Murderer’s Row just dropped their week 19 matchup to one of their fiercest rivals, ItsNotRyanItsRyne, which meant that the team entered a challenging part of the schedule with Colegio Andes next in week 20. Colegio Andes may be a first-year team, but they instantly jumped up the charts on Murderer’s Row rival board, especially after a 6-3-1 win in week two.
When the teams met again in week 11, the Row eeked out a 5-4-1 win to even the season series. This week’s matchup would serve as a tie-breaker and provide the winner with all the opportunities to brag over the winter months.
Murderer’s Row secured the season series 2-1 with a convincing 7-3-0 win in week 20. It was a good rebound win for the Row, who secured their third win in four weeks. Meanwhile, Colegio Andes suffered another loss and dropped to 36 games under .500.
Poor roster management from the Andes put the team at a disadvantage. The Row had 61 extra at-bats to collect an additional 26 hits. Those numbers factored into several categories, like runs, RBIs, and batting average, won by double digits.
The pitching numbers were not pretty since both teams combined for just two wins and four saves in seven days. The ERA and WHIP numbers were higher than usual, while the final strikeout totals seem to be lower than average.
The closest category the teams battled for was home runs, which favored Murderer’s Row 15-14. The two teams had a category a piece that they failed to score points in, stolen bases (Row) and wins (Andes).
Murderer’s Row came one day away from a seven-day sweep, failing to hold the lead on Monday night when examining the daily score breakdowns. The opening night was close. However, a huge momentum switch occurred on Tuesday, giving the Row an 8-1-1 lead, one they never gave up the rest of the way.
The two teams played some close baseball on Thursday and Saturday, where the deficit was only one point in favor of Murderer’s Row.
After this past week’s matchup, there are only two weeks left in the regular season. That means no matter how many points the Row scores in several categories, the boys will stay right where they are.
As the tenth best team in home runs, it would take a significant amount of four baggers to catch the nineth place team, which has a comfortable lead heading down the stretch.
The only two categories worth monitoring at this point is batting average and WHIP, where the Row have the second best numbers. If the team can keep up their impressive performances in those two categories, there is nothing stopping them from taking the crown in either or both.
When examining the statistics between offense and pitching, it is clear that the Row’s hurlers have produced much better than their teammates in the batters’ box.
The lowest statistic for pitchers is saves (seventh), while the batters have the league’s worst home run totals. Outside of those two categories, the lowest rankings are wins and strikeouts (fifth), which is a little higher than the seventh-ranked runs and RBIs totals.
No one has secured a playoff berth just yet; however, it is pretty evident who is going to the postseason and who isn’t. The top four teams have a significant lead over the fifth-ranked team, who happen to be last year’s defending champions.
The battle for the top spot is far from over as Bad News Bears are just half a game from claiming the divisional crown, while three games separate the battle for third and fourth. More than five games separate the six non-playoff teams, and with four teams boosting losing records, it would be surprising if there were any changes in the final weeks.
Week 20 was a busy week for team management who were swapping out players and finding their replacements. Things kicked off with Adam Frazier (San Diego) hitting the waiver wire. He was a solid performer before his trade to the west coast, then his production just disappeared. Given ample opportunities to find his touch again, management finally cut ties with one of their first-half best performers.
Cesar Hernandez (Chicago) could be grouped with Frazier since both were putting up decent numbers; however, a relocation, thanks to a trade, changed their seasons, and it wasn’t for the best.
Vladimir Gutierrez (Cincinnati) joined the team to boost the pitching staff. However, his first performance was rather disappointing. Within two days of his acquisition, he found his way back to the waiver wire in favor of another young pitcher who was pretty hot on the mound with an easy matchup to open week 21.
James Karinkchak (Cleveland) was one of the team’s drafted relievers and was lights out at the beginning of the season. As the summer rolled along, his numbers exploded off the charts, and the Indians eventually shut him down because he couldn’t handle his duties anymore.
In his place, Sammy Long (San Francisco) joined the team. Management selected him because he was an SP/RP and could fill Karinkchak’s spot in the lineup. Although Long isn’t known for collecting saves, he is a reliever who has plenty of opportunities to play.
Weekly Move Total: 3/4
Season Move Total: 28/40