MLB Suicide Game: 16-4 on the Day, as Two Remain Perfect

Yet another shining day in the suicide game, as 16 of the 20 picks came through, with both of our leaders staying perfect.

-Bry (Orioles) improves to 2-0 with BAL this year after not picking them at all last year
-Dannell (Orioles) improves to 2-0 with BAL and 7-2 in the ALE

-GregDoc (Orioles) wins his first BAL pick of the year after not picking them at all last year
-GrossJr (Yankees) improves to 3-1 with NYY (0-7 with rest of the division)
-Josh (Angels) improves to 20-9 in the AL
-Mittenthal (Orioles) impoves to 2-0 with BAL (3-10 with rest of the division)
-Pat (Orioles) improves to an impressive 7-1 in the AL
-RyanDoc (Orioles) wins his 13th ALE game of the year – tying the ALW and NLW for most wins in one division
-Scott (Orioles) improves to 4-0 with BAL – tied with Josh for most BAL wins without a L – only Steve has more BAL wins (5-2)

-RyanSmith (Padres) loses his first SD pick of the year

-Boot (Yankees) wins his first NYY pick of the year, evening his ALE record at 2-2
-Chad (Yankees) even his ALE record at 2-2 and improves his AL record to 4-6 (12-5 in the NL)
-Rohde (Angels) improves to 5-1 with LAA – only STL and SF (7 each) have more Ws for him
(Orioles) wins his first BAL pick of the year and improves to 13-3 in the ALE

-Aaron (Mariners) falls to 1-3 with his hometown M’s
-Kevin (Red Sox) falls to 1-5 with his hometown Sox
-Steve (Royals) falls to 0-1 with his non-hometown Royals

-Dan (Orioles) improves to 1-0 with his hometown O’s
-McGrath (Orioles) wins his first BAL pick of the year, improving to 7-2 in the ALE and 18-6 in the AL

-MattK (Rockies) wins his first COL pick of the year, improving to 16-12 in the NL (12-25 in the AL)

OVERALL – 19 of 24 remain
STILL PERFECT (2) – Bry, Dannell
ONE STRIKE (7) – GregDoc, GrossJr, Josh, Mittenthal, Pat, RyanDoc, Scott
TWO STRIKES (5) – Boot, Chad, Rohde, RyanSmith, Stumpf
THREE STRIKES (4) – Aaron, Dan, Kevin, McGrath

MLB Suicide Game: Unflappable

Another senational day in the suicide game, as the field goes a cool 19-2 on the day.  All three that were perfect yesterday remain perfect today.

-Bry (White Sox) wins his 6th CHW game of the year – tied with DET and SF, behind only NYY and STL with 7
-Dannell (Tigers) improves to 5-1 in the ALC, though only 9% of his picks have come from that division
-GrossJr (White Sox) wins his 4th CHW game of the year – tied with SF for most of any one team

-GregDoc (Tigers) improves to 7-7 in the ALC, giving him exactly a .500 in all 3 AL divisions (7-7 in ALE, 6-6 in ALW)
-Josh (Yankees) improves to 3-0 with NYY and 8-1 in ALE
-Mittenthal (White Sox) improves to 3-0 with CHW
-Pat (White Sox) improves his overall best AL record to 6-1
-RyanDoc (White Sox) improves to 5-3 in the ALC – his least often used division
-RyanSmith (White Sox) wins his 6th game with CHW – 1 behind STL for most wins with one team and 2 more than any other team
-Scott (Tigers) improves to 6-1 with DET, who becomes his 3rd 6-win team (WAS-7, NYY-6)

