It’s April 7, 2022. The all Cal Raleigh team has just finished its first week of play. Fans across the nation are getting to know the clones on both sides of the ball. One thing is sure. This season will not be a normal one.
The Cals have two big advantages: they hit the ball hard, and their infield defense is excellent. They are missing just about everything else, however. Ranked 30th out of 30 teams in contact hitting, pitching and speed, yet 1st in power and 2nd in defense, this season could easily get out of hand one way or another. Which way it goes isn’t exactly clear yet.
Surprisingly, the first game of the season was a pitcher’s duel. The offensive Cals scored a run in the first off a Cal Raleigh sac fly, but couldn’t push anything across for 7 whole innings. The starting Cal had a shutout going against the Tigers all the way into the seventh, when he was taken out after allowing the tying run to score. Then the wheels came completely off when Cal Raleigh, coming on in relief, gave up a massive 2-run homer to Jonathan Schoop in the 8th. The Mariners lost 3-1.
Their real issue was strikeouts. Against a left handed pitcher, the Raleighs had no way to rally, prefering to take their cuts against righties. We’ll see how this bodes for the future.
The rest of the week, the Cals played .500 ball. They got blown up 3-12 in game two, but came back to take their first win of the season 2-1 in game three. After that they went on a bit of a streak, beating the Tigers 8-3 to split the series, then beating Anaheim 13-8 the next day. After that, however, they were shutout by Shohei Ohtani, who pitched a 17 strikeout complete game. After a grueling first few games, the Cals finally had a day off before flying to Minnesota to take on the Twins.
Before a sellout crowd at Target Field, the Cals showed why they were ranked number one in power throughout the league. Powered by four solo homers, an honest-to-God RBI triple and a sac fly, and masterful pitching performances by Cal Raleigh and Cal Raleigh, the Seattle Raleighs were able to win their first shutout of the season 6-0.
With a 4-3 record at the end of the week, Seattle is tied for first in the AL West with the Anaheim Angels. The Astros, Rangers, and Athletics are each off to miserable starts, with the first two teams each at 1-6, and the A’s at 2-5. If it takes every other team becoming terrible for the Ralieghs to succeed, so be it.
So what can we take away from this first week. First, strikeouts are a serious problem. Some Cals, such as 2B Cal, are striking out in nearly half of their ABs. Second, apparently some Cals are attempting to steal bases. Successfully, even! Catcher Cal and 2B Cal have both stolen a base on one attempt. Third, the Cals blow up righties. Opposing managers know this, however, and will put in every lefty they have, such as what happened in the season opener.
Fourth and finally: this is some Can’t Miss Baseball™. If you want to see this team of the Largest Dumpers take on the entirety of Major League Baseball, then be sure to tune in to twitch.tv/dj_baseball every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 7pm PT.
Note: due to technical difficulties, I wasn’t able to pull clips from last night’s stream for this write up, but rest assured that Shortstop Cal made one of the greatest diving plays of the 2020s. Trust me when I say you gotta be there.