Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gotham City: Hounds Demolish Solid Chemicals

It was another glorious Saturday in New York as the Hounds took the field in Central Park. We were looking to put on a stronger showing than we did on Opening Day, and the team showed up to the field early and ready to handle business. In the opposing dugout was Solid Chemicals, a team with a name more befitting a detergent factory than a softball team. Let's give them credit for being a classy team, even if they might not have been fully prepared for the Hounds onslaught.

In Game 1, Margaret took the mound making her first appearance of the season. She showed right away why she is such a big difference-maker on our ballclub. A 1-2-3 first inning was a sign of things to come. Meanwhile, our offense put 3 quick runs on the board in the 1st, Mr. Clutch Iain hitting a 2-RBI triple. That was all we would really need as Margaret was masterful throughout the game. The defense behind her was stellar. Iain was in full dream-shatterer mode, making nifty play after nifty play at short. The defensive highlight of the game though has to go to Jason T. who gunned out one of Solid Chemicals' guys at 2nd base after a clean base hit to center. If you don't hustle against the Hounds, you're dead.

We added runs in each inning, and as the game wore on we got more and more relaxed. Pat hit another tape-measure home run, Jason T. chased Margaret around the bases after a home run of his own, and Iain hit a 2-run homer to take his RBI total for the game up to 4. Those 2 runs took us past the mercy-rule threshold and ended the game in the top of the 5th. Final Score: Hounds 12, Solid Chemicals 0.

For Game 2, Margaret once again got the ball and she continued to throw strikes and let the defense do the work. We were up to the task, although Solid Chemicals were able to string together some clean hits and finally get on the board. On offense, the star of the show was Pat, who hit another long home run and had 5 RBIs in the game. Some other standouts were Cindy(2-3, RBI, 2 RS), Karim(3-3, 2 RBI, RS), and MIke(2-2, SAC, 2 RBI, RS). We put 4 runs on the board in the bottom of the 5th, and the Captain(rocking the Yankee-Doodle-Dandy socks) stepped up to the plate knowing a base hit would score 2 and end the game on mercy rule. He proceeded to stroke a base hit between the shortstop and third baseman, Game Over. Final Score: Hounds 13, Solid Chemicals 2.

We put in a very solid effort in this one, team. However, I would caution that not all of our opponents will be cupcakes like Solid Chemicals. I know our team is destined for the playoffs, in my mind the regular season will be about refining our game so that when "October" rolls around we will be a finely tuned machine.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zog: Team Stats Through 9 Games

With only a quarter of the season left, the races for team leader in the various offensive categories are really heating up. I have to give props to Alan, Claudia, and Juiena for getting their batting averages way up from the last time stats were posted.

(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zog: Hounds Break Sporting's Wood

After a strong showing in our last Zog game, the Hounds headed over to Colonel Charles Young Field in Harlem looking to keep the winning streak going. It was a muggy June afternoon in New York, and a bunch of us got to the field nice and early. We took some cuts and got acclimated to the field conditions, which were actually not as bad as we were expecting. Our opposition was Sporting Wood, a team that seemed like they might have had a few drinks before the game...big mistake. It's hard enough to play against the Hounds sober, much less inebriated.

Juiena once again got the ball as starting pitcher and she continued her run of dominance. Actually this might have been her most brilliant performance of the season. Sporting Wood only scored in one inning, and that was only because of a couple of defensive misplays. On offense, we were able to score early and often. MikePa set the tone in the 1st inning, hitting an opposite-field leadoff home run. We proceeded to score 8 in the 1st and we were on our way. Everyone in the lineup had at least one hit, but the major contributors were Mike(3-4, HR, 2 RS, 2 RBI), Dave(2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI), Iain(4-4, 2 HR, 4 RS, 4 RBI), Wink(3-4, HR, 3 RS, 2 RBI), and Juiena (3-3, 3 RS, 3 RBI).

Defensively we were very sharp save for those early miscues. MikePa had a nice catch in the outfield that saved at least one run. Mega came on to pitch in relief in the top of the 5th. Sporting Wood mounted a brief scoring threat in their last at bat, but Mega shut them down to close out 2 innings of scoreless relief. Final Score: Hounds 22, Sporting Wood 3.

