Well, here we go. Two teams, one crown.
Lords of Flatbush defeated Babe’s Piano Playaz by 389 – 312 points
Michigan Wolverines lost to Cunning Linguists by 270 – 352 points
Lords hitters power them to finale; Playaz’ batters off their game
The best team of the regular season must now be considered the favorite to lift the championship, as the Lords of Flatbush produced yet another dominating performance to dispose of the Babe’s Piano Playaz. This week saw the hitters step up, as Garret Anderson, Mike Sweeney, and Shawn Green all contributed multiple home runs, and Anderson and Sweeney also drove in a significant number of runners. David Wells was not tidy, but picked up a complete game despite allowing eight runs in two starts, while Wade Miller was unlucky not to win after seven shutout innings. Three saves for Eric Gagne, and complementary wins from Curt Schilling and Ramon Ortiz made the win safe. Now the Lords face their divisional rivals, the Cunning Linguists, in a final showdown for the crown.
The Playaz added a second confident performance to their playoff-winning total of the previous week, but were unable to break down the Lords. The pitchers weren’t to blame – three had two starts scheduled, and C.C. Sabathia managed to win both while allowing only 3 earned runs in fifteen innings. Tomokazu Okha and Brett Tomko had complete game wins, adding to the Playaz’ hopes of making it out of the matchup. However, run support was scarce. Five homers on the week was not enough, and two hitters went all week without a single RBI. A brave charge by the Playaz, then, but not enough to see them challenge for the overall championship. Still, they bow out as winners of the Mantle Division, and can be optimistic for next year’s chances.
Linguists Koched, locked, and ready to rock; Wolverines’ late-season slowdown bites back
A stunning three wins and a save for Billy Koch, riding high on Oakland’s unsinkable late season surge, was a major factor in the Cunning Linguists giving themselves one last shot at the Lords of Flatbush. Koch’s week earned the Linguists a total of 40 points, while Mark Mulder’s 17 strikeout week added a whole lot more. Counting wins from Jarrod Washburn and Andy Pettitte, the amount of run support needed was kept to a minimum. Michael Young’s outstanding week, with two triples and eight RBIs, and three long balls from Alex S. Gonzalez, meant that requirement was not a problem. Now, with pressure on them to prove that their Wild Card slot means just as much as the Lords’ divisional title, the Linguists have their chance to lift the trophy next week.
Throughout the last few weeks of the regular season, the average of the Michigan Wolverines continued to decline, even though they carried on putting away rival teams. This proved a serious problem for the Wolverines, who ended up unable to break the 300 point barrier against an in-form Linguists’ team. Randy Johnson excelled yet again, with a complete game three-hit win starting the Wolverines off well, but the entire pitching staff couldn’t meet his tally of victories. To add insult to injury, the bullpen went without any saves or holds, too. With Jeff Kent mysteriously slumping (no extra-base hits all week) and no dingers from sluggers Albert Pujols and Richie Sexson, Michigan were left to rue their banged-up aces, and vow revenge for the 2003 season. Although, of course, they do depart as DiMaggio Division champions.
Week 24 – September 8th, 2002
Championship Final – Cunning Linguists vs. Lords of Flatbush
A little to be added to this week’s newsletter in a day or two, but until then:
Let’s get ready to RUUMMMMMBBBBLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEE!!
Sorry, always wanted to do that.
Be seeing you,