Monday, January 31, 2011

Fun-lovin' Marlins off to hot start

Billy says "its a beautiful day for a PTP series, let's play 3!"
 The 2010 NL season got kicked off for the Marlins this weekend, rolling out 3 series in 2 days vs. Keith, Nick, and Mario. Lots of games played this Saturday, so here's a brief recap of mine...

Series 1:  Torto @ Keith
Game 1 - C.Billingsley @ A.Sanchez
Timely hits from Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward sealed the deal in this one, and Thunder Thighs went a solid 7 in the season opener, and Sergio Romo had a shakey scoreless save.  Keith's Anibal Sanchez got himself ejected (7 games?) for plunking Dexter in the 4th..
Torto wins 5-2

Game 2 - R.A.Dickey @ J.Westbrook
Westbrook gave up 4 by the 6th, while Badenhop gave up another 5 in the 9th, to clinch the win for Torto.  Robert Alan Dickey gave up only 1 over 8 IP, and both A-Gone and Heyward had 3 RBIs each.
Torto wins 9-2

Game 3 - W.Rodriguez @ R.Halladay
Wandy pitched a solid game, but Halladay did what he does, pitch complete game wins to get your team back on track.  Keith won on the strength of a 7th inning 2-run shot by Matt Holliday.
Keith wins 3-2

Series 2:  Nick @ Torto
Game 1 - T.Hansen @ J.Cueto
A wild one to start the Marlins home opener, with Nick scoring 9 over 8 innings, with HRs from Prince, Ethier, and Heisey.  My guys clawed their way back in, culminated in a 6-run 8th inning of Kyle McClellan thanks in large part to a Heyward RBI-single, a  base clearing Ryan Zimmerman double, and a Mike Stanton 2-run HR.  Romo came in and slammed the door to get the save. Get ready to run wild on Tommy Hansen everybody - 4 SBs for my squad in this one...
Torto wins 11-9

Game 2 - V.Padilla @ J.Garland
A tight game all the way, with the Marlins down 3-4 in the bottom of the 9th.  Then Luke 'not Jam' Gregerson had to face my battery of 5 (yes FIVE) clutch bats in a row, which led to Heyward driving in Fowler to tie the game a 4-4.  Nick brough in phenom Strausburg to settle in for a potentially long extra inning affair, but the window was cracked open in the 11th, when Starlin Castro misplayed a ground ball for an error letting Fowler on base.  A few batters later, Mike Stanton walked the game off with the RBI-hit.
Torto wins 5-4 in 11 innings

Game 3 - I.Kennedy @ C.Billingsley
Another tight, well-pitched game left us at a 2-2 draw after 9.  Nick brought in Wilton 'not Jam' Lopez for the bottom of the 10th to face the top of the order, and the clutch bats had their way again.  After giving up singles to Utley and Fowler, Heyward grounded out on the fielders choice, clearing the way for Ryan Zimmerman to walk the game off on an RBI-single.
Torto wins 3-2 in 10 innings

Series 3:  Torto @ Mario
Game 1 - R.A.Dickey @ Y.Gallardo
All Dickey in this one.  The knuckleballer baffled Mario's hitters in this one for the CG, 1-run outing. Adrian Gonzalez's 4-RBI day was more than enough to get the win.
Torto wins 8-1

Game 2 - W.Rodriguez @ J.Santana
Battle of the lefties in this one - and the Marlins stormed out to a 8-2 lead midway thru the 6th, partly due to a tough 3-run, 3-base error by Angel Pagan.  Mario stormed back though in the bottom of the 6th and 7th to make it 8-7.  Jason Heyward made sure that the win was in hand though, with a 2-run shot in the top of the ninth, disappointing the Philly fans for any chance at a comeback.
Torto wins 10-7

Game 3 - J.Cueto @ C.Zambrano
A thoroughly frustrated Mario yanked big Z after only 1 and 2/3rds, but the walks and a solo Mike Stanton HR had him worried.  While Zambrano proceeded to demolish the water cooler and empty bat racks, James Loney got Mar the lead on a 3-run shot off Cueto. Mar added 3 more thru 7, and it was enough to hold off the Marlins rally. Jason Motte made short work of my 5-6-7 hitters, striking out the side in a dominating save effort.
Mario wins 6-5

So far, so good. 7-2 thru 9 games, can't complain about that at all. Go Marlins Go!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Mets Preview or 1986 Revisited?

