Clip Files for October

Aaron Judge

Judge

Applegate went 15-5 in October to close out the 2018 season at 101-59, earning the Westbound Division title and a first-round bye. It was Applegate’s seventh-straight 80-plus win season, the longest such streak in the league. … Applegate opened play in the month with a 4-1 series win over its closest pursuer, Superior, which would prove pivotal as the Titans went 12-3 in their other October games and the Clips won the division by just three games. … Applegate went 10-5 vs. Superior for the season and 43-17 (.717) inside its own division. … In the showdown series with Superior, Applegate pitching recorded a 1.91 team ERA, allowing just 10 runs, 39 hits and one homer. Superior was shut out twice and held to one run in 11 innings in another game. All of the games were close and four different relievers recorded saves for Applegate. … The Clips had fewer hits (32), but nearly twice as many walks (27-14) and clubbed six homers, leading to 19 runs. … Joe Mauer hit .316 and scored six of the runs. … The Clips won Game Two 4-0 despite mustering just two hits, capitalizing on 11 walks and a three-run ninth-inning homer from Aaron Judge. … The 3-1, 11-inning Game Three win was secured with the help of a gb(A)++ roll off the bat of Willson Contreras with the bases loaded and the infield in in the 11th.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Clip Files for September

Drew Pomeranz

Pomeranz

The Clips accepted their anticipate fate to start the month, enduring a 5-0 beatdown at the hands of Margaritaville, but managed to go 11-4 against their other opponents (4-1s vs. Boulder and Satellite Beach and 3-2 vs. Tatooine) to post their seventh consecutive double-digit win total month at 11-9. … The Clips now stand 86-54, ensuring their seventh straight season with a winning record, the longest such active streak in the league. … After the Margaritaville whitewash, the Clips won their first four games against both Boulder and Satellite Beach before suffering Game Five losses to ruin the chance at sweeps. Then the Clips won the first three against Tatooine before dropping the last two. … Drew Pomeranz lost a no-hitter with two outs in the ninth in the opening game against Satellite Beach, as Jose Altuve landed on a HR 1-4, flyout 5-20 chance and picked a 2. In the very next game, Jhoulys Chacin held the Brawlers hitless until one out in the seventh as well. … Satellite Beach was held to 30 hits in the series, scoring seven runs in Game Three but being limited to one or two runs in each of the other four games. … Pomeranz went 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA on the month, allowing just 14 hits in 25 1/3 innings. … Applegate’s series win over Boulder was highlighted by a Game Four comeback from a 4-1 deficit in the late innings, scoring two in the eighth and two in the ninth. Down 4-3 with two outs in the ninth, the Clips’ Jose Martinez lashed a two-run double on a DO 1-12, flyout 13-20 roll to drive in what proved to be the tying and winning runs. … Martinez was also a hero in Game Four against Satellite Beach, hitting a walkoff homer in the ninth off the first pitch thrown by Brawler reliever Anthony Swarzak. … Xander Bogaerts led the Clips’ offense in September at .338 while smacking nine doubles. … Aaron Judge scored 17 runs but drove in just five while hitting .200 and only two homers. He stands at 34 for the year and needs 18 homers in his final 20 games to tie his real-life total of 52. … By 0.01, Applegate leaped ahead of Margaritaville into first place in the team ERA standings after 140 games, 3.96 to 3.97.

