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Goofball Captains Division Semi-Finals Preview and Picks

By JJ Eusay, 10/22/20, 8:45PM CDT


Goofball Captains Division Semi-Finals (Best of 3 series)

Weather Forecast- Temps in low to mid 50’s with Wind out of SE @ 13 mph

(6) Eusay’s Tigers vs (1) Alford’s Iron Pigs     

8 AM- Spirit Park Allen  Field 1 (Wind 13 mph out to LF/LCF)

Season Series- Pigs 2-0 (19-13, 22-13)

The Pigs took the season series by winning both games that were played in Plano in decisive fashion.  Both matchups played out almost identically where we started fast, built a nice lead, then saw the Pigs rally for big wins.  I think this series will be much closer than those previous contests.  The Pigs earned the first seed by playing much more consistently over the course of the season and enjoyed a long break while we battled our way through the Mini’s and round one.  A mid-season 4 game losing streak was really the only speed bump in the Pigs season, but they recovered nicely to finish the season strong.  Our Tigers squad has battled the injury bug all season and rarely fielded our original twelve, but when we did we were undefeated.  This will be a fun one to watch for sure.

     The Pigs have an offensive lineup that is relentless from top to bottom and force you to play every out of every inning near perfect to beat them.  They have a ton of softball IQ at the top of the lineup with Scott Lawrence (.654, 13 HR, 10 2B), Tommy Apligian (.506, 11 2B), Leo Cova (..610, 13 HR) and their Captain Ryan Alford (.695, 15 HR, 22 2B).  The middle through the bottom is loaded with consistent hitters like Joe Beasley (.523), Brian Smallwood (.584) and Peter Hogan (.506) that stress a defense and create RBI opportunities for their top guys.  Defensively, they are one of the best with Lawrence pitching, Alford running the infield and Tommy running the outfield.  They will be down Brandon Alford and Chris Licurse but pick up two solid subs in Asher Feltman and Omar Gonzalez.  Just look at their runs allowed total and that tells the story of this team.  Solid defense and steady offense is a very tough nut to crack in the playoffs.  As for the Tigers, I think we tout the best one through six hitters in the league and can make life very tough on pitchers.  With four hitters batting over .600 and four hitters in double digits for homers, there is no secret what this team relies on.  When we are clicking offensively, it can be something to watch.  The battle has been having the right guys present to put the right defense on the field to compliment the offense.  A roller-coaster season that saw injuries to some of the key players directly led to a spot in the mini playoffs.  However, with all the firepower in the lineup its all about the “great 8” that makes this team click.  I don’t mean #8, but rather the 8th round pick Andy Goodman.  The impact that he has on our team when he has been there is just remarkable.  He played only 14  games this season and in those games our record was 10-4.  That means when he wasn’t there we were 4-8.  That is a significant WAR I am certain.  The impact he makes on the defense is the key, but his hitting has also been a solid anchor at the bottom of the lineup.  He has yet to play against the Pigs this season and in the first game with the Pigs, we were without Ariel Rodriguez (.639, 12 HR) and Andy.  Taylor Abrego (.692, 12 HR), Kelly Alexander (.570, 11 HR), Joe Exotic Machado (.610, 12 HR) and Carlos Moran (.536) drive the offense, while solid bats at the middle and bottom like Kevin Blake, Jeff Radanof and Ozzie Zurita make for a steady dose of hitting. 


Keys to Victory:

Pigs- I am sure Ryno has all the info he needs.  No need to add to that.

Tigers-  We have to start fast like in past matchups, but it will take seven innings of near perfect defense to pull off the upset.  I remember last season we came out of the mini playoffs and defeated the three seed and then the one seed eliminating them both from the playoffs.  It took flawless defense and solid pitching and that is what is will take again.  Ryno will have his boys ready to play and this will be a grind.  We have the bats to take advantage of the conditions and use the long ball, but can’t fall in love with that and swing for the fences.  Defense will win this series.  Whoever plays it best wins. 

My Pick:  I have a ton of respect for Ryno and have tournament teammates on that team that I have been through battles with.  I know they will come ready and bring a ton of experience and savvy, but I have a ton of confidence in our dugout.  We have faced a lot of adversity this season that I feel brought us closer as a group.  Now that we have all hands on deck, I think we are a different team.  It will be a battle but I think an monumental upset is brewing.  Tigers in 3



(4) Prim’s Muckdogs  vs. (2) Kravitz’s Rangers

8 AM- Spirit Park Allen Field 2 (Wind blowing out all fields @ 13 mph)

Season Series- Split 1-1 (8-5 Rangers, 12-6 Dogs)

     We finally get to see the Rangers in action after a long break and on a field that should be an absolute launching pad with wind blowing out.  DO NOT park behind Field 2 Sunday.  The Rangers and ROY candidate Ryan Richardson limped into the post season after coughing up first place with a 1-4 finish to the season.  The offense sputtered a bit down the stretch and the defense wasn’t what it was all season.  However, the break might actually do them good with time to regroup.  I think they will be ready to roll.  The Muckdogs manhandled the Royals, ousting them from the playoffs last week in two games and look primed for a long playoff run.  They have the ability to lock teams down with the defense and to score runs in bunches regardless of weather conditions.  For the Rangers, they ride the bat of Richardson (.785, 24 HR, 63 RBI) and protect him with Jon Kilburn (.600, 9 HR) and Kyle Kravitz (.427, 6 HR).  Their team HR’s and Batting Avg. were in the top four in the league and they were number one in slugging while ranking 2nd in OPS and OBP.  While the Muckdogs are ranked much lower in most of those categories offensively, they lean on their defense.  Donald Prim (.683, 25 HR, 76 RBI) led the offense all year and is one of the best opposite field hitters in the league.  He also mans LCF and runs the outfield very efficiently.  Miguel Duron (.589, 12 HR) should be able to damage vehicles in LF after guys like rookie sensation Aaron Holmes (.600) set the table for him.  The question is will defense be a factor with balls flying out of the park?  Lots of run should be scored.

Keys to Victory

Rangers- They have to get back to the formula they had early in the season.  When we played them late in the season they were very shaky throwing strikes and hitting consistently through the lineup.  They have to get guys on for Richardson and let him eat.  Regardless of who the Dogs pitch, they should see some good pitches and they have to take advantage.  They HAVE to use the long ball to score runs because the Dogs defense is strong inside the boundaries.  They have to make the routine plays on defense and keep Prim and Duron in the park and their chances to win go up dramatically. 

Muckdogs-  This one is pretty straight forward.  Keep Richardson in the park.  If they do this, they can lean on that lock down defense to carry them to the wins needed.  They can’t allow the pressure the Rangers will put on them to rattle them and have to stay steady and confident.  Apply consistent pressure on their defense and make them throw strikes and crack them. 

My Pick:  This is a tough one and I have gone back and forth.  Is it possible for the two top seeds to go down in one week?  When I look at this one the numbers say the Rangers win, but sometimes the stats are like bikini’s, they conceal more than they reveal.  I think the Muckdogs are coming in on a roll and playing great ball while the Rangers will have to get back in the groove.  This will be a high scoring series which would lead you to think Rangers.  Nope.  Muckdogs will flex their muscles and take this one.  Muckdogs in 2