I've reached Sept. 14 in the replay. It's taken quite a while to arrive at this point. I began the replay on March 7, 2014, and now, 14 and a half months later, I'm still slowly rolling the games. I used to average four or five games a day. For some reason I've yet to figure out, I'm only tossing about two a game now.
But the National League race has sparked my interest and the games have returned to the forefront of my consciousness. Maybe I had a life outside of this dice game that briefly took me away — I've been busier at my newspaper job writing daily dispatches about flooding for the past two months, I've watched the NHL playoffs closely and the NBA games with a passing interest and I've been reading more stuff lately.
Anyway, despite the slow pace, the games continue on and, like all the previous replays I've done, this one has its own personality.
First, the standings:
W L GB
New York 98 42 -
Boston 89 51 9
Cleveland 83 60 13.5
Detroit 80 59 17.5
Washington 59 81 39
St. Louis 53 86 44.5
Philadelphia 53 89 46
Chicago 47 94 51.5
Joe DiMaggio leads the AL with 38 home runs now and Boston Red Sox shortstop Vern Stephens is second with 35. Apparently the long ball is the deciding factor in the league. Six of the seven AL home run leaders are from New York, Boston or Cleveland — the top three teams in the league. Johnny Mize has 34 for the Yanks, Red Sox outfield Ted Williams has 33 and Indian teammates Al Rosen and Luke Easter each have 30 homers.
Early Wynn is an amazing 22-2 for the Indians on the mound and Allie Reynolds is 22-3 for the Yankees.
The Red Sox have won 10 of their last 12 games; their two loses have come to the Yankees. And Boston has scored in double digits in each of its last five games. Granted, those games were against cellar dwellers Philadelphia, Chicago and St. Louis.
The Yankees and Boston tangle four more times, including twice in Boston on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. With 14 games remaining and a nine-game lead, it appears the Yankees are a good lock to win the division.
W L GB
New York 81 58 -
Brooklyn 78 61 3
St. Louis 78 61 3
Boston 74 64 6.5
Pittsburgh 72 66 8.5
Philadelphia 66 75 16
Chicago 58 81 23
Cincinnati 48 89 32
Pittsburgh has been an interesting team to play. The Pirates began the season hot, going 10-2 in April and leading the league through much of June. They've faltered since then. They've won only two games of their last nine and six of their last 14. They did club Chicago, 24-2, scoring the highest amount of runs any NL team has accumulated this year. Ralph Kiner leads the majors with his 41 home runs. Hank Sauer of the Chicago Cubs is next with 38 homers and Duke Snider leads the Dodgers with his 36 dingers.
Brooklyn has hung close to New York with Don Newcombe on the mound. He is the league's only 20-game winner. Actually, he's 21-6. Sal Maglie is pacing the Giants with his 19-5 record.
Philadelphia has been the biggest disappointment. The Phillies won the 1950 season in the real baseball life, but has consistently come up short in the replay games. Phillies reliever Jim Konstantly is the lone success, saving 24 of Philadelphia's 66 wins. Del Ennis has 31 home runs for the hapless Phillies.
The National League schedule promises to have key games ahead. St. Louis is in Brooklyn next for a two-game series and then heads to New York for another two games. They may have the easiest final week, playing in Chicago before closing out the season with games agains Cincinnati and then the Cubs again.
The Giants face the Cardinals and the Dodgers each only two more times. They also have four games against Boston.
Brooklyn may have the most difficult task of any team to unseat the Giants in the lead. After their two game set with the Cardinals, they host Chicago and Pittsburgh, then travel to Philadelphia for two games against the upset minded Phillies. They close their season with home games against the Giants, Braves and Phillies.
There are still over 100 games remaining to replay in this season and at the rate I'm going, I may end this about time for football season to begin. But the excitement of seeing how this comes out brings me back to the game.