Franchise Ball News
Congratulations, Destroyers! Apr 27th 2019

A very well deserved honor for a team that has always been among the best, if not considered the best, in the elite Theta Premier league. In only their 12th season, the Destroyers truly destroyed the competition on their way to their first world title, avenging their disappointing loss to the Spokane Warriors in season 69. Just 3 seasons later, they were back in the championship, and this time, they won it.

Let's take a look at the Destroyers' road to their first world title. They blew everyone away in the regular season, posting a 51-9 record, tied with the Honolulu Island Winds for the #2 world rank (they were truly the #1 team in the world though, because the #1 team had not played a full season and were undefeated). In the first round of the playoffs, they convincingly took care of the San Jose Silver Fox, 8-2, in a strong game for both their hitting and pitching. Next, they faced off against the Louisville Colonels, and they won 3-1. The pitching was still excellent, but the offense could have been better. The Destroyers were winning, but not quite in the fashion that you would expect a 51-9 team to win, and at this moment, nobody could be blamed for doubting them just a little.

But they blew all doubts out of the water in the league championship game, when they destroyed the Springfield Eagles, 14-1. Wow. Now THAT is what we are used to seeing from the Destroyers. But what a statement this was...after being tested by two good teams early in the playoffs, to defeat a very strong Eagles team that had wins over the Chicago WINNERS, 11-10 (what a game that was, by the way) and the Bellingham Reruns, 5-2. The Eagles looked really good, averaging 8 runs per playoff game against two very strong teams...and then they got held to one run by the Destroyers' pitching and gave up 14 runs. Wow.

The Destroyers were headed to the world playoffs. They would face either the Spokane Warriors, St. Louis Knights, Honolulu Island Winds, Boston Monarchs, Pueblo Pounders, Kansas City KC Kings, or the Chicago Big Hurt. Congratulations to all of them too, by the way, for making the world playoffs-great job!

Back to the Destroyers, now...as the #2 seed, they got a pretty easy first-round opponent, but once again, they didn't win quite as convincingly as one would expect. They triumphed 9-7 over the now 4 weeks inactive Kansas City KC Kings, but the pitching was a concern. If it weren't for relievers Ahmad Dasilva and Conor Masters stepping in for a combined 4 innings to allow only 1 run and 2 hits between them, the Destroyers' run could have been over. Great move by their manager to yank P Reno Cano before he allowed even more runs (he allowed 6 runs in 5 innings).

So, the Destroyers made it through to the world semifinals. Let's take a look at some other results...the St. Louis Knights impressively defeated the Delta Premier champion Boston Monarchs, 5-4, in a very exciting game. The Monarchs were down 5-2 going into the 9th and almost came back, but fell just short. Great effort by them, though, and a great run for such a young team!

Another close game saw the Spokane Warriors defeat the Chicago Big Hurt, 3-2. Could they be on their way to yet another world title?

Finally, the Honolulu Island Winds comfortably took care of the Pueblo Pounders, 9-3. This team has looked strong all season-could they be headed for the World Series?

The world semifinal matchups are: St. Louis Knights vs. Honolulu Island Winds, and Spokane Warriors vs. Peoria Destroyers.

So, for the Destroyers to get back to the world series, they have to go through easily the most dominant team in recent seasons-the Spokane Warriors. This will not be an easy game...

Is what we all said at the start of the game. But the Destroyers sure made it look easy, shutting down the Warriors' high-powered offense, holding them to just 1 run and scoring 6 of their own to make it back to the World Series for the second time in 4 seasons.

In the other semifinal, the Island Winds defeated the Knights, 8-4, and so the World Series matchup was set. It was none other than the Island Winds vs. the Destroyers, the two most impressive teams throughout both the regular season and the playoffs. Both teams blazed through the regular season with incredible 51-9 records, and they both defeated very strong opposition in the playoffs to earn their spot in the World Series. But, who will be victorious? They both deserve it, but only one can win. This is what Franchise Ball, and sports, are all about....the best of the best going at it, with the whole world watching. This will be a treat.

It's safe to say that game 1 lived up to every bit of the hype, with runs being scored left and right. The Island Winds opened the scoring with 5 runs in the 2nd, a very good start. But, the Destroyers answered with 3 runs of their own in the 3rd. Then, in the 5th, the Destroyers put up 4 more runs to take the lead, 7-5. But, the Island Winds tied it up in the 6th, only for the Destroyers to take the lead right back in the bottom of the inning. The Destroyers put 3 runs on the board to make it 10-7. Then, right as we had a bit of a break (2 innings without any runs...crazy, right?!) the Island Winds' offense absolutely exploded. We will never know what happened to the Destroyers' pitching in the 8th inning, but it was not good. The Island Winds put up 8 runs in the 8th inning and made it 15-10. The Destroyers were in trouble early on, and had only two innings to try to repair the damage and make a comeback.

It did not happen. They only managed one run in the 9th inning, and game 1 was over. The Island Winds won it, 15-11, and it's safe to say that the 59,889 fans that showed up to the game got their money's worth. What a start to this World Series!

In game 2, the pitching on both sides was much better, and the Destroyers scored 4 runs in the 4th inning (just like the Island Winds scored 8 runs in the 8th inning of game 1!) and this helped them to the 6-2 victory. A very strong, bounce-back performance by the Destroyers to level the series and provide the fans with a game for the record books. Game 3. Winner takes all.

Game 3 started very quietly, and it looked like it would be another pitchers' duel. In fact, it was, until the 5th inning, when the Destroyers drove in 3 runs to open the scoring. They followed it up with 2 more runs in the 6th inning, and the Destroyers had themselves a comfortable 5-0 lead, but you can never count out the Island Winds. Especially in the World Series, a comeback isn't just possible, it can almost be expected. With everything on the line, surely the Island Winds will give it everything they have to try to come back and win it all.

Unfortunately for them, that did not happen. The Destroyers' pitching, remarkably, managed to complete the shutout in game 3, and it was over! 5-0! The Peoria Destroyers were World Series champions! Destroying the competition on their way to a well-deserved world title. Congratulations!

The Destroyers' remarkable playoff run:

League quarterfinals: San Jose Silver Fox: 8-2 W

League semifinals: Louisville Colonels: 3-1 W

League finals: Springfield Eagles: 14-1 W

World quarterfinals: Kansas City KC Kings: 9-7 W

World semifinals: Spokane Warriors: 3-1 W

World Series: Honolulu Island Winds: 11-15 L, 6-2 W, 5-0 W.

Some stats on the Destroyers' run: The Destroyers averaged 7.38 runs per game in the playoffs, and gave up an average of 3.63 runs. They finished the season with a record of 58-10, which is a 85% winning percentage.

Very impressive. The Destroyers' remarkable season is proof that hard work is rewarded. 3 seasons after losing in the World Series to the Spokane Warriors, the Destroyers bounced back, worked even harder, and made it back to the big show, and won it this time. Well done to them, the future is certainly bright for this elite team.

Authored by the Los Angeles Lions