Saturday, November 14, 2020

Darvish Stops Dominion Republic, but then they clinch vs. Mexico to face SEC, Pac-12 or Venezuela

Update: Dominican Republic clinches, will face Venezuela, Pac-12 or SEC for World Baseball Title. Click for the scoresheets for all games this season, or for the google sheet game-by-game grid or click on all game summaries. The final games will be summarized below the standings. Click here for the game and all 2021 Projected Cards.

Standings before the Games listed below:

Continential DivisionWLGBOffDefK/StartHRBASt ERA
Venezuela22-14  04.3 (5)2.7 (2)5.2 (4)1.7 (3)0.237 (4)2.15 (2)
SEC19-17  33.2 (8)2.2 (1)7.1 (1)1.1 (7)0.223 (8)1.99 (1)
Pac-1218-18  44.3 (4)4.7 (9)6.9 (2)1.2 (6)0.231 (7)3.23 (6)
ACC15-21  75.1 (2)5.3 (10)3.0 (10)1.5 (4)0.280 (1)6.47 (10)
Big-1215-21  73.1 (9)4.4 (8)4.8 (7)1.3 (5)0.193 (10)3.21 (5)

Key to standings - The best (1) through worst (10) team is noted in each of the following categories: best offense based on runs scored ("Off" DR 1st at 5.6 runs per game, Mexico last/10th at 2.7 runs per game), best defense ("Def" SEC 2.2 runs per game, ACC 5.3), most strike outs per start by starting pitchers (SEC 7.1, ACC 3.0), Most Home Runs per game (DR 2.5, Japan 0.8), Team batting average (ACC 0.280, Big-12 0.193), the ERA's for Starting Pitchers only (SEC 1.99, ACC 6.47).

When we get to the final two series we let the first place team playout to see if they clinch. If they do not then we let the second place team play out etc.

Venezuela fails to clinch, going 5-7 vs. the SEC and Pac-12 to finish 27-21. They were held to only 11 hits total in 2 games against the SEC, but did manage to score 3 runs in 7 innings against both Buehler and Scherzer to claim a split 3 games to 3. Suarez was the only player with three hits, including one HR, and D. Suarez threw 6 shutout innings before the bullpen lost, after Carrasco allowed only 1 run in 7 hits for the win. Pac-12 relievers threw 10 scoreless innings against Venezuela and completed the 4 games to 2 win when Jose Altuve could not come up with a clutch defensive play at 2nd base in the 10th inning off Conforto's hard grounder. The Pac-12 won the other game 6-2 on just 5 singles and doubles by Healy and Crawford.

Coming off the 4 games to 2 win against Venezuela, the Pac-12 is 22-20 heading into their final series against the Big-12. They own all the tiebreakers, so if they sweep 6 games to 0 they are Division Champs and play the Dominican Republic for the World title. If they go 5-1 they finish ahead of Venezuela, and win the division UNLESS the SEC goes 6-0.

Unless the Pac-12 goes 6-0 against the Big-12, the SEC at 22-20 will play the ACC with a chance to go to the championship, and they do own the tie-breaker against Venezuela (division record) but not against the Pac-12. If the Pac-12 goes 5-1 in the previous series, then the SEC can only win the division by going 6-0. If the Pac-12 goes 4-2 or worse, then the SEC can win the division with a 5-1 mark. 

If both the SEC and Pac-12 go 4-2 or worse, then Venezuela wins the division and plays the Dominican Republic.

A walk off double by Muncy followed 2 earlier homers by Cron to give the Big 12 a 6-5 win and eliminate the Pac-12. The Pac-12 needed to pull out that game and then win their season finale by 5+ runs - a real possibility with Bauer on the mound. However the blew a 4-1 lead built after Cahna homered in the 1st and Crawford tripled and Lamb homered in the 2nd. With them out, the SEC will win the division if they go at least 5-1, and if not Venezuela will be crowned.

The SEC stayed alive with a thrilling back and forth 5-4 win. Three straight singles by Yastrzemski, Anderson and McCann gave the SEC a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 7th, but Aaron Nola gave it back with a 2-run homer to Taylor to give the ACC a 4-3 lead.  It looked bleak with Chad Green coming in for the 8th, but Merrifield greeted him with a Homer, his real life Yankees teammate LeMahieu doubled, and Alonso doubled him home to give the SEC the 5-4 and let them live another day.

The ACC exploded in the 3rd and 4th innings on homers by Turner, Blackmon and Fisher to make it 4-0 in the SEC's finale. The SEC only averaged 3.2 runs a game this year (8th best if 10 teams) and that hole meant they would have needed to score 9 runs to get credit for the 5-run sweep and take the division from Venezuela. They scored only once despite a double and homer from McCann and three singles from LeMahieu, to fall 4-1 and let Venezuela back into the playoffs with a 27-21 mark. 

The Dominican Republic (30-15 with a 3-game series left) will host Games 1, 2 and if necessary 6 and 7 against the 27-21 Venezuela.

Multi-Coast DivisionWLGBOffDefK/StartHRBASt ERA
Dominican Republic24-12  05.6 (1)3.8 (3)5.2 (5)2.5 (1)0.274 (2)3.11 (4)
Japan-S.Korea18-18  63.3 (7)3.8 (4)5.7 (3)0.8 (10)0.233 (6)3.35 (7)
Cuba17-19  74.3 (3)4.2 (5)4.2 (8)2.1 (2)0.243 (3)3.94 (8)
Mexico16-20  82.7 (10)4.3 (7)4.2 (9)0.9 (9)0.203 (9)2.58 (3)
Puerto Rico16-20  83.5 (6)4.2 (6)5 (6)1.1 (8)0.233 (5)4.79 (9)
League Average1818

The Dominican Republic came in averaging a league best 5.6 runs per game, but was shut down by Japan to fail to clinch with a 27-15 record. Earlier in the year Yu Darvish started the World Baseball Classic with a no-hitter, but his 8 innings of shut out ball in a 2-0 win over the Dominican Republic may have been more impressive. He allowed only 3 hits against the team that was hitting 0.274 (second in the league) and averaging 2.5 homers (1st). Japan averaged a league low 0.8 homers per game, but Ohtani led of the series with a homer. In the second game five Japanese pitchers likewise presented any homers, but Tatis tripled to lead of the 1st inning and then singled and stole to lead off the 4th to lead the 3-1 win that left the surprising 2nd place Japanese team 21-21 and alive for though needing to finish 6-0 and have the Dominican Republic finish 0-6.

The Dominican Republic did finally clinch in their next to last game, erupting against the light-hitting Mexican team (last place 2.7 runs per game) for an 11-2 win. The first three batters in the line-up dominated, as Lindor reached his first four times up, and Ramirez drove him in once iwth a single and once with a 2-run homer. Soto doubled and score twice. The Division-clinching win made the Dominican Republic 30-15, and will let them play All-Stars who have been riding the bench since the best any other team could do is 17-19 Cuba, which can finish no better than 29-19 even if they win out.

The Dominican Republic (30-15 with a 3-game series left) will host Games 1, 2 and if necessary 6 and 7 against the 27-21 Venezuela.

As stated at the top of the blog, Click for the scoresheets for all games this season, or for the google sheet game-by-game grid or click on all game summaries. The final games will be summarized below the standings.

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