Sunday, October 19, 2008

Season 10 Power Rankings

Not only do we have 2 new teams in the top 10 but for the first time in 3 seasons we have a change at the #1 spot. Here are top 10 teams going into season 10...

#1. New York Metropolitans (106-56) - (+1) – After winning the WS last season Metropolitans found themselves on top of the power rankings for the first time in franchise history. There’s no MVP’s, Cy Young, ROY, Fireman award winners on this team but at the same time there’s no weakness either. Their strength is the pitching staff that finished season 9 with 3.67 team ERA and 1.26 team WHIP, both 2nd best in Hunter. The offense finished 3rd in Hunter with 989 RS but had the best road BA (.305) and 2nd best overall team BA (.295). Last season addition Trinidad Molina and this off-season addition Matty Garces make this line up much stronger.

#2. Louisville Sluggers (98-64) - (+2) – Sluggers won their first ever AL pennant last season finally beating San Francisco Night Demons (4-2) in the ALCS. In the ALDS they took care of very strong New Britain Yorkies (3-1). If pitching and defense wins championships than Louisville is on the right track, last season they finished with the 3rd best pitching staff (4.05era), 6th best offense (936rs) and Hunters top defense (.985FPct.). Sluggers superstar Magglio Javier already has 4 AL MVP awards and will be looking for a 5th one this season. Sluggers were also voted the favorite to win the World Series this season.

#3. San Francisco Night Demons (109-53) - (-2) – San Francisco won Championships in season 6 and season 7 while posting Hunters’ best regular season record in 3 of the last 4 seasons. Their ability to shut down the best of offenses is what drives this team, Night Demons pitching staff led by Felipe Bournigal and Pete Daly has ranked first in Hunter for the past 5 seasons. My vote for the favorite to win the WS this season went to the Night Demons simply because of Felipe Bournigal and Pete Daly, facing these two multiple times in a playoff series can’t be much fun. Betwen the two of them they have 15 All Star apperances, Felipe also won 5 straight AL Cy Young awards from S5 to S9.

#4. Colorado Blasters (100-62) - (-1) – Blasters yet again displayed last season why they are considered to be the powerhouse of the NL. Not only are they in the playoffs every single season they also won 2 Championships in S3 and S5. Last season Colorado took current Champs Metropolitans to extra innings of game 7 in the NLCS, that’s how close they came to the WS. Colorado is the opposite of San Francisco as their strength is in the line up, Blasters have ranked first in Hunter for the past 6 seasons in runs scored and home runs and it looks like it will be more of the same this season. The back bone of this line up is Hunters best power hitter Frank Zhang who won the ROY in season 4 and two MVP awards in season 6 and season 9. Erubiel Johnson, Alan Grimsley, Lonny Iglesias and Jason Hutton complete the best line up in Hunter.

#5. San Juan TCB (94-68) - (E) – San Juan is another team that’s always in the playoffs, they have never finished lower than 2nd in the NL south and have five division titles in nine seasons. They held the second best record in the NL most of last season and went into the playoffs as the 4th seed. Their playoffs ended quickly as division mate Santa Fe Flyers beat them in the NLDPS (3-1). TCB offense finished second in Hunter last season with 1053 runs scored, led by veteran Angel Bolivar who maybe the best pound for pound player in Hunter. This club holds the 5th position on the power rankings for a reason and is one of the favorites to win it all in season 10.

#6. Pittsburgh Studdabubbas (96-66) - (E) – Pittsburgh was the surprise team in the NL last season, winning the NL North for the first time in franchise history and posting franchise best 96 wins. Studdabubbas pitching staff finished 12th best (4.39era) last season, the loss of SP Doc Robinson will hurt even with the addition of SP Shawn Owen. The offense finished 9th best (903rs) and defense finished 12th best. Superstar 1B Willie Drew, 2B Archie Blake, LF Wayne Hernandez and the addition of SS Rodrigo Brito make this line up very dangerous for opposing pitchers.