-Aaron (Orioles) has now won both of his BAL picks this year
-Boot (Tigers) improves to 3-1 with DET, who join CIN and STL as his only 3-win teams and join SF as the only teams he has picked in 4 of his 5 rounds
-Chad (Tigers) wins his first ALC game of the year and is now exactly 1-2 in all 3 AL divisions
-Dan (Tigers) wins his first DET pick of the year
-McGrath (Tigers) improves to 3-0 with DET, who becomes the 6th team to win 3 times for him (joining TB, LAA, WAS, STL, SF)
-Steve (Tigers) improves to 5-0 with DET; the only other team with whom he has won more than 3 times is BAL (5-2)
-Stumpf (Tigers) improves to 6-0 with DET – joining PHI (also 6-0) as his only 6-win teams
-Walsh (Cardinals) improves to 3-0 with STL and goes over .500 in the NLC at 7-6

-Kevin (D’backs) falls to 2-2 with ARI and 4-4 in NLW
-Rohde (Orioles) falls to 1-2 with the hometown O’s, but remains 30-14 in the AL

-MattK (Cardinals) wins his first STL pick of the year, improving to 4-1 in the NLC and 15-12 in the NL (12-24 in the AL)

OVERALL – 21 of 24 remain (after eliminating anyone who missed a pick after 3 strikes)
STILL PERFECT (3) – Bry, Dannell, GrossJr
ONE STRIKE (7) – GregDoc, Josh, Mittenthal, Pat, RyanDoc, RyanSmith, Scott
TWO STRIKES (10) – Aaron, Boot, Chad, Dan, Kevin, McGrath, Rohde, Steve, Stumpf, Walsh

MLB Suicide Game: Practice Makes Perfect

After some luke-warm performances throughout the season, I guess all we needed was some practice, as the field has another big day (18-5), as we now sit with just .796 winning percentage in Round Thirteen.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that half the league has thrown in the towel, while the other half is intensely chasing a spot in the playoff field.  I’m sure it has everything to do with our collective intelligence…

-Bry (D’backs)
-Dannell (Angels)
-GrossJr (Brewers)

-Kevin (Tigers)
-RyanSmith (Tigers)

-GregDoc (Brewers)
-Josh (Cardinals)
-Mittenthal (Angels)
-Pat (Angels)
-Rohde (Pirates)
-RyanDoc (Angels)
-Scott (Angels)

-Walsh (Tigers)

-Aaron (Pirates)
-Boot (Indians)
-Chad (Pirates)
-Dan (Angels)
-McGrath (Angels)
-Steve (Pirates)
-Stumpf (D’backs)

-MattK (Tigers)
-Wojo (Phillies)

WON TO STAY AT THREE STRIKES (first time this has ever happened…):
-Jayson (A’s)

OVERALL – 24 entries
STILL PERFECT (3) – Bry, Dannell, GrossJr
ONE STRIKE (9) – GregDoc, Josh, Kevin, Mittenthal, Pat, Rohde, RyanDoc, RyanSmith, Scott
TWO STRIKES (8) – Aaron, Boot, Chad, Dan, McGrath, Steve, Stumpf, Walsh
THREE STRIKES (3) – Jayson, MattK, Wojo
DROPPED OUT (1) – Tyler (just based on three straight missed picks)

MLB Suicide Game: A Night of Big Innings Fuel the Continued Blistering Pace

A 22-2 day leaves the field at an amazing 81-13 this round, including an unfathomable 58-0 in National League picks (including 31-0 in the NLC and 20-0 in the NLW).  Throw in the 21-4 in the AL East, and you’ve got 4 divisions that have combined for a 79-4 record.  The ALC is 2-8 and the ALW is 0-1.