Clip Files for August

Applegate went 13-7 in August to push its record to 75-45, outscoring its opponents 111-77 and outhomering them 35-21. … At 75-45, the Clips’ win percentage is exactly what it would be predicted by Bill James’ wins predicted formula, based on its runs scored and runs allowed. … In August Applegate had the same number of homers as it did doubles. Aaron Judge smacked seven homers, scored 17 runs and drove in 15 while hitting just .187. Willson Contreras also drove in 15 runs, but he did it in 44 at-bats compared to Judge’s 75. Josh Donaldson chipped in with six homers in 41 at-bats, including three in one game. Neil Walker hit .390 on the month and leads the Clips’ regulars in batting at .309 on the season. He hit .400 vs. Savannah and .455 vs. Destin. … Ken Giles and Luis Garcia were bullpen workhorses, with each hurling 17 1/3 innings. … A five-game sweep of New New York keyed the profitable month; in that series the Clips outscored the Hypnotoads 43-19 and outhomered them 13-5 while hitting .315. … But against South Grand Prairie, which presents matchup problems for the Clips, Applegate scored just 14 runs on 33 hits (.191) as the Warriors took a 3-2 series win. The two wins came in Game One on a 12th-inning walkoff homer by Brian Dozier, and in Game Three thanks to some late lightning off Max Scherzer by Judge, Donaldson and Dozier. … The Clips improved their stunning record against lefties to 24-4 (.857). … Judge is now up to 32 homers on the year but needs 20 homers in the last two months to tie his real-life 52 for the Yankees last year.  Judge is slugging just .454 (was .627 for the Yankees) and Strat calculates his WAR at 3.4; it was 9.5 for the Yankees. … Every one of the Clips’ starting pitchers has an impressive record: Drew Pomeranz (8-3), Jhoulys Chacin (8-2), Stephen Strasburg (10-4), Jimmy Nelson (9-3) and Kyle Hendricks (8-5), but the Clips’ vaunted bullpen has an unexplainable 23 losses, second-most in the league behind New New York (26). Lefty ace Andrew Miller and closer Blake Parker are tied for the team high in losses with five each. … Chacin is 8-2 but lugging a 5.21 ERA, as his ERA has never recovered from a 15-run beatdown at the hands of Savannah in May. He has only one loss since then, coming this month to South Grand Prairie. … Applegate’s team ERA of 3.94 leads the league through 120 games, just a smidge better than Margaritavlle at 3.95. Applegate has given up the fewest homers in the league at 126. Meanwhile, offensively the Clips have bashed 200 homers, trailing only Margaritaville in that category (at 201). … As a team, Applegate has drawn 543 walks, which is 66 more than the second-place Volcanoes.

Clip Files for July

Willson Contreras

Contreras

July had not been kind to Applegate in the last two years, as the Clips went 5-15 in 2017 after a 47-33 start, and 9-11 in 2016 after a 45-35 start. This time though the Clips took their 48-32 start and tacked on 14 more wins to climb to 62-38, now boasting the league’s second-best record after 100 games. … The month included a 2-3 record vs. West Atlanta, but then 3-2 vs. Bushwood, 4-1 vs. Superior in a showdown for divisional supremacy, and 5-0 vs. East Cobb. … Applegate outscored its foes 109-90 and outhomered the opposition a whopping 38-16. Timely homers with men on base (including three grand slams) was the big difference on the month as the Clips were handily outhit, 165-113, and Applegate hit just .220 as a team. … Aaron Judge clubbed eight homers and is now up to 25, still less than half of his real-life total of 52 for the Yankees last year, and his average is a weakly .207. … Willson Contreras was the big bat for the month, with six homers and a team-leading 16 RBIs and .407 average. … Byron Buxton went 0-for-23 in July. … One that got away: Applegate took a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the night vs. Bushwood in Game One of the longtime rivals’ series. But Ryan Zimmerman clubbed a three-run homer to make it interesting, Adeiny Hechavarria tied it with a two-run homer, and Scooter Gennett walked it off with a two-run homer off a dazed Blake Parker. But Applegate came back with a vengeance in Game Two of that series, falling behind 4-0, then scoring once in the seventh and four times in the eighth on a Jose Martinez grand slam to win 5-4. … Even more interesting though was Applegate’s Game One comeback win over Superior that saw the Titans take a 7-0 lead, but the Clips put up a 7-spot of their own in the fourth inning. Then the game went scoreless until the bottom of the ninth when Contreras walked it off with a three-run homer and a 10-7 win. … The charm continued in Game 2 of that series when, down 1-0 in the eighth inning, Applegate rallied for three runs, aided by a key single by Billy Hamilton off a lefty that drove in the lead run. Hamilton, by the way, has more homers (6) than doubles (5) … The Clips’ only loss to Superior was to lefty Rich Hill, ironic because the Clips are now 19-4 vs. lefties this year. … And Applegate’s Game One tilt with East Cobb was epic too. The Clips blew a 5-3 lead in the ninth and a 6-5 lead in the 10th before notching two in the 12th that Applegate was finally able to lock down for an 8-6 win. Joe Mauer homered, Judge tripled and Josh Donaldson hit a sac fly for those 12th-inning runs. … Applegate pitching held East Cobb to 30 hits in that series as the Juice hit just .180. Contreras had eight of his RBIs in that series. …

