Friday, April 10, 2015

OOTP for Week 1

The rain delay has oddly given me enough time to get this accomplished before the Friday game starts. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I plan on simming week-by-week the 2015 season with the help of Out of the Park 16. I've already called an audible. Originally this series was to run on Saturday, but I much prefer the idea of recapping the previous Friday to Thursday and releasing the results on Friday. Most weekend series begin on Friday after all. With that in mind, this series will be short with only the Marlins series to recap.

Once again, I am doing this only in the form of a general manager. I have very little input on the lineups, bullpen usage, and starters. I can force Fredi Gonzalez to start someone daily, though, and that has already happened. OOTP Fredi wanted to platoon Jonny Gomes with Nick Markakis. Not happening. However, there's no easy way to get him to platoon Gomes in left field and OOTP Fredi wants to start Eric Young Jr. in left nightly with Cameron Maybin in center. Yikes. He also wants to platoon Jace Peterson and Alberto Callaspo at second with Kelly Johnson and Chris Johnson at third. Not much I can do short of taking over the management position. Trevor Cahill is the 4th starter over Eric Stults and that reminds me to mention that the late spring moves are all in this. The game didn't have Carlos Quentin designated for assignment, but I took care of that. I was hoping to try to turn him into something, but Dave Stewart and the Diamondbacks claimed Quentin off waivers. Oh well.

I got some odd news even before the season began. This e-mail hit the mailbox over a week before the season was set to begin. "Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt will be sidelined for 2 months with a concussion. It occurred while falling off his roof. "Obviously we are disappointed," said the Atlanta manager. "Let's just hope he gets back as soon as possible." Ouch. Not happy with the available options in house, I went to the free agent market and re-signed Yenier Bello. He'll share time at catcher until Beth's return.

By the way, John Malone and Liberty Media have a funny expectation for us this year. "you should be able to achieve a winning season, playing better than .500 ball." Thanks, guy.

With all of those things said, let's look at the week in review.

April 6
Actual Result - ATL wins 2-1
OOTP Result - ATL wins 6-1

Unlike the real version, Alex Wood got the opening day nod and after giving up a first inning run, he was dominant. The Braves finally solved the Mat Latos problem in the sixth with a five-run inning. Jace Peterson had a two-run double for the big knock and Wood even added an RBI single. Freddie Freeman hit a seventh inning homer to help ice the game a little more.

April 7
Actual Result - ATL wins 12-2
OOTP Result - MIA wins 12-2

Ugly turn of events there. Julio Teheran lasted four innings and Brandon Cunniff and Andrew McKirahan each gave up four to make the game a route. Chris Johnson left the game with a thigh muscle strain, but won't miss significant time.

April 8
Actual Result - ATL wins 2-0
OOTP Result - ATL wins 7-6

Well, we twice gave up more runs in the opening series than the real Braves gave up for the entire three games, but winning a series on the road is always nice. In this one, the Braves fell behind 2-0 before a half-dozen runs in the fourth. Eric Young Jr. capped the inning off with a two-run triple. EY, Markakis, and Jace all had two-hit games in the win. Shelby Miller struggled, but was bailed out when McKirahan retired Christian Yelich to end the fifth with a pair of runners on. That made him a winner. A Cunniff error led to two unearned runs, but Luis Avilan, Jim Johnson, and Jason Grilli finished it off from there.

There you have it. The first week of the season in all its OOTP glory. Any thoughts?

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