About the Author: Felix Fernandez 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.
The Barnburners defeated the Wolfpack 1-0 during the regular season, as both teams struggled offensively in the contest. Each of the teams are very strong at the plate, but with totally different approaches to hitting.
It’s not much of a secret that the Wolfpack play small ball, while the Barnburners mash balls over the fence. The question is, can the Wolfpack be consistent enough against Colin Gannon, the best pitcher during the regular season, to string enough hits together in one inning? This writer doesn’t think so, but stranger things have happened.
Wolfpack, Will McNally will probably remind me who’s playing in the championship, despite my pessimistic point of view. Also, how much will playing on a larger and faster field affect the two teams?
The pitching matchup will feature 2 of the league’s best pitchers during the regular season in Colin Gannon (Barnburners) and Adriano DeSorrento (Wolfpack). The keys to this matchup are Adriano keeping the ball down and mixing it up once in a while, where Gannon needs to rely more on location and changing speeds. The advantage of pitching depth goes to the Barnburners, as they have 4 solid guys that can throw.
Although, not the best base running team in the league, the Barnburners are recklessly dangerous. They will challenge weaker fielders to peg them, although Fletcher and Gannon are more “one base at a time guys”. For the Wolfpack, it’s mostly station to station base running, however at times, they will use smart aggressive base running to stretch a single into a double or score from second on a base hit.
In the field, Jim Shannon looked very solid in his last game, as the improved turf conditions, seems to have made a difference. Nick West is fast and quick, but sometimes will go through inconsistent periods of fielding the ball. One of the keys to the game will be to test the throwing and pegging skills of West. It will be the Will McNally vs. Ty Fletcher showdown at the catcher’s spot, even though the position is typically very unexciting, but expect there to be quite a bit of trash talking between these two. Gannon and DeSorrento, might not have significant range, but should be able to hold their own in the field.
Barnburners will win the series in a sweep. However, if the Wolfpack come in ready, motivated and focused (and sober), hit the ball the way they’re capable of doing and Adriano can figure out the Barnburners’ weakness at the plate, then the Wolfpack could very well upset the 5 time champions.