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 *Vandals Win Second World Series
PigSnout
 Posted: Apr 6 2018, 06:26 PM
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Vandals Win Second World Series
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Coming into the season the Vandals were a popular pick to repeat as PBE World Series champions. They didn’t suffer any major losses from last year’s team that won 69 games and they were able to bring Connor MacDonald back long term after bringing him in from a rental trade for the second half of Season 2. The Vandals returned their strong roster and rankings had them with the highest TPE entering the season so they were a good bet for the best team in Season 3. However, the offseason introduced a shakeup. With the new archetype changes around the league, every player would have a new build coming in to Season 3. Would the same Vandals players that performed well in Season 2 still look good with their new builds? Would this change the league’s power dynamic and allow a new team to grasp control? The Vandals hoped neither of those would happen coming into the season.

It looked like the Vandals’ worst fears had come true early on in the season. As the season got rolling, the Vandals looked mediocre during the first few sets of sims while the Sloths and the Voyagers both looked to be pulling away early on. There was hope for the Vandals though with the announcement that the league would be expanding the playoff format to allow three teams. Suddenly the Vandals would no longer have to reach second place as third place would be enough to get them a playoff spot. However it ended up not mattering as the Voyagers fell off in the second half of the season before eventually falling out of the playoff picture while the Vandals were able to move themselves up to second place. They never came close to first place though as they finished 11 games behind the San Antonio Sloths. The regular season finish was somewhat of a disappointment from the Vandals’ lofty preseason expectations as they were clearly outperformed by the Sloths. However, there was a glimmer of hope for the Vandals. Pythagorean record told a different story of the season. Pythagorean record shows a team’s expected record based on their point differential. The Vandals’ actual record was a whopping 10 games worse than their Pythagorean record. This suggests that their record did not actually reflect how good they are and that their performance was more in line of that of a 63 win team than a 53 win team and that their underperformance was due more to bad luck than to not being as skilled as expected. This makes sense as the Vandals’ 10-18 record in 1 run games was the worst in the league, which means they were either unlucky or weren’t built in a way that would allow them to pull out close wins. On a similar note, the Sloths’ record outperformed their Pythagorean record by 5 games and their 22-13 record in close games was the best in the league by a pretty good margin. In fact, just by looking at Pythagorean record, the Vandals should have finished 4 games ahead of the Sloths but actually finished 11 games behind them. Was this just extremely bad luck or was there some sort of hidden inherent flaw in the Vandals? This would have to be decided in the playoffs.

On paper, the Vandals passed the eye test as their players were performing at high levels. Perhaps most impressive, despite this season being dubbed the start of the deadball era, the Vandals’ bats stayed hot as the top four players in batting average were all Vandals. Three of the top five home run hitters were Vandals as well. Reigning MVP Vick Thunder put together a pretty good season again this year as he ranked second in batting average and on base percentage while also placing fifth in home runs. However the real MVP for the Vandals this season was Kevin Biggio who led the league in both batting average and on base percentage by margins that nobody else even came close to breaching. Despite batters around the league declining, Biggio actually took a huge leap forward and put together an amazing season that may see him taking home the league MVP award this year. The Vandals employed a balanced offense as Connor MacDonald and Johnny Runakiwi provided further contact hitting as they were very efficient at getting on base while Arbin Asipi and Lazaro Hernandez provided further power hitting that saw them on the home run leaderboards. However, the Vandals were not just a one dimensional offensive team as they boast an excellent pitching staff as well. The star of their rotation this season was former #3 overall pick Victoria Secret who led the league in ERA by a wide margin, shattering the previous record and making a very strong case for herself as pitcher of the year as she places high on many other pitching leaderboards as well. While Secret was the one who put up the best numbers, the rest of the Vandals’ pitching staff are no slouches as they have a very complete group from top to bottom with Esteban Rodriguez, Phillip Thompson, and Greg Steiner rounding out their starting rotation and with John Smoltz Jr., Chuck Gamble, and D’Aroldis Borksman anchoring their bullpen. So even though the Vandal’s record was not as dominating as it was the previous season, their players were still among the best in the league as they put up some very impressive numbers.

