Monday, May 24, 2010

Impressive Maui hitting knots series at 2-2

The Strong Warriors of Maui sure can swing the sticks. They continued to smack the ball with authority on Monday night at RAP as they defeated the Seals 7-4. Maui has now outscored Victoria 28-18 in the first four games of the series, even though the hits are only 42-35 in Maui's favour. The difference has been in two-out hits: Maui has been getting them a lot more frequently than the Seals have. The rubber game goes Tuesday night at 7 PM.

Shane Cronin led the Victoria attack with a 2-for-4 night, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning. Cronin is quietly leading the Seals in hitting with a cool .500 average and he is pushing Brian Rios at third base. With Rios feeling under the weather the last couple of days, Cronin has been given additional playing time. To his credit, Cronin has jumped all over it. One of the things I like about him is that he seems to be a total team player. When Rios had a pinch-hit double late in the game on Monday, Cronin was the first to come over and give him a fist bump.

Bubba wrote in his post earlier today that Terrence "T-Mac" McClain is well on his way to replacing Jamar Hill as possibly the most popular player on the team. Last year, the most under-appreciated player had to be Sergio Pedroza. Game after game, he amazed me with his play, but when he stepped into the box he got half the cheers that Jamar Hill did. This year's most under-appreciated player could turn out to be Shane Cronin. Tonight you could hear crickets when Cronin was announced before his plate appearances. That's a shame. I'm hoping that Victoria warms up to Shane Cronin because he strikes me as one helluva ballplayer.

Seal Blubber Bits
  • The Maui team sported their third different jersey in four games on Monday night. Their red tops were much easier on the eyes than the bright green jerseys from Sunday's game.
  • Plate umpire John DeLuca had another terrible night on Monday. Just like in Friday's game, he continued to call balls at the ankles as strikes. He also got into an argument with the Victoria bench when the Seals noticed that the Maui pitcher was throwing to the plate without touching the rubber. I believe it was pitching coach Kip Gross who was trying to get DeLuca to take action, but DeLuca yelled at the bench "No, you look it up!" (the rule). He threatened to start tossing people, but cooler heads prevailed. I'm not in the habit of criticizing officials (on the blog anyway), but DeLuca is not exactly the best professional umpire that I have ever seen.
  • It might sound odd, but Colin Moro had an impressive 0-for-4 on Monday. He smoked the ball all night, but he hit it right at people. He's only hitting .154 right now, but he'll break out very soon.
  • Even with Jino Gonzalez's 0-for-2 at the plate on Monday, the Victoria pitchers are still out-hitting the position players. The pitchers are 3-for-8 (.375), while the position players are only hitting .262. I find this all rather humorous, especially considering my chat with pitching coach Kip Gross before opening day. One of the questions I asked him was whether or not any of the pitchers were decent hitters. He repeated a number of times "No, they are ALL terrible. THEY'RE PITCHERS!"