It was a record breaking regular season in New Milford, as the Blazers set the franchise record for wins at 120 (second all time in the BDBL), BDBL record for team ERA (2.54) and BDBL record for OPS allowed (.600).
Team MVP was Mookie Betts, who lead the BDBL in hits (230) and runs (124) and also lead the team in OPS (.911) and runs created (136.8) and should get some MVP consideration with his EX D in RF. Tulo lead the team with 31 HR (.860 OPS/88.4 RC surprise) and Carp (.910 OPS/110.4 RC), Saunders (.903 OPS/ 99.6 RC), Freeman (.893 OPS/121.3 RC) and Grandy (.826 OPS/ 81.7 RC) all had successful seasons. Kinsler had 96.4 RC to give the Blazers 7 players above 81.7 RC. The Blazers hit 267/348/457 as a team and were first in the league in runs dif at 413 and second in the league in runs scores at 871. Castro was the team disappointment at .617 OPS.
CY of the team is a coin toss and will be interesting to see how the league votes. We’re giving it to Kershaw, who lead the league with a 1.99 ERA and went 17-2. He was first in the league in win % (which he is pretty much first in the history of the BDBL, so this is no shock), second in batting average against (.212), first in OBP against (.237), second in slugging % against (.325), second in H/9 (7.0), first in BB/9 (0.9), first in runners/9 (8.1), second in K/9 (10.3), first in stolen bases/9 (0.0), tie 4th in QS% (667), and first in OPS against (.562). He did pitch way less innings than some of the other contenders, but even with WAY less innings, he won 17 games. He lost 2. TWO.
Quintana, who was the front runner all season in my eyes, went 22-7 with a 2.17 ERA (second to Kershaw), and .568 OPS against (second to Kershaw.
Moore went an absurd 22-3 with a 2.64 ERA (third) and .638 OPS against (5th).
Tanaka went 18-9, 3.16 ERA (5th) and .624 OPS (third)
Kimbrel was second in the league with 47 saves.
Devenski (31), Blevens (29) and Dull (29) were third and tied for 4th in holds.
Oh, and the team broke the BDBL ERA record with a 2.54 ERA.
Schugel had a 0.62 ERA, Boshers 1.59, Blevens (1.60), Devenski (2.08), Bowman (2.38), McGowan (2.44), Cervenka brought the team ERA UP (2.57). Trade acquisition Dull was a MAJOR disappointment at 3.28 and Warren was at 5.00 in 10 horrible starts.
Best regular season in Blazers history starts the post season against a tough Ravenswood team tomorrow.
Blazers finish Ch 5 at 99-33, 17 games up on Salem in the McGowan. The Blazers have a 24 game lead for a playoff birth with 28 games to play in Ch 6. Magic # is 12.
Pitcher of the Chapter is Jose Quintana. 5-0. 1.29 ERA. As a team, the Blazers pitched to a 2.48 ERA in Chapter 5, facing all 3 playoff contenders.
Hitter of the Chapter was Freeman who lead the team in HR (6), runs (23) and RBI (23)
The team hit for a 265/364/453 clip.
The Blazers have 16 home games and only Bear Country and Salem have winning records in Ch 6 in the quest to add to records for 100 win seasons and consecutive division titles, as well as BDBL team ERA (2.62) and break the Blazer record for wins in a season (113) as well as shooting for the #1 seed in the OL.
Blazers go 21-3 in Chapter 4 for their best chapter (win% wise) of all time. The wins tie them with Los Altos for best record in the BDBL.
Hitter of the Chapter was the team, as the bats finally woke up. Carp (1.080,) Tulo (.987) , Saunders (.987), Freeman (.974) and Betts (.926) all raked and the team went for a .853 OPS and 43 HR in 24 games.
Pitcher of the Chapter was also a team effort as Schugel (0.00 ERA), Blevins (1.04 ERA), Quintana (1.19 ERA), Kershaw (1.45 ERA), Devenski (1.64 ERA), Bowman (1.69 ERA), and Moore (1.78 ERA) all pitched significant innings with ERA’s under 2. Moore lead the team with 5 wins, as Kershaw, Quintana, Tanaka and Dull chipped in with 3 apiece. The 2.16 team ERA lead the BDBL.
The Blazers made 3 transactions, dropping relievers Josh Osich, Robbie Scott and Chad Bell and picking up CF Mickie Mahtook, C Hector Sanchez and SS Gavin Cecchinni.
Blazers go 16-8 in chapter 3 to finish 58-22 at the half way point, 4 games up on Salem in the McGowan division.
Hitter of the chapter was Mookie Betts. Mook hit 368/407/670 for the chapter, and was the only Blazer hitter named to the all star team. The Blazers hit 278/340/500 finally flexing some muscle after a deep 2 chapter slumber.
