Monday, July 31, 2017

Lookouts Deja Vu

Like an annoying neighbor that just won't go away and let you finish your yardwork, the Lookouts returned to derail the Biscuits winning streak. After sweeping the Smokies the Skitz are homestanding against the division leading Chattanooga who have seemed to have a mojo working against Montgomery.

Every year there is one division team that we see an extra time, this go around that team is Chattanooga. Of course.

Genesis Cabrera
After playing 21 innings the day before, the Lookouts used extras to down the Biscuits in game one of the series. Spoiling the nice work of starter Genesis Cabrera, the Lookies had some luck against the hometown bullpen. However its a much tougher Montgomery team that the Lookouts face this time around.

The Lookouts sit atop the standings, having won the first half and showing no signs of dropping out of the top spot in the second half.

The Biscuits have a firm grip on second place, offering them a playoff spot if they can hold it. Dispatching the Smokies helps the cause, leaving the Jackson Generals as the closest contender chasing Montgomery.

The last time Chattanooga visited Montgomery they swept the Biscuits out of the playoff race for the first half. However even another sweep by the first place Lookouts will leave the Biscuits in a tie for second and a fighting chance in the final weeks of the season.

If the Biscuits can avoid a sweep with even one win in the series, they will hold onto second place and its potential playoff spot.

Deja vu, Lookouts? Not this time.

Now healthy, pitcher Greg Harris has begun working out of the bullpen. To match his new role the hurler has a new look to match - sporting a "Rays-Hawk" on his return to Riverwalk Stadium.
Its a good look!

Franco does some of his best work from the pen
Also headed to the 'pen, Mike Franco, having topped his previous season high in innings pitched. Effective in his thirteen starts for Montgomery this season, a stint on the DL likely tipped the balance and sent him to the relief squad to limit his innings.

Only two Biscuit pitchers have faced more batters than Franco so far this summer.

Franco is no stranger to coming into games in late innings, of his 100+ games more than 80 are as a reliever. A quality arm in either role, the Biscuits now have two extra starters who have headed to the bullpen.

The Lookouts are undefeated in three extra inning games in the second half after being winless in their two extra inning contests in the first half.

The Biscuits team ERA against the Lookouts this season is a harsh 4.57, in contrast the Chattanooga pitchers have a tidy 3.20 ERA against the Skitz entering this series.

Michael Russell is the Biscuit who has had the most success against Lookouts pitchers, batting to a .306 clip.

Of the ten hitters in the Southern League with the most strikeouts, two are Lookouts. None are Biscuits, though Andrew Velasquez isn't too far off.

Chattanooga's Lamont Wade is second in the circuit in free passes with 64 bases on balls.

Montgomery's Joe McCarthy is third in walks, just four behind Wade and five behind the leader, JXN's Colin Walsh.

McCarthy shares the league lead in triples with Chattanooga's Nick Gordon (7). Mojo is also among the league leaders in Runs Scored, Hits, Batting Average and OPS.

Cade Gotta is third in the league in stolen bases with 22.

Kyle Bird has moved into second place in the Southern League with seven holds. Bird has become a steady arm for Brady Williams late in games.

Dalton Kelly
Can the Biscuits make the playoffs without a single player with 10+ home runs?

Dalton Kelly is the man most likely to break into double digit homers, his seven Biscuit bombs in just 27 games tie him with departed Grant Kay for the team lead.

Four players follow with six each, Ciuffo, Squid and the two Justins - O'Conner and Williams.

Kurtis Blow tosses first pitch
I asked about our promotional schedule for next year. In the past few years the Biscuits are among the first ones to release their promotions sked, usually in early August.

However we should not expect that to be the case this year, there will not be another "roll over" of the same old theme and fireworks dates. "This year we are really working on it" I was told by a well placed source, "maybe around January."

After the first thirty days of new ownership, there is a visible difference in how Biscuit baseball is being run. The attendance appears to have ticked up, fans curious to see if Lou & Crew have really made a change. So far, fans like what they see.

It can be guessed that the front office is at working putting together a top notch schedule with new promotions and appearances. Things seem to be moving in the right direction, though we won't know the full details until the winter.



JULY 31 1905
Yellow Fever shuts the Cotton States league, meaning no more baseball for teams in Mobile, Meridian, Vicksburg, Jackson Ms, Baton Rouge and Greenville.

JULY 31 1920
Montgomery Grey Sox
Knoxville, TN
"Montgomery Grey Sox 1, Knoxville Giants 3."

Montgomery, AL
"Montgomery's Grey Sox Leading League - Negro Ball Team Has Average of 746 Per Cent; Knoxville Giants Trailing With 694 Per Cent -

The Montgomery Grey Sox are leading the Negro Southern League by a safe margin and with the considerable strengthening of the team in the past week they should have little or no trouble in holding the lead until the end of the season.

JULY 31 1941
Montgomery beats first place Mobile in the ninth inning on a homer by pitcher John Gaddy followed by a three run homer by Quimby, scoring five to win 8-3.

JULY 31 1965 
Longest Game In Rebels History

The Columbus Confederate Yankees and Montgomery Rebels tie with 6 runs apiece in 19 innings. When the game is called at 1:23am, after five hours and twenty three minutes it is listed among the leagues longest games and is the latest ending game in Rebels history.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Dr. M and especially enjoy the Montgomery baseball history.