So real talk: I thought of this project as a fun little thing to do on my off days from work, and it started out that way.
But I'll tell you, typing in names and stats for 17 total teams, then watching them play in a hilariously dated computer game can take it out of you. Especially since I would create two teams then play them and then create two other teams and so on, rather than doing them all at once and then playing them, which made everything seem more interminable, even though I did get it done within three days. Compounding this was the fact that after the third first round game, I got in a groove and just kept going with everything, except I forgot to take screenshots after this. Now, I could either re-play the games, possibly with different results, to do that, or just go with the first result and trust that you guys will accept the results as it. Went with option 2, obviously.
That being said, there were a lot of fun little moments in the first round, and the hilarity of this simulation compounded that (Plus, now that I've made the teams, the next rounds will take up way less of my time).
Some things you should note before the results
- Every pitcher in this game throws the same 5 pitches: Fastball, Change-Up, Curveball (More of a soft slider by the direction of its break), Screwball (Hey, we can make our "Curveball" go the other way!), and Sinker.
- The AI in this game, no matter what, will always try to get the lead runner in a situation. Sac bunt? Throw to second. Runners on first and second and it's hit to the First Baseman? Always go to third.
- As mentioned before, you create players by plugging in standard statistics and they'll generally play better the better those are. The only "ratings", in a modern video game sense, are for running speed, pitch speed, and pitch control. Running speed is measured 0-6, but 0-3 are ungodly slow, so every player has at least a 4. Pitch speed was done off the top of my head ("Well Randy Johnson is a 10, so Josh Collmenter is a 5") and control was me looking at BB/9 ratio for a player and assigning a number within certain ranges.
- I used starting lineups from the team pages from Baseball-Reference (Here's this year's team as an example) I generally followed the starters listed with a few exceptions based on injuries and total playing time that season (For example: They have Chris Young listed as the 2012 Center Fielder started, but he missed a good chunk of time to injury and Gerardo Parra played more games total, not just in center, so I slotted him in instead.)
- As I mentioned last week, I am generally going to adhere to a rotation for the first three rounds (four in the possible case of a team in the play-in game.) So if the 2001 team wins the first game with Randy Johnson, they will have Curt Schilling starting the second. Should they win that, Brian Anderson will start the Semi Final. Whoever makes the championship round will have their "best" starter on the mound.
- This part is the most important: This is not meant to be an actual simulation or projection system. I'm not about to put PECOTA out of business. This is just for fun, and I don't really care if somehow the 2004 team throws five straight perfect games to win it all, because it would just highlight the fun absurdity of it all. (Spoiler: That actually did not happen)
So without further ado, here are the results.
PLAY-IN GAME: 2014 D-BACKS: 1, 2004 D-BACKS: 0, 10 INNINGS
This was a game "worthy" of the two worst squads in Diamondbacks history so far. Randy Johnson faced off against Wade Miley. For narratives sake, I'm going to say that Randy Johnson was on fire, but the 2004 offense was silent, because there's no way that 2014 Wade Miley was capable on his own of shutting anybody down, right? However, 2004 was definitely in the game so long as Randy Johnson was pitching. This is foreshadowing, because despite his amazingness, he is still human, and must be relieved at some point.
So as you can see, both pitches technically pitched complete game shutouts, however, you see the old, forboding name of "Mike Koplove" in the bullpen? That would end up being 2004's downfall in the bottom of the 10th, as Aaron Hill hit an RBI double to score Goldschmidt to win the game. 2014's reward was....
FIRST ROUND: 2001 D-BACKS 3, 2014 D-BACKS 1
... another date against Randy Johnson, and while this version didn't throw a perfect game, he did win a Cy Young and a World Series.
2001 got on the board first with a Solo Home Run by, who else, Luis Gonzalez.
They added to their lead in the 6th when Steve Finley and Mark Grace had RBI singles to make it 3-0. 2014 was able to add an RBI double by Gerardo Parra in the 7th off of RJ, but they didn't do much after that, and they became the second team sent home packing.
FIRST ROUND: 2008 D-BACKS 2, 2012 D-BACKS 1
Wooo, chalk so far! Best version of Wade Miley faced off against One Year From Sadness Brandon Webb. 2012 struck first in the 2nd when Ryan "Dread Pirate" Roberts (Remember, that was the far superior nickname to "Tatman", this is truth and this is law) doubled home Jason Kubel (Wow, did I just type that? 2012 was weird) However, that was their only run of the game. 2008 only scored in the 3rd from solo shots by Chad Tracy and Stephen Drew off of Miley (Because it's 1989 and we don't know what L/R splits are) and the teams just cruised from there, though with an appearance by Chad Qualls to record the save!