Clip Files for June

Jorge Alfaro

Alfaro

The Clips’ front office can’t come to an agreement on whether the club is underachieving or overachieving. While its 48-32 mark at the season’s midpoint was built somewhat on a favorable early schedule, the Clips have established a 96-win pace without much contribution from slugger Aaron Judge, who has only 25 extra-base hits to this point (8-0-17), on the heels of 79 extra-base hits last year (24-3-52) for the Yankees. … Regardless, Applegate posted a 14-6 June and the Clips outscored their opponents 116-77. … The Clips packed their active roster with limited sluggers Nicky Delmonico and Jorge Alfaro, hoping to rack up wins against teams that were struggling this year. The strategy worked, with Alfaro hitting .367 and driving in a team-high 20 runs. He hit five homers and used up 49 of his limited ABs. For the year, Alfaro is hitting .398 in 93 at-bats. His catching counterpart, Willson Contreras, benefited from the extra rest, but still led the Clips in hitting in June at .458. … Brian Dozier slugged a team-high six homers, including a 10th-inning solo blast in Game Five against Dyersville that enabled the Clips to win that series, 3-2. … Interesting tidbit from Game Three of that series: After Applegate jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning (keyed by an Alfaro grand slam), Dyersville began the bottom of the first by pinch-hitting for limited leadoff man Michael Conforto. … The Dyersville series also saw the Clips turn a 5-4-3 triple play in the fourth inning on a lomax roll — one inning after a one-out lomax roll ended Dyersville’s bases-loaded threat in that inning too. The Treblemakers still won the game, 3-1. … Applegate’s 4-1 series win over Tatooine was highlighted by a 7-5 Game Four win in which the Clips were down 5-1 starting the eighth inning. … Applegate likewise went 4-1 at home vs. Bismarck, losing only Game Five, 7-5, leaving 18 runners on base. Applegate hit .324 that series and Judge had his only good series of the year with three homers and six RBIs. Judge does have a league-leading 80 walks in 80 games. …  Matt Chapman, spelling a limited Josh Donaldson at third, hit .412 with two homers and eight RBIs. Delmonico hit .545 and Alfaro .500. … The Clips walked off to victory in Game Two on a 2b (x) roll that went for a 1B** with Chapman up, runners at second and third, one out and the infield in in the 9th to win 4-3. … In its toughest battle of the month, Applegate invaded Margaritaville and reeled off wins in each of the first three games before suffering one-run walkoff losses in Games Four and Five. A seesaw Game Four saw Margaritaville surrender leads of 3-0 after three innings and 4-3 and 7-6 in late innings; Applegate coughed up a 6-4 lead in the eighth and saw the Volcanoes walk off in the ninth on a bases-loaded single by Kris Bryant off ace closer Blake Parker.  Kyle Crick was the victim in the ninth inning of Game Five; after the Clips scored two runs in the top of the ninth on a Billy Hamilton homer to tie the game 3-3, Jarrod Dyson led off the home half of the inning with an equally unexpected long ball to win it 4-3 for Margaritaville. Every game in the series was decided by one or two runs. … Stephen Strasburg had a good month, going 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA that included the club’s only complete-game outing of the year, coming against the Volcanoes. … Fernando Rodney was a bullpen workhorse, pitching 23 2/3 innings and notching a 3-1 record with a 2.28 ERA. … At the 80-game mark, Applegate is 16-3 in games in which the opposition starts a left-handed pitcher. Jose Martinez has 11 of his 13 homers against southpaws. … Applegate trails Superior now by one game in its division and trails only the Titans in best run differential in the league (+96 for Applegate, +104 for Superior)… The Clips have returned to the top of the team ERA standings after their solid June, checking in at 3.94. They have allowed the fewest homers in the league at 89 and trail only Margaritaville in homers hit (135-127)… The Clips also have a healthy lead for most team walks at 379. …