Pitcher of the chapter was Jose Quintana. Quintana went 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA in 6 starts. Kershaw went 4-0 and the team pitched to a 2.88 ERA
Transactions: The Blazers made one trade, acquiring AJ Schugel from Charlotte in exchange for Shane Greene. In the midseason draft, the Blazers acquired CF, prospect Franchy Cordero, SP prospect Austin Bibbens-Dirkz, RP prospects Robby Scott, Chad Bell, John Brebbia, Kenyan Middleton, and SP Steve Brault, along with veteran RP Josh Osich. Pink slips went to JaCoby Jones, Austin Voth, Brett Anderson, Erik Gonzalez, Tyler Collins, Garrett Stubbs, Max Schrock, and Blake Treinen.
The New Milford Blazers finished chapter 1 with a BDBL best 22-6 record, which is only good for a 2 game lead over Salem in the McGowan. The Blazers went a ridiculous 9-1 in one run games, 6-0 in extra innings and 11-1 on the road. An 11-5 home record isn’t too shabby either.
Hitter of the Chapter was Freddie Freeman. The big off season free agent acquisition went 288/398/596 with 7 HR, 21 runs scored and 17 RBI. As a team the Blazers hit a lackluster 256/335/434. “We didn’t get the bats going early and are lucky to have the record we do,” said GM Anthony Peburn.
Pitcher of the Chapter was another free agent signing in Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel converted 12 of 13 saves to pace the BDBL to go along with a 1.20 ERA and 23 K in 15 IP. As a team the Blazers put up a 2.73 ERA, tops in the BDBL. The 15 team saves is on pace to be record setting. “Our pitching really carried us. It really is amazing to do this with Kershaw only starting 2 games,” said Peburn. ” We have over used some guys, especially Devenski, but the recipe has worked.” New Milford will have to hope for this again in chapter 2 as Kershaw is only projected to start 3 games.
Peburn points to not only the hitting woes, but 12 unearned runs allowed as things the team needs to improve going forward.
Chapter 2 is highlighted by series against division rival Salem as well as first place Ravenswood and the disappointing but dangerous Jamboree.
The Blazers reacquired longtime IF Jed Lowrie and 1B Jesus Aguilar on minor league deals and released Chad Pinder and Kodi Medeiros. “We have been waiting way to long for Kodi to work out his mechanical problems and Chad was beaten out in AAA by Erik Gonzalez. We wish them both the best. Lowrie and Aguilar are veterans who can possibly start next year.”
In other news, Los Altos signed former Blazer Brent Eibner to man CF against lefties. Eibner, as you may remember, was chided by BDBL pundits as being a AAAA player. Congrats to Brent on his new opportunity.
The Blazers go 19-9 in Chapter 5 and clinch a BDBL record 6th straight division crown.
Co-Hitters Of The Chapter were David Peralta and Mookie Betts. Peralta, who went on an epic 5 game tear to vault himself into the MVP race with Choo hit 5 HR and had a 341/406/612 line. His 100 RBI are tied for second in the OL behind teammate Choo. His .354 average and .605 slugging % are tops in the league. Betts led the team with 6 HR and 22 runs scored. He leads the OL in runs with 107 and is tied for second in hits.
As a team, the Blazers had a 261/316/466 line with 40 HR.
Pitcher Of The Chapter was Hisashi Iwakuma. He started 3 games, won all of them, and had a 2.84 ERA. Kershaw led the team with 4 wins and KRod had 10 saves. The team ERA was 3.31.
2016 final transactions were adding 1B Xavier Scruggs and injured pitched Robbie Erlin and dropping Jose Pirela and Colin Moran.
3 wins in chapter 6 will extend the Blazer record to 8 straight seasons with 90 or more wins. 13 wins in chapter 6 will extend the Blazer record to 5 straight season of 100 or more wins. This will be no easy task with likely playoff foes Los Altos and Flagstaff on the docket.
Blazers go 10-14 in chapter 4 to end a record 33 chapter win streak. When half of your starts are by guys who will not start on your playoff roster, you can expect a dreadful 4.31 team ERA. Tanaka was pitcher of the chapter with 2 wins to lead the team.
When you rest your first baseman and others, you can expect a pitiful 740 OPS. Peralta was hitter of the chapter with a 1.309 OPS with 6 HR (snubbed for OL hitter of the chapter) and 19 RBI. Choo led the team with 20 RBI and continues to lead the league.
Blazers made 2 trades acquiring Felipe Rivero to solidify the bullpen and Mark Teixeira to add a stud hitter to the middle of the line up, with the Blazers giving up Mike Matuella and Tyler Anderson in the process.
The Blazers reaquire Rickie Weeks, with Connor Gillespie, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jose Pirela as free agents, cutting ties with Andrew Bailey, Daniel Nava, Brendan Ryan and Tyler Wilson.
The New Milford Blazers finish Chapter 3 at 18-6 and complete interleague play with a sparkling 12-4 record, adding to it’s record dominance over the Eck League in the past decade.
