The most exciting news in either division is the return of meaningful baseball. Through most of May Divisional Races were non-existent leaving little doubt who the playoff contenders are. It's still not perfect, but three Divisions are now up for grabs as we head to the All Star Break. More importantly, by my count 14 teams are within 4 games of making the playoffs and 18 teams are within 8 games.
Getting on base at just a .299 clip, Ken Griffey Jr showed signs he's human after all, if just barely. He also hit another 8 home runs and drove in 16. Teammate Lou Gehrig picked up any slack, pounding pitchers and winning Batter of the Week honors. Shortstop Joe Tinker (.359 / .372 / .513) and catcher Darren Daulton (.350 / .447 / .725) played great too.
From top to bottom the pitching staff was slightly better than average (3.99 team ERA) thanks to a series of poor starts from Cliff Lee, Joe Wood, and Dizzy Dean. However, Silver King (1.29 ERA in 3 starts) and Danny Haren (2.00 ERA in 3 starts and now 12-0 on the season) were good enough to make up for it. The pen was particularly brilliant with a team 2.45 ERA in 51 innings.
.313 / .371 / .412 - Edgar Martinez
.328 / .417 / .443 - Chipper Jones
.361 / .477 / .444 - Fred Carroll
.382 / .453 / .545 - George Gore
The four led the Hoplites to series victories over the Mechanics, Wildlings, Red Lectroids, Red Eagles, and a 3 game sweep of the Burnt Ends.
While Greg Maddux (3-0, 2.52 ERA) and Frank Sullivan (2.35 ERA in 3 starts) received most of the accolades this Sim, it's the bullpen that holds this team together. We saw yesterday their team ERA was easily the best in ATB and this week was little different. Eric Gagne, Bobby Jenks, Dean Chance, John Denny, and Kevin Saucier combined to pitch 24 innings without letting in a single run.
Incredibly, on the season in 37 innings, Jenks has only given up a single unearned run making his ERA exactly the same as John Blutarsky's grade point average. Much to the chagrin of owner Sean S, he didn't make the All Star roster and here's why:
- He's not a closer, so the two closer slots are off limits.
- He doesn't have enough innings for the Long Reliever and Mop-up slots
- He's not a lefty, and wasn't eligible for the lefty set-up role
- That leaves the righty set-up role.
Player A - 39 IP, 21 H, 9 BB, 35 K, .77 WHIP, 0.95 RCERA
Player B - 37 IP, 26 H, 7 BB, 12 K, .88 WHIP, 1.47 RCERA
Player B is Jenks of course, and he just happened to give up just 1 run this season. Player A is Greg Holland, who's clearly pitched better than Jenks, but let in 3 runs. Holland gets the nod "despite" a 0.69 ERA.