(above: "honorary" team captains Doc Gooden, Daryl Strawberry and Iron Mike Tyson keeping things light)

Introducing the 2011 New York Mets!

Reasons for impending 2011 success:
  • Platoon-heavy offense mashes righties and obliterates lefties with both high OBP and power to spare.
  • Rotation features strong-armed veterans mixed with strikeout-happy youngsters. All righties...don't bahleed the lefty hype, yall!
  • Bullpen's as good as it gets without the names. Cards are sick, yall!
  • A legacy of league dominance and unmatched managerial intelligence, evidenced by a 2009 NL championship and seven other playoff appearances.
Geo Soto

Ryan Doumit

---First Base---

Prince Fielder
Erik Hinske

---Second Base---

Omar Infante/Placido Polanco

Jeff Baker

---Third Base---
Placido Polanco/David Wright


Starlin Castro

---Left Field---

Chris Heisey

Alfonso Soriano

---Center Field---

Carlos Gonzalez

---Right Field---

Andre Ethier

Logan Morrison

Roy Oswalt

Tommy Hanson

Vicente Padilla
Ian Kennedy

Barry Enright/Homer Bailey


Stephen Strasburg

Kyle McClellan

Clay Hensley

Santiago Cassilla

Wilton Lopez


Luke Gregerson


Paul Janish - IF

Seth Smith - OF

H.C. Contreras - RP

Homer Bailey/Barry Enright - SP

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Your San Diego Padres – A Champion is Born?

Sounds like I’m one of many people excited about his NL squadron. Despite dropping two of three to Spencer Friday night, ask me about my team and I’m liable to go Rex Ryan on your ass. Here’s the cause for the enthusiasm:

1B – Adam Dunn, Ike Davis, Garrett Jones
2B – Freddy Sanchez
SS – Hanley Ramirez, Brendan Ryan
3B – Pablo Sandoval, Miguel Tejada
C – Yadier Molina, Ronny Paulino
OF – Matt Holliday, Jon Jay, Corey Hart, Marlon Byrd, Drew Stubbs

Starting Pitching

Roy Halladay
Ubaldo Jimenez
Hiroki Kuroda
Anibal Sanchez
Jake Westbrook


Kyle Farnsworth
Burke Badenhop
Arthur Rhodes
John “Axe Man” Axford
Brian Wilson

Randy Wells
Jonathan Niese
Leo Nunez
Jonathan Lucroy

AL Semi-Finals: #2 Torto vs. #3 Keith

Game 1: Lackey @ Verlander

Even with Halladay out, Torto seemingly held the advantage between the opening day aces. Verlander just couldn’t figure my offense out this season, however, evidenced by a series-opening Carl Crawford triple. Torto grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first before my offense exploded, scoring 5 in the 2nd (highlighted by a Russell “the muscle” Branyan HR - note the "playoff intensity" in the accompanying photo) to take an early 6-1 lead. Torto’s offense couldn’t produce any runs the rest of the day, as Lackey went the distance.

Keith wins 9-2

Game 2: Beckett @ Bergeson

Once again CC started the game right for Keith, this time with a top of the first leadoff homerun. Keith added runs in the 4th, 6th and 7th, highlighted by a Cliff Pennington 2 RBI double and Matt Wieters solo jack. Torto was only able to muster two runs against Beckett, who went 7 1/3 before turning a 7-2 lead over to the ‘pen.

Keith wins 7-2

Game 3: Garza @ Niemann

This one’s not worth spending much time on. Niemann gave up a run in the 2nd, but bested the combination of Garza and Lyons, who allowed Keith’s team to score in 5 of the 9 innings.

