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OOTP 19 - Fictional Simulations Discuss fictional simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 12-15-2018, 10:05 PM   #561
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The 0 for 6 tells me Rodgers needs to take a step back. Clear his head. Maybe watch from the dugout.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:24 PM   #562
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem810 View Post
The 0 for 6 tells me Rodgers needs to take a step back. Clear his head. Maybe watch from the dugout.
Yeah, I have been giving him some more days off than one usually would with a durable superstar. Unfortunately, his primary back-up, Pat Rondeau, has been struggling some at the plate lately too.
I've also tried moving Rodgers around in the lineup a bit. In a game a few days ago (on the Brewers calendar) he hit out of the six hole. Didn't get any hits, but at least drew 4 walks in 6 plate appearances. I keep thinking that he is far too talented a hitter for the slump to last much longer. But every-time it looks like it might be over, it starts right up again.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:29 PM   #563
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The Brewers eke out a 2-1, 11-inning victory in Baltimore to claim their 5th win in a row.
The pitcher's duel included young Harry Lyerly well on his way to his best start yet in a Brewers' uniform, when he suffered a leg injury in the 6th inning.
Word has not yet been received of just how serious the injury is or how much time he might miss.
The way the young man is pitching now, any extended loss of his services would be a blow.
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Old 12-15-2018, 11:49 PM   #564
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On a day when the Brewers were blanked by 21-year old lefty Matt Helm (the 6th pick overall in the 1966 draft) to end their 5-game winning streak, they at least got good news that their own young starting pitcher, Harry Lyerly, suffered just a minor hamstring strain and shouldn't miss any starts.
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:40 PM   #565
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The Brewers have received an intriguing trade proposal from the Pittsburgh Roadrunners with the trade deadline fast approaching.
The rebuilding Roadrunners, like many WPK teams, are interested in acquiring the services of infielder Arturo Baca. Like other teams, Pittsburgh has likely recognized that Baca may not have a starting role as a Brewer, what with Tanner Yurek blocking him at second base and Bobby Erbakan expected to be the starting first baseman for many years to come. Baca is a tremendous fielder, very fine runner, and decent hitter with some nice power potential. But while he is a better defender than Yurek, who is solidly above average himself, Yurek is at least his match as a hitter, and at his best certainly has much better on base skills. Yurek is also a fine runner, though he lacks Baca's natural speed. A not insignificant factor is that Yurek is also a fan favorite and is signed through the 1973 season. It also needs to be factored in that one of the Brewers best position player prospects- Jonathan Koch- is a natural second baseman and is probably only a few years away from being major league ready.

But what makes this trade proposal particularly intriguing is that it includes the #5 prospect on the 1969 Top Prospects list- righthanded pitcher Adam Getchell. Getchell was the third pick overall in the 1966 draft and although he fell from being considered the 2nd best prospect in the WPK in 1968 to the 5th slot this year, he is still considered a premium prospect. With the Brewers two top starting pitchers heading into their mid-30's (Daniel Torres-34, and Steve Alonso-32) and with Diego Ramirez proving to be very injury prone, the prospect (pun only slightly intended) of picking up a young potential ace at this stage is very appealing to many in the Brewers front office. On the other hand, others point out that Getchell isn't really that terribly young- at 24- and has yet to develop a very useful third pitch to go along with his solid (potentially very good) fastball and above average forkball. Getchell has the reputation of being a great team member and clubhouse influence, well-liked by all and respected for his work ethic and intelligence. And not only does he have very good stamina but thus far he is considered a very durable pitcher. But whether he will actually develop into the ace many believe him capable of being is an open debate.

Rumor has it that talks are ongoing and that the offer currently on the table has the Brewers getting not only Getchell and veteran catcher Matt Webb, but also young outfielder James Jackson, who is a good fielder with some nice pop in his bat and would provide the Brewers with a righthanded back-up outfielder to complement the lefthanded batting Pat Rondeau. The Brewers would send Baca along with current starting catcher, Brett Wood (in the midst of a disastrous 1969 campaign), as well as veteran leftfielder Miguel Cardenas, to the Roadrunners. With Wood's salary included, the move is a financial plus for the Brewers. Webb is older and not quite as good defensively as Wood but, in spite of evidence to suggest he is not a very talented hitter, he has put up much better offensive numbers (albeit in more limited plate appearances) than Wood this season. Webb will be free agency eligible at the end of the season, as will Wood at the end of next season, and the thought is that the Brewers have some decently talented catchers coming up through the system who could take over the position in the next few seasons. (Likely the 1970 season would see the tandem of Kevin Curtis and Joey Townsend behind the plate.)

