Friday, June 28, 2013

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

YSA: Hounds Involved in a Wild One; Benches Clear

A quick turnaround meant we played our next game in Central Park only 3 days after our last. We were looking to get back on the winning track, knowing that we can't afford too many more losses if we want to make it to the 2nd season. The opponents were the team from Stumble Inn, who were barely able to beat a short-handed Hounds squad last season. We were looking to avenge that loss, but more so trying to finish the season strong. 

As the road team, we came to bat first, and we were able to put 3 on the board on a 2 RBI double from MIke and an RBI single from Sam. Our starting pitcher was Margaret, and she was as usual, solid and in command of the strike zone. We gave up 4 in the bottom of the 1st, and that first inning was a harbinger of the wild game that was to come. It was a back and forth affair, we seized the lead in the 3rd at 8-3, only to have Stumble come back in the bottom of the frame and close it to 8-6. We can't talk about our offense today without talking about MikePa and Sam. The 4-5 hitters dominated Stumble's pitcher, MikePa going 4-4 with a walk, 3 RBIs and 4 runs scored, and Sam going 4-4 with a SAC and an astonishing and team season-high 6 RBIs. Teresa also did work, going 3-4 with an RBI. Margaret continued to deal and had 2 RBIs of her own, but Stumble grabbed the lead back in the 5th and were now up 10-9. MikePa was clutch and again manufactured a run for us to tie it in the 6th, stretching what would have been a single for some people into a triple and then scoring on Sam's clutch, 2-out RBI single. The game was tied and was now played on a razor's edge. Tensions were high as both managers had been warned in the middle of the game relating to an incident in which Stumble attempted the hidden ball trick after time had been called by the ump.

We held Stumble scoreless for the rest of the game, but they held us scoreless as well, so it was on to extra innings. We started out the top of the 8th in tremendous fashion, 3 singles in a row from Andy, Cap, and Wink plus a walk to MikePa meant we were back up again 11-10 and threatening to have a huge inning. Now Sam was up and just as he was every other at bat, he was clutch and hit a sac fly to fairly deep right. Cap was on third and tagged up, barreling home to score easily. For some inexplicable reason, Stumble's pitcher/manager ran over from the mound to the 3rd base line about 5 feet up from home plate, completely blocking Cap's path to home even though there was no play at the plate whatsoever. Cap did what any other hard nosed ball player would do– braced for impact, and there was a collision. Stumble's pitcher came out on the wrong side of the collision and fell to the dirt in a heap. Cap scored, Wink to 3rd and Mike to 2nd. But as Stumble's pitcher got up, he complained bitterly about being knocked over. As the umpire was explaining to him that he was obstructing in the base line and that Cap did nothing wrong, he took a cheap shot and punched Cap. Cap responded by punching back, and all hell broke loose. Benches cleared, and mayhem ensued. Being that Stumble's guys outweighed the Hounds guys by an average of about 75 pounds, the Hounds were wise to not let the brawl escalate. Cooler heads prevailed and no further punches were thrown, although a couple Hounds fell victim to some MMA grapple moves. Unfortunately, the umpire saw no option but to call the game right there, and so we now await a ruling from the league office. Final Score: Hounds 12, Stumble Inn 10. (to be continued?)

Hounds I am really disappointed in myself for not having been the bigger person and just turning the other cheek to that first punch. That would have been the right thing to do. I let my instincts get the best of me, and I can't use the fact that everything happened so quickly as an excuse. Worse still is the possibility that this could affect our playoff hopes. I wanted more than anything to lead this group into the playoffs and to know that my actions may be responsible for us missing out is tough to swallow. I am the leader of this team and I am supposed to set the example. I see no other option but to suspend myself for the next game on 7/1 pending the league's verdict, which may be harsher for me. I accept whatever penalty they give me but I hope they will not punish the rest of the team for this. I have laid out our case to the league by email and we await their response. I apologize to you all for my lack of self-control.

