posted on August 30, 2021 12:30
Since the RubberDucks entered the league in 2018, we have been a playoff team. We have never won a division title but always secured the Wild Card. In 2018, we ended up tying the Mets for the division title but they took the tie breaker due to head to head matches. We ended up taking the Wild Card spot by 2.5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks (future Americans). In 2019, we took the Wild Card by 1.5 games ahead of the Americans. In 2020, we were not a franchise. This year the 2021 RubberDucks had a different look to them with losing The Wish to the Chihuahuas and Daddy not being a full time player. We had Face and Stache returning along with sophomore player Sarge. In the offseason we picked up Old Yeller and newcomer Paperboy. Old Yeller coming off a stellar season with the Brewers and a City’s Finals loss to the Biscuits, was ready to take the RubberDucks to new heights.
Before the season started, I’ll be honest, I was thinking we were going to finish around .500 with the team we had. I expected to be going to Wifflepalooza to have a fun filled day of wiffs. Is that bad of me as a manager and having expectations like that for my team? Apologies to my teammates reading this. We started off the season just how I expected. Lost two to the Americans, split with the Chihuahuas, won two against the Mariners, lost two to the Crawdads, swept by the Mets. After the month of May we were 3-7 and 5 games back of the Wild Card. At that time, the Americans held down the wild card, the team that has lost out on the Wild Card spot the past two seasons to us. They were now in the drivers seat the rest of the way to determine their fate seeing as they took the first series we played against them and owned the tie breaker.
In the month of June, we started to turn things around. We were sitting at a record of 10-9, finally sitting above .500 for the first time this season. Unfortunately, the Americans gained another game on us in the Wild Card and were up 6 games now. With the season basically halfway done, the Wifflepalooza vision was becoming more clear. Yet after looking at our remaining schedule and looking at the American’s remaining schedule, my mind changed from "we are heading to Wifflepalooza", to "we might have a chance at making the Wild Card". Our end of year schedule was much easier than the American's. When I asked Mippey what he thought our odds were to making the Wild Card Spot, his reply was “3 percent”.
Kicking off July, we won our first five games to pull within 1.5 of the Americans. We basically erased the American’s six game lead in two nights. We went 9-2 in the month of July and were still 3 games back in the Wild Card since the Americans went 5-4 during that time period. We still had 10 games to play in our season while the Americans had 7. I could see the playoff spot becoming a reality as we were closing the gap on the Americans. For the first time in our franchise history we were chasing down the wild card team.
In August, we dropped only one game to the Mets to finish off our season at 27-12. We started August 5-0 in our first five games and closed the gap to only half a game. The Americans didn’t have any games during those two weeks so we were able to cover some ground. Over the next week we split with the Mets while the Americans went 0-2 against the Crawdads. We finally were ahead of the Americans for the Wild Card spot by half a game. Even though we were ahead in the Wild Card, we didn’t control our own destiny. The Americans had to win four of their last five to clinch. On the second to last night we swept the Blue sOx to end our season. While on the other field the Americans dropped a heart breaker to the Chihuahuas. Leading the game in the top of the 6th 1-0, Lulu gave up a two run homerun to Murse to give the Chihuahuas a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the 6th with 2 outs, Nickname robs Thunderson of a would be walkoff homerun. At this point the Americans need to win the last four games to clinch. In game two they beat the Chihuahuas 5-0. On the last day of the year, The Americans faced the Braves and needed to take all three. We couldn’t do anything but sit and watch to see how things unfolded and whether we would be a Wild Card winner or playing in Palooza. Game one the Americans win 3-2. Game 2, the American lose 3-4, which means that we secured the Wild Card spot. A lot of people counted us out and didn’t even know we made the playoffs. We were down 6 games at the end of June. If that’s not a record I would like to know what the biggest comeback was. I would like to thank my teammates for coming through and proving me wrong. This year was so much fun and the best year so far. I would also like to thank Mippey5 for the 3 percent chance he gave us for making the playoffs. We now get the Mets for the third straight year in playoffs.