WEEK 3 GAME OF THE WEEK
The Mudskippers haven't been challenged and are just rolling right over teams early on. Which was expected with that lineup. This weekend might be the same story different chapter , unlikely but it can happen. In their first serious test this season, I look for the skippers to try and out slug the Commodores.
The Bandits handed Conshy their first lost of the season. However Bandits are a tough team, and Conshy could be shaking off the rust and getting familiar with one another. I won't count them out to make these two games close. It could go either way I feel. However I don't see a sweep here cause of the talent they have.
Prediction: I see a series split here, I think these out the biggest games of the year for the league.
WEEK 2 GAME OF THE WEEK
It was a interesting opening weekend followed by a weekend off. 4 teams made statements and swept their opponents off the field. The Commodores, Dawgs, Bulls and mudskippers established themselves early this year. Key word is EARLY. Two undefeated teams will square off this week and this is why they're the game of the week.
BULLS vs Dirt Dawgs
The Bulls are off to a fast start in their opening season sweeping the Orioles. Demko, Pilchman and veteran Julio Viera anchor this offense and all had solid opening day appearances. Sean Jones the Bulls standout arm anchors this staff and had 10 plus Ks against the Orioles. However he's not facing the Orioles this week, he's facing an offense that will take pitches make you work on the mound and stretch innings out.
Matt Edmonson looked brand new as he tossed 5 shut out innings keeping the Bandits off the board. Combine him with Matty Raws and relief/Closer Jonah van be bemmelen as well as Loughran, runs can be tough to come by for the Bulls. The Dirt Dawgs top of the order is as strong as they come however Kevin Long, Jordano Rodriguez and veteran Joe Juliano had a solid opening day, making things happen at the dish. The Dawgs stretched at bats out and had both pitchers in both days combined over 300 pitches will allowed then to drive in runs.
Prediction: if Jones can limit the Dawgs to less than 2 then the Bulls have a shot to take 1 game here. However the Dawgs have been around the block more than once and are not strangers to big armed pitchers. I see a sweep here however, I see two close games.
The 2017 season is upon Us! With the winter work outside coming to a halt. It's time to throw down and let these teams play. Here are my thoughts of every game this week with some scores and predictions.
Conshy Commodores vs Delaware Valley Tigers
I personally think this is the most intriguing game of the week to start off the season. The Tigers have improved over the years and were just starting to gel last year. However it hurts that Richie Masciarelli hasn't returned but Boykin and Anderson are fully capable of driving in runs and keeping their team in a game.
The Commodores come into their inaugural game with some well known firepower. Ryan Levito and Christian Rahman will most likely get the ball for either of the two games. Both can be tough on hitters. Reyce Curnane the Boston College Comet will definitely anchor this lineup. The big lefty will have Bzozowski protecting him. If these two are in sync then it will be a long day for the Tigers.
Prediction: Commys sweep , I think the pitching makes a huge difference here.
Delco Bandits vs Dirt Dawgs
The Dirt Dawgs have had a long offseason and have the multiple championship loses years prior to use as motivation. It's a new year with the same firepower with a new outlook hopefully. Raws, Loughran and Gibson will primarily will get the ball and I don't think manager Pat Dunn is mad about that this week. Stanton Tentanowski, Dan Gavlick , Mayhem Dove will anchor the top of that line up and one is just as dangerous as the other. Dennis Higgins stick and leadership on the field will be relied as the scrappy player is one of the toughest outs in the league. Key for the Dirt Dawgs is defense here. We know they can hit and pitch but inconsistent play in the field has hurt them in the past.
Delco Bandits have a tough task in front of them, but it is week one and anything can happen.
Also a rookie team throwing their gloves in this fight. A long time familiar face to the league Chris McIntyre who played in the Pecos league will have to show leadership. This team had a good fall and are young and will compete. However expierience playing together goes along way and can beat talent. The Dawgs are talented will keep the pressure on the Bandits.
Prediction: if the Bandits can hit with the Dawgs and produce runs off mistakes, then they can take a game. The Dawgs won't be swept so I'm going with Dawgs sweep but It's not gospel.
Philadelphia Bulls vs Montgomery County Orioles
Kris Sharp is ready to start new with the Bulls, and has won a few titles in his time as a manager with the Bucks County Reds and Liberty Bell Mudskippers. Sean Jones will get the ball in one game and will be relied on to have a big season for the inaugural Bulls. Pilchman just gets on base, Billy Beane style of play! One time defensive end for the West Virginia Mountaineers Trevor Demko has dropped the pads in his second straight year and is looking to make a statement. If he can emulate Dave Rusthoven, the Bulls will have a solid day.
Montgomery County Orioles
The loss of Colin Dew the Orioles most consistent arm over years past will hurt a little. However Tony White is a capable arm for the Orioles and can keep you off balance for a few innings. Look for Dan Cymerman to rely on Josh Debeary, Matt Horgan and Ervin Faust to lighten the load of him, due to their expierience in the league. These boys don't lack character and show up every week. The problem is rome wasn't built in a day and everyone wants to win now and not give these boys a chance to build. However the Orioles have pulled off some major upsets in years past , so don't count them out.
