Increased Ray “O” = More Ray “W”’s

After a slow start that saw them 2nd to last in the league in hitting, the Rays offense finally got in a groove recently as they put up 20 runs over two games against the Marlins and Twins, respectively. Carlos Pena in particular was awe-inspiring as he had the GWRBI in both contests. First up were the Marlins and Scott Olsen who got worked. Hard. With the score tied at 1 in the 4th, the Rays went single, 2-run bomb (Casanova), double, double + run-scoring error to chase Olsen. Reliever Pinto wasn’t much better as he went walk, walk, single, sac fly to make it 7-1 Rays. Meanwhile, #4 starter Sonnanstine was pitching WELL, allowing only 2 runs through 7 innings and striking out 9. Nice! With a 7-2 lead, Sonnanstine should have had a well-deserved win. Except for the fact that the Ray pen was REESTY. Dohmann gave up a 2-run bomb to Miggy Cabrera then Corcoran thought he’d one-up that by giving up a 2-out 3-run bomb to Aaron Bleeping Boone. Awful. Thankfully, Carlos Pena was having none of it and went yard the very next inning FTW.

Next up was Johann Santana and the Twins who absolutely dominated the Rays already this season. Apparantly the Rays learned their lesson, though as they touched Johann up for 7 runs on 11 hits including 2 bombs by man of the hour Carlos Pena. Meanwhile, Fausto Carmona was on point throwing a complete game shutout on 107 pitches. Super-sweet, brah. Next up for the Rays, a huge showdown with division co-leader Cincy and Jake Peavy. Wow.

Statcenter Debuts, Fails

Ok, so a few months ago I hinted at developing something really cool on this site.  Part of that is done.  With the help of some friends I’m announcing Statcenter.

Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out how I’d hoped.  And while it displays information, it’s not very easy to use, the formats are wrong, and the data isn’t very flexible.  There are about a million things that need to change.  It’s the second version of my initial attempt a few years ago during the Davis league when I developed this.  I don’t necessarily think it is a step up.

So, that being said, I’ll update Statcenter with 2021 stats and that can be used until I finish a better version.  I think the one thing that PTP is missing more than anything else is a flexible statistics program where we can see everything we want including teams, players, managers, all in one place.  The Almanac is great, and has a purpose, but if I had the question, “which 3rd basemen had the most RBIs in a single season”, it would take me some time.  It should be much easier to find, say, my career record against Jerry or something like that.  All the data is available, it’s just not in a format that is easily retrievable.  I want to change that because I don’t think PTP is going away soon and this would definitely create a richer experience.

So, with Statcenter you can select hitters or pitchers, then either selected years or all years, and hit “Generate Report”.  You will get a list of players from that query.  From there, you can click on the number to the left of the player to see their career numbers, by year.  That is pretty much it.

So, with the announcement of Statcenter v2.0 I’m announcing the impending death of Statcenter v2.0 and the eventual birth of Statcenter v3.0.

Happy Birthday to the Greatest Baseball Commissioner Ever!

That’s right, folks. Today is A. Bartlett Giamati’s birthday. Just kidding. Our boy Bri is way cooler than that guy and it is he whose birth we celebrate today (at least I’m pretty sure it’s today – it’s close if not today). Anyway, I think I speak for Champion’s League ptp’ers everywhere when I say that our pretend baseball league would not, could not, should not exist without him and his endless work on our behalf. Thank you once again for all you do. Fausto and I gave Bri our present yesterday evening, so we’re covered there;)

Just kidding. For your real present, Bri, I have arranged for Will Clark to come to your house, bake you a cake, and scream like a girl a few times. He also said he wants to have a sword fight, whatever that means (he’s kind of a weird duck, that Will). He just said it would give new meaning to his nickname “The Thrill”. Whatever – I’ll let the two of you sort that out. Have a great day, brah!!