Some of the other complications being debated currently in the Brewers front office:
1) This would essentially mean the training wheels are off for Bobby Erbakan at firstbase. Erbakan has been making great strides at the plate in the past 3 weeks or so and is already a very gifted fielder at the position. But Baca is the only experienced first baseman currently backing up Erbakan on the squad and if he is traded away this would mean James Jackson, with limited experience and not very good skills, would be the primary backup, and/or someone like Antonio Puente or Pat Rondeau will have to learn the position in the midst of a pennant race. Both could be capable defenders at the position (though it would be a waste of their skills) but would have a learning curve to contend with.
2) While Getchell could help the team win in the future, he would likely be sent to AAA Chester until roster expansion on September 1st (or in the event of a significant injury to someone like Ramirez), and Baca is helping the team win right now. The Brewers have a 5 game lead in the MGL as July winds down and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (as some in the Brewers leadership are arguing.) Jackson could provide some value but not likely as much as Baca currently is.
3) Brewers pitching and defense are what primarily have the team where they are right now. Some wonder if trading away Wood and replacing him with an adequate catcher who doesn't have quite the reputation Wood has for handling pitching staffs will hurt that. The worry is that it could be a very thin line indeed between winning the MGL and finishing as an also-ran. The other hackneyed phrase (which may have some merit) being bandied about by some in the organization is if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The prevailing feeling right now is that leadership is likely to roll the dice on this deal as Getchell's potential is just too appealing to pass up. But this would also be the second time the Brewers have traded away the talented Baca, and the thought is that they might someday regret it.
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Old 12-16-2018, 02:21 PM   #566
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The Brewers do pull the trigger on the Baca-Getchell trade, with a few last minute additions of minor leaguers added in.
Getchell is sent to AAA for a bit more seasoning while Webb and Jackson join the Brewers in Portland for the start of a 3-game series against the Wild Things.
The Brewers also bring up utility infielder Oscar Vargas- a defensive whiz- to be the 25th man on the active roster.

Initial reactions indicate that Brewers fans are not happy with the loss of 2-time All-Star Brett Wood but management hopes that continued winning by the team will heal that wound quickly.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:06 PM   #567
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After losing a tight 3-2 affair at Portland in the first game of a three game series, the Brewers bats come alive in game 2 and they get a 9-4 victory. Young Harry Lyerly got the start but left with the game tied 4-4 after having a pretty disastrous first inning (allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, including an Andy Wilson 3-run HR). After that Lyerly settled down nicely and reached double figures in strikeouts for the first time in his young WPK career. In his 8 big league starts, Lyerly is now averaging 9.5 K's per 9 innings pitched. For a young unpolished pitcher, he has been very impressive.

Jared Stephenson continues to have a fine season, as he goes 5 for 5 in the game with a pair of doubles to give him 11 on the season to go along with his 12 HR's. Young Bobby Erbakan also had a great game, going 3 for 5 with 3 RBI, hitting his 18th double and 5th triple.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:26 PM   #568
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The Brewers score 5 runs in the 1st inning of the rubber match against Portland and with Steve Alonso on the mound they felt confident of another series win.
But Alonso and the bullpen were not sharp and the Brewers could not manage a single run after the 1st and dropped the game 6-5 and lost 2 of 3 to the Wild Things to end the month of July.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:38 PM   #569
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The latest player development reports have been received by the front office from the scouting department, and once again there is some good news about top pitching prospect, Harry Lyerly. Our scouting team now believes that Lyerly is likely to develop even greater control than earlier thought. With his already overwhelming stuff, if he does indeed live up to this potential, and if he can somewhat decrease his propensity to allow HR's, Lyerly could become the true ace the Brewers organization has been seeking.

On a less positive note, the Brewers second best pitching prospect, Steve Green, seems to have taken a bit of step backward at AA Nashville, though he is still expected to develop into a solid mid-rotation starter at the WPK level.
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Old 12-16-2018, 04:01 PM   #570
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Among the surprises in the latest development report is 17 year old Mexican relief pitcher Antonio Nieves. The youngster who is reputed to be a very smart and hard-working player is starting to be seen as a potentially valuable member of the Brewers bullpen down the road.
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Old 12-16-2018, 08:50 PM   #571
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The Brewers squeak out a narrow 2-1 victory at home against Oklahoma City to start August and then take game 2 of the 4 game series 8-2 behind a solid performance from captain Abel Pennington and aided by a big 5 run 6th inning keyed by a Grand Slam off the bat of Tanner Yurek (.294/.394/.453). It was Yurek's 10th HR of the season.

