Standings, Playoff Push, etc

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland has a tough 3-game stretch coming up in which we play the artists formerly known as Day Toyota, and then a double header against the Bulldogs at John Herb the following weekend.

Standings as of 6/3:

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 12.59.21 PM

Upcoming games:

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(click to enlarge or just go to the league site.)

There is some serious separation going on here between the haves and have-nots.

It’s going to be a shit show at the bottom of the bracket. Conceivably we could see the militia, Carrick and pour house drop a few games coming up.

right now, Elliot, Clinton, the Bulldogs and Ashley Shaffer are battling for position in the top four and then it’s everyone else.

Elliot is good.

Cranberry sucks.

that’s my expert analysis.

Unfortunately our team is constructed as such that we can lose 15-1 to teams that suck because we lack pitching depth and infield depth, and sometimes our players don’t show up.

The winable  games we dropped to Carrick, Pour House and Cranberry and the forfeit to the Militia really hurt right now, but at least we’re finally putting up runs and winning games.

We have to steal a couple against teams that are above us in the standings, which is almost everyone.

We might be able to jump in the standings before we play this sunday.

We need all hands on deck Sunday. Jefferson Davis Hills is good. If we have to throw out a patchwork lineup with random single A players we will get embarrassed.

We can give them a game if everyone shows up.

This is most likely the last season of the Ducks as a Double A team, we at least need to make the playoffs and give it one final run.

quack.

Ducks Win

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball, Ducks WIn, pittsburgh NABA

South Oakland jumped out to an 8-0 lead after three innings, and held off a late Brookline rally to win 9-5.

James Fago pitched a complete game for the much-needed victory, and added an RBI single.

Ducks right fielder Zach Skowvron literally knocked out the Sox starting pitcher with a line drive to the groin area that went for a bases loaded, rbi single in the third.

I hope that guy isn’t pissing blood. it looked like it really hurt.

The Ducks did a good job of stranding Black Sox runners, and getting timely hits.

For the Ducks, Baumgartel hit a triple, Anthony Ciccone was 2-for-3 with two doubles, Stahl 2-for-4 with a double, Gwin was 2-for-4 with a double and 3 rbi, Skowvron was 2-for-3 with a walk. 8 South Oakland starters recorded a hit, and all nine reached base safely at least once.

The above might not be 100% accurate, I don’t have the book, but we hit well.

For the Sox, Kenny Powers and Goldie hit triples.

Florian hustled.

A win against the Black Sox, in Brookline, is always big.

South Oakland has scored 26 runs in its last 3 games and looks to keep the momentum going throughout the weekend.

South Oakland next plays a double header at Cranberry, Saturday, 1pm.

Quack.

Game Day 11, Ducks at Black Sox

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks

at

Brookline Black Sox

9pm

Moore Park

How the mighty have fallen.

kennypowers_B_SOX

These two storied franchises enter tonight’s game at Moore Park with a combined 3 wins between them, in a battle to gain ground on the 8th and final playoff spot.

The Black Sox sit at 2-6 in ninth place, while the 1-9 South Oakland Ducks look to climb out of the cellar with a win.

These games used to be for first place in the division, now we’re fighting for our post-season lives and the season isn’t even halfway gone.

Randy-south-park-302178_388_300

Sox 3rd base coach, Randy, is already getting mentally prepared for the game tonight

We’ve lost in every way imaginable, blown leads, close losses and ten-run drubbings, we’ve hit and not played defense, we’ve played defense and not hit. We’ve forfeited.

We can still make a run at it, but there’s not much margin for error. Luckily there’s a logjam at the bottom of the standings and we still have to play the teams in front of us.

One of the most fun seasons i can remember was 2008. We  had a huge turnover in our roster from 2007, and it took a while for us to come together. TC just took over as manager. We started 3-9, got on a roll and went on to finish 12-10-2 and sneak into the playoffs on the last day of the season.

Tonight is the start of a four game road trip that will determine whether we’ve been underachieving, or if we’re just bad. Maybe we’re just bad. That’s a definite possibility, but i still think there’s enough talent on our team to compete.

Tonight we face an old nemesis in the unfriendly confines of Moore Park and there’s no better place to turn our season around.

 We’ve dug ourselves a hole as deep as the mosquito filled woods behind the visitors bench.

Tonight we start climbing out.

Fago’s on the hill.

fago2

Bad news for the Black Sox

Look at all those Ducks!

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland looks to turn its season around with a stretch of four games in four days starting this Thursday night in Brookline.

Upcoming Schedule:

Thurs 9pm vs. Black Sox at Brookline
Sat 1pm Doubleheader at Cranberry
Sun 12:30pm vs. Militia at Woodland Hills HS

quack

Ducks Probably Lost Monday

2013 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

I left before it went final, but we were down 7-0 in the top of the seventh, and were being one-hit.

The Bulldogs scored five in the top of the fifth to blow it open.

So many walks.

There is some fantastic facial hair on the Bulldogs this year.

We’ve got to start hitting.