Keith 7-1

Game 4: Snell @ Gaudin

After ending up on the wrong side of three straight blowouts Torto showed some heart, battling hard in a crazy, back-and-forth game. Gaudin was chased after two inning after giving up five. After falling down 5-2 after two, Keith cranked out six runs in the bottom of the 3rd to take an 8-5 lead. Not rolling over, Torto came back with six of his own in the top of the 4th, led by a Morneau Grand Slam. The teams would exchange runs throughout the rest of the game, with Torto coming out at the end with a 14-11 victory.

Torto wins 14-11

Game 5: Lackey @ Verlander

Another amazing game, Torto scored 7 runs in the first behind the strength of an Adrian Beltre Grand Slam. Keith came back with a 2-run Youkilis HR. Torto added three more runs throughout the game but was hammered by 7 run 3rd inning by Keith and a second Youkilis homerun in the 5th. Keith wins a wild one to close out the series.

Keith wins 13-10

All and all, a great series in the midst of a crazy PTP Weekend (but, then again, I might be biased). I was blessed to have Torto’s number throughout the AL season, and certainly didn’t mind missing Halladay in the series. Good work Torto, see you in the NL….

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Torto Marlins Prepared to Impale Opponents

Billy the Marlin says "Sit on this Joe Mauer"
West Bend, WI (AP) - Fresh off a 1st round trouncing in the AL season playoffs, Manager Jon 'Torto' Tortomasi assembled what he claims is his "best team to date".  "I think I can say without a doubt, this team is better than last NL season's championship team".  Of course, right now such statements are all based on paper analysis and boasts like this mean nothing until games are actually played. 

Despite Tortomasi's high spirits about his latest team, his mood quickly soured when reporters wanted to press him on the lackluster playoff performance his team displayed, going down quickly in 5 games - with poor pitching in all 5 starts.  The excuse train arrived right on schedule, as Tortomasi went into a lengthy speech about losing Roy Halladay, and how Joe Mauer deserved to be suspended into next season for his 10-game injury inducing kick to the team's ace. 

"Mauer's suspension of 3 games was utterly meaningless at this point in the season (last game of the year).  His actions were unconscionable, and he should sit for half the season next year", Tortomasi fumed.  "For Roy to lose out on a chance to pitch in the playoffs on that bullsh*t is unbelievable.  Mauer was stealing signs all series, and not even trying to hide it.  Roy had enough, and drilled him.  That's baseball.  You know what isn't baseball?  Kicking somebody with metal cleats. F*ck Joe Mauer.  Who does he think he is? Ty Cobb?"  With that final statement, Tortomasi knocked over the podium and threw the microphone across the room, Hal McCrae-style.

Despite Tortomasi's ire, he does appear to have a respectable NL squad for this new season, with a great blend of power and clutch hitters, youth and veterancy, competent starters, and a solid bullpen.

Here is the game day roster:
1B:  Adrian "A-Gone" Gonzalez (co-captain, soft spoken leader by example)
2B:  Chase Utley (co-captain, vocal clubhouse leader)
3B:  Ryan Zimmerman
SS:  Jamey Carroll
LF:  Jason 'Say Hey' Heyward
CF: Dexter Fowler
RF: Mike Stanton
C: Miguel Olivo, Josh Thole
Bench/Role Players:  Luis Castillo, Lastings Milledge, David Freese, Tony Gwynn Jr., Edgar Rentaria

The Starting 5:
SP1 - Chad "Thunder Thigh" Billingsley
SP2 - R.A. "Don't Pull My" Dickey
SP3 - Wandy Rodriguez
SP4 - Johnny "Tilde" Cueto
SP5 - Jon Garland

The 'Pen:
Daniel Hudson
Matt Belisle
Madison Bumgarner
Mike Adams
Sergio Romo
Brandon Lyon

The following players have been optioned to Triple A Kewaskum:
OF - Jason Bay
Util - Miguel Cairo
C - Nick Hundley
RP - Elmer Dessens

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2009 AL Playoffs Scenario Update

Things are becoming clearer friends, what with Fish's Red Sox recent 2-1 series win over the KC Butler Royals (as played by Nick).  With that series win Fish completed his regular season, sitting at 20-16, one game ahead of Keith, and in 1st place.  More importantly though, he has clinched a playoff slot and at a minimum, the #2 seed.

