Three games – No Rain! (6/13/13)
(I have worked on this post for 3 days. Game details for Sunday games were brief.)
I had to make a big deal about making it through last weekend without major rain storms wiping out our baseball. The main negative about rain outs is players lose their rhythm. Errors are much more likely to happen. Batters swing at lousy pitches, unless you are the pitcher who threw them and they resulted in “outs,” then they are great pitches. But allow baseball players to play games on a regular basis and hitters make pitchers tighten up the strike zone.
Going back to last Friday night, the theme of the whole weekend was, “We are not sure we will have 9 players.” I bet I heard that comment at least 6 times between Friday to Sunday. Facing that possibility, created some confusion, misunderstanding and near arguments. I will try to explain some of the reasons why the issue of how teams are encouraged to handle roster inequities. First of all, there is nothing in the “rules” that supports the verbal guidelines that officers, present and past, have often interjected into arbitration of last-minute game roster balancing. When one team has less than 9 players and their opponent has at least 9, 10, 11 or more team players, we have “encouraged” team managers to allow the team that is short to “borrow” a player. This lenient approach is based on years of any HDL team “ever or never” having any fear of forfeiting. Again, nothing in the rules covers this solution.
So, what if, a team has less than 9 players and only wants to bat their 7 or 8 players and use a borrowed opponent team player for defensive fill-in only? This has happened before and usually results in an argument. Since there is no official rule specifying how game rosters should have at least 9 batters, any argument against a teams’ desire to play with less than 9 players is only going to add to friction between those involved in the argument. Also, what if, a team knows they are going to be short so they invite a league player from another team that has players available to be recruited as a fill-in? This scenario is always ‘perceived’ as a team trying to load-up their lineup with a higher caliber player than what they might have to use from their opponent. I believe the application of this approach is discouraged in an effort to maintain some competitive balance. A couple of years ago when a team only wanted to bat 8 players, the opposing team argued that the team that was “short” had to take an automatic “out”. While that is a rule in ASA and local Memphis city “softball” rules, the HDL has NEVER followed this ruling. I can give you more arguments why we “don’t” penalize a team than why we would.
OK, enough about this topic, it sounds like a rules committee needs to draft a proposed amendment to the rules to address how this issue should be managed and followed. I am open to any recommendations, as long as they are submitted in writing. (email, hand written, or voicemail msg.)
Friday night recap:
CDS Green was worried about having 9 players and as it turned out, that was exactly what they had. No PW Burnett (work), no Kevin Latham (family). The MetLife Blue team had 12 members present. Assigning players to Green team to help balance lineups was briefly mentioned but that proposal was rejected. Three to four players from Red & Orange team were at the park but were not needed.
The game started with Blue pitching James Skinner and Green starting Glenn Coombs. Both pitchers did a good job making the innings short. After 4-1/2 innings, the score was Blue 3, Green 0. But in the bottom of the 5th, Glenn Coombs allowed 4 straight batters to reach base so the Green brought in Cesar Roman who came to the game with a sore hand from a work injury. But when summoned to the mound, Cesar declared he was ready to take over. Cesar faced 2 batters and got the Green team into the dugout with the score now 6-0.
The Green team finally scored in top of 6th when the middle of the Green line-up strung 3 hits together with Glenn Coombs ground ball up the middle scoring Otis Edwards from 2nd base. Then in the top of the 7th inning, the Green team batters went “crazy”! By time inning was over, they tagged James Skinner with 6 hits that included 5 straight Doubles from Kevin Nilsen, Cesar, Otis, Birkenstock and Glenn Coombs. These were all hard shots to the outfield. Poor James was shocked that some of the hits were not caught by his outfielders who are some of the best to play in the HDL (Tim Harris, Charles Mister and Aaron Sinzheimer.) By the time the Green team was retired, the score was tied 6-6. But the MetLife Blue team answered the challenge by posting 3 runs to re-take the lead 9-6.
In the 8th inning, and Blue up 9-6, the MetLife manager, Don Hinkle, went to his rookie reliever, Kris Klinger in hopes he could get the game over since time limit was about to expire. But Kris Klinger found out the same thing as Skinner, that the Green team bats had “woke up” and were serious about re-taking control of this game. The CDS Green sent 9 men to the plate and tied the score in top of the 8th.
