All five teams top .500 in wicked, wicked West

With preseason favorite Superior engaged in a mystifying offensive slump, four other clubs in the Westbound Division are taking early-season advantage and have rolled out to winning starts, resulting in a five-team division in which all five clubs are above the .500 mark.

(Kathy/Flickr)

(Kathy/Flickr)

Superior manager Mike Renbarger’s No. 1 son (chronologically anyway) is also No. 1 in the division, as John Renbarger’s Boulder Tree Huggers have bashed their way to a league-best 37-23 mark, riding a league-best 122 home runs that includes a league-high 24 from Mike Trout, 19 from Mark Teixeira and 18 from Matt Carpenter.

Just two games back of Boulder are the surprisingly consistent Applegate Paperclips, who went 11-9 in May on the heels of 12-8 marks in March and April. The Clips are somehow leading the league in team batting at .278 and are third in team ERA at 3.52.

Superior and Destin are tied for third, three games back at 34-26. Superior struggled in May with an 8-12 mark that included a 1-4 showing against Northbound frontrunner Springfield and a 2-3 slate at home against Southbound leader South Grand Prairie. The Titans’ 3.21 team ERA, second-best in the league, is compensating for a league-worst .219 team batting average.  Four regulars in the Superior lineup are limping along below the Mendoza line, and Miguel Cabrera has just four home runs to show for 193 at-bats. NL MVP Bryce Harper is hitting .222.

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Never happened in MLB, but it’s happened in Strat: 5 HRs by…

Giancarlo Stanton slugged a record 5 homers in a 23-4 win. (Photo by Corn Farmer/Flickr)

Giancarlo Stanton slugged a record 5 homers in a 23-4 win. (Photo by Corn Farmer/Flickr)

It’s never happened in the history of major league baseball, and certainly not in the 37 years of the I-75 Strat-O-Matic League. But in their May series against the Dyersville Treblemakers, the South Grand Prairie Warriors’ Giancarlo Stanton had a historic accomplishment as he cracked a record five home runs in SGP’s 23-4 rout.

Stanton clubbed an eighth-inning grand slam in his sixth at-bat of the game to cap the epic performance that saw him rack up 10 RBIs. The Warriors stroked nine homers in the blowout en route to a 12-8 record in May.

Stanton bashed three homers off Dyersville starter Wade Miley, going deep in the first inning (solo), second (two-run blast) and fourth (two-run shot). Then with Vidal Nuno on the hill in the eighth, Stanton hit both a solo homer and grand slam as part of an eight-run inning.

In his other at-bat, Stanton struck out in the fifth inning.

Paul Goldschmidt also had a strong game, with a 4-5-3-5 line that included two homers. The game was played in Fenway Park, a Warriors home game on a night the weather was rated ‘bad.’

Sixteen major league players have had four homers in a game, most recently Josh Hamilton for the Texas Rangers in 2012, but no one has ever had five.

“It was a crazy game for sure,” said Warriors manager Garth Lewis.

Longtime league observers could not recall a four-homer game taking place in the league. Gary Sheffield had a three-homer, 12-RBI game for the Michigan Drifters in a July 1997 game against the Bismarck Bombers.

[1]BOXSCORE: 2016 Dyersville Treblemakers At 2016 S Grand Prairie Warri 5/9/2016

[1] Treblemakers        AB R H RBI AVG       Warriors                AB R H RBI AVG
A.Eaton RF                    5  0   1    0   .220       D.Lemahieu 2B     4   2  3    1    .311
S.Piscotty LF                 1  0   0   0    .286       C.Santana DH       5   3   2    2   .214
A-J.Gallo PH,LF          2  0  0   0    .333         P.Goldschmidt 1B  4   5   3    5   .401
F-A.Sanchez PH          1   0  0   0   .000         G.Stanton RF      6   5   5   10   .277
K.Wong 2B                   5   0  0   0    .253         C.Gomez CF           6   2   3   1   .389
J.Abreu 1B                    5   1   3   1    .281         D.Valencia 3B        3   1   0   0   .136
K.Seager 3B                  3   1   1   0   .265         D.Norris C              5   2   1   2   .258
M.Kemp DH                 4   1   2   0   .229        G.Blanco LF           4   1   1   1    .206
B.Swihart C                  4   1    2    2   .333       D-M.Scherzer PH  1   0   1   0  1.000
G.Polanco CF               3   0   0   0   .244        E-A.Ethier LF        0   0   0   0   .250
A.Simmons SS             3   0   1   1    .232         A.Russell SS           2   0   0   0   .197
B-P.Gosselin PH         0   1   0   0   .273
C-M.Duffy SS               2   1   0  0   .293
— — — — — — — —
[1] Totals                     36   4   10   4                   Totals                     42   23   19   22

A-Pinch Hit For Piscotty In 3rd Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Russell In 5th Inning
C-Subbed Defensively (SS) For Gosselin In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Blanco In 8th Inning
E-Subbed Defensively (LF) For Scherzer In 9th Inning
F-Pinch Hit For Gallo In 9th Inning

Treblemakers…. 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 –  4 10 3
Warriors……..      4 3 0 2 6 0 0 8 x – 23 19 1

[1]Treblemakers (11-33)          IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA SCORESHEET
W.Miley LOSS(0-4)                   5 13 15 14   4    4    6    8.16   A1 D5
V.Nuno                                          3  6   8   8   3    3    3    9.00  D6
[1]Totals                                        8 19 23 22   7  7    9

[1]Warriors (27-17)                   IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA SCORESHEET
J.Hammel WIN(5-2)                 5  6    1   1     2    4    1   4.31 A1 C3
M.Estrada SAVE(1st)                4  4   3   3    2    4    0    4.61 C4
[1]Totals                                       9 10  4   4    4    8    1

ATTENDANCE- 26,081 DATE- Thursday, May 9th 2016 TIME- Night WEATHER- Bad
T- 3:36
LEFT ON BASE- Treblemakers: 9 Warriors: 3
DOUBLE PLAYS- Treblemakers: 2 Warriors: 1
ERRORS- K.Wong, A.Simmons, V.Nuno, G.Stanton
DOUBLES- B.Swihart(1st), C.Gomez(1st)
TRIPLES- B.Swihart(1st), D.Lemahieu(1st)
HOME RUNS- J.Abreu(5th), P.Goldschmidt-2(10th), G.Stanton-5(13th), C.Gomez(1st),
D.Norris(6th)
RBIs- J.Abreu(19th), B.Swihart-2(2nd), A.Simmons(15th), D.Lemahieu(16th),
C.Santana-2(30th), P.Goldschmidt-5(44th), G.Stanton-10(28th),
C.Gomez(2nd), D.Norris-2(20th), G.Blanco(11th)
CAUGHT STEALING- M.Kemp
SACRIFICE FLIES- D.Lemahieu
WALKS- J.Gallo, K.Seager, G.Polanco, A.Simmons, D.Lemahieu, C.Santana,
P.Goldschmidt-2, D.Valencia-2, P.Gosselin
STRIKE OUTS- A.Eaton, J.Gallo-2, K.Wong, J.Abreu, B.Swihart, G.Polanco,
A.Simmons, P.Goldschmidt, G.Stanton, C.Gomez, D.Valencia-2,
G.Blanco, M.Duffy
GIDP- K.Wong, C.Santana, D.Norris
WILD PITCHES- W.Miley