Gameday 15: Ducks vs Devils

2019 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (7-7)

vs

South Hills Devils (9-8)

8pm

West Field

The Ducks and the Devils will try to separate from the middle of the pack in a matchup full of playoff implications, tonight in Munhall. South Hills looks to avenge an early season 8-1 loss to the Ducks. Tonight’s game figures to be a much closer contest.

A win tonight, and our upcoming forfeit victory against West View and suddenly we could find ourselves on a three game winning streak. So it’d be a 2-for-1 tonight if we can beat the Devils at home.

Bad news for South Hills

 

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Ducks Win: South Oakland 4, Biscuits 1

2019 South Oakland Ducks

The South Oakland Ducks of the North Side defeated the Bandidos by a score of 4-1 on Biscuits Day, Sunday morning in East Liberty. South Oakland started the game with 8 players, and Bakery Square was unable to capitalize.

Ducks starter Colton Fago (W, 2-2) pitched four strong innings; Ben Sorosky struck out 4 in 1 2/3 innings, and James Fago recorded the four-out save (3).

The game was played under protest due to a potential misinterpretation of a rule by the plate ump. In question was whether two base runners making contact on the base paths counts as a runner passing the baserunner ahead of him. It came up because of a wild play late in the game.

In the fifth inning, with runners on first and second, Casale doubled up the hill in center. The Bandidos centerfielder almost made the catch and then made a great relay to the plate, but the ball was dropped after the first tag was made. Initially both runners were called out, but the umps conferred and got the call right, which would have been nice last game.

I was walking back from the bathroom when this happened, and watched from the parking lot in center field. I think the protest is moot at this point.  It was a really good throw and some not super base running/coaching, which has been a trend lately. We’ve veered from aggressive and smart to reckless and stupid on a few occasions.

Another weird footnote this season. The time we were almost victimized by an amazing 8-4-2 double play. That ball would have rolled forever at West Field. Or maybe Friend would have been playing deeper at West Field and it would have been caught. Who knows?

Here’s where I digress into a mid-season summary of the AA season, using Cranberry and the Bandidos as primary points of reference since we just played them both.

 

The Bandidos (2-11) are really struggling this season, while first place Cranberry (11-1) has been the surprise of AA. Everyone else is jumbled in the middle.

The Ducks (7-7) have lost to Cranberry twice by one run in games that came down to the last at bat. We beat the Bandidos twice, 6-4 and 4-1, two well-played close games. Cranberry beat Bakery Square 8-7 in their lone matchup this season.

Has Cranberry just gotten every bounce this year while the Bandidos have been on the wrong side of every bounce? Will there be hard core correction to the mean in the second half for both teams? Who knows. Probably not. Now we’re getting into intangibles and confidence and that stuff, while overrated in general, is certainly contagious.

I’m not sure what this means except AA is really competitive this season, and a lot of this comes down to a few plays. Random lineup decisions that come back to hurt teams, or when a couple starters are out and there’s a hole in the defense, and maybe you skate by because you have your best pitcher going or maybe you save him for the next night and that game is rained out. Cranberry has done an awesome job at minimizing bad luck. Bakery Square hasn’t, and we’ve been average at it. Weddings, work schedules, vacations, benders, rain, setting the pitching rotation and then more rain, etc. So much shit that’s unrelated to baseball impacts teams, or can, and I think dealing with it is both the most frustrating and rewarding part of managing. But there’s still so much luck involved. When we win with our B team, and guys take advantage of opportunities, it’s great. When we lose, every decision was wrong.

So is the difference between Cranberry and Bakery Square one run or 9.5 games?

So I don’t know if we’re unlucky or what, but I know we have pitching, finally, and we haven’t been able to put together enough big innings.

My conclusion: Everyone in AA has a shot to make a run in the playoffs. Except for West View.

The Ducks next game is 8pm Wednesday night at West Field vs the Devils.

Thanks to the Friends for the use of their bases for my daughter’s softball game, which she won.

Gameday 14: Ducks vs D2

2019 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-7)

vs

Pittsburgh D2 (4-8)

8:30 pm

Herschel Park

South Oakland will try to get back to .500 tonight in Elliot. The Ducks have lost the last three games by a total of five runs. South Oakland lost 4-0 to D2 the last time the teams met.

We’ve been shutout three times this season, but our pitchers have also thrown two shutouts. The goal now is to finish in the top six, avoid the play in games, and get our offense in a better place for the playoffs. You don’t want to peak too early.

Some combination of Fagos will throw tonight. Maybe 55, will give us an inning.

Bad news for D2

Ducks Lose. Cranberry 3, South Oakland 2

Uncategorized

This was overall a really good game by both teams. I lost this one for us a few different ways.

Their catcher definitely dropped the ball when he tagged me at home, but I shouldn’t have run and deserved to be out. A bunch of other things could have gone differently, but this one is tough.

I haven’t been this upset about a loss this year. This is our second one-run loss to Cranberry in two games, and we wasted another good outing by our starting pitching. The hits have to start falling eventually.

Cranberry is now 9-1, while South Oakland falls to 6-7.

South Oakland’s next game is Friday, 8pm at Hershel Park. We play D2, and are the home team. This is a makeup of a rain out earlier in the season.

