Saturday, April 15, 2006

Make-Up Game #1

When a Saturday double-header is rained out, there are TWO games that need to be rescheduled and played sometime during the regular season. The Little League season runs roughly from the first week of April to mid-June. With 2-3 games per week PLUS mandatory pitching rules (number of innings per week and limit of 12-year-old pitchers), battery management is key. Truth is, the catcher is as important as the pitcher in LL games. Stealing is commonplace, as are wild pitches, so most runs come from cruising the bases.

Why worry about making up rain-out games? LL has a minimum requirement of regular season games in order to field an all-star team (leading to the LL World Series that you see on ESPN and ABC in August).

So, we made up one of our Saturday games on Tuesday night at Bethany School. We took on the Braves, who were also coming off a big win at Alpenrose. We had to juggle our pitchers because the "pitching week" began on Sunday, so our Alpenrose pitchers couldn't pitch plus we have a doubleheader scheduled for today (Saturday, April 15). Who pitches and who do you save for today?

The best part of baseball is the up and down nature of the game -- as tight and "on" as we looked on Sunday, we looked timid and not quite ready to play against the Braves, and it showed in all aspects of our game that night. We couldn't field, couldn't hit and couldn't find the strike zone. We were blanked in four innings, 10-0.

The backstop at Bethany #1 is close, but stiff. The missed balls pop back out quickly, but with no consistency. It can easily shoot out into area that is "out of play" before the catcher gets a chance to scramble after it.

Jack's LL Majors pitching debut was not memorable. He had a tough time finding the strike zone and walked too many batters. When the ball was hit, the defense was not as sharp as it could be... Jack was in tears when he was pulled for Michael E.

One high point was Jack's batting--he got the bat on the ball twice, flying out in the second inning, and smashing a clean single to left-center in the fourth.

The D-Backs were brought back to earth, tears are dried, and the season moves on. Such is the nature of the game.


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