Monday, September 26, 2011

YSA: Hounds Fall Again; Season on the Brink

After losing on opening night, it was time to get back on the field and get back to our winning ways. The location was DeWitt Clinton and it was a very humid night in the city. Our opponents were the cityknights, a team made up of some of the members of last season's overall league champs, the citywolves. We knew we would be in for a tough battle and that is exactly what we would get. 

As the away team, we came up to bat first. Cityknights' pitcher is a very crafty fellow, changing speeds, location, and working very quickly. We were able to scratch out a couple of runs in the top of the 1st, MikePa driving in JT with a single, and Pat driving in MikePa with a sac fly. Juiena was our starting pitcher , and she gave it her all out there. cityknights are just a good offensive team and are going to put up runs against anybody. It didn't help that our D wasn't particularly sharp. There was a mixture of nice solid plays and questionable blunders. We got into deep trouble, falling behind 8-2 and in danger of getting blown out. But we fought back gallantly, lead by Juiena, who was a Houdini in the middle innings, getting us out of jam after jam. We put up 2 in the 3rd on RBI base hits from Iain and Pat. Another 2 scored in the 4th on JT's double. Now we were down only 8-6 and finally showing signs of life.  Unfortunately, the comeback would end there. We were able to hold cityknights scoreless for a few innings, but in the bottom of the 6th they put up another 5 spot in what can only be described as a debacle of an inning. We turned a bloop RBI single from one of their bottom of the order hitters into a 3-run home run with our defensive butchery. It was ugly out there, there is no need to sugarcoat it. In the top of the 7th we went out 1-2-3. Final Score: Hounds 6, cityknights 13.

Our record now stands at 0-2 and I think it's time for all of us to ask ourselves some questions. Are we going to continue to play like this? Are we willing to do what it takes to improve? Do we want to come to the ballfield for shits and giggles or do we want to actually win some games? There are some clear remedies from the outset. On the defensive side, we need to be a lot more communicative, and we also have to be smarter out there. There were many throws that should have never been made last night. We really need to think about risk/reward before making some of these throws. We need to accept that these are all good offenses and they are going to put up runs regardless. I know people are just trying to make a play, but sometimes, putting the ball in your pocket IS the best play to make. I am confident that with some adjustments, we can turn around the defense. More troubling is what is happening on the offensive side. We are making it too easy for the opposing defenses. There were two 1-2-3 innings and 2 innings were only 4 batters came to bat this last game. Too many pop ups and easy outs. We have to face the fact that the umpires are allowing these fast pitches and we have to adjust. The only way to improve our hitting right now is to get our timing down, and the only way do that is to go to the batting cages. We have almost two weeks until our next game. I am going to organize something in the Bronx during this break, most likely on Saturday, October 1 late morning/early afternoon. Be there, or go to the cages on your own. We all owe it to ourselves to do this.