The Northern States League

Newsletter #467- July 30, 2017




Dear Members,


As we break in to mid-summer, vacations start to dwindle, it gets more humid, and our races stay as tight as ever.  The biggest divisional lead is just 6 games as we plow forward to the All-Star break next month.  I count 18 of our 26 franchises still in excellent position for the post season, and of course, only 8 can go.  We’re setting up for some fine races through the late summer and autumn.


Series 8 results:

Yk 3 at Cle 1, Cle 0 at Yk 4                                       EY 3 at GB 1, GB 0 at EY 4

Cro 2 at Key 2, Key 2 at Cro 2                                   Coa 3 at Lon 1, Lon 3 at Coa 1

Kal 2 at MC 2, MC 3 at Kal 1                                    Fra 1 at GM 3, GM 2 at Fra 2

Mar 0 at Sou 4, Sou 2 at Mar 2                                   CC 3 at NE 1, NE 1 at CC 3

Cre 1 at SL 3, SL 2 at Cre 2                                       NH 1 at Alb 3, Alb 2 at NH 2

Gle 2 at VT 2, VT 2 at Gle 2                                      IN 2 at Dun 2, Dun 3 at IN 1


Series 9 results:

Cre 2 at Cle 2, Cle 3 at Cre 1                                      GB 2 at Key 2, Key 2 at GB 2

NH 4 at MC 0, MC 2 at NH 2                                    Sou 0 at Lon 4, Lon 2 at Sou 2

Alb 1 at Kal 3, Kal 1 at Alb 3                                     VT 2 at Fra 2, Fra 1 at VT 3

Gle 3 at GM 1, GM 3 atg Gle 1                                  Coa 1 at Mar 3, Mar 2 at Coa 2

Dun 1 at CC 3, CC 0 at Dun 4                                    Yk 1 at SL 3, SL 1 at Yk 3

IN 0 at NE 4, NE 1 at IN 3                                         Cro 2 at EY 2, EY 1 at Cro 3


The Murphy is simply a mess.  All the 4 teams are under .500 and three of the 4 teams not named Gulf Breeze are within ½ game of one another.  The Clydesdales picked up a pair of games this month en route to the top slot, closing in on .500 (35-36)- maybe.  After a 8 game split with Keystone, Crosstown took 5 of 8 from East York to further muddy the Brett, but better still to chalk up a +.500 month.  Both Coastal and Southport couldn’t duplicate that lofty performance.  Newly retired Jones played a game under .500 this month.  It started with a decent face to face split with the Prospectors, but finished with a 5-3 loss to Marietta.  They’re now just ½ a game back of Crosstown, as is Southport who crushed Marietta 6-2 but in continuing their confounding play dropped 6 of 8 to Longstown.  I’d like to the Gulf Breeze is still in it, but 8 games back is one thing, playing .365 ball is another.  A dismal 1-7 with East York preceded a split with Keystone.  So stay tuned- someone has to win.  But don’t look for a wild card from here.


The Winfield remains a have and have-not division, and Sparrow Lake lost another game to Longstown in the “haves”.  Becker’s charges seemed to wake up this month from their late spring crash and took 6 of 8 from Southport after a split with Coastal.  That vaulted them to 4 ½ over the Stallions who took 5 from Creekside and split with York to play over .500 ball for the month and stay right on the P’s heels.  Still, though, the Stallions are just a game over .500 and have some arrows in the quiver still to use.  Marietta and Cleveland have broken away cleanly to form the have-nots portion of the division.  Marietta is now in 3rd- a game ahead of the Hit Men as they enjoyed a 5-3 over Coastal after a tough 2-6 with Southport.  Cleveland has now tumbled to the bottom of the group despite a nice 5-3 over Creekside in series #9.  But a devastating 1-7 with York hurt in series #8, with the likely worst part being that the result kept York right in the race in the Brett.  Al has to be kicking himself.  Heck- I’ll help out with that as well.  So you can pretty much bet on a Longstown/Sparrow Lake battle in the season’s 2nd half, with Cleveland and Marietta fighting for bragging rights.  My bet is no wild card from here, either.


The Brett is home to the top 3 teams in the conference.  Sorry, Scoop.  Not only that, but the 3 contenders are all over .600 for the year.  The clubs lined up and licked their chops as they (mostly) faced the Murphy this month and they all played better than .500 to boot.  So we’ll start at the bottom, and note that Creekside has the 2nd best winning percentage for a cellar dwelling team this year.  Congratulations, Scoop!  There was much rejoicing.  Creekside checked in with a pair of 3-5 marks with Sparrow Lake and Cleveland- putting them back by 16 ½ now.  At the top we see that Keystone still leads, but East York has cut 2 games off that lead to trail by just one.  Yet the biggest mover and shaker of the month was York which just will ride superior hitting and a bullpen as far as they can go.  Keystone could manage just a .500 month with Crosstown and Gulf Breeze splits.  The 66ers dropped their series with Crosstown 3-5, yet obliterated the Aardvarks 7-1 to chop that lead to the current single game.  Meanwhile, York was blasting Cleveland 7-1 before splitting with Sparrow Lake.  So it’s likely at this point that the wild card might come out of this division, yet there’s only one wild card so someone will be going home.  This will be a battle royal.


