Jake Peavy, Joe Saunders and Anibal Sanchez stepped up big-time this weekend to lead the Machine, High Cheese and Bacon at Mile 11 in their respective series.
Peavy struck out seven over nine innings of one-run ball for the Machine on Saturday. The quality start helped the team forge a 9-3 advantage over the Cys in their head-to-head match-up. It also means the preseason favorites are back in the East Division pennant race.
High Cheese and Give it a Yankee are tied 5-5-2 with one day remaining in their series. Saunders was brilliant, tossing a complete game shutout and giving High Cheese a chance to tie the quality start category with ace Gio Gonzalez taking the mound today. Give it a Yankee will counter with Josh Beckett.
Bacon trails the Lower Haighters 6-5-1 but Sanchez made sure the team controlled the WHIP category, giving up just three hits and four walks over seven innings while striking out 14. The series can now be decided at the plate, where the two teams are tied in home runs and Bacon trails by just one run.
Ace Stephen Strasburg came up big for A-Rod's Mirrors on Saturday as the team built a commanding 7-2-3 lead over the Jersey Boys. The two teams are tied in holds, stolen bases, and home runs entering the final day and the Jersey Boys trail by just two runs. Freddie Freeman and Alfonso Soriano are just 3-for-16 this weekend for the Jersey Boys.
Alex Gordon has officially broken out of his slump for the Vicious Fishes. Gordon and a dominating pitching staff have keyed a 9-2-1 rout of the Bulls, the North Division leaders. Gordon has three of his six runs this weekend and had a big stolen base to tie the category. Emilio Bonifacio, Hunter Pence, and Sean Rodriguez are a combined 3-for-21 for the Bulls the last two days.
One of the league's premier pitching staff deserted Scully's Slammers this week and Yovani Gallardo's performance Friday was symbolic of why the East Division leaders trail the Marin Menehunes 8-4. Gallardo gave up eight runs in just two innings of the work, contributing to a 5.10 team ERA for the Slammers. For the Menehunes, outfielder Torii Hunter has two home runs on the weekend as the team leads the category by three.
Los Coche Bomba has one day - and three starting pitchers on the mound - to avoid a big upset by Twinkle Toes. Even if Bomba gets three quality starts from Matt Garza, Derek Holland, and Bruce Chen, the Toes can still win the category if Madison Bumgarner delivers. Matt Harrison and Luis Perez have given up 10 earned runs in a combined 5.1 innings for Bomba the last two days.
HUMA has been waiting for Jon Lester to deliver and the ace did just that Saturday. Lester struck out seven in seven scoreless innings to key a surprising advantage for the team in the pitching categories over Home Run 101. That has led to a commanding 9-2-1 advantage overall for HUMA and will help the team claw its way back into the South Division pennant race. Home Run 101 continues to scrap at the plate. Ian Desmond, Ryan Roberts, Alexei Ramirez and Jayson Werth are a combined 2-for-33 over the last two days.