MVP of the Day
Vick Vij – 4/6, 1 HR, 1 2B, 3R, 5 RBI
Pitcher of the Day
Sebastian Gianino – 13 IP, 2 W, 9 ER, 6K, 4BB
The Bucks had 2 games this week and have remained undefeated again after week 3. After a bit of a scare against a possessed Wolves squad, the Bucks settled down and put up 6 runs in the top of the 6th Inning to break an 8-8 tie and then shut down the door after that.
They had 34 hits in two games this week with everyone on the squad getting a hit. Sebastian Gianino has been lights out on the mound all season as he still leads the league in Strike% (73%) but this week helped his team by leading them in RBIs with 4 with only 2 hits.
It has been nice to see Minhal Jaffer getting back to his 2016 form after a terrible season last year. He was 4-8 with an extra base hit and a couple of RBIs as well. If he continues to swing a hot bat, the Bucks are easily the hardest team to get out with a lineup filled with OBP guys.
Sameer Karim made a surprise appearance for the Bucks in game 2 this week and got a hit and and RBI to boot. He is a player who we will be keeping an eye on because if Karim can hit around his career average of .300, this squad could have one of the better sleeper picks in from the draft.
How many ways can you strike out in Softball? We’ll need to ask the Falcons for help on this as there really is nothing else to talk about but the continued amazing pitching by Hussein Allidina for the Eagles. In the bottom half of inning 4, an inning that took only 5 minutes total, Hussein struck out the side in what will go down as the Gordie Howe Strike Out Hat-Trick. Miqdad Jaffer started by striking out swinging, followed by Aadil Jaffer who fouled out for a strikeout and then Riaz Champsi who refused to swing and struck out looking. It was an epic pitching performance and the first time in 3 games Hussein has given up and Earned Run. He now sits at 1.75 ERA in 24 innings this season with a league leading 14 strikeouts.
The Eagles welcomed Minaz Noormohamed to the lineup this week as news that Ray and Minaz are not brothers, but only cousins, has broke out. The news distraught Ray who missed the game citing personal reasons, but Minaz, who was clearly playing with a chip on his shoulder against his former club who traded him for Adam Mawji, had a pretty good Eagles debut. He went 1-3 but was robbed by an Arif Hirji leaping grab.
Hussain Habib seems to be turning the corner in his quest to establish himself as a threat at the plate. He had two extra base hits and came in to score twice during the game. If his batting is on point moving forward, the Eagles who we predicted would finish last, will continue to surprise us.
The Falcons lost for the last time with Miqdad Jaffer this week. He started the game at Shortstop but was unable to make a single play on anything hit in his direction. It got so bad that many Eagles players, his former teammates from 2017, stated they would give him a sarcastic standing ovation when he finally makes a play. However that never happened and he was eventually removed and shortly thereafter, traded away. #1 Overall draft pick Ali Manek was asked about Miqdad’s play and said, “It was such a poor game, that I couldn’t even trash talk – that’s how bad he was.” Miqdad certainly picked it up in his 2nd game going 2-3 but it wasn’t enough to keep him on the Falcons roster. Some were saying that it looked like
Another player that was traded for this season was Adam Mawji who is racking up the strikeouts this season. 3 strikeouts in 6 at-bats with only one hit all day. Mawji was brought in for his glove and youth in the Minaz Noormohamed trade so if he does not start to improve his OBP, there will be a large hole on this squad.
But not all is bleak in the Falcons dressing room – on of the last picks in the 2018 draft was Arif Gulamhusein who is clearly playing with a serious chip on his shoulder as he tries to prove the critics wrong. He went 5-6 with 4 RBIs and is very surprisingly tied for the team lead in RBIs but even more surprisingly is 2nd in the league in Average as he’s got a .833 average after week 3.
The Lions have realized that the magic of last seasons improbably undefeated run wasn’t due to the Batting Title winner Imtiyaz Kara. With only 2 hits all season, they shipped away number 55 to the Falcons in what many are calling the biggest trade robbery in JMS History. But even while shorthanded this week, the Lions put up 10 runs against the Owls.