#7. New Britain Yorkies (95-67) - (+4) – Yorkies finished season 9 with impressive 95 wins, winning the AL North crown by 15 games ahead of Pawtucket. New Britain entered the playoffs as the #3 seed in the AL, in the DPIS they disposed of Texas Beefeaters (3-1) but lost in the ALDS (1-3) to the current AL Champ. With the 9th best pitching staff (4.32era), 12th best offense (877rs) and 15th best defense (.980FPct.) this team doesn’t need much to move up the rankings in the near future. The addition of veteran Ace Derek O’Keefe makes this pitching staff much stronger, after winning 95 games last season without Derek they should be one of the favorites in the AL with him.

#8. Scottsdale Aces (93-69) - (+3) – Season 8 Champs had a slow start last season but stormed back in the second half to win 93 games and earn the 5th seed in the AL playoffs. Aces 4th ranked offense (953rs) is this teams back none, RF Ozzie Purcell and 2B J.R. Alston are two young stand outs in this line up. The pitching staff finished 10th in Hunter (4.32era) but with young SP Christopher Kieschnick and veteran Mark Meng it should only get better. 7th best defense makes Scottsdale very good all around and will be very tough in a playoff series.

#9. Washington DC Generals (92-70) - (-1) - 8th ranked pitching staff (4.26era), 15th ranked offense (846rs) and 3rd ranked defense (.984FPct) place the Generals in the 9th place on the rankings. Washington won the AL East crown 9 straight seasons and have 3 Championships (S1,S2 and S4). Lately it's been a bit different as they have been eliminated early in the playoffs for five straight season, they haven't reached the ALCS since S4. Last season the Generals came into the playoffs as the 4th seed but lost in the first round (ALDPS) to Scottsdale Aces (2-3).

#10. Santa Fe Flyers (91-71) - (-2) - Another surprise team in season 9, Santa Fe finished only 3 games behind San Juan in the NL South and advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 6 seasons. In the playoffs the Flyers beat San Juan (3-2) in the first round and gave New York all the could handle before losing in 5 games of the NLDS. The Flyers offense is probably the single reason why they won 91 games, their 953 RS and .289 team BA ranked them 4th best in Hunter. The pitching staff wasn't as good posting a biz-mo 5.23 team ERA and 1.60 team WHIP that ranked them 27th in the World, off season departure of ace Derek O'Keefe and the 29th ranked defense definitely doesn't help.

Monday, October 6, 2008

New York Metropolitans: Season 9 Champs!!!

New York Metropolitans entered the playoffs as the #1 seed in the NL with a 106-56 regular season record. In the NLDS they defeated Santa Fe Flyers in 5 games (3-2). With the series tied at 2-2 Santa Fe took 3-1 lead into the 8th inning of game 5 but in the bottom of the 8th Metropolitans scored 4 times on 5 hits for a huge game 5 come from behind victory. In NLCS New York beat the #2 seed Colorado Blasters (4-3). Losing the first 2 games at home Metropolitans were against the wall again but they stormed back and took the next 3 games in Colorado for a 3-2 series lead. Colorado won game 6 and forced game 7. With the NLCS on the line game 7 was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 12th inning, after 3 walks youngster Louie Tavarez singled to CF and pushed the Mets to the World Series. In the World Series New York faced the very strong Louisville Sluggers club who defeated San Francisco in the ALCS (4-2). WS begin with a Metropolitans game 1 victory on a walk off 3-run HR by pinch hitter S.Thomas for a 1-0 series lead. NY won game 2 also but Louisville came back to take the next 2 and tie the series at 2-2. Metropolitans took the series lead again winning game 5 but the Sluggers decided to force game 7 with a game 6 victory. In game 7 of the WS Sluggers took a 4-1 lead into the 6th but 22 y.o. rookie had something to say about that, L.Cruz came to bat with bases loaded and belted a grand slam to LF to give New York 5-4 lead. The bullpen shut the door in the final 3 innings and the celebration begin.

In every series they were down in the deciding and most critical moments and found a way to win every single time.