From start to finish, these two teams played “don’t quit” baseball. After Glenn Coombs, was relieved by Cesar Roman, the momentum of the game shifted and gave the Greenes new life. After the CDS Green tied the score, the two teams played tactical baseball, especially the Blue team in the top of the 9th. They pitched around hot hitters to give them the best chance to hold the Green team to no runs in top of the 9th. Finally in the bottom of the 9th, the MetLife team kept the inning alive to bring James Skinner to the plate. In a very dramatic situation, James Skinner got a pitch he liked and drove it over the left field fence for a “walk-off” winner. Even the Green team celebrated knowing this was a special moment in the season.
For the MetLife Blue, Ryan Hogan was 5 for 6, James Skinner was 3 for 4, 5 RBI’s and a walk-off HR.
For CDS Green: Brian Nilsen was 3 for 5, 2 dbl’s; Glenn Coombs was also 3 for 5 and 2 RBI’s.
Sunday Game recap:
Sunday was set up as a double-header with Peterbilt Red playing Lomax Orange at 9:00 and following up with an 11:30 game between Peterbilt and CDS Green to make-up Rainout from June 2nd. Early Sunday morning when Bo and I were heading to the park, we noticed many puddles of water from a shower that rolled thru mid-town about 3:30 AM. Luckily, the field was improved by the shower that allowed us to avoid turning on the water. Currently a leak has been detected on our main water line to the field that is causing problems.
Game 1 – Lomax Orange vs Peterbilt Red
Playing without Andrew Waddell, Tony Lomax, Omar Zaveleta, and Bruce Monte, the Lomax Orange team just had 9 players. Jodie Wolfe was on the mound and really made many quality pitches only to watch his supporting cast “muff” routine plays that would have prevented runs. Granted, not to take anything away from Reds Jose Ortiz, Nick Harris and Bo McMinn, they hit the baseball with authority. Peterbilt only scored one run in top of 1st. In bottom of 1st, the Orange #2 hitter, Kurt Atkison reached 2nd base but Kevin High and Jodie were not able to drive Kurt in. The Red team scored another run in 2nd off mainly infield hits that Orange defense was only able to knock down.
In top of 4th inning with score at 2-0, the Peterbilt lineup batted around plating 4 runs. Cleve McClendon and Bo McMinn (The Mc Attack) each had 2 RBI hits. Now the score was 6-0. Jodie would try again in the 5th inning to hold the Red team close but they were able to add 2 more runs to make the lead 8-0. The key hit in the 5th was Patrick Belote’s base hit with Tolli an Houghton on base.
The Lomax team tried to rally in the bottom of the 5th. Good at bats by Kevin High, Jodie, Cory Morgan and Jeff Allen produced 3 runs but the strong pitching by Nick Harris stopped the rally.
Mutiple Hits: (Lomax) Cory Morgan (3/4), Jodie (2/4). Peterbilt: Nick Harris (2/3); Bo McMinn (2/4); Drew Russell (2/4); Cleve McClendon (2/4).
Pitching Line: (LOMAX) Jodie Wolfe – 5 IP, 8 R, 10 H, 4 K’s, 2 BB’s. Kevin High – 2 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 K’s 1 BB. (PETERBILT) Nick Harris – 7 IP, 3R, 7 H, 7 K’s, 5 BB’s.
This game was added to knock-off one of the rainout games from June 2nd. This was another game where CDS Green had good offense and defense. But when the game went to extra innings, pitching was unable to hold off the Red team.
Multiple hits: (CDS Green) – Brian Nilsen (2/3 w/ HR); Kevin Nilsen (3/4); (PETERBILT) Adam Wasson (3/3); Patrick Belote (2/3); Mike Tollison (2/4)
Pitching: (CDS Green) PW Burnett – 4 IP, 5R, 7H, 5 K’s, 0 BB; Kevin Latham – 4IP, 4R, 4H, 4 K’s, 3 BB; (PETERBILT) Mike Tollison – 3IP, 5R, 3H, 1K, 6BB; Bo McMinn – 5IP, 3R, 7H, 1K, 1BB.
Check the Home page for game schedule this weekend. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL DADDY’S IN THE HDL!