Monday, August 18, 2008

State of the AL West after Divison Open Round

Las Vegas Gamblers - Opening in Anaheim is tough and after the first two games, both one run loses, had me wondering if last season was repeating itself. Then the bats woke up, downing the Chiles in the next two. Then a three game stop over in Colorado Springs and another one run loss to open the series left me wondering again. Once again the bats took care of business in the next two games. Home to the friendly confines of Cashman field where non division rival Charlotte came to town. The game was sold out, but travel fatigue may have been the cause of an opening night debacle that saw Charlotte ace Tony Howell pitch one of the best games of his career shutting us down offensively. I thought here we go again, home field problems, but the next two games saw crowd pleasing bravado. Now it was off to Seattle where I have my doubts that my offense can hit in that particular park. First game was a 11 inning affair that allowed us to escape with a one run win for a change, 2-1. Second game was more of the same with a 5-2 win, Carlos Aguilar was hurt, luckily only for a few days off. Third game was more of the same as another 4-3 small ball win against a tough team and Louis Mercado goes down with a 3 week injury.

Anaheim Chiles - Opening with the Gamblers is always a challenge but they had a surprise for their hated rival. Great first two games, wins by one run, a win is a win. Then the free souvenir shop opened in the stands to the displeasure of the fans the next two games. At least they finished 2-2 with them. Now for the Killer Whales coming to town. This could be interesting as scouting is kind of up in the air about this team. Ouch, maybe they are better than the Gamblers as the free souvenirs kept piling up. Off to Huntington, will be good to get out of town away from disgruntled fans. I just remembered, I hate going to this place. Got to find something that works after two more humiliating defeats. At last, a win to stop the slide. Now the long trip back home to face the Chickens. Great an opening win, maybe things are squared away. Well, game two took a turn for the worse as things went the Chickens way. Game three saw a big 3rd inning with long balls and a win.

Colorado Springs Chickens- Opening with the old Fighting Moose who are now the Seattle Killer Whales. They look tough but maybe the pitching can handle them. Pitching looks pretty good after eking out three wins. Oh boy, now the Gamblers come to town, won't the power parade ever end. Cool, eked out another win then the pitching got bounced around badly the next two games. Great, off to New York, we like the Big Apple. Wow, the BBQ wings sales are up in New York and the Chickens were plucked and fried the first two games but hen-pecked their way to a win in game three. Now to make the long trip to the other coast and face the reeling Chiles, hopefully that will see the win column go up. Oh no, the closer defiles himself in the 9th in the opening game of the series after the game was well in hand. No closer problems this time, but got to fix the late inning rally business. Third inning melt down seals a fateful loss of game three.

Seattle Killer Whales - Taking over a team that didn't know how to win could prove interesting and fun. Opening series with the Chickens in Colorado Springs should be a bell-weather of what this team can do. Got some things to analyze after losing three of four. Pitching was not all that bad, hitting was, well anemic. Changes for the next series for sure as they head to Anaheim. They got the hitting solved after the three game sweep of the Chiles. Now off to the homeland to face the Legends and one of last years best teams. Did they ever teach the kids something in those first two games. Don't think they were ready for Wild Mel in game, as their hitters looked like they were ducking and jumping at the plate. Gamblers come to town now, a power team should have problems here and that gives me a chance. Wow, the Gamblers got some good pitching and can play a little small ball of their own after that long 11 inning 2-1 loss to open the series. Pitching is not the problem, need to shore up the defense especially at 2B. Just when the pitching was doing great, the long ball spells doom in game 3.

The Gamblers have the division lead at the moment winning 8 of their last 10 and currently on a 5 game win streak.

The Chickens have pecked their way to 2nd place winning at home but troubles on the road.

The Killer Whales losing close ones at home but doing well on the road ties for the third spot.

The Chiles having problems at home still manages to stay in the hunt.

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