Thursday, July 4, 2013

Biscuits Series at Mobile, July 4th

Jammed again
The Smokies took the Grape Jelly series at Riverwalk in a hard fought five games.

Included in the set was the best start of the year from Victor Mateo, which went for a loss. Jake Thompson was unable to get out of the second inning in the blowout first game, which also resulted in a 13-0 Skitz loss and the final game in which Floethe suffered the defeat. The victories came from Enny Romero, who is lighting up the radar gun to triple digits and a walkoff win in extras when the Gump-skitz score in the ninth to tie and tenth to win.

It was a great series and except for the blowout game one, it seemed the teams were very evenly matched. Perhaps we will get to see the Smokies again in the playoffs.

COMING UP NEXT
 Over the next twenty-one days the Biscuits will face the Mobile BayBears ten times.
Repeat Customers

If you hear someone say "Hey did you know I was the one who designed the Southern League schedule?" you should strike them severely about the face and neck. No mercy. 

Other than this five game set with the Smokies, we are in the middle of a summer of repeats. We can go to Mobile and see the BayBears twice in the next three weeks, we are about to host the Pensacola Blue Wahoos for the THIRD time since June 2nd, just a month ago.

We have seen the Blue Wahoos, the Stars, Blue Wahoos, Smokies and now we get Blue Wahoos again. Its an "Every-Other" team is the same schedule!

Hey, Southern League - can you come up with a schedule that doesn't suck?

No. You can't. I know you can't. We have a patch on the side of the Biscuits hat that tells us how long we have been waiting.


SERIES VS MOBILE
This is the team that won the South Division by hanging around till the last week, then getting a good draw in playing Pensacola in the final series. Mobile hasn't made many changes in the past month, so they are fielding the same team that has been playing well and the Biscuits will have their work cut out in this series.

great Biscuits dont die, they get sent away
Montgomery took the five game set vs Mobile at home in April, winning three of five games. The two losses consisted of a game in which the Biscuits scored ten runs but lost and an extra inning game that got away.

Also in that series was the record-setting 12 run inning by the Skitz, so its safe to say that runs were flowing when the two teams met last. However since then we have sent SP's Buschmann, Kelly and reliever Riefenhauser to Durham so our pitching staff is MUCH thinner than it was in April.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Look for bullpens to be a major factor, as long as the Biscuits starters can keep the team in the game. Runs could be scored in bunches, no lead is safe for either team and the bullpens will be tasked with shutting down the runs.

Look for the Biscuits to keep shuffling the batting order. Kiermaier banged a knee in the final game and could get a day or two off, or maybe an appearance at DH. However Mahtook being moved to batting second and Seitzer hitting third will probably stick until Mikies average goes up or Camerons OPS goes down.

DOESNT MEAN AS MUCH TO THEM

Oddly, this series means nothing to the BayBears. Having won the first half, a team has little motivation beyond padding stats and staying healthy until the playoffs over two months from now. Even for the Biscuits this game is only a game for wins and losses, as our record versus this team in head to head competition won't be a factor for playoff potential as it would with any other team in our division.

BayBears starters are:
Thompson vs Hagens in Game one
Archie Bradley
Andrew Chafin
David Holmberg
Bo Schultz
Daily pitching matchups listed tomorrow -assuming the horrid Southern League website updates them.



HISTORY LESSON - JOE PEPE, MONTGOMERY CLIMBERS SHORTSTOP

When we last left off, Joe Pepe had spent two seasons with C-Class Macon, maturing from a fifteen year old rookie to a young infielder who had leaned how to make plays in the field to get noticed and keeping cool in the clubhouse to NOT get noticed! Playing alongside a team much older than himself is a trend he will learn to live with, and his defensive range is good enough that he gets noticed by teams throughout the south.


 JOE PEPE JOINS MONTGOMERY
In 1908 Montgomery invites the 17 year old to play for the team, called the Senators that season. Joe Pepe responds by hitting .193 in 137 games but is excellent afield and probably tried not to be too noticeable among the boisterous Climbers players, some of whom were in the majors before Joe was born.

Montgomery in the first ten years of 1900 is as active as it ever is, almost progressive. Streetcars make for great public transportation, the river still offers good commerce and city leaders have managed to put the town on the same level with larger cities by being a prime railroad stopover. Not quite as bawdy as New Orleans or Memphis, but not far behind.

1907 Montgomery at night
First class hotels, gas light lined streets and a lively night life are budding in this era between the end of the Antebellum south and the birth of the Jazz ages as the former Capitol of the Confederacy tries to look ahead, tossing itself fully into the 20th century with a distinctly southern drawl.

1908 in Montgomery sees the opening of the all-black Lincoln Cemetery, the unveiling of the statue of Robert E. Lee that now sits in front of Lee High School. The Gay-Teague Hotel is completed and opens for business. The city forms an Anti-Tuberculosis League organized by Dr.Greil and prohibition is dawning on the state as votes are being held on making counties "wet or dry" on the sales of alcohol.

Even the capitol building itself grows, additions to the building are in full swing.



 MONTGOMERY'S TEAM
Photo of Jimmy Ryan
Jimmy Ryan
The Montgomery team is a solid club when Ed Gremminger takes over as manager from Jimmy Ryan."Pony" Ryan isnt as much of a pony anymore, the 45 year old outfielder hits just .191 for the Senators before stepping aside for Gremminger. Yet he brought a pedigree of greatness, a deadball era stalwart for Chicago NL for most of his long career. Ryan stole over 400 major league bases and hit over 100 home runs in his 18 big league seasons.


1908 sees Joe Pepe at shortstop in 137 games. He struggles at the the plate, but at age 17 he is one of the youngest players in the entire circuit. The league average age for hitters is twenty-seven and most of Joe's own teammates are older than that. Not counting Ryan, there are at least seven Montgomery players over the age of 30 on the team.


1908 Montgomery Senators


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