September 2018

2018 Hitting & Pitching Statistics

Just in time for voting!

Here is the latest Hitting and Pitching statistics that players can use to determine best player for MVP and Gold Glove awards.

Ballot Voting sheets will be distributed on Sunday September 23rd. Bookmark this link to help you rank your selections.

NOTE:  THIS SUMMARY DOES NOT INCLUDE GAMES PLAYED DURING THE FIRST ROUND OF PLAY-OFFS.

This is What it’s All About!

Opening Round Madness Last Sunday

As anticipated, all 4 HDL teams were ready to play (with who they had). No team conceded anything to their opponent.  Each game was shaped by each pitch that was delivered. The outcome of each pitch created baseball drama as all team members watched or reacted as the defensive players decided how to properly counter attack their opponents efforts to score runs. The athletes of each team were challenged to make “plays”, both offensively and defensively.

Early Game Highlights:

PRUDENTIAL TIGERS 11 – THOMPSON TRUCK CENTER CARDINALS 5

The Thompson Truck Center Cardinals, the number 2 seed, was home team against the Prudential Tigers, the HDL No. 3 seed.  Inning by inning each team had to work hard to minimize the number of the other teams batters would get a chance to “hit” during each inning. The more batters the other team’s pitchers had to face would affect the number of potential runs that could score.  Both teams restricted their batting line-up to 9 hitters to maximize their opportunities for their best hitters.  For the Cardinals, nine hitters was all they had because 2 or 3  important players were unavailable (Judson Belote, Brian Menendez, Patrick Belote).

The Prudential Tigers had the luxury of extra players to swap out and be a courtesy runner. With the Tigers being the “visitor” they sent 8 batters to the plate to face Travis Hill in the top of the 1st. After 3 runs had scored and with the bases loaded with one out, Travis Hill snagged a ground ball from Kurt Adkison and turned it into a 1-2-3 double play that ended the inning. Tigers up 3 runs.

In the bottom of the 1st, Carlos Canelo walked and Nick Harris hit a bomb to the left field fence to score Canelo. Nick’s double hit the fence in almost the same location as Juan-Jose Castillo hit landed in the 1st inning. After Travis walked, Kevin High kept the inning alive with a base hit. With Nick Harris on 3rd, Nick scored on Cory Morgan’s sacrifice fly ball to center field.  After one inning, Tigers 3 – Cards 2.

With Juan Castillo on the mound for the Tigers, the Cardinals knew they had to make solid contact on his fast ball and curve to force the Tigers defense to try to make outs. After the 3rd inning, Castillo found his groove and the Cardinals scoring opportunities became less and less. Meanwhile, the Tigers offense forced the Cardinals to make a switch and move Nick Harris to the mound. The Cardinals were only trailing the Tigers by score of 6-5 when the Tigers batted around in the 4th inning and take a 10-5 lead. From that point on the game was in the hands of Juan Castillo, even though Nick Harris settled down and only game up a single in the 6th.

Final Score was 11-5.  Both teams will face each other again on Sunday where Cardinals hope their missing teammates will be able to battle the Tigers to help force a 3rd and deciding best 2 out of 3 and advance to the Finals.

Late Game Highlights:

V-Brothers Athletics 5 – Lomax Dodgers 4

By far this was the “game of the day,” if not, the “game of the season” (So far).

The Dodgers all year long have been searching for that special day when all their collective baseball talents will shine. The Dodgers have as many experienced players as any team in the HDL, but for whatever reason, they have had more disappointments than celebrations during the regular season. For players who have followed the HDL over many seasons, they know the post-season play-off games are a legitimate chance to turnaround the heartbreaks of a rough year.  It has happened many times where a team that struggled the entire year and suffered through many head-scratching losses will suddenly find that “magic” that turns around their baseball fate. Last Sunday was so-close for the Dodgers. Yet in the end, the “Never-say-die” Athletics found a way to spoil the Dodgers outstanding effort to come out on top.

The tone of the game between the A’s and Dodgers was set in the first inning. The A’s starting Pitcher, Alex Vivas, entered this game with a 5-1 record and over 42 innings pitched during the regular season.  Alex has had an outstanding season and proved he is one of the most reliable pitchers in the HDL. Alex set down the Dodgers 1-2-3. But just as good, Brandon Poyner, matched Vivas with 3 straight outs in the bottom of the 1st.

In the top of the 2nd inning the Dodgers manufactured a run when Derek Caraway singled, Larry Hunsucker singled and Jason Mayrena knocked in Derek to take an early 1-0 lead for the Dodgers.  In the bottom of the 2nd, Poyner shut down the A’s 1-2-3.

In top of the 3rd, Vivas only faced 3 hitters and held the score to 1-0 until the bottom of the 3rd when the A’s bottom of the order came alive with a triple by Oscar Zamudio and an RBI single from Manuel Polanco. Now the score was tied.

Neither team scored in the 4th inning. In the 5th inning the Dodgers put together a solid inning with a lead-off walk by Larry Hunsucker and Jason Mayrena who advanced to 2nd & 3rd by David Calhoun’s sacrifice bunt. When Jason Nilson singled, Hunsucker made the score 2-1 in favor of Dodgers. In the bottom of the 5th inning the Athletics scored 2 runs when Carlos Bello and Ben Eldred had back-to-back RBI hits.  This gave the A’s a 3-2 lead. This also forced Dodgers Manager, John DiGiacomo, to bring in veteran Wes Hill to slow down the A’s. For the rest of the 5th inning, 6th inning and 7th inning, Wes Hill was “Vintage Wes“.