YSA: Hounds Fall

Coming off a three game winning streak, the Hounds went over to North Meadow for a rare Friday game. The weekend was upon us and we could not have asked for better weather to play softball in. The opponents were the crew from Chico's Bail Bonds, who put a pretty nice whipping on us when we faced them last summer. As the road team, we came up to bat first and got on the board on RBIs from Angel and C-Rod. However, we gave it right back and then some as we let Chico's score 4 in the bottom of the 1st off our starting pitcher Iain. They got some well hit balls off of him, but we also helped them a lot by misplaying balls and giving them extra outs. MikePa manufactured another run for us by scoring from 2nd on Wink's 5-3 putout in the top of the 3rd. But Chico's came right back and put up another 4 spot in the bottom of the frame. From there, our offense was non-existent, as Chico's pitcher retired the last 13 Hounds in a row. Margaret came on and pitched a couple of scoreless innings, but with our bats not working at all, we stood no chance of coming back. Final Score: Hounds 3, Chico's 8. 

 This loss is one of those you just can't analyze too much because we were so thoroughly beaten. Chico's seems to have our number, but we must look to the fact that they scored most of their runs on our defensive miscues as hope that if we play better D, we can get a different result against these guys.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Vote for your Hounds All-Stars

Hounds All-Stars (1 male, 1 female) free polls 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hounds at the Apollo

Supporting our fellow Hound Paige as she took the stage at one of the world's most iconic venues!

YSA: Stats Thru 8 Games

WIth three quarters of the season behind us, it's a good time to look at the stats. Memory doesn't always coincide with the cold, hard numbers. 

First and foremost, props have to go to the Iron Hounds, C-Rod and Karim, who have yet to miss a game for this ballclub. That is dedication and I thank you both.

Justin is making his mark on the stat sheet and is leading the squad in average and OPS. The kid is on fire right now and it seems like everything he's hitting is going for extra bases. MikePa continues to lead in important categories like RBIs, runs scored, and home runs. For the ladies, Juiena and Margaret are both hitting .500 but with a much larger sample size, I have to give the batting average lead to C-Rod. On the pitching side, Iain holds the team lead in wins and ERA with an impressive 6.09. 

As we enter the closing stretch, keep in mind that stats aren't everything– there are also certain intangibles that can't be measured in the stat book. So don't get caught up in the numbers, just go out there and play smart, heads-up ball and let the number take care of themselves. Most importantly, know that I am not just looking at numbers when I make out the lineup. We close with the most important stat of all, the win-loss column.

Batting Stats (click to enlarge)

Pitching Stats (click to enlarge)

Standings (as of 6/13)

YSA: Hounds Outlast the Weisers

After a bit of a long break, it was once again time for the Hounds to take the field. The location was DeWitt Clinton Park, where we had lost our last two in a row. However, we were coming in riding a modest two game winning streak overall and with as much confidence as we have had all season. The opponents were the Weisermazers, a team with a tricky name to pronounce but a solid group of ballplayers. We eeked out a win against them last summer and we knew we had a tough game on our hands.

As the road team, we came to bat first. After a walk to Andy, Justin came through with a 2 out, 2 run home run to put us on the board. We would not score again until the 5th inning as Weisers pitcher kept us off balance. Meanwhile, Iain took the mound and was in control throughout. Our defense was solid for the most part but there were a couple of minor miscues that might have led to runs being scored. Fortunately, most of the miscues were contained to the early part of the game. MikePa continued to play like a man possessed in the outfield, with several highlight reel catches. We came into the top of the 5th trailing 2-6. We never got down however and always knew we had a shot to get back in this thing. We scored two runs in the 5th on RBIs from Juiena and Iain, but that was just a prelude of what was to come. We exploded for 7 runs in the top of the 6th, all on singles and doubles. We made solid contact up and down the line up, with 4 runs being scored with 2 outs. In fact, we scored an impressive 8 runs with 2 outs in this game. Now we were up and added some insurance in the 7th on a solo home run by Push and an RBI double by Andy. Iain closed the door in the bottom of the frame to seal our 3rd win in a row. Final Score: Hounds 13, Weisermazers 8.

Hounds we are now 5-3 and this group really has me believing. It was great to see how we rallied around each other and pulled out a gutsy win against a good opponent. We must keep the momentum as we enter this final stretch of the season.