Thursday, May 23, 2013

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

YSA: Hounds Sweep Twin Bill

Coming off a two game losing streak in which we were beaten thoroughly in both games, the Hounds took the field at the North Meadow trying to get the season back on track. A doubleheader was on tap, and despite the threat of rain in the days leading up, the softball Gods were kind to us and let us get the games in on what turned out to be a beautiful if somewhat crisp Spring evening.

For Game 1, we were the home team and took the field behind Margaret, our starting pitcher. Our opponents were the team from Capco, a unit that appeared somewhat disorganized and chaotic. They did have some big dudes though yet we took care of them easily in the top of the 1st despite having only 8 fielders on the field. However, they also shut us out in the bottom of the frame. By the 2nd inning, we had our complete team ready and were poised to do some damage. We put up 5 runs in the 2nd, with the heart of the order producing 4 hits in a row. Meanwhile, Margaret was stellar. She was our rock and never let Capco into the game. WInk and Justin came up big for us, each going 2 for 2 with 2 runs scored. Unfortunately, this game was mired by some questionable play by us, especially on the bases, owing to what I like to call brain farts. This was exemplified by the bottom of the 5th, when we had 3 out of 4 batters get base hits yet we only brought 4 batters to the plate in the inning. Don't ask me how that can happen.

Fortunately, these blunders did not cost us much as our defense was actually pretty solid and Margaret continued to deal. Capco were a fun loving bunch and were ready to say goodnight peacefully as the 7th inning approached. Final Score: Hounds 8, Capco 3.

On to Game 2, and now it was Iain's turn to take the mound against a team called Blue Balls. This time we were the road team, but once again our offense was blanked in the 1st inning. Iain is like a tailor when he pitches– a little off here, a little extra over there, and he stymied Blue Balls offense, holding them to 2 runs over 7. He also got a lot of help from his defense. Dare I say our best defensive performance of the season. There were lots of solid plays and really no glaring blunders. Andy was beasting over at short, Push represented for the outfield, Alan showed some serious vertical over at 1st, and MikePa...we'll get to him in a second.

After a SAC fly by Justin got us on the board in the 2nd, our big inning was the 3rd. We put up a 3 spot on RBIs from C-Rod, MikePa, and Andy. We brought a 7-2 lead into the bottom of the 7th. After an uncharacteristic walk by Iain, Blue Balls were threatening with two outs. One of their guys who had homered earlier was up and hit an absolute rocket of a shot to the left field gap. It looked like at least a triple if not more. Then all of a sudden came one of the best plays you will ever see at any level of the sport. MikePa flew in, perpendicular to the ground and deep in left field, his feet facing home plate at a slight angle, and made a spectacular catch. All the more special that it ended the game and was his last play before his big wedding weekend. The team erupted in celebration and the sweep was complete. MikePa...the legend continues. Ben Stiller will be playing him in the movie. Final Score: Hounds 7, Blue Balls 2.

This now means we are back over .500 and back in the playoff hunt. We have 5 games remaining, and the oddsmakers have us as the favorite in three, the underdog in two. A 7-5 record might be good enough to get in, but we have to pull off an upset or two to make absolutely sure. What I saw today, especially in Game 2, makes me believe we can do this.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

YSA: Hounds Drop Another

After getting beaten badly in our previous game, the Hounds took the field at DeWitt looking to get back in the win column. The opponents were the dreaded Amalgamated team, who we have much history with. After dominating them in the early years of the rivalry, they re-tooled their team and have gotten the better of us in 3 out of the last 4 meetings coming into this one.

Our starting pitcher was Margaret, and the veteran was on point again. We came to bat in the top of the 1st, and a baserunning blunder cost us a chance at possibly scoring in that inning. Amalgamated was now up and they put a quick 3-spot on the board. This time around our defense was not as shoddy as last game, although a couple of miscues were made. Nevertheless, it was a close 6-3 game entering the bottom of the 5th, with the Hounds trailing. A pitching change was made, with Wink coming in for Maggie Ballgame. Unfortunately, the Winkster did not have his command on this night, and was quickly replaced by Iain. Mr. Clutch got things under control, but a lot of damage had been done, with 7 runs scoring in the frame. Things were looking bleak, but again, we showed a lot of determination and fight to make the game closer. MikePa had another big day offensively, going 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored. Push was also perfect at the plate, going 2 for 2 with a run scored. Alan and WInk each had 2 RBIs. But it would not be enough as Amalgamated closed us out with a scoreless 7th. Final Score: Hounds 8, Amalgamated 14.

Another loss means we are now 2-3 and in danger of letting this season get away from us. I am sick about this loss, mainly because I just hate losing to this particular team. But I have to give them credit, they are the defending champs and in 1st place. If there is a silver lining here it's that we were in this game for most of it, and I feel like if we can improve and get a chance to face them again down the road, we can get a different result. We now enter a stretch of 3 games against some of the bottom teams in the division. We must get a winning streak going here.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

YSA: Stats thru 4 games

With a quarter of the season behind us, now is a great time to look at the stats. Memory doesn't always coincide with the cold, hard numbers. 

Well, lookie here... Sam leads the team in batting average with a .714 clip. The kid from Bahston is off to a hot start this season. MikePa is right behind him, and also leads the team in home runs, RBIs, SLG, and OPS. Among the ladies, C-Rod is tops in batting. On the pitching side, Wink is tops with a 5.25 ERA

Hitting Stats

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Pitching Stats

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YSA: Hounds Get Smoked

On a gorgeous sunny day in Central Park , the Hounds took the field looking to go for 3 in a row. The opponents were the CPAs from Citrin Cooperman, and we came to the field optimistic. That optimism proved to be misplaced...

Our starting pitcher was Margaret and she was as usual, in full command of the strike zone. She deserved a better result than her team was able to get. We came to bat in the top of the 1st  and were unable to muster anything. Cooperman was now up and they proceeded to put up a quick 6 spot on the board. Let's give this team a lot of credit, they had good hitters making solid contact all up and down their lineup. Their pitcher was also very crafty in that he had us consistently swinging at pitches high in the zone. As a result, we got under a lot of his pitches, and there were tons of harmless pop ups by our team. 

We put up 4 runs in the top of the 2nd, but after that, it was a pretty quiet day for our lineup. Meanwhile, Cooperman continued to rake and by the late innings, it was clear who was the better team at this moment. We were just fortunate not to get mercy-ed, missing that threshold by two runs. The big highlight of the day was the cooler of ice cold brewskies that awaited us after the game. Final Score: Hounds 7, Citrin Cooperman 17.

There's no need to sugar coat, we got rocked today. We took one on the chin, but there is no reason we can't bounce back. A quarter of the season is behind us but there is still the majority of the season ahead of us. We have a big game coming up next Tuesday against one of the best teams in the division. It only gets tougher from here, folks. Hit the cages people, we need to get this offense in gear.