Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bring on the Caps...again

Coming in to the weekend series with the Edmonton Capitals, we have 2 teams going in opposite directions. After a solid start, the Seals have lost 14 of their last 15 games while the Capitals stumbled out to a 3-8 start only to have now won 7 of the last 8 (including 3 in a row over the Seals). While the Victoria pitching seems to be coming around, the lumber is still sleeping. In Capital City, Edmonton seems to be playing just well enough on both sides of the field to keep Victoria at bay. The Seals have done some recent lineup juggling to get he boys going, but nothing seems to be working at the moment. I think it is time I bring my lucky cow's tooth to the game.

Tale of the Tape

Victoria Seals 7-16 .400 (owners of the "wooden spoon" in the North), .247 team batting average, 6.03 team ERA
Edmonton Capitals 13-10 .545 (third place in the North), .265 team batting average, 4.41 team ERA

Who's Hot/Who's not - Caps

The Caps have a couple of hitters who have really found their stride. Ryan Stevensen and Tom Collaro are both hitting above .500 over the past 6 games. Stevensen - who bats leadoff - has added 8 walks in that time period to register a staggering .773 on base percentage. Seals pitchers need to limit their BB's or it will make for some long games. Like the Seals, starting pitching has been a forte for Edmonton over the past few games. Chris Little and Clinton Nageotte have had a couple of solid starts and opposing teams have struggled against this staff recently.

Josh Tarnow is only hitting .182 over the past week and he is joined by Eric McNamee who sits at .200 during that span. Both bat deep in the order but if they keep it up, they could make for some nice 1-2-3 innings (combined with the pitcher) for the hungry Seals staff.

Who's Hot/Who's Not - Seals

Colin Moro and Brian Rios are starting to produce consistently at the plate as well as Matt Kavanaugh who is en fuego right now and smacking the ball everywhere. Kavanaugh is hitting .500 over the last 6 games. The Seals have to keep him in the lineup no matter what - catcher, 1st base, rover, whatever it takes. On the pitching side of things, the entire staff seem to be turning it around with some quality starts and good relief. The team ERA is slightly inflated due to the earlier losing streak but they need to hold the course while the rest of the crew wakes up at the plate.

On the down side, Chris Van Rossum has to get it going but he is not the only culprit with sluggish wood. Over the past 6 games, the combined average for Wilver Perez, Josh Arhart and T-Mac sits at a sub-Mendoza-like .080. All have proven they are big contributors in the past and it's time to step it up.

Keys to the Series

The Seals need to keep up the good pitching and get that sometimes too-elusive 3rd out. They have not been making many errors of late, but the ones they do make seem to be costly so that also needs to stop. On offense, we've over-talked about it but they have to get hits - and not just 10+ hits a game but clutch hits with runners in scoring position. Let's chase the starters early and rack up a few runs while improving confidence. Does anyone know a charm or spell we can cast on the Seals bats? Any wicken out there?

Also, I look for some veteran leadership. Rios is swinging a good bat and I'd like to see Wilver turn it up a notch too. While not hitting that great for average, Josh Arhart has shown signs of RBI-life and we need that to keep improving. Show the way boys, show the way!


Expect a weekend of good pitching and probably low-scoring games. If the Seals can break the funk though and score a few runs, I see good times ahead. My heart is telling me that the boys will turn it around and start getting some breaks but my head is reminding my heart how many times it has screwed up before (and how much money it has cost me!) and tells me to pick the Seals going 1-2. I think if the pitching hangs in there and the sticks wake up though, it could easily be 2-1 or even 3-0 for the Seals and hopefully the start of a season turnaround.

See you at the yard.