Also of note: Chad Brown has been stealing bases like crazy lately and now has 19 successful swipes (with 6 times caught stealing) and trails only Ruben Souffront (25) on the team in that category.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:37 PM   #572
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The Oklahoma City Diamond Kings had pretty much owned the Brewers this season coming into the just completed 4-game series in Denver. Apparently the Brewers were ready for some payback.
Not only did the Brewers sweep the series, but in the Sunday doubleheader they first got a shutout performance from Daniel Torres (11-3, 2.44) in the first game as they won 2-0, and they then just completely dismantled the Diamond Kings in the nightcap, 12-2. Harry Lyerly got his 4th win of the season, going the distance, allowing 2 earned runs on 8 hits (1 solo HR allowed late in the game, natch), while once again striking out 10 and walking 3. Lyerly is now 4-1 with a 3.62 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 74 K's in 69.2 IP (9.6 K/9). Oh, and he also collected 3 hits in 5 AB's in the game. So far, he really doesn't suck.

And it's a good thing they got the sweep as Phoenix is playing well of late also and is hanging in there at 4 1/2 games back of the Brewers. The rest of the pack though is falling away at this point.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:40 AM   #573
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Something I realize that I haven't talked about at all during this fairly extensive reporting about the WPK is ballpark factors.
When I first set up the league and started preparing for the inaugural draft I of course took a look at the Denver ballpark (Brewers Field) to get some idea of what I should target in the draft. And I realized pretty early that the park was going to favor lefthanded batters and that I should therefore particularly target them and also try to get some good lefty pitchers to somewhat counteract the opposition's advantage in this area.

But what I didn't do, and I feel silly about this, is ever look around the league and compare our park to the others- get a sense of the league context and environment. And so I missed some things that might not have greatly changed the way I put together the team but that do have some effect on how I see the performance of the team and individual members of the team. (As well as players and teams around the MGL.)
(For now this is just about the MGL, as there is no inter-league play and so the Brewers will only ever face an SJL team in the World Series.)

Now that I have taken a deeper look around the league, I find that Brewers Field is the best park in the MGL for homerun hitters. Which explains, somewhat, why our pitching staff is by far the most generous in giving up HR's (even with a mix of subpar but also very good movement ratings). On the other hand, it makes our lack of HR hitting even more pronounced. In particular, it makes me wonder what is going on with Antonio Puente and his low HR totals for the past 2 seasons. Puente has a high HR power rating (8 out of 10) and early in his career was generally good for at least about 30 HR's a season. Puente is also a lefthanded hitter. And while Brewers Field is the most favorable park in the league for HR hitting (1.114), it is particularly so for lefthanded batters(1.140.) (The park is second in HR favorable factor for RHB (1.100), behind only Los Angeles Grounds (1.155).) In addition, Brewers Field, while suppressing batting average for righthanded batters (8th in MGL, .970), is generally favorable for lefthanded hitters in that area as well (1.020, 4th in MGL). With Puente's batting averages also trending in the wrong direction, it somewhat calls into question his overall skills. He remains a plus defender and is very good at drawing walks and therefore has a high OBP, but he also strikes out a lot and although he has good speed he has been caught stealing more times this year then he has been successful in stealing bases.
On the other hand, this might somewhat explain the very talented Ryan Rodgers' lower batting averages since joining the Brewers, though it doesn't fully explain his historically anemic average this season. Also, these ballpark factors make Ruben Souffront look even more valuable and talented a hitter. And in fact, (screenshots later when I'm in front of game), looking at this season it is clear that Ruben just rakes on the road while his batting average is far less impressive at home. (Rodgers and Souffront are, of course, both righthanded batters.)

A few notes:
The Baltimore Lords, known for their great pitching, are aided in that regard by playing in by far the best pitching park. (AVG OVR: .945, Doubles: .902, Triples: .890, HR: .954.)
If you are a hitter who wants to play in a park that inflates both your batting average and your HR numbers, Detroit's Falcons Park is the place for you. (AVG OVR: 1.074, best in MGL, HR: 1.050, 3rd best.)
Oklahoma City Grounds and Los Angeles Grounds have the biggest disparities for hitters based upon handedness. If you are lefthanded hitter Oklahoma City is a paradise (1.110, best in MGL) while a righthander will suffer (.945, worst in MGL). The splits are almost as dramatic for HR hitting- LHB 1.090, 2nd best MGL, after Denver, RHB: .945, 8th in MGL.
Los Angeles is the opposite. Righthanded batters get a nice BA boost (1.155, best in MGL), while lefthander's struggle (.905, worst in MGL.) Same with HR's- RHB: 1.155, best in MGL, LHB: .935, 9th best in MGL.
This last bit especially makes former Brewer Mark Compton's career look more impressive. Compton is the current leader in career HR's in the WPK (not just the MGL). Now, granted he played his first year and a half at Brewers Field, which favors lefthanded power hitters (of which Compton is one), but since then he has played his home games at a park which pretty substantially negatively affects his HR hitting ability. I can only imagine what his HR totals might be if he had played the whole time in a home park that was more favorable to him.

