About the Author: Alex Filides is the guy most of the league hates for no reason, and some of the league hates for very good reasons. He’s aggressive in the game, eats, sleeps and breathes wiffleball, and left the winning run in two postseason series stranded on third base.
Wheelchair vs Suns Out
Wheelchair wins 2-0
It’s been a while since these teams have met. Suns Out is coming into this series with an 11 game winning streak including a playoff series win vs. Gumballers and quality regular season wins vs. Scared Hitless and Moose Knuckles during that streak. Wheelchair has won 16 of their last 17 games, including the playoffs dating back to last season.
Michael Burns and Will McNally are Suns Out’s main hitters and they both need to hit for them to have a chance in this series. However, the downfall is that they haven’t had many looks against Wheelchair’s ace Joe Thaman.
As of now, it appears that Will McNally will be the starting pitcher with Mazur out this Saturday. They don’t need to strike everyone out, but do need to be quick, fast and adept in the field. Wheelchair doesn’t particularly have fast baserunners, so this works to their advantage.
For Wheelchair, Chris Keeven and Joe Thaman are an excellent 1-2 combo at the top of the order. When they are both hitting well, they are extremely tough to beat. They have other guys in the lineup that can hit on occasion, if these others guys can get on base, it should be an easy win for Wheelchair. Keeven and Thaman are two of the more consistent hitters in the league.
Wheelchair (keys to the game)
- Thaman staying in the game at pitcher.
- Keeping runners at first base on hits, not allowing them to get to second.
- Completely shutting down on of their top 2 hitters.
- A little offensive “pop” from Christoff, Ogg and Halverson would help.
Suns Out (keys to the game)
- Offensive support for Burns and McNally
- Mixing up pitches and changing speeds against Wheelchair hitters.
- Not being afraid to make outs on the basepaths, through smart, aggressive baserunning.
- Being patient at the plate and working the count. Making the pitcher work.
Barnburners vs. Moose Knuckles
The Barnburners and Moose Knuckles met in the final week of the season, with the Barnburners coming back from behind to win 3-2. Matt Gagnon(MK) did pitch 3.5 innings of one hit ball, while allowing 0 runs. However, the two questions are can Gagnon stay in the game and can he pitch as effective on the blue field where the Barnburners have the all important home field advantage? Will the Barnburners go with a rotation as they had during the season? Or will they stick with Jim and Jack Shannon as they did in the 1st round of the playoffs against 7th inning?
The Moose Knuckles do have a very good hitter in Andrew Flowers, the whole team can put the bat on the ball and scrap for runs, but they have also been very inconsistent this season in their run scoring ability. They have arguably the best fielding tandem in Gagnon and Flowers, which should help.
The Barnburners have looked as dominant as ever before. There are just too many “ifs” with the Moose Knuckles, everything will have to break right, such as Gagnon staying in the game and hitting the corners, the rest of the team needing to find some offense to support Flowers. In other words, the Moose Knuckles will need to play their best series while hoping to catch the Barnburners on an “off” day to pull of the miracle upset.
Barnburners (keys to game)
- Pitching aggressively to the batters knowing they have solid backup pitchers behind them.
- Situational hitting when it calls for it and not swinging for the fences every time up.
- Keeping the pressure on by putting runners on base.
- Smart aggressive baserunning.
- Not being distracted by any nerf footballs floating around the field.
- Getting that first out of the inning, without allowing any base runners.
MooseKnuckles (keys to game)
- Gagnon pitching the series of his life and staying in the game.
- At least one or two other guys supporting Flowers on offense.
- Not getting too emotional during the game. I should take my own advice.
- Knowing the Barnburners hitting tendencies
- Keeping the Barnburners runners off bases. They can allow for one or two homeruns and still stay in the game