The Vandals started their playoff run with a 5 game series against the Providence Crabs in a rematch of last season’s World Series to determine who would earn the second spot in the World Series this year. The first game of the series was a low scoring affair as Esteban Rodriguez pitched a shutout and Steven Moore’s run was all the Vandals needed to win Game 1 1-0. The Vandals’ offense came to life in the second game as they scored 8 runs in the first 6 innings and neither team scored in the final 4 innings as the Vandals won 8-2. Now with a 2-0 series lead after the first two games at home, the Vandals would travel to Providence looking to close the series out with a sweep. The Vandals struck first with a run in the top of the first but the Crabs tied it up with a run in the bottom of the fourth. The Vandals tacked on 2 more runs in the fifth inning, which proved enough as they shut out the Crabs in the final 5 innings to take a 3-1 victory on the road. The storyline of a World Series rematch was exciting, but the series itself was not too exciting as the Vandals never trailed and won in a sweep though Games 1 and 3 were closely fought. The Vandals’ strong performance supported the narrative that they were better than their record and set up a good matchup for the World Series.

For the Season 3 World Series, the Vandals would take on the San Antonio Sloths. The team who was best on paper and had the best Pythagorean record would take on the team who wasn’t expected to be as good on paper but got the results in the regular season by finishing with the best record by a wide margin. Both teams came in with a lot of motivation looking to prove they were the best. Since the Sloths were the #1 seed, the series opened with two games in San Antonio. Game 1 was a thriller. The Vandals took a 5-1 lead before the Sloths scored 5 runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 6-5 lead but the Vandals answered with a run in the next inning to tie the game at 6-6. Then a huge scoring drought happened as neither team would score again until the 20th inning. The Vandals took the lead with 2 runs and looked to be in position to take an 8-6 victory, but the Sloths had the last laugh as they scored twice early in the inning and Vandals backup pitcher Shea Stockton walked in a game winning run to give the Sloths the 9-8 victory in Game 1. Neither team scored in the first 6 innings of Game 6, but once the scoring got started, it was the Vandals who came out on top with a 4-3 win. After splitting the first two games on the road, the Vandals had the chance to win three and a row and win the championship at home without having to return to San Antonio. The Vandals scored 5 runs in the second inning of Game 3 and never looked back as they would win 6-1. The Vandals got off to another hot start in Game 4 as they held a 5-0 lead after 7 innings, but the Sloths made things close with a 3 run eighth inning performance. However, the Vandals tacked on another run of their own and their defense held strong as the took the win 6-3. The Vandals now had a 3-1 lead in the series but would need to capitalize in Game 5 because if they didn’t, the final two games would head back to San Antonio. The Vandals tied the game up 3-3 in the eighth but neither team scored in the ninth inning as the game went to extra innings. However, extra innings were much shorter this time. The magic moment happened in the bottom of the tenth inning as rookie Boomerang Goblin hit a walk off three run homer to give the Vandals a 6-3 victory and a World Series win in five games.

Overall, it was a great season for the Vandals. They were a bit shaky early on but they hit their groove when it mattered most as they made it through the playoffs with a 7-1 record. The Vandals are not set to lose any major pieces this offseason, so they will come back next season looking to win a third consecutive championship, and could face a rematch against the Sloths next year. The Vandals look to be in good position going forward, but for now they can take a break to celebrate after capping off a great year with a championship.

This post has been edited by LGM2018: Apr 21 2018, 03:54 PM

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iamslm22
 Posted: Apr 12 2018, 04:08 AM
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Great read man! Lets go for three in a row! https://i.imgur.com/Gb8eEJQ.png https://i.imgur.com/Gb8eEJQ.png https://i.imgur.com/Gb8eEJQ.png

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