I knew Week 17 would be rough. I was playing the 2nd best team in the league, my pitching shit the bed (I couldn't even win counting stats like Strikeouts, despite having 4 more starts than them!) and I was honestly lucky to tie in the HR and RBI categories.
But Week 18? That was a huge missed opportunity. I was playing the team directly ahead of me in the standings. I outnumbered him in Pitching Starts 11 to 8. It was one of my last "easy" matchups for the next month, and my team blew it. As a result, I slipped from 7th to 8th place.
But the good news: despite these two weeks I'm still just 1.5 games back from a playoff spot.
The bad news: there are 4 weeks left in the season, and I play the #1, #5, #4, and #6 teams, in that order. The season may come down to that week 22 matchup with Tony's Team for the final playoff spot.
- Matt Belisle won the closer's role for Minnesota! He promptly blew a save after I picked him up on Saturday, but hey, glass half full.
- Along those lines, Mark Melancon is back from the DL. For the first time this season I might actually have two closers on my roster!
- Manny Machado remembered how to be Manny Machado: in the past 14 days he's hitting .355 with 11 R, 5 HR, 20 RBI, and 43 TB.
- My 1B is looking shabby: both Matt Adams and Matt Holliday are batting under .200 in the last month. Thank goodness Miguel Sano has 1B eligibility.
- Mookie is slumping hard; .220 average in the last two weeks, and with the fewest counting stats of all my starters.
- Most of my pitching staff. I knew I couldn't subsist all season with guys like Mike Fiers, Mike Leake, and Mike Foltyreiruoweiureiwicz in my rotation, but I had really hoped they would hold on longer.
- Injuries! Over the past month I've been juggling injuries to Mark Trumbo, Michael Taylor, Matt Holliday, Michael Brantley, Mark Melancon, and Masahiro Tanaka. And that's not counting players I've dropped (Michael Pineda, Matt Andriese, Matt Shoemaker, Matt Harvey, Mitch Haniger.) Starting Pitching was extremely deep at the start of the season, but now it's so thin I may need to rethink my strategy going down the stretch.