Week 7 was truly an interesting week in the Palisades WBL. Five teams swept, and five games were decided by the score of 0-0 in 6 innings on total bases. Very few runs were generated by teams for the most part, with the Cardinals being an exception. We’ll get into all the details right now, as we present to you the Week 7 power rankings.
Arguably the biggest surprise in this year’s standings had to be the Diamondbacks coming into Week 7 with a dismal record of 4-8. With their entire roster absent on Sunday, any hope to compete Week 7 had completely vanished. Their lineup consisting of five minor league call-ups had only managed to push across one baserunner while being held hitless on the day, but that’s just the icing on the cake. Their pitching had combined to allow TWENTY runs in two mercy rule-shortened games. Now 4-10, the DBacks aren’t quite eliminated from the playoffs just yet, but there is still hope. They will need to run the table the rest of the way for any discussion to be made about a Diamondbacks playoff run. In order for this to happen, their players need to show up to the field and play with heart. I can already picture the beautiful sight of Garret’s boyfriend TB in his underpants rolling in pre-ejaculated semen laughing at the disastrous 2018 campaign of this once-formidable franchise.
The Royals had entered Week 7 at the .500 mark in the standings with a record of 6-6, but that all changed for the worse on Sunday at the hands of the Padres. Just like the shorthanded DBacks, the Royals were no-hit in both games, and their whole offense only produced one walk the entire series. Vin Lea did what he was supposed to do on the carpet, holding the Padres scoreless through six innings, but his team fell short and took the Roy-L, as Game 2 was decided on total bases. The Royals have an exceptional 1-2 punch on the carpet with Oliver Avallone and Vin Lea, but runs need to be scored if the Royals have any intentions of making the playoffs for the first time since the Bronx natives took control of the franchise in 2015.
The Pirates are a difficult team to figure out. Their ace is 2016 Cy Young Award winner Mike Weiner, while their core 3 of Daly, Kenny, and Maniscalco have racked up more career hits than anyone in Palisades WBL history, yet somehow this sexy group of guys get swept Week 7 and find themselves dead last at 3-11 in the standings. In Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Expos, Weiner pitched well, giving up only one run on two hits, but the offense didn’t come through for the Bucs, falling short by the score of 1-0. Dakota Kenny took the carpet in Game 2 and did a decent enough job to win, and all-time Palisades hit leader Bobby Daly hit a solo shot in the 3rd inning. But once again, the Pirates offense came up short of a win, dropping yet another tough loss 3-1. I don’t think anyone sees the Pirates making the playoffs in 2018, but miracles can happen in the Palisades WBL. Prove us wrong guys.
Another team that is having a somewhat disappointing season so far in 2018 is the Mariners. At 6-8, the M’s certainly feel like they’ve underperformed and aren’t where they want to be at this point in the season, especially after dropping 2 games to the White Sox and Dodgers Week 7. They were only able to muster 2 hits on the day against Dan Whitener and Tim Trenary. On the bright side, the tandem of Matt Fliesser and John Istorico held their own. Fliesser shut out the White Sox while only allowing 2 hits in 6 innings of work, and Istorico struck out 11 Dodgers in 4 innings. Their pitching will certainly keep them in games, but they need to wake up the sticks, as they’ve put up goose eggs in their last 3 games.
The Brew Crew was yet another team whose bats were served cold against the red-hot Giants. In terms of pitching, Connor Young continues to give owner Jay Paraskeves everything he’s got. Connor pitched 11 scoreless innings for the 6-8 Brewers and had nothing to show for it. The Brewers have been notorious throughout their history of riding 1 ace pitcher through the regular season in hopes of acquiring one of the lower playoff seeds. Hey, it worked in 2014, so who’s to say it can’t be done in 2018?
