Friday, August 16, 2013

YSA Playoffs: Hounds Fall Gallantly vs Chico's

On a crisp August evening, it was time for the Hounds to take the field at DeWitt Clinton for our first playoff game in Division 1. The opponents were Chico's, a team we have had trouble figuring out. We came into the game feeling good about our chances though and excited about the opportunity. With our ace pitcher Iain on the mound, we felt we could keep the game close and maybe even pull off the upset.

We came to bat first as the away team and were able to get some hits in the first inning, but were not able to put up any runs on the board. Chico's came to bat and promptly put up 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st. We would finally get on the board in the top of the 3rd on an RBI single from Iain, but the difficulty we were having just to get that one run did not bode well for the future. Sure enough, Chico's pitcher kept our hitters off balance the whole game and we were unable to muster any significant rallies against him. Meanwhile, their offense continued to put up runs here and there, aided by some Hounds miscues. We kept the faith though, believing we could turn it around right up until the last inning, but it was not meant to be. A simple 1-3 comebacker ended the game and our season. Final Score: Hounds 1, Chico's 6.

Before anything else, we must tip our cap to Chico's. They are a really solid ballclub, they have a very good pitcher, and they made some really nice plays defensively to keep us off the board. They are also not as obnoxious as some of our other opponents in this league, and I find myself almost rooting for them to win the whole thing. We must also acknowledge the work of our pitcher, Iain. He did very well to keep this potent Chico's offense at bay, and really, only about 2 of the 6 runs that scored off him were actually earned runs. He kept us in the game, but we were just not able to muster enough to get him the win. To top it off, he went 3 for 3 and had our lone RBI in the game. He deserves special recognition for his contributions. Props, kid.

Our season is now over and the long off-season is now underway. It has become pretty clear that as presently constituted, pulling off a championship in this D1 is going to be a very tall order for us. Perhaps the answer is to drop down a division, perhaps the answer is to re-tool and get back at it. There is plenty of time to reflect on this, but one thing I know for sure is that the Hounds will rise again.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

YSA: Final Player Stats

The final stats are featuring 2 out RBIs and BA with RISP.

Sam is the Hounds batting champ for 2013...the kid from Bahston held off MikePa (sorry Kaiser...not enough GP) for the crown. A very solid .682 average as well as 2nd in the team in RBIs mean Sam's had his best season yet as a Hound. MikePa led in most other important categories like home runs, RBIs, RS, OBP, OPS, JFK, GNC, OPP...those last few are jokes. 

Among the ladies, C-Rod(.391) takes the batting title, holding off a brave challenge from Margaret(.462) who also was just a couple games shy of the 8 game limit.

As we enter the playoffs, it's fun to look over the stats and what not, but we must now forget about all this as these numbers count for nothing now. The only thing that matters is what we do with the opportunity we have now. Let's take it one at bat at a time.

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

YSA: Hounds Clinch

After a rough loss in our last outing, it was time to renew pleasantries with Stumble Inn. This was a continuation of a game a few weeks ago that took a turn for the worst with a bench-clearing brawl. We came into it knowing that it could once again get heated with so much on the line. But give a lot of credit to the opposing manager, he came over to the dugout before the game and apologized to us for what happened in the past. It takes a big person to apologize and you could tell the guy was sincere. We were able to move forward and finish the game without further incident.

The scenario was simple. Top of the 8th inning, 1 out, Hounds leading 11-10 with runners on 2nd & 3rd. A win and we continue the season in the playoffs, a loss, and the season is over. Iain was due up and they don't call him Mr. Clutch for nothing. He promptly stroked a clean base hit right up the middle to plate the two that were on base. Another RBI by Mano made it 14-10 and we had to feel good about our chances going into the bottom of the 8th. Iain came on to get the save for the pitcher of record, who was Margaret. He closed out Stumble 1-2-3 with some solid defense at short from Andy. The final play was a 6-3 ground out, and as the ball landed in Mano's glove over at first, we knew we were moving on to the 2nd season. We had a muted celebration as we knew that although we accomplished a big goal, we have our sights set on bigger things. Final Score: Hounds 14, Stumble Inn 10.

Congratulations team for making the playoffs in this grueling Division 1. The competition is stiff in this league, and we should give ourselves a lot of credit for persevering amidst a lot of adversity. Thanks also to Amy once again and JT for coming out and helping us when we were in a pinch. Now we must set a higher goal– a goal which is attainable! All records are out the window and we have as good a shot as anybody.