And, it was a day of BIG innings all over the place…

A 5-run 7th for the Reds broke up a 0-0 tie en route to a 5-3 win over the Cubbies
9 people won this game, putting the Reds at 82-39 this year and giving the NLC the most wins of any division (297)

A 6-run bottom of the 9th, capped off by a walkoff HR by B.J. Upton gave the Rays a 7-4 win over the Sahx
7 people were saved by this 9th-inning rally, but it wasn’t enough to get the Rays over .500 for the year, as they are still 37-40 for the field

A 7-run 4th turned out to be pretty important to Phil Hughes and the Yankees, as they held on for a 10-7 win over Toronto
5 people hit on this pick giving the Bombers the most wins (85) of any AL club this year

The Cardinals got 3 in the 1st and hung on for a 5-4 win over Houston
Wojo’s W here put the Cards at 101 wins on the year (19 this round) – just 3 shy of the overall-leading Nats

The White Sox couldn’t put together the big inning they needed, as they lost on an Eric Hosmer walkoff hit in the bottom of the 9th
The only 2 losses of the day (Jayson and Tyler) handed out second strikes – the 43rd and 44th strikes doled out by the ChiSox this year – ties CHW with LAA for 2nd most in the AL, behind only TEX’s 53

How could we have a theme of “big innings” without mentioning the Phillies’ 8-run first inning (without an extra-base hit) and 7-run 9th inning?  The first inning featured 9 singles, a walk, and a HBP before any position player even made an out.
No one picked them, but I am a sucker for a good “theme.”  Oh, and I’m also a sucker for 16-1 wins over the Mets…

OVERALL – 24 entries
STILL PERFECT (11) – Bry, Dannell, GrossJr, Josh, Kevin, Pat, Rohde, RyanSmith, Steve, Stumpf, Walsh
ONE STRIKE (11) – Aaron, Boot, Chad, Dan, GregDoc, MattK, McGrath, Mittenthal, RyanDoc, Scott, Wojo
TWO STRIKES (2) – Jayson, Tyler

MLB Suicide Game: A Really Tight Final Round Has 13 With One Strike and 11 With None

An 18-7 night leaves 11 people still perfect, and no one yet at two strikes.

-Bry (Phillis & Giants) picks up wins #49 and 50 in the NL this year, including #5 with PHI (5-3) and #6 with SF (6-0)
-Kevin (Phillies & Yankees) improved to 3-0 with PHI, along with winning the first Yanks pick all year from this BoSox fan
-Dannell (Yankees) improves to 14-7 in the AL, including his 3rd NYY win (tied with TEX for most in the AL)
-GrossJr (Braves) improves to 20-18 in the NL and 1-1 with ATL
-Josh (Giants) wins his 4th SF game of the year (4-3), tying PIT, CIN, CHW, and BAL for most wins by one team for him
-Pat (Tigers) wins his first ever ALC pick and improves to 2-1 in the AL (7-5 in the NL)
-Rohde (Giants) wins his 7th SF game of the year, which is tied for the most wins by one person with one team (tied with Bry and RyanSmith, both with STL)
-RyanSmith (Yankees) improves to just 8-12 in the ALE
-Steve (Giants) goes back over .700 winning % for the year at 47-20
-Stumpf (Reds) is still just 2-3 with CIN, but 10-5 with the rest of the NLC
-Walsh (Rays) wins his first ever TB pick

-Boot (White Sox) falls to 0-2 with CHW, joining PIT and SF as the only teams who have beaten him twice
-Aaron (White Sox) falls to 8-12 in the AL
-Chad (White Sox) falls to 0-2 in the ALC (both with CHW) and 1-5 in the AL
-Dan (White Sox) falls to 4-4 in the AL and 10-10 overall
-GregDoc (White Sox) falls to 5-3 with CHW – the 8 times he has picked CHW are two more than any other team in the league
-McGrath (White Sox) loses his first ever CHW pick
-RyanDoc (Mariners) falls to 1-3 with SEA – his only 3-loss team

-Boot (Giants) has now used SF in 4 of the 5 rounds he has played – the only team he has used that many times
-Mittenthal (Cardinals) picks up his 6th STL win of the year (and the 100th for the field) – 2 more than any other team
-Scott (Giants) picks up only his 7th NLW win of the year – fewest of any division
-Tyler (Yankees) improves to 4-1 with NYY – joining TEX and LAD as his only 4-win teams
-Wojo (Reds) improves to 8-2 in the NLC, which is actually below his overall winning % of .814