Pitcher of the Chapter was Clayton Kershaw who was 5-0 and has won 10 straight decisions. “We expect him to start dominating in the second half, as he has the wins, but not the peripherals,” explains GM Anthony Peburn. Jose Quintana was 3-0 with a 2.29 ERA and Brett Anderson was 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA. As a team, the Blazers pitched to a 2.59 ERA and a .629 OPS against and 1.10 WHIP.
Hitter of the Chaper was David Peralta, who lead the team with 5 HR and 23 RBI while slashing 313/344/566. Mookie Betts went off for 340/409/610 with a team leading 21 runs and was 6-0 in SB.
At 58-22, the Blazers have an 18 game lead in the division and would have to be 6 games worse each of the next 3 chapters than either the ‘Tippers, ‘Buffs, or Lightning, so Blazers fans can pop the corks at the half way point.
The New Milford Blazers followed up a successful 20-8 chapter one with an identical 20-8 chapter two, taking a 9 game lead in the McGowan division.
Hitter of the Chapter was again Shin Soo Choo who hit 9 HR and drove in 27 runs while scoring 29 with a 368/430/675 line. He leads the BDBL with 57 RBI and leads the OL in RBI by 17. Matt Carpenter led the team with 10 HR and his 1.026 OPS is second in the league to Choo’s 1.059. The team as a whole hit 292/353/491 with 168 runs scored and 40 HR.
Clayton Kershaw was Pitcher of the Chapter with a 4-0 mark with a 2.76 ERA and 47K in 42 innings. He has yet to go on a Kershawnian run this year. Blake Treinen went 3-0 in 10 IP with a 0.00 ERA and Iwakuma (4 wins) Anderson (3 wins) and Quintana (3 wins) accounted for most of the Blazer wins. The team pitched to a 3.29 ERA.
Chapter 2 in 2016 will forever be known for the incredible run of 16 straight wins from the end of chapter one with 4 straight sweeps.
The New Milford Blazers finished a successful chapter one campaign at 20-8, five whole games in first place over Granite State. The winning chapter was a record 29th consecutive winning chapter. The +60 margin was tops in the BDBL.
Hitter of the Chapter was Shin Soo Choo, who leads the BDBL with 30 RBI. His 8 HR and 319/394/619 line pace a Blazer line up which average 5.3 runs per game, tops it the OL. The 277/347/441 team line is second in the OL to Las Vegas.
3B Kelly Johnson performed well in a part time role with a 1.134 OPS and 4 HR, 11 R and 8 RBI. Lead off man Matt Carpenter batted .330 with 22 R and 19 RBI while CF Mookie Betts led the team with 23 R and 4 steals. “The top 3 in our line up were lethal,” boasts GM Anthony Peburn. “We had nice balance.”
On the pitching end, Masahiro Tanaka, with a 3-0, 0.71 ERA in 6 games (3 starts) was Pitcher of the Chapter. Ace Clayton Kershaw led the team with 4 wins (4-2) followed by Tanaka (3-0), Anderson (3-2), and Iwakuma (3-1). Jose Quintana had an impressive 2-0, 2.84 ERA. The team 2.78 ERA was second in the OL to Los Altos. “When you score an average of 2.5 runs a game more than you give up, you win lots of ball games,” explains Peburn. “The scary thing is our closer blew 3 saves. We could have been 23-5.”
New Milford started the season running in place splitting the first two series against Western Kansas and Granite State, but then went off on a 16-4 run, taking 3 of 4 from Kansas City, Salem, Las Vegas and Los Altos before finishing the chapter with a convincing 4 game sweep of New York. “It was a great start. Better than we were hoping for. Unfortunately we don’t have as many cupcakes on the chapter 2 schedule.”
New Milford is set to face tough Ravenswood and Flagstaff squads in Chapter 2 as well as an upstart Bear Country team and a rematch at home with Granite State.
Chapter 1 Transactions:
Released: Aaron Barrett and his 9.95 ERA and 15 baserunners in 6.1 IP and farm hand
Gavin Cecchini. “Aaron wore out his welcome with his poor showing in the pen. Gavin was a numbers game at AAA.”
Acquired: SS Greg Garcia, who will report to AAA and take Cecchini’s roster spot for the Illuminati. The Blazers also reacquired OF Tyler Collins. “Tyler may take the 25th man spot on the big club for some series as a left handed power bench bat and spot OF starter. He will be on the shuttle frequently,” said Peburn
-New Milford was 14-2 at home in chapter 1, tops in the BDBL. “Time to change the rules again,” quipped Peburn.
–Matt Thornton a 1 M investment last year had a 0.71 ERA in 38 IP and started 2016 with a 0.00 ERA in 8.2 IP. Not bad for a 1 M investment.
–Matt Albers threw 9 IP in Chapter 1 and gave up 1 hit, his only baserunner of the chapter. So close to a no hitter (spread out over 11 games)
-New Milford’s sub par 6-6 road record was a better winning percentage than 7 other OL teams had for the entire chapter.