Sunday, June 14, 2009

Seals and Snakes

After being outscored 25-17 while dropping two of three games to the Calgary Vipers on the weekend, you'd think the Seals would be happy to see them leave town. Unfortunately, the Seals' bus will be following the Vipers to Calgary to start yet another series between the two teams on Monday night.

The Vipers, who are in first place with a 14-7 record, have taken five of six games from Victoria so far this year. Let's hope this dominance doesn't continue for the entire season, because the ramifications would be serious for our beloved Seals. In addition to this week's three-game set, the two teams also face one another June 23-25 in Calgary. But wait, it gets worse. The Vipers and Seals square off nine times in August as well, for a total of 21 meetings this season. That means that Victoria will play 24% of its entire season schedule against Calgary. I'm all for the team saving travel costs by playing an unbalanced schedule that is skewed towards nearby cities, but this is a bit ridiculous. I realize the last-minute withdrawal of the Tijuana team and the resulting 9-team league tied the hands of the schedule makers, but come on. A little common sense should have prevailed.

Surprisingly, Victoria plays the Edmonton Capitals even more often than they do the the Vipers. In addition to the four games already played between them, the Seals and Capitals will play each other another 6 times in June and a whopping 14 times in July. Yes, the two teams play each other 14 times in a 27-day period. By the end of the season, Edmonton and Victoria will have played each other 24 times. When you total it up, Victoria will play 51% of its schedule against teams from Alberta and 49% against the other six teams in the league. I'd happily trade a series or two against the Capitals or Vipers for a chance to see Jose Lima pitch at RAP. On the other hand, at least we can be sure that two good rivalries will have been born in Victoria's inaugural season in the Golden Baseball League.

Seal Blubber Bits:
  • Seamore Seal celebrated his first birthday on Sunday. Happy B-Day, Seamore!

  • Isaac Hess and Austin Bibens-Dirkx are a combined 5-1 while the other two starters (Eduardo Baeza and Travis Wade) are a combined 1-8.

  • Bibens-Dirkx has struck out 31 in 22 1/3 innings and is tied for the league lead with Hess, although Hess has pitched 32 innings.

  • Speaking of strikeouts, Ethan Katz has struck out 13 batters in 7 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .192 against him, so look for Katz to play a more prominent role in the Seals bullpen.
  • Bibens-Dirkx (2-1, 3.63 ERA) is the likely starter on Monday night.