OVERALL – 24 of 24 remain
STILL PERFECT (11) – Bry, Dannell, GrossJr, Josh, Kevin, Pat, Rohde, RyanSmith, Steve, Stumpf, Walsh
ONE STRIKE (13) – Aaron, Boot, Chad, Dan, GregDoc, Jayson, MattK, McGrath, Mittenthal, RyanDoc, Scott, Tyler, Wojo

MLB Suicide Game: For the Second Straight Day, Unless you Picked the Rays, You’re Fine

The field here in Round Thirteen is now 0-4 with Tampa…and 41-0 with everybody else.  Yep, you read that right.

Kyle Lohse wins his 15th for the Cardinals, as the Astros lose their 100th
The world record 17 wins on a single day puts the Cards at 99 wins on the year – second-best behind only the Nationals with 104

Lincecum continues to inch back to his old self, as the Giants take out Colorado, 6-3
Dan and Stumpf both stay perfect with the win

The amazing Orioles do it again – they win their 14th straight extra-inning game (which is absolutely absurd) and this one went 18 innings…wow!
Jayson and MattK stay perfect with the win

The White Sox get single runs in the 6th and 7th to beat the Royals, 3-2
Rohde stays perfect with the win

The Rays lose, again, to the lowly Red Sox, handing out the only 2 strikes of the day
Mittenthal and Tyler both get hit by the Rays here

The Yankees got washed out by the crazy East Coast storms
Boot, Bry, and Kevin will have to pick 2 games from Wednesday’s slate

OVERALL – 24 entries
STILL PERFECT, 1-0 (3) – Boot, Bry, Kevin
ONE STRIKE (4) – Mittenthal, Scott, Tyler, Wojo

MLB Suicide Game: The Final Round Starts At a Blistering Pace

We have a 17-day round going for the final round of the year, and, at this rate, every strike is going to be enormous.  The field opens the round with a blistering 19-2 day.

Madison Bumgarner bounces back from recent struggles to lead the Giants to a 2-1 win over Colorado
12 Giants picks today puts them at 84-48, passing 6 teams into second-place, behind Washington, for the most wins this year

Dan Uggla belted a 3-run shot in the first, and the Braves never looked back in a 7-5 win over Miami
4 Bravos wins put them at 62-18, the second-best winning percentage (.775) in baseball behind only the Cubs at 9-1

Those magical Orioles jumped all over Hector Noesi, chasing him in the 2nd after putting up 7 in a 10-4 win over Seattle
2 more wins put the O’s at 26-16 this year

Kevin Correia shuts out the Cubbies, as the Pirates win 3-0
Josh’s W here puts the Buckos at 63-28 – the 2nd-best record in the best division behind only those 9-1 Cubbies

The sliding Rays fall to the terrible Red Sox, 5-2
The only 2 Ls of the day (Scott and Wojo), drop the Rays to 29-38 on the year (aided by Scott’s 2-6 with them)

OVERALL – 21 entries (so far)
PERFECT, 2-0 (3) – Josh, Steve, Walsh
PERFECT, 1-0 (12) – Aaron, Chad, Dannell, GregDoc, GrossJr, MattK, McGrath, Mittenthal, Pat, RyanDoc, RyanSmith, Tyler
PERFECT, 0-0 (4) – Boot, Bry, Kevin, Stumpf
ONE STRIKE, 1-1 (1) – Wojo
ONE STRIKE, 0-1 (1) – Scott

MLB Suicide Game: 4 More Lost, Leaving Just 7 Standing

A 6-5 day takes out 4 more and leaves us with one single leader.  All 6 wins yesterday came via the Texas Rangers.