 

Gameday 13: Ducks vs Cranberry

2019 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-6)

vs

Cranberry Crusaders (8-1)

8 PM

West Field

South Oakland looks to even the season series against Cranberry tonight in Munhall, and keep their slim hopes for a first round bye alive. The Ducks dropped the last meeting between the two teams 5-4 in 8 innings.

Cranberry is winning a lot this season. If all the previous years’ standings and hadn’t been lost in the site migration, I’d look at the variance in runs for and allowed and try to figure out if this season is lucky or based on overall improvement.

In a relatively short season, streaks are obviously even bigger. A team can play over its head for a month and never see a true regression to the mean. Throw in a couple good pitchers and you can run away with it.

At 6-6 we are underachieving, and have only scored about 4 runs per game. On the plus side we’re allowing 3.5 runs a game, and any other year that would probably be good for a couple more wins at this point. We’ve had bad luck with runners in scoring position.

Our team is going to start hitting or we won’t. I think we’re due.

Bad news for Cranberry

Gameday 13: Ducks at Oilers

2019 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday, NABA, pittsburgh NABA, South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-6)

at

Hebrew Oilers (9-5)

6:45 PM

Mellon Park

South Oakland can sweep the Oilers and keep their slim hopes for a first round bye alive with a win tonight in East Liberty. Field conditions will not be great, but the BIG OIL has their grounds crew standing by.

The Ducks have not found their groove offensively yet, which is disconcerting given we are past the halfway point of the season. Good pitching has kept them in every game. Hopefully the team heats up in the second half. If not we will be fighting to stay in the top six and avoid a play-in game.

Bad news for the Oilers

 

Ducks Lose: South Oakland 0, Sheraden 3

2019 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland lost its second straight game to fall back to .500 last night in Munhall. Ducks starter, Colton Fago (L, 1-2) allowed one earned run in 3 innings. Matt Mullen pitched well in relief. The Ducks left a bunch of guys on base, and Sheraden’s lefty kept the team off balance.

Box Score

At the halfway point the Ducks are 6-6 and in fifth place. Not great. But still plenty to be optimistic about heading into the second half.

South Oakland plays next on Tuesday, 6/18, 6:45 at Mellon Park against the Oilers.

 

 

Gameday 12: Ducks vs Jays

2019 South Oakland Ducks, Gameday

South Oakland Ducks of the North Side (6-5)

vs

Sheraden Jays (6-3)

8pm

West Field

South Oakland looks to take the season series from Sheraden tonight in Munhall as the teams meet for the second time in a week. The Ducks won last Wednesday’s game 5-2.

The Ducks sit in fifth place, a game behind Sheraden. A win tonight will keep the team in the hunt for a bye.

We should have most of our starters tonight, and Colton is going to pitch again after recording nine strikeouts against the Jays last Wednesday.

Bad News for the Jays

Ducks Lose: South Oakland 5, Eagles 6

Uncategorized

Tough one-run loss the day after Brandt’s wedding. Looks like we battled, and came up just short, scoring two in the sixth on Morgan’s RBI single and another in the seventh off a Colton Fago triple. We had the tying run on third to end the game. Two close ones against the Eagles this year. We’ve accounted for half their wins.

South Oakland falls to 6-5 with the loss. The Eagles improve to 4-6.

The Ducks next game is Wednesday, 8pm at West Field vs Sheraden

Around the League

Cranberry handed Bauerstown their first loss of the season this weekend, and those two teams are tied for first at 7-1.

The defending champion Oilers (7-4) are somehow still competent despite their manager’s pleas to stay in AA because their team that lost everyone and has no pitching.

Sheraden is a game in front of us at 6-3. Big game against them this Wednesday. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond to the suspensions that were handed down over the weekend, and a ton of makeup games that have been backloaded to their schedule.

The Devils and Bandidos both won by forfeit over the Wolfpack this weekend. Bad news for West View. I’m not sure if they are going to be able to keep from folding. Who could’ve seen this coming?

How are the Bandidos 1-6?

A big part of succeeding in this league is being able to put out a competitive lineup when starters are on vacation or whatever, and grind through June without blowing up too many times. We’ve done ok so far, but a couple close losses and an opening day error-fest might hurt down the line. It’d be great to string a few together, and get out of the middle of the pack. We play 4 games in 6 days next week.

Quack.

 

 

Ducks Win: South Oakland 2, BIG OIL 0

2019 South Oakland Ducks

South Oakland moves back over .500 behind Randy Patton’s complete game shutout. Patton (W, 3-0) struck out 11, allowed 5 hits and no walks. Dimas Maldonado went 3-for-3 2 2B, RBI, and scored the game winning run on a first inning walk by TJ Morgan. Bielefeld doubled and scored in the second inning, and the Ducks held on for the win. I wasn’t at the game. It looks we had a couple base running mishaps and that Randy pitched really well. The Ducks have won five of their last six against the Oilers.

With the win, the Ducks improve to 5-4, and the Oilers drop to 7-4.

South Oakland has a quick turnaround with a game tonight against the Jays. 8:30pm at West Field.

Quack.