This past weeks games were played under duress with teams having to brave the elements, there was snow, there was hail, there was rain, and as most players can attest it was cold! That said, all of our games were played and while the players all showed up, technology let us down into game 3 as the scoring tablet and phone gave out in the cold. Sit back, grab some chai, and take in the full recap from the week.
The Falcons came into this one determined to prove that the last loss they took to the Wolves was a fluke. The Wolves though, put down their video games and showed up to send a message, #WeForReal. This game was started on a cycle! Imran Virji – Single, Imran Nasser – Triple, Ali Nasser – HR, and Shane Worthington with the Double to complete it. The wolves put up a strong 4 run inning to start. Then huddled together for warmth hoping they could shut down the Falcons. Unfortunately for them, though the Falcons have some old bones that aren’t as comfortable in the cold, they can stand there and take walks with the best of them. While Mikael Ratansi struggled to figure out the wind, the Falcons walked around the bases and scored 3 runs of their own. This game seemed like it would be close the whole way, and perhaps the makings of an early rivalry.
The second inning proved to be no different for the Wolves as they put up a 6 spot, capped off by an inning walk off home run from an unexpected source, Abbas Nasser. Leaving poor Imran as the only Nasser remaining to prove he, too, can hit the long ball. For now poor Imran will have to be last to eat at the Nasser family dinners.
The Falcons countered with a 5 running inning of their own, but remained two runs behind. The Wolves interested in building a cushion put up another 6 run mercy inning as they were staked to bases loaded on 3 consecutive walks to start the inning. Then the Wolves decided that they would play defence, shutting out the Falcons in the bottom half of the inning followed by another 5 running inning to take a commanding 21-8 lead going into the bottom of the inning. But, as the title of this story will tell you, the Wolves fell asleep defensively.
Abbasali Kermalli started what would be an 11 run inning with a towering home run, that would end up on the street behind the diamond – we’re still waiting for him to get it, those old legs might take him around the bases swiftly, but getting to the home run ball might require a taxi. Not to be outdone, Mohez Kamalia followed with a home run of his own. Proving that captain Imtiyaz Kara’s decision to protect these two players that day was the right thing to do. Pitching gaffes that allowed a barrage of singles and walks allowed Abbasali back to the plate where he promptly deposited another home run and brought in 3 runs with a single swing. Unfortunately the Falcons 11 run effort just fell short as the Wolves were able to hang on for the win. These teams won’t have to wait long for the final game of their rivalry – they play again May 29th at 3:15PM
A few quick dabs of Voltaren and a couple of quick Ibuprofen’s and the Falcons were ready for their next game against the Owls. Owls not having adjusted to the cold, started this game with 3 quick outs sending only 4 batters up to start the game. Meanwhile in the bottom of the inning, Riaz Champsi proved that if there’s one thing he can do it’s watch pitches as he collected another walk to go with 4 he got in the game before, though it seemed that the Falcons still had some firepower left from the last inning they played as they started this game with a 6 run spot and the first 7 batters getting on base. The Owls put up a fight in this one, scoring 2 runs in the second, but the Falcons wouldn’t let up putting up another 5 in the bottom half.
Captain, Azim Chagani, then decided to test out his 3rd overall pick, Allen Ahi on the mound. Moving himself to first base he handed control over, but the Falcons wouldn’t let up – the top part of their order was relentless and while there were a few doubles in this game the majority of runs came off of singles and walks. The Owls never really put anything together in this one, although they scattered 15 hits through their 4 innings of play, it was all for naught as they could never capitalize with runners in scoring position – batting a paltry .467 whenever they had a chance. The ray of sunshine for the Owls was the play of Muzammal Khokhar who was a solid offensive weapon getting on base and scoring in each of his 3 at bats. We’ll chalk this one up to the cold weather because this Owls team has the talent to put up a bigger fight.
A short handed Eagles team would take the home field side next for the first of their two games. This one against the Tigers who came out swinging, literally. The top half of this Tiger’s lineup is just scary, and that’s not because captain Hussein Allidina comes to bat with a helmet. With the wind blowing out, the Tigers sent what should’ve been 7 runs across the plate in the first inning, buoyed by 2 back-to-back home runs from protected players Miqdad Jaffer and Mahmood Kara, and we say should be 7 but Ray Noormohamed forgot that touching home plate is an automatic auto – not a lesson he’ll forget anytime soon.
This game was really never in reach for the Eagles as the falling to your knees defence from the captain, Hussein Allidina, and lights out pitching from brother Abbas Allidina ensured that the eagles would never even get this one close. The Tigers maxed out nearly each of the following innings as the umpire appealed to the Eagles to forfeit once they reached the 15 run difference mark. It’s a good thing the scoring devices gave out due to the cold, this game is one the Eagles will soon want to forget.
The bright spot for the Eagles came as they tried out their newest player, Sarfaraz Karmali, at the pitching position. Sarfaraz may not have been shut down in his first appearance, but he showed that he can handle himself and will be a good weapon for this team in the future.
The Eagles started warming up in the second game but met up with a Lions team that bolsters last year’s reigning best hitter in Asad Hussain. Much like the previous game, the Lions almost maxed out each inning. Asad Hussain had two home runs one inside the park and the other an out side the park grand slam, bringing in almost enough runs (9) by himself to beat the Eagles. This game had some pitching problems as the Eagles had one of their pitchers in Mohamed Walli injured in the previous game, and the Lions had their pitcher, Ali Jaffer, get injured early in this one.
League Veteran, Ajaz Sadiq, provided a strong relief pitching effort before the return of the injured Ali Jaffer who finished off the last 3 innings basically on one foot. Maybe he should play with one foot more often as he was able to hit a double with just the one leg to stand on. This game featured the return of the injured Zane Hussain who proved he can still hit, and that an ankle brace is enough to get him through one game. We hope to see his full recovery and return to the lineup at full health.
We may as well talk about next week, because the cold weather and multiple sets of hail storms were more impressive than the fight the Eagles put up. Don’t sleep on this Eagles team though, they have enough power through their lineup to do some real damage. If you remember our season preview, we said this team would be streaky, this is the calm before the storm. We think they’re going to make it competitive.
Updates & Info
Some league updates to share – there are no games next weekend as the season takes a quick break for the long weekend. Also, the July 17th game will be moved to the end of the season, so that too will be an off week for teams to practice and prepare. Also, mark your calendars as June 5th will be picture day on the field – we’re going to get some individual and team pictures to update the website, so cut your hair, trim your beards, and brush your teeth – we want you dressed in your Sunday best.
So far we’ve been pretty silent about the swearing rule, please note that the month of May we will not be fining for swearing but will be warning for it. From June onwards, expect to receive either a fine or a suspension, so take this month to figure out how to get it out of your system. As always, if the umpire deems the language to be intolerable, he may eject you which will carry a fine and automatic additional game suspension.
As a new feature in these articles, we’re going to highlight one new rule/suggestion for players to think about. When playing a defensive position, remember that you have the right to play wherever you want if you are receiving the ball, but if the ball isn’t coming to you, vacate the position so the runner can get access to the base. The easiest way to do this is usually to move inside the diamond towards the pitchers mound, not backwards towards the outfield. If you get in the way, it’s called Obstruction – you can check out our winter articles for more information on that rule.