Another fascinating thing I hadn't fully realized until I took a closer look at all of the parks around the league is an area where my team has a huge advantage. (And I didn't manipulate this in any way- this was just how the league was set up.) Brewers Field has a maximum seating capacity of 42,200. Decent, but not huge by modern standards. But here's the thing: the league average is 24,600. And if you removed our park from the mix, it would be much less. The second highest max capacity in the league is Detroit's Falcons Ballpark, which seats 25,500. Los Angeles, one of the largest metro areas represented in the WPK, has a tiny park that only seats 17,700 fans. This gives the Brewers, in spite of having a stingy owner, a huge potential economic advantage over the rest of the league. But, hey, I'll take it.
A few other quick notes about Brewers Field:
It plays neutral for doubles (1.000), though by MGL standards (.9942 average) it is still a bit generous.
When it comes to triples (which the Brewers are very good at) the park is fairly favorable (1.020) but by the standards of the MGL (1.006) only a little better than average and ranked 6th in the league. (Baltimore and L.A. throw off the average a bit here as they are very triples suppressant- both are .890.)

As I said above, I'll share a bit more about this later and include screenshots. As much as I get immersed in this baseball universe (and OOTP), I'm continually finding areas to explore more that further enrich the experience. It's a gift that just keeps giving!

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Old 12-17-2018, 08:01 PM   #574
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The Brewers bats remain hot, and the pitching dominant, as the home-stand continues with the Portland Wild Things in town. Denver takes the 1st of a 2 game set 12-0, getting a great start by Will Smart (6-7, 3.83) who tossed 7 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits, striking out 7 and walking 1.
Two big HR's were key to Denver's offense. First, a 1st inning 3-run HR off the bat of Jared Stephenson (his 13th) as the Brewers jumped out to an early 5 run lead. Then, to punctuate things in the 8th inning, Ruben Souffront hit a Grand Slam to put the game well out of reach. For Ruben it is HR #7 on the season. Ruben's 66 RBI also easily lead the team.
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:18 PM   #575
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The Brewers maybe should have banked a few of those runs as after scoring 24 runs in 2 games, they drop the next two, 5-4 and 4-2, against Portland and San Francisco, and then win the second game (of 2) against San Francisco with just a single run, 1-0. Another great start for team captain Abel Pennington with a little help from the bullpen and a timely hit by back-up catcher Joey Townsend to drive in the only run of the game, stops the mini-losing streak.
With a Phoenix loss the Brewers once again lead the MGL by 4 1/2 games.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:20 PM   #576
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Next up is a 3-game series at Phoenix against the 2nd place Speed Devils. There is still plenty of season left but at this point it is starting to look like a 2-team race in the MGL and this series could make that race quite a bit closer or could give the Brewers a bit of breathing space. I think I'll wait until tomorrow to start this one as it is making me a bit nervous.

So, back to the earlier discussion about ballpark factors. Here is what Brewers Field factors look like.
And here are some of the hitting splits for 1969 for Ruben Souffront and Antonio Puente.
Souffront, as you can see, has a slash line of .352/.365/.475 on the road and .262/.306/.415 at home.
On the other hand, Puente has a decent slash line of .279/.431/..493 at home but a very poor .205/.354/.313 on the road.

