What is great about this game is the unpredictability. For five posts I’ve talked about how close we come each week, how just that last 5 minutes costs us games. When you get it right, you win. 2 in a row last Monday and one of those against the title chasing “Scratch” team.
What a difference a win makes, the team were buzzing after the two games, especially after a 1 run win over the “Scratch” team 33-32. Scores were level with one batter left for “Scratch”, that batter hit the ceiling, so -1 to their score and a “W for us.
I’m not saying we’re going to win the league from here, what is important is what this does for confidence. That the training is paying off and now the players will come to training with a new view on the game eagerness to train harder.
Monday night I was so pleased for the new players, it had been a hard lesson for them, each week playing teams full of experienced players. The next challenge is to continue the run indoor and take it outdoors after Easter.
Well done team, you deserved those two wins.
So we haven’t won an indoor game yet. It’s certainly not the time to panic. We are 6 weeks away from our first competitive outing of the season, 10 from the start of the league season and we’ve just started the indoor training program. Even in the few hours training we have had so far you can see the adjustments we’ve made to player in our indoor team this week.
However, on the league performance, the same issue that has effected us since week 2 is still there. While we aren’t conceding many runs, 12 runs per inning on Monday, which isn’t many in this form of the game. We don’t score enough consistently across our innings. Like previous weeks, we have one poor batting inning and we can’t recover. At least twice in weeks before Monday we’ve scored negatively in an inning. We start a sequence of 8-12 batters all getting out in a row, apart from the score that burns a couple of minutes of game time. As we don’t score home runs, every one of those 8-12 points has be to retrieved in singles at first and hope the runners ahead also score. Don’t that against the clock means we rush and start making more outs. A vicious circle that ultimately leads to a lose.
I was assisting a scorer this week and they asked me, “If the home team is ahead going into the last at bat do they need to bat?”. It got me thinking, of the games we’ve played so far, if we applied that rule we’d have a “W” to our name. If we can just bat our last inning the way we bat our first we’ll do ok.
Anyway, we have five games left in this league, so plenty of games to play. Every week is more game time under our rookies belts, which was always the priority of this venture, and every week there is an improvement. So no need to panic about the new season just because we loose a few early season practice games. But winning is a habit we need to get back into sooner than later.
The last 3 posts about our performances in the indoor league are starting to follow a similar trend. They are nearly but not quite. This weeks game against Chalfont was a similar story. As a coach, when you look at a performance, there are times when the score is frustrating because you know that it doesn’t tell the underlying story and on paper looks very one sided. When you look at the results and see a 30-0 score, they think Wow, that was a pasting. What it doesn’t reflect is that for 25 minutes out of the 30 we played very well, as well collectively as at anytime during the season so far. Those 5 minutes were our final at bat. Like the same inning last week against BA, we took a positive score and wiped it out. When you consider that the first dozen of so batter were put out at first, you start to see how many runs we had scored in the first two innings.
It is a frustration to look at the team, see how well they play, hear that they also believed they played well and have nothing to show. The team spirit is very good regardless of the results so far, looking at the bigger picture this is all about pre-season training, giving the new players minutes on the diamond in a competitive environment. I would like the team like to win a game or two for sure, but if that was at the expense of poor start to the main league campaign and the tournaments then I’d keep blooding new players and keep trying new formations.
We start the main pre-season training this week, this should carry over into the indoor league and next week I should not be writing about a bad 5 minutes of batting that cost us again.
Last nights 27-47 defeat to BA was one of those results that is hard to swallow. From the position we were in going into the last inning we should have seen the job through. From 7 up to 24 down was as big of a swing as we’ve had this indoor season, coupled to that for the first time this season we failed to bat. Overall we didn’t do a lot wrong, for two innings we were ahead, and while maybe not totally bossing the game, we had done enough to lead. Give credit to BA, they batted well in their last at bat, they took advantage of the few mistakes we made, took the walks on offer and converted their base runners. We, on the other hand, chased to many pitches out of the zone and didn’t get enough base runners on.
There are still positives from the night, the bulk of our team is made up of players who’ve can still count the number of games they’ve played on one hand. These players continue to learn and we saw some great fielding from Fletch and Nick. These evening are good training sessions for these players and with the start of the full pre-season training program around the corner, their first win is not far away.
Next up we play Chalfont, who will pose an altogether different challenge.