I’ve been using this generic icy hot, because i’m old, and my joints don’t work and this goop turns the inside of my uniform a brilliant bright blue and it doesn’t really help my shoulder and elbow that much but that blue color makes me wonder how toxic it is and if i’m perhaps going to have some kind of blood disease now. Man, would that be something.

The Ducks need some kind of spark real bad right now.

We need to play the Black Sox soon, because you can’t help but get fired up for those games when you walk across the broken cement bleachers, through the cigarette smoke hanging everywhere and drop your gear by the mud pit full of mosquitoes that smells like a dead dog that’s been rotting there since the last frost of winter. And maybe a Sox fan hitting one of our players with a half-empty empty gin bottle could provide that spark.

It seems like none of the teams in our league have any character anymore.  There’s no more shit talking and hatred and I miss it. Teams are too classy, at least outwardly. Even the Cherokee are only shady in the front office, and really i liked it when their catcher was giving us shit and we threw at him. Of course he scored and we lost but at least it was something exciting other than the blue stain on my shirt.  The Ducks certainly don’t have an identity right now, other than a team that doesn’t hit and usually gets good enough starting pitching to keep us in games, and that is a poor identity for a baseball team.

 We’ll see what kind of heart we have in the upcoming games as we edge closer to must-win territory. We’ll either come together and turn it around or it’s gonna be a long summer. I’m optimistic because that’s my nature and we have the talent, but sans gin bottle we need something/someone to light a fire under us.

South Oakland plays at Cranberry this Sunday at 5pm.

Quack.

Playoffs, All Stars and More!

2012 South Oakland Ducks Baseball, pittsburgh NABA, who names their team the Rebels?

South Oakland opens the 2012 postseason against the Monroeville Militia Sunday July 22nd, 8:30pm at Moore Park.

The All-Star starters are up on the league home page.

Interesting how last-place Cranberry has 4 starters compared to the Ducks and Black Sox who have one apiece.

From our team I nominated Fago, Ken Cool, Morgan and Swartwout. Who will represent us at the all-star game in August if they choose.

Cases could be made for Houseman and me based on the numbers and Houseman being sick at fielding. But i’m not about to vote for myself, certainly not to start over whatever low-A prospect Clinton has in left field, and for some reason I thought Elliot was in our division and Wes White was a more deserving starter at SS. Sorry, House, for not knowing what teams are in our division.

I think we need a return to the mid-season all-star game next year so people actually show up. That was a lot of fun a couple years back, despite coach Kenny Powers not getting me an at-bat.

Apparently the Rebels and Warriors game last week ended in a fight with police called.

I forget the details. Hopefully they meet in the A championship and it’s really intense.

***

The Ducks Elliot game will not be rescheduled. We tried, but the weather and field availability worked against us. I would’ve liked to get some at bats before sunday.

Anyway…

After a brutal off-season and losing pitchers upon pitchers for a variety of reasons, the Ducks finished the regular season 11-10-2 and 8-4 in the division.

Good for fourth overall and second in the Monongahela.

We will be the home team on Sunday.

If I had known the 2-seeds were going to switch brackets, it would have been a lot tougher to release Stupka to the Militia. Ethically I made the right decision.

If both teams have everyone show up on Sunday night, it’s going to be a great game.

More tomorrow.

quack.

 

 

Ducks Lose. Mound Destroyed.

2012 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

Playing without team MVP, and number one starting pitcher James Fago (and three other regulars) South Oakland dropped its most important game of the season 13-11 to the Clinton Cherokee Wednesday night. We fought hard and came up just short. Clinton led 4-0, after one, 7-1 after two and we brought it to i think 9-8 in the third.  Then they scored three in the fourth, and one in the fifth before we put up three in the bottom of the sixth. I could go get the book out of my car to make sure, but I won’t.

I’m not one for moral victories. We had a chance to win the division and we didn’t. Maybe we still allow 13 runs if we have a couple guys in on defense, but we only made a few errors, a pop-up and two grounders. Everyone who showed up played hard. Guthrie and Strom played especially well, and maybe those two don’t get in if everyone’s there, so who knows. Clinton ran on us all day, if we have another infielder we can maybe make defensive moves to address that. It’s frustrating.

They also hit like fifteen home runs.

We split the season series with Clinton and aside from our first matchup we’ve played them tough every time. I don’t think they expected that.

One positive I take from the loss is that we battled, and we were patient at the plate against that kid who threw at least 120mph and let him walk us.

We had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the sixth.

The game was called due to time limit. I definitely managed the pitching as if we were playing seven, and that’s my fault for not realizing we were going to come up against the time limit, which I should have figured out when it was 9-8 in the third.

We’ve got to retire the Duck Pond next year. That field is getting dangerous due to neglect by the city, and their reluctance to let us work on it or get us the keys to the equipment shed.

Tessyier removed the rubber in the fifth and both teams pitched without it.

We open the playoffs next Sunday July 22nd, agains the 3 seed in the other division, which will be either the Bulldogs or the Militia.