FIRST ROUND: 2002 D-BACKS 7, 2009 D-BACKS 1
This was expected. This was Dan Haren's best year as a Diamondback, but the 2002 was a beast (up until the playoffs anyway, but we don't talk about that.) Gonzo and Steve Finley each had three-run homers in the 1st and 5th, respectively, and Junior Spivey added an RBI Double. Randy Johnson showed up again and shut down the 2009 offense, save for a Mark Reynolds Home Run in the 7th.
FIRST ROUND: 2011 D-BACKS 3, 2006 D-BACKS 2
This one looked like a possible upset for a minute. The 2006 team took the lead early on a Shawn Green (remember he played for the Diamondbacks? Weird times.) single in the 2nd and added another on a Conor Jackson double in the 5th. Cy Young winning Brandon Webb was cruising, but because fatigue is a thing and the AI is weird, he was lifted for Brandon Lyon in the 8th, who promptly allowed two runners on for Justin Upton, who smacked one into the seats for the eventual game winning homer. He was totes lazy rounding the bases tho, so you do you AZcentral commenters
FIRST ROUND: 2007 D-BACKS 3, 1998 D-BACKS 0
Should-have-won-another-Cy Young Webb threw a CGSO against the haphazardly put together inaugural team, and Conor Jackson, Chris Young, and Stephen Drew all had RBI singles to provide the scoring off of starter Andy Benes
Devon White made his presence known. Not by actually doing anything, but this is the only time he'll be appearing in this tournament so I wanted to acknowledge that.
FIRST ROUND: 2013 D-BACKS 2, 2003 D-BACKS 0
Hey an upset! (a 10-7 variety, but I'll take it. A.J. Pollock plated two on a bases loaded RBI double in the 4th off of Randy Johnson, 2003 version, and Patrick Corbin and Brad Ziegler combined for a shutout. (Interesting that the AI decided to go to Ziegler in relief, when Heath Bell and down-year David Hernandez were waiting in the wings. It's becoming self-aware, we should destroy it.)
Eric Hinske stubbed his toe on a dugout step and has been suspended for the rest of the tournament.
FIRST ROUND: 1999 D-BACKS 6, 2010 D-BACKS 1
This was totally expected. Dan Haren was halfway to Anaheim in his mind on the mound, and we see the 4,000th appearance of Randy Johnson in this tournament. Gonzo, Matt Williams, and Travis Lee of all people homered in various quantities to give the 1999 team the insurmountable lead. The lone 2010 run came off of an Adam LaRoche single that scored Kelly Johnson after the game was well out of hand in the 8th. So that's nice.
FIRST ROUND: 2005 D-BACKS 5, 2000 D-BACKS 3
Another upset! The team that started a rebuild beat the team that faded really badly late in the season! Randy Johnson started for 2000, and although this was another great season for him, he allowed three early runs on an RBI single by Gonzo, an RBI *triple* by Chad Tracy (scoring Gonzo) and a sac fly by Troy Glaus all in the first frame. The 2000 team would get two runs back on a two-run shot by other Gonzo in the 3rd off of proto-Brandon Webb. 2005 added another run in the 5th on another Gonzo single, and another in the 6th on a Chris Snyder solo shot. The 2000 team was able to get another run back in the bottom of the 9th when Matt Williams homered off of Jose Valverde, because Jose Valverde doesn't do things the easy way, but it wasn't enough.
So after round 1, here is the bracket
ROUND 2 MATCHUPS:
2001 D-BACKS vs. 2008 D-BACKS
Curt Schilling vs. Dan Haren
2002 D-BACKS vs. 2011 D-BACKS
Curt Schilling vs. Daniel Hudson
2007 D-BACKS vs. 2013 D-BACKS
Doug Davis vs. Wade Miley
1999 D-BACKS vs. 2005 D-BACKS
Omar Daal vs. Javier Vasquez.
Tune in next Friday for the results to that! Or, if you don't want to wait, you can always try to peek inside my apartment window around Monday morning, but that's creepy. Don't do that, forget I mentioned it.
Oh gd, you're gonna do it. At least bring a 6-pack or something.