There were only seven MLB games Monday evening, which left most of the EFL starving for non-replacement playing time.

Standings: Week 16, Game 1 (July 8, 2024)

Portland Rosebuds53.1937.81.5850.0
Haviland Dragons50.4640.54.5552.7
Canberra Kangaroos50.3940.61.5542.8
Peshastin Pears48.9442.06.5384.3
Pittsburgh Alleghenys44.9246.08.4948.3
D.C. Balk43.7147.29.4809.5
Salem Seraphim43.2347.77.47510.0
Flint Hill Tornadoes42.7148.29.46910.5
Cascadia Glaciers41.4549.55.45511.7
Old Detroit Wolverines33.8557.15.37219.3
Kaline Drive32.9558.05.36220.2

Portland: 0.68

The Rosebuds got off to a good start on Week 16, thanks mostly to Mitch Keller’s 8 innings, 2 earned runs outing. Seven Rosy hitters amassed 27 Pa at a .250, .333, .417 pace, led by Alec Burleson’s 2 for 5 with a homer.

Haviland: 0.19

The Dragons got even more and better pitching than Portland. Mitchell Parker led off with 7 ip for 1 earned run, and Christian Scott followed with 5.7 ip for 2 earned runs for a sweet 2.13 daily ERA. But the batters acted like they were facing their own pitchers: just 16 PA for a boring and depressing .188, .188, .188 slash line. Plus two double plays, which effectively made the line more like .062, .062, .062. Or maybe a little worse. Had all the normal Dragons stayed on the bench and let the offense be carried by replacement, the pitching would have been good enough for more than half of a win.

Canberra: 0.33

The four Kangaroo hitters who showed up had a Happy Edgar Martinez Day: .333, .412, .533. Nathaniel Lowe went 3 for 4, and Brandon Nimmo went 2 for 4 with a homer. But Willson Contreras only walked, Riley Greene went 0 for 4, and 5 replacements hit like replacements, which left the ‘Roos vulnerable to bad pitching. Of which they got 6 innings, since Ryan Thompson, the only identifiable K pitcher, only tossed one shutout inning.

Peshastin: 0.14

The Pears’ two pitchers combined for two innings, allowed just two base hits, both of which resulted in earned runs allowed. On the other hand, the Pears’ two hitters completed 8 plate appearances at a .429, .375, .571 clip. Keibert Ruiz went 2 for 4 with a double. Math quiz! See if you can figure out whar the other Pear hitter did, just from the information I’ve given you.

Pittsburgh: 0.30

They Alleghenys saved their pitching for later in the week. They also only sent out four batters to scout the hitting terrain for the week. (Hint: it’s the same as it was last week.). Those hitters did a pretty good job: 16 PA, .286, .313, .786. Oneil Cruz hit a home run and as single in his three plate appearances. Wyatt Langford hit a homer and a double in his 5 plate appearances.

DC: 0.08

DC followed the Allegheny approach to pitching, but it didn’t work out as well for the Balk since the hitters didn’t hit as well. Corey Seater did have a good day: 2 for 5 with a homer and a double — twinsies with his MLB teammate Wyatt Langford! (Except Corey also GDPed.). The other six Balkan hitters went only 4 for 20, all singles, leading to a team line of .240, .240, .400.

Salem: 0.42

Gavin Williamson had a very nice, if a little shortish, start: 5.3 ip,, 0 er. No other pitchers appeared, and only 4 hitters with another boring .176, .176, .176 line. Francisco Alvarez added the only spice with his 2 for 4 day.

Flint Hill: 0.08

Tornado pitchers pitched up a storm… against themselves, flooding 3 innings at a depth of 5 earned runs for a 15.00 daily ERA. I suppose you could have hitting good enough to counteract that, but the Tornados didn’t: 15 PA, .267, .267, .467. The highlight was Sean Murphy’s home run, part of his 2 for 4 day that constituted 26.7% of his team’s plate appearances, 50% of its hits, and 71.4% of its total bases.

Cascadia: 0.61

Quake, ye Rosebuds! Sure, the seven teams directly behind you could not come anywhere near to matching your Monday success. But the Cascades did! Chris Flexen had a good day ( 6 ip, 2 er) and the team avoided all replacement innings (barely) with its total of 7 ip, 3 er, 3.86 ER. Glacial hitters were not present in sufficient numbers (6 hitters, 24 PA), but they hit in plenty sufficient numbers: .286, .375, .534. Most of that will survive the 6.2 or so of replacement hitting they (maybe temporarily?) have been saddled with by the Replacement Collective.

Old Detroit: 0.61

Quake again, ye Rosebuds! Because there’s another team basically keeping up with your pace: the Wolverines! We got a little less pitching (5 ip, all by Chris Paddock, at the cost of 2 earned runs). But their hitting! It was slender — only 5 hitters, only 19 PA — but everyone got on base at least once, and there was some slugging: .353, .421, .824! Carlos Correa and Austin Riley did the homering, one each. Byron Buxton did the doubling — both of them — along with a single in his 5 trips to the plate. Correa, Riley, Buxton… ah, like old times!

Kaline: 0.10

Caught between the twin perils of poor, boring hitting (.273, .273, .273 in 22 plate appearances) and crummier pitching (4 ip, 3 er, 6.75 ERA) mostly the result of Adrian Houser’s 2.3 ip, 3 er ordeal, the Drive did not add a third distant-but-menacing specter to trouble Rosebud dreams. Mark Vientos maintained his .900+ OPS by singling twice in his four at bats.