Another right-handed batter on the Brewers having a good season is thirdbaseman Jared Stephenson. Again, quite extreme splits favoring his road stats in terms of batting average and OBP, though Stephenson has hit far more of his HR's at home and therefore his OPS is nearly even between home and road.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:37 PM   #577
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I love what I'm seeing again this season from top position prospect, Joe McPhillips. It is especially good to see evidence that he might turn out to be a decent power hitter, as he now has 15 HR's in 484 plate appearances. Not a tremendous amount, but by Brewers organizational standards quite good and he is likely to continue to develop more power as he ages and fills out.
His K and BB rates aren't great yet, but again, he is young and is projected to develop his plate discipline to very acceptable levels with a little more time and experience.
At this stage of his development, McPhillips looks like the real deal.
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Old 12-18-2018, 12:25 AM   #578
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Here's a guy I thought would be interesting to watch in the WPK. Young and with great stuff and that wicked slider, fastball combination. And sure enough, his first two seasons, at age 22 and 23, he was pretty special. And then year 3 he led the league in K's but also in walks allowed. And the following spring training he suffers an injury in his right elbow that requires surgery and puts him out for 5 months. He comes back late in the season to pitch just 4 games and continues to struggle with wildness. So here we are now, more than halfway through season 5 and he's turned into a fairly mediocre pitcher. And then this- torn UCL!- out 13 months.
I have to wonder if this young flamethrower has seen his best seasons at the age of 26.
By all reports he's a good guy. We will wish him the best of luck in his recovery. No matter what, it will be an interesting story-line to follow.
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Old 12-18-2018, 01:58 PM   #579
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I find myself, as I do often these days, thinking about the improbable Harry Lyerly and what he has done so far in his brief time with the Brewers.
Part of what I find myself wondering today is what real-life MLB pitchers might have put up similar career stats in terms of HR/9 and K/9 as Lyerly has done in his admittedly very small career sample size thus far.

Now let's start with the obvious caveat here: Lyerly has pitched a grand total of 69.2 innings at the major league level over 9 starts. There could be a lot of random noise and luck involved in these numbers. In those innings he has allowed just under 1.3 HR's every 9 innings pitched while striking out 9.6 batters per 9. The HR's per 9 isn't good, but it isn't absolutely disastrous either. And the 9.6 K/9 puts him in elite company, especially for a starting pitcher. Now obviously, given more innings that HR/9 could shoot up to 2.0 or worse and the K/9 could certainly drop to a more human 7.5 or so. On the other hand, all indications are that Lyerly still has room for development, with expected improvements in his third pitch and his control and even some possible improvement in his movement. So it's not completely unreasonable to conclude that his numbers might improve rather than declining.

So let's pretend they stay about where they are. (Again, for right now I'm just talking about HR/9 and K/9. His WHIP has been quite good for young pitcher and thus far he has shown good control and all indications are that he could develop elite control, all of which are not unpromising indications.)
What real-life pitchers could he compare to?

I was unable to find any pitchers with career K/9 numbers equivalent to Lyerly's thus far AND a HR/9 as high as Lyerly's. But there were a few that weren't too far off. Oliver Perez was probably the closest comparison at 1.2 HR/9 and 9.5 K/9. But of course Perez' K/9 numbers are boosted by years pitching out of the bullpen as well.
There is Carlos Carrasco: 1.0 HR/9, 9.3 K/9
Or Chris Archer: 1.0 HR/9, 9.3 K/9
On the higher K/9 side we have Max Scherzer: 1.0 HR/9, 10.4 K/9
And Kerry Wood: 1.0 HR/9, 10.3 K/9.

Now an obvious issue here is what the league environment was/is for most of these pitchers. We are talking about climates where HR numbers and K numbers are high.
Lyerly pitches in a 1986 statistical environment at this time. (WPK is currently in 1969, but statistical modifiers are 1986. I'd have to look closer at the league to see how in line, given the talent pool in the WPK, numbers actually are with 1986.)
So for Lyerly his HR/9 numbers are probably even worse, compared to league average, than most of these real-life pitchers. Though it should be noted too that he pitches his home games in the most HR friendly park in the WPK (and has pitched about half of his 9 starts in Denver) so that mitigates things a bit.
And it likely makes his K/9 even more impressive.

Can't really say what my point is here.
Just something I find myself thinking about today.
It will be interesting what path Lyerly's career takes.

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Old 12-18-2018, 08:01 PM   #580
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In a crazy back-and-forth game which took 12 innings to resolve the Brewers draw first blood in the 3-game series against closest competitor, Phoenix.
Young Harry Lyerly doesn't have his best game and only strikes out 5 batters in 7 innings pitched with 4 walks allowed. On the other hand, facing not only the best homerun hitting team in the MGL, but in all of the WPK, he manages to mostly keep the ball in the yard (only 1 solo HR allowed). He also received some excellent infield defense behind him, especially from utility glove-man Oscar Vargas.
But most importantly, the Brewers never give in and end up scoring 5 runs in the top of the 12th to get a huge road victory and increase their MGL lead to 5 1/2 games. Game 2 will see the Brewers ace, Daniel Torres, on the mound and the team will hope for another victory.
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