This was a very solid win, team. We have now won 4 in a row and are playing better defensively with each passing game. We can start counting on being in the playoffs, although I would stress our work in the regular season is far from done. We still have shot at finishing first overall in the division, that should be our goal as we head towards the home stretch.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gotham City: Hounds Split on Opening Day

After weeks of anticipation, the Hounds were ready to start the Gotham City Sports season. It was a beautiful June afternoon in Central Park, and we showed up to the field ready excited to play ball. In the opposing dugout was an outfit called JeffCo, a poorly prepared team than we should be able to beat easily when we are on our game. Unfortunately, we played a little tight this series and were unable to secure the sweep.

In Game 1, George took the mound but his control was off and he was pulled after an ineffective 2 innings. Pat came on to pitch in relief, and he did a great job. On offense, the 2nd inning was big for us, as we scored 5 runs. The highlight of the game had to be Dave and Pat hitting two tape-measure home runs back-to-back. The game was close but we held the lead throughout and Pat closed the door in the last inning. Final Score: Hounds 10, JeffCo 8.

For Game 2, Pat once again got the ball, this time as a starter. We jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning , with Jason T. hitting a 3-run home run. Pat pitched well and we headed into the final inning with a 5-2 lead. Then we proceeded to implode. We booted a bunch of routine plays and there was also a very controversial call made by the umpires. Before you knew it, JeffCo had the winning run at the plate. Their star hitter was up and he proceeded to hit a 3-run homer to win the game. Final Score: JeffCo 6, Hounds 5.

As frustrated as I was by the umpires' blown call, we deserved to lose at least one game with the way we played out there. The truth is, we were lucky to not have gotten swept. Except for a select few, our hitting was very lackluster. Our fielding at times was dreadful, I'm not going to sugarcoat it. We must improve greatly or it will be a mediocre campaign. The good news is that I know the quality of players we have on this team and I know we are up for the challenge.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zog: Hounds Bash Maroons

With a record of 5-2, the Hounds entered play on a gorgeous June afternoon firmly entrenched in the upper half of the standings. We were at Riverbank State Park, also known as Hounds Field. In the opposing dugout were the Maroons, a Fordham Alumni team we have had no trouble with in the past.

As the home team, we took the field first. Juiena was starting pitcher and she entered the game with lots of confidence from her previous outings. The Maroons scored one run in the first off two clean hits, but we held them to that one run. Now it was our turn to bat and we took command of the game from the very start. A four pitch walk to Alan set the whole thing off for us, and we proceeded to score 8 runs in that bottom of the 1st. From there we just dominated the game. Our hitters really came up big and the pitching & defense were stellar. Juiena was a battler all night and didn't walk anybody. On offense everybody did damage, the standouts were Alan(3-3, 2 RS, 3RBI), Dave(3-4, HR, 3RS, 4RBI), Mega(4-4, 3 RS, 2 RBI), Amy (2-3, 2 RS, RBI), and Karim(2-3, 2 RBI, RS). 

By the midway point of the game we were up big and the result was already locked up. The Maroons looked shaken but let's give them credit for being good sports. Due to time limit, the game was called two innings early depriving us the chance to reach the 20s in runs or maybe even beat the Hounds record(27). The final out was fittingly a comebacker to the pitcher. Final Score: Hounds 18, Maroons 5.

Very good win, team. These Maroons were right behind us in the standings so we have now put some distance between us and them. With only 4 games left I see that the remainder of our games are against the lower half teams. We must continue to build on this and head into the playoffs strong.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Zog: Hounds Re-Sign C-Rod

It is with great pleasure that I report that Cindy has re-signed with the Hounds for the stretch run. C-Rod was an integral part of our Spring '09 semi-finalist and Fall '09 Championship teams. She has already filled in for us this season, and her professional hitting and slick glove will make our team that much more formidable.

Zog: Hounds Win (Just Not the Way We Wanted To)

With Summer in full swing, it was time for us to kick-off the 2nd half of our Zog schedule. It was a very early weekday start time(5:45PM), but the Hounds did what they had to do and hustled over to Riverside Park in time for 1st pitch. We were fired up and ready to kick some tail...

Unfortunately, our opponents(who shall not be dignified by being named) did not have the same dedication. Only 4 guys on their team bothered to show up. No wonder they are winless and in last place. Needless to say, we got the victory, but we were still feeling a bit cheated. We Hounds hate winning by forfeit, we like to win on the field. We were understandably a bit grumpy, but we were still able to play a brief scrimmage and have some good laughs. Final Score: Hounds Infinity, Opponents Zero.