For the fourth consecutive season, and sixth of seven, the USA has prevailed in GLBL championship series. The Chicago Architects won their 4th title as a Wild Card against a game Kingston Comet squad that was looking for their third championship ring.
The story behind the Architect season is best described by their own GM, Alex.
On April 26 last season, we were 7 games back of TC (6-13). We stopped losing ground at that point, at least for a bit, TC, MIL, and even TOL (though that may have been earlier) traded places. However, by late May, we were down 12 games to TC and 7 games out of 2nd. While our winning percentage had improved, we had lost ground.
Early June, around June 2nd, we started to turn things around, beating TOL in a series by taking 2 of 3. MIL beat them in the next series. Those two series were key, pulling them back to the pack. A 6-0 run the next week and we had passed Duluth and tied MIL. However, Milwaukee took two of three in the next series, so by June 15, TC was in command of first by 6 games while MIL, CHI, and TOL were all within a game or so, but MIL held 2nd.
Interestingly, I looked back and saw that I had trade discussions the first week of June (before the 6-0 run) about my relievers, Swaneveld, and Whip Charles. Luckily, no offers came of that at that point to make me pull the trigger (I was looking for more as I knew that probably meant throwing in the towel). I even saw a PM to a GM about holding off after my 6-0 run as things had changed.
July 7th, after a sweep of MIL, all three of us (TOL, MIL, CHI) were tied, while TC was 6 games in front. After a 7 game win streak that ended July 18th, we found ourselves two games ahead of MIL and TOL for the first time in the season. TC maintained a 4 game hold on first. TC extended their lead over us by beating us in the next series, but we wouldn’t relinquish 2nd place and a 7 game win streak in early August made it a two team race.
We finished within two of TC and the rest is history, but it was definitely a long path back. And while I was confident I had a good team, it definitely wasn’t a sit and wait situation, iirc. I benched Swaneveld against RHP to get a better defensive option in (since neither were really hitting), kicked Rowsell from the rotation for Sabin, swapped out my 4th OF (who gets a lot of ABs against all the LHP in the US) and traded for 2B Benincasa to bolster IF defense and hoped he could swing a bat.
All Star shortstop Daniel Huffman led Chicago in WAR with 4.6