Monday, June 22, 2009

Cardiac Kids Strike Again

Wow, it appears that no lead is safe for opponents of the Victoria Seals. Their six runs in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday afternoon turned a 2-0 loss into a 6-2 win. This team just doesn't give up. With the roster changes since their disastrous 1-7 road trip to start the season, the Seals appear to be rounding into a pretty good team. Thanks to the Golden League's split schedule, they'll likely be contenders for the second-half title.

Here are a few observations from Sunday's game:
  • Brian Rios, who started at 3B on Sunday, took over at SS when Carlos Duncan pinch hit for Pedro Montero. In the top of the 8th, Rios started one of the nicest double plays this season when he dove for a ball to his left and flipped it to Wilver Perez who relayed the throw to Brett Flowers. Rios also handled his other chance at shortstop flawlessly.
  • The two teams almost got into a bench-clearing brawl when Edmonton starter Louis Pote took exception to Wilver Perez's attempt to steal second after Pote had injured himself and time had been called. Perez had hit a ground ball to Edmonton first baseman Norm Hutchins, but Hutchins' throw caused Pote to fall awkwardly at first and miss the bag. After the play, Perez noticed that second was unoccupied as the Edmonton infielders approached Pote to find out if he was OK. Once Perez reached second, Pote had a heated exchange with Perez and the two walked towards one another. A number of players on each bench came out onto the field, but cooler heads prevailed.
  • Austin "Powers" Bibens-Dirkx striking out the side with the bases loaded in the 6th inning was even more impressive when you consider that his last pitch was his 111th of the game. Bibens-Dirkx was immediately removed from the game afterwards -- a wise move by Darrell Evans.
  • The 3,515 fans in attendance were as vocal as they have been since opening night. A significant portion of the crowd gave Bibens-Dirkx a standing ovation at the end of the 6th inning and the fans also did the wave later in the game. An enormous cheer erupted when Jamar Hill crushed his walk-off grand slam onto Pembroke Street in the bottom of the ninth.
  • Hill had been 1 for 8 with 5 strikeouts on Saturday and Sunday before he launched his thrilling game-winning homer.
  • Catchers Josh Arhart and Matt Kavanaugh, along with the pitching and coaching staffs, did a great job of neutralizing the speed of the Edmonton Capitals on the weekend. The Capitals were only 2 for 4 in stolen base attempts in the first two games and nobody challenged Kavanaugh in Sunday's game. Matt showed off his arm by throwing an absolute laser beam to Brett Flowers at first on a Capitals bunt attempt.