are just a really terrible club – I mean they rank no higher than 7th in any of the important statistical categories – and are dead last in runs against, which means that we had better ring them bells while we are in town if we want to maintain or improve upon our place on the table. We’ve stumbled of late – were on the wrong end of a sweep against the lowly Lickers of Lufkin… LUFKIN you guys… have you ever been there? No? OK, cool – don’t go there, it’s terrible. It’s basically a retirement community that has a forestry museum and a few good restaurants. If you do go – I’d recommend that you stop at the Cotton Patch Café – them fried green tomatoes are tip-top. I promise. The only thing that this club has going for it is 2B Adam Kerrigan, who’s OK, I guess – but, if I’m being honest (and I am) – even that is not enough to warrant an appearance at the game, with family in tow, to enjoy some poorly played baseball, poorly poured beers, and poorly made hotdogs… just skip this set, folks. You can thank me later.

31 of 54: Andy Thatcher (1-1, 2.01) @ Bunji Imamura (1-3, 5.28)
Win, 14-8
. We got ourselves a slugfest ladies & gents… strike everything I just said about coming to the games in the paragraph above. I was wrong. And, I am sorry. Barrett Hessler went off for us in this one – 3 for 4 with a double, 2 RBIs, and 3 runs – a one-man wrecking ball – and Oscar Segobia finished 3 for 6 with a double, a triple, 4 RBI, and 3 runs. All killer, no filler in game one – even Mendoza brought three across for us here. Off on the good foot with all the bad vibes associated with our sweep at the hands of the Lickers in the rearview… onward and upwards, y’all.

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32 of 54: Carlos Guijarro (1-2, 5.54) @ Jaime Ackerman (1-2, 5.09)
Loss, 5-3
…Jaime "don't call me Milo" Ackerman goes 7+ and only allows two earned while Guijarro can only manage to complete 3.2 innings before getting yanked after a 2-run homer courtesy of 1B Dylan Ricciardi brings his earned run total up to 5. We manage only six total hits, spread across five guys, Segobia hit a double, Medoza hit a triple, we’d get 9 total bases, but left a total of 8 runners on base – he had our chances and squandered every one of them. We also got caught stealing and committed two errors. Our second baseman, Jonathan Mendoza, had to leave early after getting injured running the bases – we should have an updated status for him soon, but for now, that’s up in the air.

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33 of 54: Jason White (3-1, 1.06) @ Kyung-hwan Park (2-3, 4.46)
Win, 14-10
… We needed extras to get this one sorted and a 4-run top of the 11th was all we needed to bring this one home – I say that like it’s no big deal… it was. Hernandez and Rivera both hit doubles during the 11th frame, and a Jones-Mendoza-Segobia DP in the bottom of it was all she wrote. Hernandez finished 3 for 5 with a double, a homer, 4 RBIs, and 3 runs… Segobia was right behind him with a 2 for 4 day with a HR, 3 RBIs and 3 runs of his own. As a team, we hit 3 doubles, a triple (KYMANI JONES), and 3 home runs… 30 TBs as a team, the aforementioned DP, 2 OF assists from Hernandez, and three total errors. We were kind of all over the place in this rollicking affair – cool way to end the series against the Nibblers… treating the fans to another slugfest!

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Injury update… Mendoza is DtD, so no biggie, but we did also lose reliever David Martinez for the season with a torn rotator cuff. So far this season he was 1-0, 6.38 ERA, with a -0.3 WAR in 17 innings of relief. May his journey back to a sound mind and body be thorough and complete so that he may live to fight for Decatur once again.

Next up... we head to Pampa for a squirmish against the Peaches... we swept them at home the last time we met.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:49 AM   #19
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2087 Season (6/5 -6/7)

Decatur Donnybrooks (20-13, .606, 2nd TBL) @ Pampa Peaches (15-18, .455, 7th TBL)
Pampa is home to the Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center and a ho-hum baseball club – sure, they have a bowling alley and an aquatic center too, but that’s not unique enough to be considered a reason to visit. Basically, if we didn’t have to be here, we wouldn’t have made the trip. They do have a spot called the Coney Island Café – good dogs, stellar meatloaf, and the occasional sausage & kraut special, so, something to look forward to, I suppose. From a baseball perspective, the Peaches are thieves – 1st in stolen bases – and their Bullpen has got something snappy – 2nd in Bullpen ERA – but, it’s all downhill from there… in fact other than having the best reliever in the league and the 3rd best closer on their roster, they don’t have a single-player ranked better than 5th at his position. Their fan interest is middling, season ticket sales are down by 10%, and their player payroll, at 9th in the league, shows that management is either not committed to winning or is not flush with enough cash to spend their way into the playoffs – so the pink & lime green faithful will have to attach their hopes and dreams to hustle, a dogged desire to rise above their station, and guile to get them to the promised land. The problem in 2087 is that the promised land is still so far away – not even a blip on the horizon – that a trip there won’t be happening this season. So, I guess, for the faithful, it’s all about cheap dogs, cheaper beers, and bench seating…

34 of 54: Dan Crawford (3-1, 1.84) @ Ian Hundertmark (2-2, 4.65)
Win, 2-0
. Crawford nearly goes the distance – 8 pitched, 3 hits, 0 earned, and 9 Ks… STUD… and, Mario Rivera earns his 8th save of the season. McGill finished 1 for 4 with 2 batted in, we got a pretty cool yo-yo DP between Kuiper & McGill that included an outfield assist when your boy Kuiper caught a shallow fly ball and hucked that pill back to McGill to catch Tanedo trying to get home. Laser. Not much else to say about this one – not a lot really happens in your average 2-run game – but, on the bright side, for those Pampa residents in attendance, we got them out of here in less than 3 hours and before they made the mistake of having a 3rd chili dog. You’re welcome citizenry of Pampa, you’re welcome.

