Week 14 has come to a close in the Bull League, and the Rimouski Fighting Moose are on top of the weekly team power rankings. But, the St. Petersburg Admirals are close behind, as both teams surged ahead to 1st and 2nd and the Nevada Speeders fell to 4th. The Minneapolis Ravens stood pat at 3rd again this week.
The home stretch has arrived and less than 3 weeks remain on the regular season schedule, meaning teams like the Chicago Pit Bulls (25-57), who have been realistically out of the race for some time, will soon become mathematically eliminated, and the field of contenders will narrow.
The Detroit Motorheads, Louisville Sluggers and Norfolk Sharks are among the other teams who have extremely long odds at a wild card.
The Fighting Moose are 50-32, with the third-best record in baseball, but had a stellar week, going 4-1. On Monday, they dropped game 3 of a 4-game set with the Pit Bulls, then won game 4 to split the series 2-2. After a travel day, they swept provincial rivals, the Montreal Metros in the Battle of Quebec, to go 6-4 on the season against them. They play the Metros one last time in their final series of the season.
However, the injuries are beginning to stack up for the Fighting Moose, who have the highest payroll in baseball this year. Big swinging Alan Isimo is hampered by an undisclosed day-to-day injury suffered last week in the Metros series. Three top starting pitchers are all out, including William Febres, Mo-ruo Chen, and Andy Boyles, adding up to nearly $30 million in annual salary out of the rotation and on the DL. Three-time MVP Dao-zi Ling is also out with a fractured ankle and will not return unless the team makes the playoffs. Closer Marc Garland has been out with an elbow ligament tear since April and will not return until 2019.
Catchers Catch POTW NODS
Top BL catchers Earl MacPherson and Les Groves have been named Players of the Week for week #14. Groves, the Louisville top draft pick from 2017 was an impressive .588 at the plate, with 3 homers and 7 RBIs as the Sluggers stacked up runs against the New York Dragons last week.
Meanwhile, Norfolk Sharks catcher MacPherson batted .565 with five homers, 16 RBIs, in just 5 games over the week, including a 3-for-4 performance against the Admirals in which he homered twice and drove in 6 runs.