Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seals club Snakes to pull within 1.5 games

The Seals destroyed the Vipers 11-4 on Thursday night to take the opener of the Battle Near the Cattle and climb to within 1 1/2 games of first place. Both teams put their ace starters on the hill, but the clutch Isaac Hess out-dueled ex-Seattle Mariner Mac Suzuki by a wide margin. Hess scattered eight hits over his six innings to raise his record to 5-3 on the year.

Victoria's offense was led by Wilver Perez, who went 3-for-5 and knocked in three runs. Second baseman Henry Calderon continued his recent hot streak by registering a pair of hits and three RBIs. Matt Kavanaugh also chipped in with three hits. Mr. Plate Discipline himself, Colin Moro, had two hits and two walks and crossed the plate three times.

Apart from a rough outing from Mike Koons, the bullpen came through with a fine effort in the biggest ballgame of the season (until tomorrow night). The reliable Aaron Easton bailed out Koons in the seventh and threw two scoreless innings to lower his ERA to an un-GBL like 2.88. The Seals really had to win this game, so manager Kip Gross brought in closer Brandon Villafuerte with an 11-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth. Let's hope the Seals starters can continue to turn over a lead to the bullpen in the seventh inning, but the team will be relying heavily on Easton and Villafuerte down the stretch. Those guys can't come into each of the last ten games of the season, so the team will need Bodisbaugh, Arreola, Bevis and Kershner to step up and provide the team with some quality innings out of the bullpen the rest of the way.

We shouldn't get too carried away, but if the Seals can take two out of the next three in Cowtown then Victoria could be headed for its first ever playoff appearance. How much fun would that be?

Seal Blubber Bits
  • Tomorrow night the Seals send Jeff Duda (3-3, 4.03) to the mound to face Reggie Rivard (4-1, 4.29). This all-Canadian match-up appropriately features a Surrey, BC boy pitching for Victoria against a Fort McMurray, AB guy throwing for Calgary.
  • Thursday's game marked the return of Mike Walker to the Seals' broadcast booth after his recent health issues. On behalf of the VSBB and all of the fans in Victoria, welcome back Mike!!
  • Walker will be doing the play-by-play for game two of the Battle Near the Cattle starting at 6 PM PST tomorrow night. However, video may also be available on this same site for games three and four of the series.
  • The Tucson Toros did the Seals a big favour on Thursday night by knocking off the Edmonton Capitals 6-5. Victoria now leads Edmonton by 2.5 games and if the Vipers were to fall apart in the next week then the division race could turn into one between the Seals and the Capitals.
  • Photographer Christian Stewart recently conducted an excellent interview with Josh Arhart and Brian Rios for the Island Sports News. This in-depth piece is well worth a read and it looks at their plans for the future once they retire at the end of this season. Ideally, Arhart and Rios would love to coach the Seals next year or split up and get a coaching job in affiliated baseball. The owners of the Seals will have to make a tough call in the off-season, because Kip Gross has his sights on returning to manage the team in 2011.
  • Yikes! Seamore has been outed. The identity of Seamore Seal was recently revealed by the left coast's best baseball writer, Tom Hawthorn. In his piece in The Tyee, we learn that Seamore is actually a third-year law student named Alex Pomerant who earns a princely sum of $60 per game for his efforts. Hmmm... maybe the Seals superfans (Jack Gamble, Helen Bennett and Tyler Kopplin) should pass the hat whenever Seamore does a particularly entertaining routine in-between innings. On second thought, Seamore makes more than some of the Victoria players during a home stand...