Thursday, January 11, 2018

1991 Replay Update: July 5, 1991

Despite losing my job recently and worrying about the consequences of such, there is one mantra that I, along with all APBA players follow. "The games must go on."

And go on they do. I've picked up the pace some in my 1991 baseball replay. I've found that being unburdened by the nasty contraints of a job, I have more time to roll games. (I say this facetiously, because if I don't find fruitful employment, I realize I will eventually end up rolling APBA baseball replays while living in an old refrigerator box under a train trestle, eating from a Dumpster and selling aluminum cans).

But for now at least, I am tossin' the games in the comfort of my home. I have an electric space heater turned on and aimed at my bum knee, a glass of Pepsi by the scoresheet and a 1991 season that if it continues the way it has so far should have a great pennant race or two at the end.
I've reached July 5, 1991 - just two days before the All-Star break - and there are several interesting story lines I'm following.

 
First, the standings.
 
American League

EAST        W    L    GB
Toronto     54    27     -
Boston       42    36  10.5
Detroit       42    37  11
Milwaukee 36   42 16.5
New York  31   45   20.5
Baltimore   30   48   22.5
Cleveland   25  52    27

WEST       W     L   GB
Minnesota   49   32    -
Seattle         47   33   1.5
Chicago      45    33  2.5
Kansas City 40   38 7.5
California    40   39  8
Texas          34   41  12
Oakland      34   46  14.5

National League
 
EAST         W   L    GB
Pittsburgh   54   23     -
St. Louis     48   31    7
New York   42  36    12.5
Phil'phia      36  44   19.5
Chicago       33  47   22.5
Montreal     23   57   32.5

WEST         W    L   GB
Atlanta         51    26   -
Cincinnati    45    33  6.5
Los Angeles 43    35  8.5
San Diego    41    40  12
Houston       29    50   23
San Fran.      28    51  24

As they do in replays of most seasons, teams' personalities are starting to develop. Pittsburgh, led by Barry Bonds' 11 home runs as of July 5 and Doug Drabek's 13-4 record, has the best record so far. Atlanta is also playing well, fueled by Tom Glavine's unbelievable 17-0 record on the mound.

In the American League, Toronto remains solid. After being swept in a three-game series in Minnesota, the Blue Jays returned the favor and beat the Twins in all three games in Toronto a week later. In each APBA replay I've done, there always seems to be a team that can win in many ways. Either the team will score a lot of runs, have good pitching or come from behind with clutch hitting. Toronto does all of these to win.

There are other notables: Detroit is 10-1 in its last 11 games. The Yankees have lost 11 of its last 13 games. Seattle, which led the American League West for a while, has dropped eight of its last 12 games. And the Cubs, oh, the woeful Cubs, at first seemed to be a competitive team. Andre Dawson has clubbed 20 home runs and Chicago was actually playing above .500 at the end of April. But in the last 30 days of play, the Cubs are 8-22.

And there's Montreal. The Expos lost its first 14 games to open the season and dropped 19 of 20 by May 1. Since then, Montreal has gone 22-36. Three of the Expos' pitchers each have lost 11 games already and the entire pitching staff has only four saves among relievers. But there is some life perhaps in the team, albeit faintly. The Expos took three of four games in Cincinnati and two of three in New York before being swept by the Pirates at home. After finishing a three-game set in Pittsburgh, the Expos will play West Division teams for a while after the All-Star break. The team has gone 15-23 against Western foes so far, which, considering the Expos, is not that bad. It beats going 0 for 14.

Here are league leaders so far.

American League
Home Runs- Canseco, Oak, 32; Tartabull, KC, 25
Wins - Candiotti, Tor; Erickson, Min; Tapani, Min; Wegman, Mil, 13 each
Saves - Harvey, Cal, 18; Reardon, Bos, 16' Eckersley, Oak, 15

National League
Home Runs - Mitchell, SF, 25; Dawson, Chi and Strawberry, LA, 20 each
Wins - Glavine, Atl, 17
Saves - Belinda, Pit, 16; Howell, LA, 15; Dibble, Cin 14
 
So, we've reached near the midway point of the season. The American League West looks like a dogfight. Can Minnesota hold its lead? Will Seattle surprise again? Will Canseco hit 61 home runs for the season? Can Boston or Detroit challenge Toronto? Will Pittsburgh maintain its dominance in the National League? Will Glavine keep on winning? Will the Expos find a way to win sometimes? It's sizing up to be another good replay season and a reason to roll games at a steady clip to answer these and many more questions.


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