In  the top of the 6th, after Brandon Poyner, Cesar Roman and Derek Caraway hit the ball had off of Vivas and took the lead 4-3, Manager Carlos Varela brought in hard throwing Carlos Bello to face Hunsucker and stop the rally.  during the 7th and 8th innings both teams played outstanding baseball.  The tension in the bottom of the 8th inning, with Dodgers hanging on to a 4-3 lead, was high. Every pitch was critical.  Wes Hill battled the heat and the A’s hitters with all he had. After Alex Vivas base hit allowed Polanco and Freddy to score and give the A’s a 5-4 lead, the “clock” was the only thing keeping the Dodgers alive. With less than a minute left on the game clock when the bottom of the 8th inning ended, the Dodgers were granted their bat in the top of the 9th.  Even though the Dodgers put 2 runners on base, the pitching by Carlos Bello was too much for the Dodgers to overcome.

Final Score: A’s 5 – Dodgers 4

=========================================

Next Weeks Schedule:

9:00 AM – Athletics (1-0) vs Dodgers (0-1)

12:00 –  Cardinals (0-1) vs Tigers (1-0)

 

Regular Season Recap

Are you ready for some more BASEBALL!!

 

It’s Thursday (9/13).  The HDL Post Season Play-off brackets were rained

out last Sunday (9/9) so games will re-schedule to this Sunday, 9/16/2018.

 

So now that the week off is behind us, I would like to make a few comments

about the 2018 season. I have been wanting to do this for several weeks

but my injuries and health issues have interfered. I hope these comments

will get everyone focused on how this 2018 HDL season might finish.

 

Team Records: – Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

 

We have four teams who are all playing competitive baseball.  Since July 1st

(10 weeks ago), The V-Brother A’s are (4-2; 10-4 overall); Thompson Truck

Center Cardinals are (5-2; 8-7 overall); Prudential Tigers are (3-4; 7-7 overall);

Lomax Dodgers are (2-6; 4-11 overall);  Team records do not always reflect

the quality of some of the losses. We look at Won-Lost records to rank the

best and worst teams; but that is not the real story.

 

Earlier records before July 1st, even though, overall, V-Brother A’s have a regular

season record of (10-4) they have been a run scoring machine.  Each of their

4 losses were close games.  Three of the A’s wins were by 3 or less runs.  If

those tough wins had been losses, their record would have been 7-7.

 

On the other hand, the Lomax Dodgers team had a record of (4-11). The

Dodgers team also had three (3) tough losses by 3 runs or less that could have

gave them a more respectable record of (7-8).  This seems to indicate the Dodgers

should not be taken lightly in the Play-offs. They have a good roster of players

who have dealt with injuries most of the year.  One thing teams need to make

their primary focus is good pitching and clutch defense will likely make a big

difference in the outcome of a baseball game.

 

TEAM Stats:

 

Looking at team statistics shows that the Athletics team still has the most

potent lineup that any pitcher in the HDL have to face,  A’s Team is

hitting .370 overall. The next best team average belongs to the Thompson

Truck Center Cardinals, hitting a surprising .367 overall.  Next the Prudential

Tigers team is hitting .335 overall and believe it or not, the Lomax Dodgers

team is hitting .306 overall. Their team average is depressed by their high

frequency of strikeouts (58). Their base-on-balls was good with 55.

In the end, pitching will determine what team comes out on top at the end

of the Play-offs. ERA-wise, the Thompson Cardinals with an ERA of 7.64.

leads that category. The next best ERA belongs the Lomax Dodgers. Their

pitching lineup with Brandon Poyner, Wes Hill, Cesar Roman, Kevin Latham

and Paul Baioni is posting an ERA of 7.89.   Both V-Brother A’s and Prudential

Tigers have an ERA over 8.00. So, don’t count out the Dodgers with their

outstanding pitching staff.

 

Stay Healthy! Please:

 

A few other factors making the post season interesting is injuries. The

HDL had an average year with assorted injuries to key players. During

July and August, the high temperatures were taking a toll on many

HDL players who were struggling with hydration stress.  Hopefully as

we move into “Fall” the high heat factor will go away.  The HDL does

not want to see any players go down with an injury.  So play with-in

yourself, play hard and don’t do anything you shouldn’t be doing.

 

Post Season Eligibility:

 

Reminder:  All dues have to be paid in full to be eligible for Post-Season

games.  Also, if any new players have not met minimum game played

requirements, they will not be eligible for post-season.

 

Important Reminder: 

 

1.  Please lock your vehicles during the games and make sure

     all valuables are hidden in a safe location.

2.  Plan to take a “Team Picture” next Sunday, either before

     the game or after.  Bring your camera.

3.  See the HDL Blog for a post that explains the Courtesy

      Runner Rules.

4.  This is election year.  This year we will only select a league

     President.  Other officer positions will be appointed by the

    elected president.  This process will allow the President to

    select officers who will be an effective administrative team

    who can work together to make sure all duties of officers

    are properly represented.  Ballot sheets will be distributed

    during the play-off series.

I wanna Win!

 

Courtesy Runner Playoff Rule and Other Clarifications

League Officers and Team Managers recently reviewed HDL rules and identified several “Courtesy Runner” rules that needed clarification.

Also reviewed were:

  • Use of borrowed players during playoffs
  • Game Time Limits and tie game procedure

NOTES: 

Rule 2 (Courtesy Runner) see https://hdlmemphisblog.wordpress.com/home/hdl-rules/

Rule 4 of current Courtesy Runner Rule is “scratched” due to ambiguity in the original paragraph.

If anyone has any questions, please contact your team manager.  If Team Manager can not answer your question, Manager will seek an answer from league officers.

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