We really didn’t see that the Carter division would boast all 4 teams at .500 or better.  Yet looking at the standings today that is what one sees.  Duneland moved in to the division and appeared to be able to win by 20 games.  Yet they are still leading, and playing well, yet not busting out as we might have projected.  They even added a game to their lead this month (5-3 over Indiana and Codorus Creek) and their 6 game lead is best in the league.  But... it’s only 6, and 3 decent teams are on their heels.  Dave Burnham seems to be enjoying retirement as he places more focus on his team which split with Glenville before taking 5 from Frankfort.  New England was a little less smooth as they were hammered by Codorus 6-2 before winning 5 from Indiana.  Even the Canucks are holding fast, Burnie taking 5 from Frankfort and splitting with Glenville to check in at .500 and just 10 games back- only one behind New England and 4 behind Vermont.  With all the teams over .500, there’s a good chance the wild card comes from here, but the Yount has a couple of good teams as well, so this division and the wild card will be tough the rest of the way.


Albany added a pair of games to their division lead over Magic City and now lead the Maulers by 4 games.  We expected Albany to be in the thick of things, but after a dreadful start we became non-believers for a spell.  The Wildcats took 5 from New Hudson before a Kalamazoo split- a decent 9-7 showing.  But the lead expanded and checking out the Maulers for the month we can see why.  Magic City took 5 from Kalamazoo and all was well, but after that came a 2-6 with New Hudson, and a home sweep against them to boot.  There’s no reason to cry for the Maulers as they trail by just 4, but the NH series has to be a wake-up call.  Oh yeah- they were no hit at home as well.  We’ll have more on that later.  Codorus Creek was up and down as they have been most of the year.  A solid 6-2 over New England started the month but a 5-3 loss to Duneland capped it.  But still it was 9-7, keeping pace with Albany, and chopping 2 games off the 2nd place lead.   I thought all the power that Indiana had would be a factor this year, but the Imps have had a rough go of late going 3-5 with both Duneland and New England to fall a dozen games off the pace.  So a good chance of the wild card coming from here- but just as good as it coming from the Carter. 


Kalamazoo still leads the Rice, but this month tied with Keystone to be the biggest lead loser of the month- New Hudson chopping a pair of games off the ‘zoo lead.  Chuck has been coasting, and you have to assume a charge is coming from at least New Hudson and Glenville at some point.  A 7-9 moth didn’t kill the Black Knights as they went 3-5 with Magic City and split with Albany in a touch schedule.  So the door was open for New Hudson and they responded with a 3-5 against Albany before a huge 6-2 over Magic City, and cutting in to the ‘zoo lead by a pair of games, now out 5.  Right there is Coach Kerr- a single game behind the Nutjobs as they had a pair of splits against the brothers Burnham.  Both New Hudson and Glenville are under .500, yet both are still in the hunt.  But it will have to be a division title- I don’t see the wild card coming from here.  Frankfort did okay this month with a pair of 3-5s against the Burnhams.  The road is killing them as they check in now at 5-31 away from home.  Guess they need that psychiatrist guy from the movie, “The Natural”.


Kalamazoo’s Jon Gray tossed the first no-hitter in the league this year at Magic City.  Gray walked just 1 and has 12 punch outs in the game allowing just a walk to Desmond Jennings on the day.  Kalamazoo won 12-0, with 20 hits.  Yes- 20 hits fort Kalamazoo, 0 for Magic City.  Magic City even had 2 errors to Kalamazoo’s zero.  Looks to be what they call complete domination!  Congratulations to Chuck and the Black Knights and I’m sure Chuck will be paying Gray that stipend for the no-no.  The league no-hitter chart has been updated on the web page as well.


Longstown has scored the most runs this season with 424, closely followed by Duneland’s 421.  Keystone’s 121 HR leads that category and Longstown has 88 SB.  East York has 4 SB, but a whopping 14 CS.  Albany’s 49 errors have led to 43 unearned tallies.  Daniel Murphy (.382) of Duneland is all over the batting title at this point.  Albany’s Wainwright has 12 wins to pace the league.


Next month leads us in to the All-Star break.  The voting will again be conducted by Mark Rapp, and he’ll give you more info including the ballot/voting procedures.  I’d assume this will get out soon after the next newsletter which would be in very early September.  Of course in September you have 3 series with your division mates, so there is a lot going on as summer winds down.  Keep up with the web page and e-mails and you’ll be updated as usual.


The in box is surprisingly quiet this month.  I guess our last newsletter was just a little over 3 weeks ago, so maybe you’ve said all you need to say.  Yeah, right…  Anyway, I hope everyone is well and thanks for keeping those results coming in in a timely manner!


                                                                                                Best Wishes,