The last few months flew by in our alternate universe as the TGTGP league has wrapped up its regular season. What looked like some quirky trends have proven to last for the entire season. Even though I made no such settings when I created this league, it seems that the entire season may have been played in the Astrodome. The league became a high batting average, low power affair that favored gap hitters. But perhaps I'm jumping ahead. Let's look at the highlights of the last couple months before I reveal the two teams that will battle to become the County Series Champions.
July 8, 11 - Lance Berkman had two, five-hit games in one week. Berkman joked, "Heck, that's a week's worth of hitting for me. I guess I can take the rest of the week off. Right, Skip?" Manager Masked Marvel retorted, "Only if we win the game, son...only if we win the ballgame. That's what they pay us to do, you know."
July 16 - Bob Knepper visited the team doctor after he reported severe pain in his right knee following an attempt to slam a pie in the face of Al Osuna after a recent game. "I feel really dumb about the whole thing," Knepper said. "It was meant to be a funny prank, but it just backfired on me. Hopefully it's not serious."
Since I have injuries turned off, Knepper was fine.
July 24 - JR Richard did his thing, striking out 15 Jar Binks in a 3-2 victory. He also allowed 6 hits and walked 6.
August 1 - The Batters of the Month were announced. Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman won their respective division's award for July. Biggio hit .283 on the month with 6 HR, 23 RBI, and 21 runs. Berkman hit .433 for the month.
August 1 - The Pitchers of the Month were also announced. Larry Dierker and Mike Scott took the honors. Dierker was 5-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. Scott was also 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA, striking out 63 in 51 innings.
August 4 - Guess what? JR Richard struck out people again. This time the total was 16, again against the Jar Binks.
August 9 - Another day, another dominant performance by JR Richard. This time it was 15 Delayed Honorees in a 3-2 victory. Richard is making an assault on the record books!
August 20 - Tired of seeing Richard get all the headlines, stepped up and mowed down 16 Jar Binks in a 3-1 win for Mike Lambchop's Play-Along.
September 1 - The Batters of the Month for September were Cesar Cedeno and Rusty Staub. Cedeno hit .442 with 7 HR on the month. Staub was sitting on a hitting streak of 37 games at the end of the month, hitting .442 for the month.
September 1 - The Pitchers of the Month were Wandy Rodriguez and Shane Reynolds. Wandy went 4-2 with a 1.64 ERA while Reynolds was 5-1 with a 2.94 ERA.
September 12 - Jerry Reuss struck out 17 Kiwis in an 11-3 win for Albuquerque. He allowed 11 hits and 1 walk, as well.
September 16 - Mike Cuellar pitched a 3-0 shutout against Rusty Staub's Kiwis, walking 1 and striking out 4. Rusty Staub was held hitless, ending his consecutive games hitting streak at 50 games! Staub said after the game, " I had some great looks at some pitches that I should have hit. I missed some that I shouldn't have swung at. All in all, I wasn't much help with the bat today." During the streak, Staub raised his average from an already impressive .345 to an astounding .373.
If Staub had managed to finish out the season with his hit streak intact, he would have broken DiMaggio's streak on the last day of the season. But I supposed even in an alternate universe of our own creation, amazing story lines like that are improbable.
September 26 - Bob Knepper may be becoming aware that he can't be injured. After falling down the stairs in spring training and the pie incident earlier this month, Knepper shot himself today while cleaning his handgun, lodging the bullet in his foot. I think he's on to us.
Which brings me to the end of the season standings. Heading into the last month of the season, the Philadelphia Delayed Honorees had caught up to the Nacogdoches Andujar Jar Binks, trailing by just a single game, but faltered down the stretch. The Jar Binks will be heading to the County Series from the Astros Division after finishing with a 6 game lead.
In the Colt .45s Divison, the Greenville Master Bateman never let up, pushing themselves to win their division comfortably by 15 games over the Albuquerque HeisEnsberg's Brick Red Meth.
And here are your stat leaders.
Not only did Rusty Staub make a run at the all-time consecutive games hitting streak record, he set the record for most doubles in a season by swatting an amazing 70 two-baggers. Staub wasn't the only one to set a record, though. Jon Singleton set the single season strikeout record for batters by fanning 228 times. It probably didn't help Singleton that he had to face JR Richard 11 times on the season. Richard also set a modern-era record this season by striking out 405 batters on the season.