The Richmond Confederates took home their first World Series title and just the AL's second in 9 seasons. The 'Feds won their 4th straight AL East title and posted the 3rd best mark in the entire world at 115-47. A closer look at how they did it follows.
AL MVP Julio Nunez posted .330 average with 62 HRs, 67 SBs, and 185 RBIs. 4-time MVP and the worlds first 500 HR hitter Dick Caruso put up 45 more dingers to go with his .343 average. Two other hitters (Torres & Peterson) topped 40 HRs and a 5 in all all 100+ RBIs. In addition to Nunez' 67 SBs, Rule V pick Tim Ward stole 73 bases and scored 104 runs.
The pitching staff was aolid and deep. The top 4 starters, Brankley, Sheets, Xaio, and Griggin all won between 13 and 16 games with ERAs between 3.96 and 4.14. The fifth spot was split between 14-game winner Richard Stieb and 11-gam winner Wil Mann. Stieb proved his worth with a revenge victory against his former squad, Mexico City in the World Series. Closer Peter Hoiles was spectacular all year saving 37 of 38 games.
The starters combined to go 8-4 in the playoffs with Marty Brantley posting 3 of the team's 4 losses. Their 4.23 ERA throughout the playoffs is impressive. The offense didn't miss a beat either with Nunez and Caruso each hitting 5 dingers and knocking in 14 runs. Nunez and Ward combined to swipe 17 bases while getting caught just twice. Team averaged nearly 6.5 runs for the playoffs.
So what's in store for this squad going forward? The team had a very reasonable $91 million payroll, so there's some room. Most of the roster is already under contract for Season 10, though a couple of key pitchers could be on the move in free agency. Interestingly, no Confederate 1st round pick played a major role on the championship team, with Brett Karl (season 4) and Slick Black (season 7 sandwich) playing minor roles. The team was built largely through trades with MVP Nunez, closer Peter Hoiles, 3B Jorge Torres, OF Dick Caruso, P Vin Sheets, and P Marty Brantley all coming via deals.
Congratulations to the Richmond Confederates on their first World Series title!