Monday, June 17, 2013

Montgomery Biscuits First Half Review & Second Half Outlook

To sum up the first half, let me start with: thats why the blog is called the Grumpy Biscuit and not the "Optimistic Biscuit".


After almost ten years of seeing the Big Club call up the best guys to bolster Durham while they are ten or twelve games back it seems that they prefer us not to make the playoffs in the first half. Its another year when we are in a close race and don't have the horses available and left without anyone who can produce consistent numbers without divine intervention or mathematical aberration involved.

Thank you Lord, for Sergio Pedroza! He beat the odds wearing our jersey!



2013 FIRST HALF BISCUITS RECAP

Biscuits tenth season!
The season started by hosting the Barons and the Biscuits took the series, three games to two. After a day off it was the first road trip where the Jackson Generals handed the Biscuits a few more firsts, first rain out, first double header, first series loss, first three game losing streak.

Was a bad first road trip

That streak would run to four when the Skitz came home against Mobile, but Montgomery would end up taking the Series with three wins in the final four games of the five game set. A road trip to Tennessee gave the Biscuits another series win as they handed the Smokies three losses, but then quickly turned around and lost three of five to the Barons at home to end April.
April 25th vs Bham

May began with a trip to Pensacola, where the Biscuits won four in a row vs the Wahoos - a team that would flounder in last place almost the entire first half. Coming home, the team lost four out of five games to the division leading MsBraves, which started with an historic rout that saw the Skitz beaten 19-2 and ended in a heartbreaking extra-inning defeat on Saturday May 11th. Within a week Greg Sexton and Zach Quate were released.



A ten day road trip followed, the Biscuits winning three games for a series victory against North Division leading Birmingham, then dropping a mind-boggling four games to North Division WORST Huntsville Stars!

Home against the Jackson Generals, the Skitz looked flat, lost three games and the series before heading to Mississip to face the Braves where they won the first four out of five games to round out the month of May.

Buschmann
With June beginning and two weeks left in the first half, more changes were made. Matt Buschmann got promoted, Jake Floethe arrived and entered the rotation. Steve Tinoco, Keith Castillo and Matt Nevarez were just getting names on their jerseys.

The Biscuits came home and faced the Blue Wahoos of Pensacola, losing three games to them and one to mother nature, giving the Biscuits another series loss against a last place team. The homestand continued against Huntsville, who was kind enough to drop four games in the Biscuits favor.

The final series of the first half was on the road against Jacksonville, but became moot when the visiting Skitz dropped the first two games thus eliminating them.


WHAT WE SAW



The biggest tease of the first half was the four games we took from the Mississippi Braves. The Braves had beaten us like a dirty rug in the series at our place, convincing me that we were pretenders not contenders - then out of the blue we gave them exactly the same at their ballpark. I shouldn't have let it fool me, the hitting just isn't there on this team. Even if it was, our most consistent pitchers have been sent on to Durham when the team needed them most. Too many losses to last place teams sunk the first half hopes, but they played well enough to hang on till the end.

The Biscuit bullpen was awesome thru May, but after a few tweaks and tinkering we are left with some guys in new roles and some guys in new apartments. Any starting pitcher we have left that gets good numbers is probably mad he hasnt been called up yet and not happy to spend the second half with this team. Our closer is likely scouting apartments in North Carolina.

And who can blame him. We havent hit, we havent run the bases particuarly well, we havent scored runs and we havent shown much spirit. This is a Biscuit team that looks like it is going through the motions, both in the field, at the gate and in the standings. The guys who have put up numbers have moved on for the most part, and I have to hope there is a crop of StoneCrabs ready to replace them or it will be a long and painful summer ahead.


 SECOND HALF PREVIEW
The second half of the season gives new hope and a chance to see some new teams! Gone are the first half Barons, Baybears and Stars who we wont host again unless we make the playoffs.

We start the second half on June 19th vs Pensacola.


JUNE-JULY IS DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN
We go five with the Wahoos followed with a five game series on the road against Chattanooga's Lookouts.
Get used to em!

June will close and July begin with the Skitz coming home to face the Cubs affiliate Tennessee Smokies for five games. Its our first look at the Smokies here, though the Skitz have been to their ballpark already. 

We go on the road to Mobile for a five game set, beginning July 4th against the BayBears. A gulf coast theme is developing as the Southern League drifts toward the water for summer.

We will then host Pensacola AGAIN, giving us three visits by the same team in FIVE WEEKS, just ahead of the Southern League allstar break, July 15-17

We follow the break with a trip BACK TO MOBILE for the second time in three weeks.
Every other week?

Confused? No doubt the schedule maker intended it! 
Chances are they came away thinking they had the best Southern league schedule ever. I say this because this year there is no three or four game series on the schedule. Usually there is a snag around 4th of July, because teams are promised a game on either July 3rd or 4th, resulting in a short series appearing on the schedule. Not so this year, as they are all five game sets, including a day off the week before the SL AllStar game and the three days off around the festivities in Jacksonville, who will host this years AllStar Game. 

SOMEONE thought they had a slam dunk, but I think they screwed up pretty badly.

---------Take note, riverwalk attendants! Its taken 11 years for the AllStar game to come back to Jacksonville. We hosted in 2006, so it could mean we will have to wait another four years? Bummer!--------

GOODBYE JULY
We wave goodbye to July with a five game homestand against the Suns followed by a visit to the Mississippi Braves, always a popular series for fans.

Logos not subjected to drug testing


August 2nd gives Montgomery fans their first look at the Chattanooga Lookouts, who are here for five games. The Dodgers affiliate no longer has top prospect Yasiel Puig and may be even less populated by the time they arrive at Riverwalk.

The Lookouts do however have some excellent pitching prospects that will inhabit the roster. I look forward to this one!




TENNESSEE WELCOMES BISCUITS

The Biscuits will then spend ten days in Tennessee, first against the Smokies and then a series facing the Generals. It could be a tough trip but the Skitz have played well on the road, especially against Tn teams.

The ten day days on the road is followed by a ten game homestand. The Biscuits will host the Ms.Braves and the Jacksonville Suns in what could shape up to be the biggest ten game stretch of the year.


The final series of the year is on the road against the Barons, who will be lining up their playoff roster for postseason play.  


CHEERS TO YOU, READER!
Hey, someone reads the blog, its nice to be noticed!
Before

The JG of the Jackson Generals, but the JAX of the Jacksonville Suns? Gasp, I thought, as I blogged about it, hoping that the bus driver knew where he was headed!

After


Hey, someone fixed it! Cool!
I wondered about this when the schedule went up, but didnt expect it would get fixed. Cheers to you, blog reading-logo correcting person!

Or maybe they just noticed it themselves in the office? Oh well, who knows! haha


SPEAKING OF WEBSITES
Est 1885, last update 1985?
The Biscuits website is okay, there are a few tweaks I would love but am glad they run it themselves instead of handing it over to the league like EVERY other team in the southern league. And practically every other team in baseball!

And have you seen the Southern league website? Its bad. Real bad.

The "Team Headlines" list the Biscuits offseason trophy for promotions. From March! Every other team has current stuff!

There are three "Inside The Southern League" stories, two are last years Billy Hamilton story.

Have you tried to search a boxscore from a month ago? Two months ago? Cant do it. Its broken.

But they ask you to follow them on twitter!

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