Sunday, April 13, 2008

Domestic Disturbance at Pseudo Sports

It's an unfortunate inevitability, but because Chris & I are in 2 head to head leagues, we will have to face off against one another more than a few times this year. Week 2 was our first showdown, & it came in our NL only points league. We've agreed that for the rest of the year, the loser in our head to head battles will have to write a recap of the week.....just to add to the pain.

We each came in at 1-0. Chris was dominant in victory in week 1 while I put together an average week that was good enough for a W. There were some lineup decisions to be made Monday morning. I had to choose 3 from my stable of corner infielders - Ryan Howard, Aramis Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Nick Johnson & James Loney (1B, 3B & a CI). It's too early for me to skew much from my draft day team & I certainly didn't want to overreact to Howard's mediocre week 1. So, I went with Howard, A-Ram & Loney, leaving Reynolds & Johnson on the bench. After Reynolds' fast start, I was regretting that decision. When it was all said and done, Reynolds ended up with 31 points to Loney's 23, so not all that bad of a decision. Chris had options for his last SP slot. He had Manny Parra with a tough matchup against the Mets or Wandy Rodriguez with 2 starts, both at home where he is significantly better. So Wandy got the call, which turned out to be the right choice for Chris.

Nobody really had tremendous offensive weeks for either of us. Pat Burrell was Chris' high scorer on offense while I had a fairly balanced attack led mostly by Bengie Molina. The battle came down to pitching, plain and simple. Heading into Friday night's games, I was within 10 points of him & we each had 3 starts left from our pitchers. He had starts from Peavy, Cueto & Wandy left & I had starts from Smoltz, Hamels & Chris Young coming. Peavy went first & was mediocre, at best. But, he was able to squeeze out the all important win and 17 points. Smoltz & Hamels were next & both were solid for me. They combined for nearly 50 points. At this point, I was up by 15 with Chris Young up next. This was the turning point of the week. Young was just awful when I needed a strong performance from him. The negative 10 points he put up was, in essence, a 35 point swing the wrong way for me (he put up 28 points in his week 1 start). This meant that I now needed clunkers from his remaining pitchers - Cueto & Wandy. I got one out of Cueto, as he proved that just maybe he is human, but Wandy's second solid performance of the week sealed my fate as the loser. Add to that a cheap win from Chris' closer Kerry Wood on Sunday, and I had no chance. I say "cheap" not because I'm bitter, but in this league wins are huge (10 points vs. 5 points for a save). So when a closer comes in and throws one inning or two and gets credit for the win, it's a nice surprise for their owner and a solid punch in the stomach to an opponent.

So the first showdown goes to Chris 302 to 264, but it's a long season. My team is now focused on revenge for our next battle. Stay tuned for HIS recap after the next time we face off.

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