Prediction: the Bulls will get 2 and come out strong! Unless the Orioles can keep it close , then who knows.
Mudskippers vs Nor Gwyn Wookies
The Skippers have branched out on their own, they've added some heavy artillery to replace some of the loses they've had. However Donahue, Tagle, O`Hara , Yankowitz, Iller and Drake are the faces of this team and have won and know how to win. Now add John Quigley, Mike Caron and Ray Schmoltze who are from the 2016 champs Bucks County Bulldogs. Sluggers Ryan Donahue and Tagle are the best hitters in the league along with Ray Schmoltze. Look for them carry the load of the offense along with Mike Iller. Quigley is coming off a great year and will be a solid middle of the order threat. As far as arms are concerned Caron, Donahue, Iller and Gentry will make this sunday difficult for the Wookies as well as most teams. Look for the Skippers to try new things this week and see what they got as they have alot of talent, but can they make it work.
Nor Gwyn Wookies will have their hands full this weekend in their first week in the league. However the Wookies had a decent fall despite their record. They kept teams off the scoreboard but just couldn't score themselves. The Gill brothers have a solid foundation here to build on , if they can just produce runs and keep themselves in the game. It's just a bad week for them to try and see what works as the Mudskippers will most certainly flex their muscles and make a statement to the Dirt Dawgs.
Prediction: Skippers sweep , I don't see the Wookies matching their Firepower.
The 2016 season Champs are no more, that's right! The Bucks County Bulldogs have folded but still leave their mark on the 2017 season with some of their big guns floating around and finding new homes on other teams. With that being said, the league has added three new teams that will look to make a run at the title.
Manager Pat Dunn is still chasing that first title, and has come up short in the Championship the past 4 years. This team is a very dangerous team. They've got pitching that is anchored by Matty Raws and Ryan "Lockdaddy" Loughran. Not to mention their offense is second to none with Dan Gavlick, Dennis Higgins and Stanton Tentanowski. Mayhem Dove is back in the mix as well, who will add another veteran bat to the team and be a utility guy for them.
With some talented new additions to this team, they will be a force and also will be considered Sigmund Freud’s dream team with some of the personalities on their roster. The Skippers will be coached differently this season, as Kris Sharp has passed the reigns over to the team itself. With that being said the skippers have won multiple titles and this writer thinks they will endure some growing pains with some of the personalities on that team. Ryan Donahue and Dillon Tagle (2016 MVP) will absolutely lead the charge for this team. The defunct Bulldogs heavy hitters Ray Schmoltze, John Quigley and big arm Mike Caron know how to win, and severely help the middle of that order. Will the skippers have multiple selfie Sundays or drown their sorrows on snapchat?
This team got hot last year and were absolute nightmares for the Bulldogs. Barnes boys acquired some big arms last year combined with All-star outfielder Richie Masciarelli and first Baseman Andrew Boykin, they can make a run. I really like this team as they'll scrap it out with anyone on the Diamond. They're just one arm away and a big bat away to compete for the cup. They can definitely spoil someone's year.
Dan Cymerman is rebuilding these boys. They were inches from coming to an agreement with the leftovers from the Bulldogs, but the deal couldn't be done. Which would’ve made them a top 3 or 4 team for sure? I really hope Colin Dew and Tony White come back and make these boys relevant on Sundays. Good group of young men, but need some help. If you have some talent and you're reliable, reach out to the league.
A newly formed team that participated in the Philadelphia Fall Baseball League and was a fun team to play against. They have pitching and some sluggers. Will compete and be in almost every game. However, very few teams can do what the Dirt Dawgs did, which was make a team and make a run at the title all 4 years in existence or could they. Only time will tell, but I'm hyped to see what this team can do.
Nor Gwyn Wookies
Another team from the Philadelphia Fall baseball league that has thrown their hats into the ring. I myself was very impressed with this team even though their record didn't show it. They barely let up any runs but also can't score any runs. Throughout the fall, they held several high power offenses off the board. Several players who play in the fall and in LBMBL were hesitant to play this team because you just couldn't generate offense because they field the ball as well. Do they have a breakout player on the offensive side to make things complicated for the big boys in the league?
Kris Sharp has once again started his own team after managing the Bucks County Reds/ Liberty Bell Mudskippers in which he's won a title with both. I'm intrigued in seeing what Sharp can do and bring in to make this team relevant. He's won with two teams, can he make it three? I've known him for several years, and in a few years he’ll be relevant, but not this year.. I'm sorry it's not the year of the OX/Bull.
Another new team has thrown their gloves into this fight. I'm constantly watching their roster additions because right out the gate I see Ryan Levito and Christian Rahman. Rahman pitched at Rowan and in the RVL and had success. He can shut teams down, but which Rahman will show up after a year off? I'm curious to see what this team brings to the table and future roster additions. Til that day, they're as relevant as Bill Mason being a career .300 hitter. A lot of erasers died due to Bill Mason’s stat padding.