-Boot (Blue Jays) has only taken 2 ALE games this year – and lost them both
-Dan (Cardinals) falls to 4-6 in the NL this year
-GregDoc (Blue Jays) was 6-6 in all 3 AL divisions coming into this game, so this loss drops him to 18-19 in the AL
-MattK (Braves) is still winless – in 3 tries – with ATL this year

-Steve (Rangers) improves to an amazing 5-0 with TEX (most wins of any team for him) and 8-1 in the ALW

-Stumpf (Dodgers) falls below .700 winning percentage with his 2nd LAD loss of the season

-Aaron (Rangers) wins his first game – in 4 tries – with TEX – improving to just 2-6 in the ALW
-Bry (Rangers) picks up win #5 with TEX, tying DET, CHW, NYY, and CIN for 2nd-best – behind the 6-win Cardinals
-Dannell (Rangers) picks up his 3rd TEX win – most of any AL team
-Gillig (Rangers) wins his 4th TEX game, tying NYY, DET, LAA, NYM, STL, and CIN for 2nd-best – behind the 5-win Nationals
-Scott (Rangers) improves to 4-4 with TEX and 8-8 in the ALW (4-4 with LAA, also) – there are still 9 teams he hasn’t taken in 91 picks

OVERALL – 7 of 27 remain
ONE STRIKE (1) – Steve
TWO STRIKES (6) – Aaron, Bry, Dannell, Gillig, Scott, Stumpf

Every Time I Think I’m Out…

Just when we thought it was time to change our inner “sports clock” to football season, the Phillies leapt back into our consciousness – you know, just in time to get us just excited enough again to feel pain.

But, damn the torpedos, I’m back in.  With the Cardinals scuffling, I am actually starting to convince myself that this team has a shot…

Now, why would I (other than my eternal longing for sports heartache) actually believe that this 70-71 team can make up 5 games (jumping 4 teams) in three weeks?  For several reasons:

1). This Isn’t the Same Team
They are not anywhere near the same team that was mired in last place for the majority of the season.  Remember that that team was without their #3 and #4-hitters, as well as their #1 starter.  Not to mention the disappearing act that Cliff Lee pulled off at the start of the season.  Yes, I know that Victorino, Pence, and Blanton were traded away, and that is significant, but considering this team has added an Utley, a Howard, and a Halladay, the losses are mitigated.  Is this a better team on September 1st than we expected to see at the beginning of the season?  Absolutely not.  Is this a better team than it was in June and July?  It just might be…

2). The Rest of the Field
Outside of the 3 division leaders and the Braves, who is uncatchable?  Once the Cardinals took over the wild card lead, I thought they would run away and hide with it, but they have some serious issues, themselves, particularly in that starting rotation.  The Dodgers added a half-a-billion dollars in assets, but don’t look better because of it.  With Kershaw showing mortality, that staff doesn’t scare anyone either.  The Pirates look finished, and the Brewers are in the same boat as the Phils and I would absolutely take this Phillies team in a dead heat with the Brewers right now.

3). Starting Pitching Wins
As has always been – pitching wins.  Halladay, Lee, and Hamels will be starting 60-65% of the games the rest of the way, and with workman-like efforts from Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Cloyd, it’s hard to imagine that this team will be outpitched all that many times the rest of the way.

4). The Schedule
The Phils have two more with the Fish before heading on the road to Houston and New York for 4 and 3, respectively.  With the Marlins reeling, the Astros being one of the worst teams in recent memory, and the Mets imploding, is it crazy to think that the Phils could win 7, or even 8, of their next 9?  After that, they have a tough 6-game homestand with the Braves and Nationals that very well could be their last stand.  But, if they can survive that, it’s 3 more with Miami at home, followed by a season-ending 3-game set with a Nats team that will be preparing for their first ever trip to the playoffs.  It’s not ridiculous to think that they can win 15 more games – putting them at 85.