As a cascade effect, Butler losing 2 of 3 to Fish also clinched a playoff spot for Torto, as my squad holds the W-L record tiebreaker over Nick.  So if Butts sweeps me out on my last series, I still finish ahead of Nick via tiebreaker.  At this point, my Yankees still control their fate.  Sweep Butler, and I am regular season champ and #1 seed.  Win 2 of 3 and I tie Fish in standings, but Fish wins regular season title and #1 seed due to runs scored head-to-head tiebreak (we finished 3-3, but with runs going 24-20, Fish).  If I win 1 of 3 vs. Butts, then I slip to 3rd place and the #3 seed (Keith has me h2h). 

For Butler to get in, he needs to now win at least 5 of his last 6 games (and possibly all six) to hit a 0.500 record and push Nick for the tiebreak.  Nick and Butler split 3-3 this season, so it comes down to runs scored, which I have no idea who wins.  Gents, you'll have to inform us on the winner of that tiebreak, because it may or may not end up to be critical.  From the 3 games posted on this site, its an 11-11 tie...

Basically it comes down to Butts winning lots of  games to get in and steal Nick's all but locked up #4 seed. The law of averages says that the playoffs will probably look like this...

#1 Fish vs. #4 Nick
#2 Keith vs. #3 Torto

...but Butler's team can be deadly with that Jeter-Pedroia-Mauer-Cabrera top 4. Can't wait to see how this shakes out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

End of Mariners A.L. Season

(above) Vicky's Secret model Marisa Miller hangs on every word, sly story and witty joke told by league all-star Michael Wuertz.

At the conclusion of my mediocre season, I have a season of mediocre stats to report. Here are the highlights and low lights:

Lyle Overbay batted .345 in 58 abs
Shin Soo Choo was partially eaten, yet batted .293 in 116 abs
Maicier Izturis batted .291 in 117 abs

Jason Kubel 6
Mark Texiera 4 (combined)

Mark Texiera 28 (combined)
Asdrubal Cabrera 21

Denard Span 8

Jake Peavy and Alfredo Aceves, 4

Michael Wuertz, 7 (see above)


- Adam Lind getting eaten. He batted .270 with three hrs in 89 abs

- Marco Scutaro batted .165 in 127 abs

- Zack Greinke was 1-3 before being traded and Scott Baker finished at 2-4

Saturday, January 1, 2011

AL 2009 -- Post-APD Playoff Picture

Well gents - lots of games were played on Friday, in lieu of our highly anticipated NL 2010 draft.  And because of this, our current season is nearly done, and there is some improving clarity in the playoff picture. 

3 teams have completely finished out the 36 game season (Keith, Nick, and Matt).  3 more teams (Fish, Spence, and Torto) have one series remaining, all vs. Butler.  Butler then, by default has 3 series left vs. these 3 teams.

So, at this point, only one team has clinched a playoff spot and guaranteed a record over 0.500 - Keith.  Congrats to Keither on this achievement in a very tight season. 

Spencer and Matt are the only teams formally eliminated from post-season play, as Matt cannot finish at 0.500, the minimum record required to get the #4 seed, and Spencer (even if he wins out vs. Butler) and finishes at 18-18, loses head-to-head tiebreakers vs. Nick, Torto, and Fish.

For Butler to get in, he needs to win some games - 6 could possibly get him in putting him in a tie with Nick for the #4 seed, if he has the runs scored tiebreaker (not sure on that). Win 7 of the remaining 9 and Butts is in.  Simple as that.  Really what it boils down to for our Commish, is that that if he wants to make the playoffs he needs Butler to lose at least 4 games. 

Fish and I need to win at least one game over Butler to clinch a playoff spot.