The Dodgers at 10-4 were the only team to earn a split Week 7. They were on the losing end of a 6 inning 0-0 total bases game, but bounced back with a dominant pitching line from Tim Trenary and 2 RBI’s from Rob “Wiffman” Piervinanzi. Trenary is truly having a renaissance year on both sides of the ball in 2018. He’s currently batting .288, the highest BA of his career, and is pitching to a 0.62 ERA, his lowest since 2014. The Dodgers are getting it done this year in both the pitching and hitting departments. However, they’ve given up sole possession of 1st place and are now tied with the Giants, with the Padres and Cardinals only a game behind. The boys in blue will need to do more than earn splits for the rest of the regular season if they’re looking to earn a coveted 1st round bye in the playoffs, and possibly even clinch the pennant like they did last year.
5) White Sox
Dan Whitener is to the White Sox this year as LeBron James was to the Cleveland Cavaliers last year. Well, maybe not of THAT caliber, but Whitener is truly carrying the team on his shoulders so far in 2018. His ERA of 0.24 is best in the league among qualifiers, and he places 2nd in strikeouts with 112, as well as wins with 6. There’s absolutely no way he could improve these stats Week 7 against the Mariners and Dodgers, right? Wrong! The Virginia native threw 12 scoreless innings while pitching back to back 1-hitters. Whitener is making a legitimiate statement as the frontrunner to win the Cy Young Award. If the White Sox currently at 7-7 in the standings can somehow find their way into the playoffs, don’t be surprised if Whitener also walks away as MVP.
The Giants have been on a remarkable tear as of late, and that only continued to be more apparent Week 7 against the Brewers. Ryan McElrath was the star of the show in Game 1, keeping the Crew scoreless through 6 frames while surrendering just a hit and a walk. He and his brother Tim both collected 2 hits on their way to a total bases dub. Game 2 was more of the same for the Giants owner. He hurled another 6 inning shutout and picked up the only hit against Brewers ace Connor Young. After grabbing 2 wins Week 7, the Giants now find themselves tied for 1st place in the standings with the Dodgers, proving that last year’s championship run was no fluke.
The Expos got themselves back to the .500 mark with 2 wins against the last place Pirates. Tyler Wegrzyn was the standout in Game 1, pitching 5 innings of shutout wiff. If that wasn’t enough, T-Weg gave his team the lead in the 4th inning with a solo home run. The Expos took this one by the score of 1-0. In Game 2, T-Weg’s supporting cast of Phil Fresiello and waiver wire pickup Andrew Montero combined for 3 RBI’s en route to a 3-1 victory. Looking ahead, the Expos don’t have the easiest schedule the rest of the way, but if they can somehow manage to get their whole roster to the field in the coming weeks, the Expos should be in striking distance to clinch a playoff spot.
The Padres were able to take 2 games from the Royals Week 7, and now find themselves in 3rd place with a record of 9-5 with just 4 weeks to go. Kyle VonSchleusingen was the probable starter for the Padres in Game 1, no-hitting the Royals and allowing only one baserunner to reach in 5 innings of work. Sean Ryan came up big for the offense, lining a 2 run double to right field, securing the eventual 2-0 win. Game 2 featured Jordan Robles on the hill, and he did not disappoint. Robles was perfect through 4 frames, but was pulled from the carpet due to arm troubles, and K-Von had to re-enter. He would not let Robles down, as he sealed the deal and finished off the 1st combined perfect game in Palisades WBL history.
The Cardinals got a huge break Week 7 and could not believe their good fortune, as the entire roster of their opponent went MIA. They took full advantage of the situation and went ape shit on both sides of the ball against the shorthanded Diamondbacks. The Redbirds were able to mercy rule the D-Backs in 2 innings by the final score of 10-0 twice. Highlights of Game 1 include 2 perfect innings by Rob Longiaru, as well as a home run from Kris Morse and 2 from Kevin Norris. In Game 2, Dave Wegrzyn only allowed 1 baserunner on balls while pitching 2 no-hit frames, and Norris, Morse, and Longiaru would each go yard. The Cards improved to 9-5, leaving them at 4th place in the standings.