Clip Files for May

Applegate’s 13-7 May, supports largely by a 5-0 sweep of Boulder, came with ace Stephen Strasburg sitting out the month, as Luis Perdomo continues to take turns giving Applegate starters a one-month rest. The Clips went 2-2 in Perdomo’s starts as he generated a fat 7.94 ERA. … Both Drew Pomeranz (1.96 ERA) and Jimmy Nelson (5.96 ERA) went 3-0 on the month. Applegate had entered the month with the league’s best team ERA, but gave up 111 runs (101 earned) for a 5.03 ERA and pushing the club’s season-to-date ERA above 4 at 4.09. … Fortunately the offense had its best showing, blasting 35 homers while hitting .293 and scoring 139 runs, nearly 7 per game. … The 111 runs allowed included 19 by Savannah in a Game Two rout of Jhoulys Chacin, who surrendered 17 and saw his ERA climb above 7.00. … Rookie catcher Jorge Alfaro saw his first action and responded with a team-high .432 month, collecting 19 hits in 44 at-bats. Josh Donaldson had the team highs in both homers (8) and RBI (18). … Aaron Judge had 5 homers and 16 RBI, pushing his yearly totals to 13 and 38, on pace for just 35 homers. … The heartbreak loss of the month came in Game Five to Satellite Beach. The Clips led 5-3 in the ninth in the rubber game of the series and with one out brought in Ken Giles to relieve Andrew Miller. Anthony Rendon and Eduardo Nunez singled and Edwin Encarnacion doubled both of them in to tie the game. After Cody Bellinger struck out, pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick doubled in Encarnacion for the walk-off win. … Applegate outscored the Tree Huggers 47-17 in their sweep, hitting .363 and holding Boulder to three runs in the first three games. The Clips had a 15-4 edge in homers and four of Judge’s five homers in May came in this series. … Lefty assassin Jose Martinez has 12 homers in 111 at-bats overall. Eleven of the 12 have come vs. southpaws. Applegate is 13-2 in games in which the opponent starts a left-handed pitcher. … Applegate has saves from six different pitchers.

Want to see notes like these about your team on the website? E-mail them to me.

Clip Files for October

By finishing 82-78, the Clips posted their sixth straight season with a winning record, the longest such active stretch in the league. Applegate’s catastrophic October knocked it from a position in which it was tied for the fifth playoff spot with 20 games left, to a finish 3 1/2 games behind the sixth-place seed. “You can’t expect to make the playoffs when you go 5-15 twice in the same year,” said Manager Gary Kicinski, referencing the matching disaster from July. The Clips had to resort to using long-reliever Jhoulys Chacin as their fifth starter in October, but after getting bombed in his first outing, Chacin came back to allow three earned runs or less in five innings or more in his other three starts, going 2-1 with a 4.66 ERA on the month. No, the problem was normally reliable Kyle Hendricks (0-3, 5.32), Johnny Cueto (0-4, 7.14) and Drew Pomeranz (0-2, 5.33) who gagged big time in October. … Josh Donaldson also was nowhere to be found when the team needed him most, hitting .160 on the month, which included an 0-for-Destin series (17 ABs). … The Clips got saves from eight different players this year. … Applegated ‘maxed out’ its IP limits on nine pitchers — Ryan Buchter, Tyler Chatwood, Johnny Cueto, Tyler Glasnow, Kyle Hendricks, George Kontos, Andrew Miller, Drew Pomeranz and Stephen Strasburg. It also wrung every AB out of Willson Contreras, Greg Garcia, Hunter Pence and Neil Walker. … Kole Calhoun had the most disappointing year among the position players, starting all 160 games but hitting just .229 (.271 in real life) with six homers (18 in real life). … Applegate’s fourth-best league ERA of 3.89 was not enough to offset an offense that progressively weakened over the year, finishing with a 13th-best .249 batting average and 13th-best home run total of 160. … Only three teams drew more walks than the Clips’ 582 though. … Billy Hamilton lead the league in stolen bases at 51 and finished tied for the league lead in sacrifice hits with Bismarck’s Alcides Escobar at 56. … In their final game of the year, with two outs in the ninth, the Clips sent Aaron Judge to the plate for his only AB of 2017, a symbolic gesture the fans recognized as a nod toward future possibilities. Judge, of course, struck out.