Joba Key in Rays’ 1st Two Wins

Three games into the young 2022 season the Rays of Tampa Bay have a couple TIGHT victories thanks to a couple clutch hits and the late inning heroics of draft pick Joba Chamberlain. Things did not get off to a good start as 1st round pick Fausto Carmona got the Rays in an early hole against Utley’s Twins thanks to some serious control issues early in the game. Fausto walked the 1st two batters in the 2nd and then as Twin Kubel sacrificed we got the infamous “1st baseman comes over to make the tag and…NO he missed the tag!! Everyone is safe!” Horrific. So bases loaded no out and Fausto uncorks a wild pitch to give the Twins a freebie. An RBI ground-out by Bartlett made it 2-0 and a 2-out single by Castillo made it 3-0. Things stayed that way until the 6th when Hairy-hater Cuddyer showed he hates the Rays too with a solo blast. It should be noted that Cuddyer has near Jeter-esque “average” power. I hate that guy. Meanwhile, Twin starter Chris Young was making things just BLEAK for Tampa as he allowed only 2 hits through the 1st 5 innings. Finally, however, Young’s control began to waver in the 7th. Tampa shortstop Velandia reached on an infield single then advanced to 2nd on a Young WP. With 1 out, Young then plunked Wigginton and pinch-hitter Harris came up with a HUGE double that scored Velandia and left 2 in scoring position. Both those 2 came in on a Crawford single but it was still 4-3 Minnesota and their pen is SICK, so the Hairys still had serious work. A parade of relievers kept the Twins off the board and then Carlos Pena gave Tampa hope with a lead-off double in the 8th off Neshek and advanced to 3rd on a sac fly. Cassanova was walked intentionally to bring up the pitcher’s spot with 2 gone and Ockey was wincing hard as the best option on his bench was .220 hitting Dioner Navarro to face new pitcher Joe Nathan. Apparantly, however, that .220 avg was enough to put a scare in Nathan as he threw one to the screen and Pena rumbled home to tie us up.

Enter the Joba. Ockey thought long and hard about this draft pick since Chamberlain’s real-life experience was minimal. His numbers were too tantalizing, though and at least so far those numbers are paying off. Joba entered and pitched the 8th and 9th allowing no hits and 3 K’s. We go to extras and again it’s Carlos Pena with an inning opening double. Ockey brings in burner Baldelli to run and he trots home on a HUGE double by Delmon Young. Chamberlain’s spot in the order comes up, but Ockey doesn’t even think about pulling him. It works out as Joba faces Prince, Morneau and Torii in the bottom of the 10th and goes K, fly-out, K for the win.

After getting sawed in half by Johann in Game 2 vs Minnesota, the Rays faced off against division foe Cincinnati and newly acquired pitcher Cole Hamels. Ockey sent Kazmir to the hill and this was an all-out battle of the lefties. I honestly thought I’d tee off on Hamels as my team has power vs lefties, we were in Cincy’s bandbox of a park with a 20mph wind blowing OUT and Hamels gives up 1.2 HR/9. Not so. At all. The Reds strike early on doubles by Keppinger and Hopper to go up 1-0. Carl Crawford does go yard in the 3rd to tie it, though. From then on, Hamels and Kazmir are straight mowing people down. Kazmir tires after throwing 111 pitches through 6 innings allowing only one run and K’ing 9. Hamels, meanwhile, is even more impressive as he goes 7 CRAZY good innings, allowing 3 hits and a run while K’ing 11, including 7 of the last 9 batters he faced. Cripes! That means in the last 2 games the Rays have struck out 23 times against the opposing starter. YIKES. Mercifully, Hamels was finally pulled for a pinch hitter as the Reds threatened hard in the 7th. Griffey opened with an infield single off Kazmir who was then pulled for reliever Dohmann. Who proceeded to give up another single to pinch-hitting Granderson. That was it for him. Switzer comes in and K’s pinch-hitter Votto, but then uncorks a wild-pitch to put men on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Ockey walked Keppinger to load the bases and set up the force at any base and brought in Joba to save him in this most dire of situations. 2 pitches later the threat is neutralized as Joba induces the 4-6-3 double play. So huge and so clutch. Still tied in the 9th and Carlos Pena continues his late-inning heroics with a lead-off walk. He’s pulled for pinch-runner Baldelli who steals 2nd with one out then scores on a huge double by Brendan Harris. After striking out 2 of 3 in the 8th, Joba strikes out 2 more in the 9th, but gives up a double to Junior and then came a 34 minute rain delay. Decision time for Ockey as pinch-hitter Josh Hamilton awaits. Ockey is feeling Joba’s done all he can so brings in closer Reyes who induces a grounder for the ballgame and a 2-1 win.

So Joba moves to 2-0 on the year giving up no runs, 1 hit and no walks in 5.1 innings while striking out 8. That is sick, gentlemen. I love it. Almost as much as the pbp when Brandon Phillips came up having struck out his 1st three at bats – “He’s wishing he would have stayed in bed this morning” (he then proceeded to K for a 4th time and the illustrious Golden Sombrero. Hilarious)