The Shartlesville Browns completed their second season at 47-33 and made the playoffs for the first time in team history. After a fast start the ’17 Browns had a bad second period and stood at 30-33 after two. This was the same record they had at the end of the 2nd in ’16, but the ’17 Browns went 17-10 in the third whereas the ’16 Browns tanked in the 3rd going 10-17 to finish 40-50.
The key to the Browns playoff run can best be summed up by left handed pitching. The Browns lefty starters were 10-4 in 16 starts with a 2.33 ERA in the 3rd. Likewise, the trades Browns management made to better hit lefties paid huge dividends. In the 3rd the Browns saw modest overall rises in BA (+4 Points) OBP (+4) and SLG (+7) but that was heavily driven by stats against LHP: up 20 points in average, 22 in OBP and 27 in SLG in about a third of total at bats.
The stars of the 3rd Period further bear this point out. Jon Lester posted a 5-1 record with a 0.79 ERA and Rich Hill was right behind him at 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in just 3 starts. At the plate it was the added ability to platoon brought by trades that helped the Browns thrive. Jose Reyes slashed .500/.541/.618 in 34 at bats against LHP. On the other side of the platoon Corey Seager blew up in the 3rd hitting .303 with 4 HR, 9 2B and 12 RBI. The other key platoon was in RF where Brandon Guyer (.355/.444.452) handled the lefties and Josh Reddick (.246/.316/.377) with 2 HR and 11 RBI against the RHP.
For the year the team MVP’s were Hill (10-0,1.72 ERA over 83.66 innings in 11 Starts) and Brian Dozier who slashed .224/.292/.463 with 18 bombs and 53 RBI. He was involved in nearly a quarter of all the runs scored by the Browns on the season (80/358).
On the season the Browns hit .216 with two outs while hitting 29 2-out homers and driving in 129 runs. With runners in scoring position the Browns slashed .269/.331/.457 but were only 9 for 35 with the bases loaded.