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35 of 54: Steve Merryman (2-2, 5.23) @ Justin Laur (2-2, 4.88)
Loss, 6-5
. Walked off in Pampa is like getting dissed in the Malibu… Benno van der Windt blasted a solo HR that sent us to the showers in a PH situation, a nice feather in his cap for sure. Merryman was less than serviceable, again, as he went 5 innings, gave up 9 hits, and 4 earned before turning it over to the pen and Josh Guerrero takes the loss, his first of the year, after giving up the homer in the bottom of the 9th. McGill brought in another two runs for us tonight and lost his **** in the dugout after we got walked off when he took out his mounting frustration on our water cooler – this lack of self-control is unacceptable. I was thirsty… I had to walk into the clubhouse to get some water. If his whiny butt pulls a stunt like that again, I’ll fight him. I mean it. Water is less satisfying when getting a cup of it is not convenient. Also, what is it going to take to get the owner to fill one of our water coolers with sangria? Is that so difficult?

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36 of 54: Andy Thatcher (1-1, 2.48) @ Nick Grayum (4-2, 2.88)
Win, 4-3
. We’ll be heading back to Decatur with another series win in the books – two in a row now – taking Sunday off before we look to put a hurting on the Fredericksburg Footlongs. Thatcher gives us 6 shutout innings and struck out 7 hapless Peaches of Pampa, and Kymani Jones went 3 for 4 with a triplet and an RBI – he also scored twice (or maybe three times if the rumors from last night hold water). Ben Kuiper went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs, and Mendoza got a couple of hits – Thatcher hit a double (always nice to see a pitcher put up a good AB), and Rivera picks up his 9th save. A good, clean win here to take the series against Pampa – we finished 5-1 against them on the season. So long Pampa, see you in 2088.

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After winning this set, we have sole possession of the 2nd slot on the table – the problem is we got Fredericksburg in an important series at home next and Waxahachie has opened a 2-game lead on us. They are hot right now… But, don’t sleep on Denton… they are on an 8-2 run and looking to keep moving up the table with a 3-game set against Quanah on the docket they should be able to keep this run of great play going and get themselves back into the top 3. We got a tough road ahead with sets against Fredericksburg, Denton, Waxahachie, and San Marcos still on the horizon – we will need to navigate these rough seas with the aplomb of a seasoned captain if we are to finish in the top 3.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:26 PM   #20
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2087 Season (6/9 – 6/11)

Fredericksburg Footlongs (21-15, .583, 4th) @ Decatur Donnybrooks (22-14, .611, 2nd TBL)
Fredericksburg might be our baseball doppelgänger, only with a twisted ‘stache and lederhosen. We’re built on the same principles - solid pitching, stout defense, speed, and controlling the zone. Both clubs have had some missteps this season - dropped some winnable games, found ways to beat themselves - but each should be in the mix for the home stretch. The key difference then is strength of schedule to close out the 2087 campaign - we have a few heavy hitters on the docket, they do not. This, of course, is not to say that we’re just a carbon copy of the Footlongs... we’re more Macho Man Savage to their Rowdy Roddy Piper... more jockey full of bourbon to their cream-puff Casper milquetoast. There are some significant degrees of difference between us – for sure. They find themselves 6th in runs scored, 8th in average, and 8th in Bullpen ERA – and, while we have our weaknesses as well, none of them are as weak as theirs. So how do they do it? Well, when you have the best Catcher (Mike Todd) and the best SS (Mark Young) in the league – you’ll win some game, maybe even more than your share.

37 of 54: Luke Couch (2-1, 2.02 ERA) @ Carlos Guijarro (1-3, 6.37)
Win, 3-2.
Guijarro is solid over 6 innings – he gave up nine hits but only allowed 2 to plate – and Kuiper finished the game at 3 for 4 with THREE doubles (a new regular-season record) and a run. Kymani brought two in for us, Segobia brings in the game-winner on a Sac Fly, Rivera registers his 10th save on the season. Look – there was nothing fancy about this contest, it was a workmanlike effort – but, we got the win and we need those.

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38 of 54: Angel Gallegos (4-1, 3.10) @ Jason White (3-1, 1.66)
Win, 10-9
. We got ourselves a barnburner, folks! Bill Davis hit the game-winning, walk-off 2-run homer to get this one added to the win column and Mendoza went 2 for 4 with a triple and 3 runs. Larry Bird, in his first action in a while, gets his second win of the season, and the squad finds a way to get the win despite committing 3 defensive errors as a team, with two of those belonging to our Catcher, Jim McGill. Team cycle in this one – 3 doubles, a triple, and Segobia hits homerun number five. One of our relievers, Rich Keene, got the ever-elusive sacrifice bunt in this one as well – so, a little bit of everything for our hometown faithful.

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39 of 54: Alex Martinez (3-4, 2.61) @ Dan Crawford (4-1, 1.56)
Loss, 6-4.
Fredericksburg avoids the sweep as Martinez gives them 8 innings of 3-hit baseball, and Henrik Rieper, their so-so first baseman, went 3 for 5 with a double, a homer, an RBI, and 2 runs. We only managed to get 4 total hits, including a double for Bill Davis and HR #7 for Kymani Jones, and are forced to suffer through Crawford’s worst outing of the season so far – bummer biscuits, man, I really wanted the sweep… We finished the season 4-2 against the Footlongs, which may be enough to keep them from making the playoffs. There is a lot of runway left though, so time will tell…

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3-game set against Quanah is next – they’re not great… 16-23 so far in 2087 – but these are the ones that make you worry the most. It’s the games you’re supposed to win that often write your story in the end.
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