Friday, June 9, 2017

Biscuits Tussle with Lookouts for Division Title



A HUGE series against the Lookouts starts on Friday as the Biscuits host their final home series of the first half. After taking four out of five from the lowly J-Shrimp on the road, the Skitz get to take matters into their own hands against the rival Lookouts of Chattanooga in a rematch of last years SLDS opponents.

With just ten games left in the first half, Montgomery may need to do more than just win the next two series in order to capture a playoff berth.


FOUR TEAMS TUSSLE FOR TITLE
For their part, the "Noogas" have a tough go of it thanks to the schedule makers. They get to take on the Biscuits and then visit the Smokies, two of the toughest teams in the loop.

As for the Smokies, who also have eyes on the North Division title, the Generals and Noogas pose a tough challenge over the last ten games.

Of course, the Generals also want the North title, after facing the Smokies at home the Gens have a supposedly easy set against the Barons in Bham.

The first team in all of baseball to be eliminated, the Barons are the doormat of the Southern League this season and with nothing left to play for could leave an open path to the playoffs for the Generals. Providing the Gens can leapfrog the three teams ahead of them in the last ten days.


It all makes for a very muddled playoff picture. I won't even break into the tiebreaker scenarios, which could very likely come into play as well, should two or more teams finish with identical records atop the standings.


WHAT TO LOOK FOR
SERIES VS LOOKOUTS

Nick Gordon
Look for the Biscuits to face the biggest challenge to winning the first half in this series. Just a couple weeks ago these two teams traded lopsided series victories and now face off in what could be the battle for the division title.


Nick Gordon, Lookouts shortstop, will be looking for extra bases. He leads the league in hits (69) as well as triples (5) and is fourth in doubles (16).


Grant Kay
Grant Kay will be looking doubles too, he leads the league in two base hits.

The Lookouts will be looking for longballs, the Skitz have had trouble keeping the orb in the yard. Harris and Mujica share the league lead for gopherballs. As a team Montgomery has surrendered the most circuit clouts in the loop.

That being said, Chattanooga is last in the league in home runs hit with just 24. Looking for homers doesn't seem wise, as they strike out a lot more than Montgomery. They are much better looking out for a free pass, nobody walks more than Chattanooga.
 
Look for Chattanooga catcher Dan Rohlfing to strike out, he has a share of the lead league in the futile stat and possesses the talent to run away with the category.

Look for Biscuits infielder Michael Russell to do something. He has been quiet lately. Too quiet.

Bullpen backpacks come with umbrellas for relievers!



POINTING FINGERS EARLY
If the Biscuits should fail to take the first half title, the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the Tampa Rays front office.

With the Biscuits in playoff contention the Rays felt its okay to let the Skitz go without a fifth starter.

Where would this team be if it had a full rotation, instead of relying on spot starts from Baez, Brashears and Schreiber? Not just one spot start either, its been months of wondering who the TBA pitcher on the last day of the series would be.

LATE INNING ACES
 To their credit, the Skitz pitchers forced into service to start games have done excellent jobs rising to the challenge more often than not. Its not that they are crappy and had to start. Quite the opposite, its that they are good but had to vacate their roles to fill in where another pitcher was needed.




This should be a race the Biscuits ran away with but a short pitching staff has left the Skitz fighting for their life.




 THIS DAY IN MONTGOMERY BASEBALL

Bert Maxwell
JUNE 10 1906 
Montgomery pitcher Maxwell shuts out New Orleans on 3 hits


JUNE 11 1905 
Montgomery and New Orleans play to a 13 inning, 3 run tie at MGM.

JUNE 11 1906 
Mgm Pitcher Malarkey holds New Orleans to one run on three hits
1906 Montgomery Senators

JUNE 11, 1937 
Pete Reiser appears for Union Springs in a game vs Pensacola, going O-4 with an error at third base. Reiser, aged fifteen at the time, later claimed never to have appeared in a game for Union Springs, but the box score indicates a forgettable game did happen.

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