Written by Games Pergame
On Day 1 of Season 6, the San Francisco Lovers, and the rest of the ILB, found themselves in strange waters. At the end of Season 5, they had been in an excellent position. They placed at the top of the Lawful Division AND the Good League with a 65-34 record and made a solid play for Good League Champions against the Chicago Firefighters.
But that changed overnight with the passing of the High Filter Decree. They arose from the Blood Tub to the strange waters of the High Division of the Wild League. Those same Firefighters were their only continued divisional companions – Now they were facing the elite from the other divisions, including the Baltimore Crabs (prev. Lawful Evil), the Breckenridge Jazz Hands (prev. Chaotic Evil), and the New York Millennials (prev. Chaotic Good).
Their opening series that Season was hosted at their ballpark, the PolyHedron, against the Millennials, a team they had matched records with the previous season. Yosh Carpenter pitched for the Lovers, and kept the Mills scoreless while Theodore Cervantes held off the pressure from the Lovers lineup. At the top of the 8th inning, a home run from Wesley Dudley brought the Mills into the lead, and despite a rally in the 9th, the Lovers couldn’t string anything together.
Not to be outdone, the Lovers returned in Game 2 and Sandford Garner led the Lovers to victory despite a fairly competitive string of innings filled with several Home Runs.
The Mills earn an early lead against Milo brown in the 1st that they looked to secure, but the Lovers rallied in the 9th and took the game into 4 extra innings, ending the series in Shame for the Mills.
That shame, that home series victory, and those narrow margins of victory are the opening to a season where the Lovers would score only 418 Runs on their way to the Postseason. Welcome to Part 3 in our series of Top 10 Lowest Scoring Postseason-Eligible Seasons in Blaseball History (at time of writing, Seasons 1 to 12). This is …
#8 – Season 6 San Francisco Lovers:
418 Runs, 53 Wins.
Wild League, 3rd Seed (Day 97, 3rd to Clinch in their League, Eliminated in the Wild League Semi-Finals.)
We can see the path of this season, charted against the Crabs and the League average, as well as the Lover’s 3rd seed counterpart in the Mild League, the Kansas City Breath Mints. In many ways, this season for the Lovers looks similar to the Breath Mints, who scored just under 35 runs more than the Lovers did (but wound up 28th on the overall list).
On a day by day basis though? Not so much. The Lovers spent most of the season well under the League average, but the Mints spent their season on the other side of that line.
If you check out the discrepancy in the Runs per Win chart, the Mints spent almost half a point more to build their Win Objects.
In this series, I’m assigning each game a Wasted Run count. Essentially, this is runs that don’t directly contribute to a win. Anything over the necessary margin of victory is wasted, and any runs scored in a loss are wasted. If you’re curious about my reasoning, please check out Part 1 of this series.
How did the Lovers do? Well, at 240 wasted runs over the season, they wasted over half of the 418 runs we’re looking at.
Coming back around to the Breath Mints, we see they had slightly fewer runs wasted – their wins required fewer Runs, and they scored a bit more frequently in losses. If we break the Lovers Wasted Runs down by day, we get to see something really swingy.
I wanna drill down on two parts of this chart – notice the sizable dip on Day 57? The Lovers were closing out a strong home series against the Charleston Shoe Thieves (the Lovers won 14 to 4 in Game 1 and 8 to 0 in Game 2, wasting 17 runs in the process), when they ended the series with a clean 1 to 0 win.
After the Shoe Thieves went on to their next series, the Lovers hosted the Baltimore Crabs, who were having a dominant season on route to 80 Wins (48 Wins here, on Day 58). Unperturbed, the Lovers took the Crabs down in two back-to-back Optimal Games. In the first, Milo Brown held the Crabs scoreless for 6 innings to preserve an early acquired lead, and then kept the offense at bay after they began regaining that ground..
Despite an early score by Forrest Best on a sacrifice, Parker Meng was able to repeat the performance in Game 2.
The other dip in that chart I want to talk about? It’s that one right at the end. At the end of a long and arduous Season, the Lovers had faced a significant amount of challenge in their league. While the Mild League had essentially solidified their Postseason positions by day 94, the Wild League was a fight down to the very end.
The Crabs qualified for playoff contention early, and future Second Seed Breckenridge Jazz Hands would essentially confirm their spot on Day 90. The Boston Flowers and the Mills would tie their score on the last day of the series, bringing that final Postseason spot down to Divine Favor. After winning their first game in the Series to confirm their spot, finally, on Day 97, the Lovers would ultimately lose their final two games against the future Champs the Crabs. But that last game? The Lovers effortlessly slid into the Postseason with a scoreless Loss – an Optimal Game.
This article was made possible with the wonderful tools created and maintained by the folks at the Society for Internet Blaseball Research – check out:
-Chronicler API – https://docs.sibr.dev/docs/apis/reference/Chronicler.v1.yaml
-Reblase – reblase.sibr.dev (Thanks @AReblase!)
-Blaseball Line Score Tool – linescore.sibr.dev
-Blaseball Reference – blaseball.reference.com
And of course, the Blaseball Wiki – blaseball.wiki
-PART 1: THE SEASON 7 MEXICO CITY WILD WINGS
-PART 2: THE SEASON 3 CANADA MOIST TALKERS
-PART 3: THE SEASON 6 SAN FRANCISCO LOVERS
-PART 4: COMING SOON
-PART 5: COMING SOON
-PART 6: COMING SOON
-PART 7: COMING SOON
-PART 8: COMING SOON
-PART 9: COMING SOON
-PART 10: COMING SOON