Abbas Mohamedali led the way this week going 2-3 with 2 RBIs but they were his first two hits and RBIs of the season. He was reportedly quite disappointed to have lost his best friend Shahid Rahemtulla in the trade as well as his personal coach and mentor Imtiyaz Kara. With a new look infield expected next week, Abbas will have his hands full as new 3B Hasanain Panju and 2B Miqdad Jaffer both have trouble throwing the ball.
Muhammad A. also stepped up in the absence of many Lions this week as he recorded 2 hits and 2 RBIs as well.
Giving up 10 runs usually doesn’t get a shout out to the pitcher but with only 4 earned on 5 Lions errors, Altaf Champsi pitched a strong game in what many are saying is his last pitching opportunity of the season. Newly acquired Miqdad Jaffer is expected to take over on the mound shortly after his arrival or as soon as Altaf has a bad outing so his time on the mound will likely be limited at best moving forward.
A 10-10 tied for the badly short Owls this week was a surprise outcome as many thought they would struggle out of the gate. With the league minimum, they were able to capitalize on some poor Lion defense led by Moe Abdalla’s 3 RBIs. But with the good comes the bad as he struck out twice looking absolutely lost at the plate whiffing at pitches – a sight not commonly seen in men’s slow-pitch softball.
Hassanein Bhaloo also had 2 strikeouts this week and seems to be a shell of his former self. One of the most solid first basemen in the league still, Bhaloo will need to improve on his .182 batting average to help ease the pressure off captain Salim Chagani.
Salim Chagani who seems to be running this squad on his own, was clearly trying to lead by example this week with a solid performance going 3-4 scoring 2 runs and drawing a walk. He’s batting above his career average (.410) and needs to keep that going to keep the Owls relevant in the league.
Another pleasant surprise for the Mohamed Railey who has been off to a terrible start to the season but hopefully has turned it around this week. He collected 3 hits on 4 ABs and drove in a run.
The Tigers scored 9 runs on only 11 hits to edge out the Falcons this week. Captain Vick Vij is quietly having one of the best season in the JMS this year. On Sunday he went 2-3 with a HR and 4 RBIs and currently sits 2nd in the JMS in both those categories.
Maysum Jaffer played a significant role for the Tigers this week as he led the way with 3 hits of his own while scoring twice. Maysum is leading the team in Average .714 and OBP .714 this season. Making it easy for guys like Vick to rack up 10 RBIs already this season.
One guy that has done a lot of talking but has not performed is Azmatali Mehrali. Rumours that he has made various wagers over who would have a higher batting average with multiple people in the league seem to have been done only to motivate himself – which hasn’t worked. He’s picked up 2 hits with a .222 batting average despite claiming to have been playing consistently for the last 20 straight years. We have confirmed that 3 people in the league, if these numbers hold up for the season, are owed anything from $100 to steak dinners. We do not condone betting in any capacity and are investigating the allegation.
While it was the Falcons and Lions who cited a “need for a change” before making trades last week, it’s actually the Wolves and the Owls who need the most amount of work as they are both winless this season. The Championship Wolves are in familiar territory as they started last season very slow as well, however, the 0-3 mark does raise a lot of questions. One of those was answered in the Hasanain Panju trade that will see OF Arif Hirji arriving next week in an effort to provide the team with a stronger bat.
Mikael Ratansi has been on fire at the plate but it seems like you can only get one thing at a time from him. When he’s pitching well, he isn’t hitting. But when he’s hitting like he was this week going 3-4 with a triple and 2 RBIs, he wasn’t able to match that on the mound. Ratansi gave up 8 Earned Runs on 21 hits against the Bucks this week. Possibly due to fatigue, it is likely that Ratansi will need to get into better shape in order to deliver on both sides of the field.
Alla Al-Salem made his season debut for the Wolves and they were happy to see him arrive in top form. Going 3-3 with a walk, he was a major factor in the Wolves run production this week. His bat with the addition of Arif Hirji next week should put the Wolves in a better place than their 0-3 record indicates.
However one guy that the league is now going to be watching closely is Al-Wahda star Said Samater. He hasn’t been able to translate his .750 OBP in Al-Wahda to the JMS on a weekly bases. He got 1 hit this week doubling his hit total which now sits at 2 with a .200 batting average. The Wolves took a risk taking him with the 20th pick in the draft but only time will tell if he can get back his swing and swag at the diamond.