(GAME DATE — Sep. 19, 2020) — The defending Bull Cup champions, the St. Petersburg Admirals, have clinched their third straight division title since moving into the East division of the Metro League (formerly the American Eagle League), securing a fifth straight playoff appearance.
With a 90-62 record and 10 games left to play, their nearest division rival, the Washington Freedom, can no longer catch them as they are 10½ games back.
After star pitcher Jose Soto was scratched from the rest of the 2020 season with a partially torn UCL back in May, questions swirled as to whether the 2019 Bull Cup champions could even make the postseason again. But GM and manager Brandon Popper never had any doubts as the Admirals have plenty of pitching depth to rely on.
All but one start on the current rotation boast a winning record, and all five have ERA’s under the current ML average of 5.03, with an average of 4.32 for the starters and 4.36 for the bullpen. The team is also one of the top hitting teams in the ML, leading the league in average at .291, and ranked 4th in runs scored with 862.
In fact, the offense is so stacked that elite batters like switch-hitting first baseman Chris Pratt, who is batting .297 with 17 home runs and 69 RBIs, are hitting 7th in the lineup.
The Admirals could face the California Tidals in the postseason, as the Tidals have found themselves on a successful run after the All-Star game, a 2nd in the ML 37-27 record. Close behind them are the Admirals’ ML East rivals the Washington Freedom, who are just half a game out of the wild card at the moment.
One common complaint out of the clubhouse in St. Pete’s has been a notable lack of leadership, and pundits have described it as a “rudderless ship” drifting aimlessly. But winning solves a lot of problems, and despite complaints of unmotivated players on the roster, especially from outspoken veteran catcher Bill Clark, the team seems to be holding itself together.