Commish says the cross-divisional playoff games are a means to not punish the stronger division, which makes sense, but I think it may cause issues in the second round if both two seeds advance there isn’t a way to properly re-seed, since all season we’ve been playing for best division record. No matter what Joe does someone will be unhappy. Playoff seeding won’t be what keeps us from playing for another championship, if we don’t get out of the semis it will be lack of pitching depth necessary to win a 3 game series.  We’ll figure something out.

The Ducks play the Black Sox Sunday night at 9pm at Moore Park.

Ducks Win: Ducks 7, Cranberry 6

2012 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

James Fago hit a walk off two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to lead South Oakland past Cranberry Wednesday night. South Oakland (8-1, 11-6-2) led 5-2 after the first inning, but Cranberry (1-7, 6-13) scored 1 run in the third, fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at 5 and took a 6-5 lead in the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh with one out, Casale and Johnston hit back to back singles, then Morgan walked to load the bases for Fago who ended the game with a single to center.

With three division games remaining, the Ducks lead the Cherokee (6-3, 13-6) by 2 games.

The Cherokee have two games left against Cranberry and one against us.

We have two against the Black Sox and one against the Cherokee.

We lead the season series 2-1 over the Cherokee.

I’m pretty sure if we finish tied we lose the tie breaker.

Notes: Bring back Right Down Broadway. The plate ump last night was unspectacular.

The kid who pitched for Cranberry threw well. He also hit a solo home run in the first.

Good teams win close games. Cranberry had a chance to steal one, and I think it was Guthrie and TJ Morgan’s veteran leadership that pulled South Oakland through last night.

It’s going to be a battle for the last playoff spot between the Black Sox (2-6) and Cranberry (1-7).

South Oakland has won four straight and ten of twelve since starting 1-4-2

The Ducks are off until Monday when we play the Black Sox at home.

Quack.

Ducks Clinch Playoff Spot, Defeat Black Sox 5-2.

2012 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland (7-1, 10-6-2) defeated the Brookline Black Sox(2-6, 7-10) and long-time nemesis pitcher Pete Chalfin, by a score of 5-2 Saturday night to clinch at least the second seed in the Monongahela Division.

I wasn’t at the game, but apparently Fago hit a triple and Swartwout put one off the wall in right center, which is about a 400 ft shot. Ken Cool, I’m sure, was dominant.

Fago pitched a complete game and hit double digit strikeouts.

We were without four starters for this one.

Apparently, Saturday night was Chalfin’s last game in the league as he is moving somewhere to do something to better his life, so good for him and for the Ducks. He was one of the toughest pitchers I’ve faced, one of the few guys I really don’t like hitting against. Not that that means a lot coming from a guy who’s primary offensive weapons are the flare to right, and leaning in to inside curveballs, but players far better than I will tell you Pete was a tough competitor and made the Black Sox a lot better. He was also an avid reader and commentator on the blog, back when people avidly read and commented. So thanks for that, Pete.

Two of the most memorable and crushing Ducks losses came at the hands of Chalfin and the Black Sox, a 1-0 thriller in 2009 when he dueled it out with Mike Fletcher, and a 5-4 ten-inning affair in the 2009 playoffs the year the Black Sox upset the Owlz, and lost to the Hurricanes in the finals.

Two of the Ducks biggest wins were over Chalfin: Guthrie defeated Chalfin to clinch the Championship for the Ducks in 2010, and this year Fago out-pitched him to earn South Oakland a playoff spot and keep us out in front of the Cherokee in the division race. I’m glad we could send him out with a loss. Take that splitter and don’t come back.

*

Huge win last night for South Oakland. Now the Black Sox are playing for their playoff lives, without their ace, and we’re in the driver’s seat for the division having won nine of eleven.

The Ducks next game is wed night at home against Cranberry.

Quack.

GameDay 18: Ducks at Black Sox

2012 South Oakland Ducks Baseball

South Oakland Ducks (6-1, 9-6-2)

vs

Brookline Black Sox (2-5, 7-9)

9pm

Moore Park

Typically the Black Sox start slow and pull it together 1/4 of the way through the season. It’s taken longer this year, but they’ll be tough tonight. Especially at home.

Our victory over Brookline earlier this season was our 4th straight regular season win over the Black Sox dating back to last season.

And it was the first time in a long time the Ducks and Sox met with both teams under .500.

The Ducks have won 8 of our last 10, getting it together a bit earlier that Brookline this year, after a similarly rough start.

Since dropping 3 straight to the Cherokee, the Black Sox have won 4 straight.

Kenny Powers must be coachin’ ’em up down there, or over there, whichever.

We can clinch a playoff spot and the second seed in the division with a win tonight, plus we’d gain a half game on the idle Cherokee. A Cranberry loss tomorrow would also clinch us a spot, but hopefully they beat Clinton.

The Ducks-Sox rivalry has been kind of lost in the shuffle with Ken Cool’s brother seceding from the Ducks with two-thrids of our pitching staff, but tonight in Moore Park it’ll be in full swing. I love playing there those fans make it feel like our games matter in a way that adult-league baseball in June normally doesn’t.

We can write ourselves a great story for this season if we keep winning and take the division, a win tonight gets us a lot closer.

Bad News for the Black Sox