Now, let’s look at the other teams:

The Cardinals
The Cardinals are really the problem here. If they split the final two in San Diego, they will be at 76 wins, and then they have 9 straight against either the Astros or Cubs.  The Phillies chances really lie with these bad teams winning at least 3 of those 9.  Six wins there (probably the best-case scenario) puts the Cards at 82.  They also have 4 with the Dodgers, which aren’t easy, but with the Dodgers ahead of the Phils, too, it won’t be possible to gain ground on both teams.  Say the Dodgers take 3 of 4, that puts the Cardinals at 82.  They then finish with 6 at home against the Nats and Reds.  If they lose 4 of 6 (not crazy), that would put them at 85…which is catchable…barely.

The Dodgers
The Dodgers sit at 74 wins, but are really struggling and have a pretty tough road left to hoe.  They have 4 with St. Louis before coming east for 6 games with the division-leading Nationals and Reds.  They then fly out to San Diego for three, before finishing the season at home with the Rockies and Giants.  We had to give them 3 from St. Louis to keep the Cards within reach, so that’s 77.  It’s not crazy to think that they will lose 4 of the 6 on the east coast (possibly, 5), so that’s 79 wins.  They should get 4 out of 6 from San Diego and Colorado (not a given), giving them 83.  Then, they finish up with 3 against the Giants, so 84 wins is likely – catchable.

The Pirates and Brewers
The Phils are currently tied with Milwaukee and 2.5 behind the Buckos.  Let’s be realistic, if they are going to actually going to make a legitimate run at this, they are going to outplay Milwaukee, and they are going to be 3+ games better than a fading Pirates team.

Either way, I’m back in – and ready to have my heart ripped back out.  Why can’t these teams ever just stay out?!?

MLB Suicide Game: Another Difficult Day Eliminates 5 More

The field goes a disappointing 5-11 on a tough Monday slate, leaving just 11 people alive – 9 of whom are staring at the final strike.  The people who did survive the day did it by going against the “popular” picks, as the 5 wins came over 4 different games. 

Vogelsong’s struggles continue, including a HR allowed to the opposing pitcher in the Giants 6-5 loss to Colorado

The 7 Giants losses drop the field to 71-47 with SF – the third-most Ls this year behind only the Rangers with 53 and the Phillies with 49
Doogan, McGrath, RyanSmith, and Wojo are all eliminated with this loss
Aaron, Dannell, and Gillig all pick up their second strikes

Jarrod Parker outduels Danny Haren as the A’s beat the Angels, 3-1

3 Angels losses drop them to 77-42 this year – and are among 7 teams that have been used in at least 40% of rounds this year
No one was eliminated with this loss, but 3 people – Bry, GregDoc, and Scott all picked up their second strikes

The Padres go off on the Cardinals for 11 runs in PetCo

The Cardinals loss makes them the 8th team to hand out at least 40 strikes this year (82-40)
The Padres win was only the 5th of the year for the Pads (5-3) – more than only MIN (2) and KC (1)
Kevin loses with the Cards to eliminate him from Round Twelve
Boot wins with the Padres, keeping him alive

The Reds get 2 in the 7th to tie and 1 in the 14th to win a big game

The worst team – by a mile – last year for the field improves to 71-39 this year – 4th best winning % in the NL
Dan and MattK both win their 3rd straight do-or-die game to keep them alive and kicking here in Round Twelve

The other 2 winners on the day were single-game winners from the AL Central, giving the two that picked them the outright lead

The White Sox win was their 56th of the year – one of only 5 AL teams with even 30 wins on the year (DET, LAA, TEX, NYY are the others)
The Twins win was number TWO on the year (2-8) – breaking a tie with division-mate KC for the fewest wins this year
Stumpf nailed the ChiSox win to stay with only 1 strike on the round
Steve, who manned up and took the Twinkies, is the only other person left with a single strike

OVERALL – 11 of 27 remain
ONE STRIKE (2) – Steve, Stumpf
TWO STRIKES (9) – Aaron, Boot, Bry, Dan, Dannell, Gillig, GregDoc, MattK, Scott