With the ghost of the Voodoo defeat laid to rest after our victory over the Mob it was time to tame the London Tigers. This was in fact our first official game against last year’s division 6 runners up as they forfeited our home game back in week 3. As Chris pointed out that made them an unknown entity so we had to give them some respect and not assume it would be an easy victory. Of course Neil being Neil he took a slightly more leisurely approach and decided to strip off in preparation for the game:
It looked as if we were going to be able to play a 7-7 for the first time this season but that quickly became 5-5 as Baldeep was injured and Mira, Marines and Merin were away as was Phil and Sohan. Once again we were able to call on Viene to help us out only this time as an official Pirate as opposed to a ringer but it was substitute city for the guys again, this time with Chris and Bola subbing out for Shorty and Paul.
Chris (SS/sub)/ Shorty (sub/SS), Josie (LF), Bola (3/sub), Paul (sub/1), Nadine (2), Neil (P), Alice (1/3), Dave (CLF), Viene (RF), Gids (CRF), Shaz (C)
It didn’t exactly get off to the best start with Chris batting first and being the only Pirate to make it home! Both Nadine and Neil made first and second respectively though were left on bases after Josie and Alice didn’t make first and Bola was caught on a fly ball. Luckily the Tigers were also a little slow to start were very fortunate to avoid a near perfect run down between 2nd and 3rd after Chris dropped the ball as he went for the tag. Other than that it was text book as were the catches by Neil, Dave and Chris to limit the tigers to only 1 run as well.
Pirates 1, Tigers 1
This time there were no mistakes as Dave and Viene made base hits before being driven around by Gid’s third homer of the season. Whilst it should be pointed out that the bat did fly backwards on the first hit, the Mob umpire merely warned him as opposed to the unnecessary “you’re outta here” speech. The warning did the job though with Gideon clinging on to the bat for the rest of his hits. With zero outs and both Shaz and Chris making base and then home it looked as if we were heading for a runfest until Josie just missed out on first and both Bola and Neil were caught out on fly balls and just like that we were all out. 5 runs scored though!
The Tigers were quick to respond with some tactical batting that allowed them to start moving batters around the bases. It was starting to look as if they were going to match us run for run until Nadine’s ‘accidental’ double play on second halted them in their tracks. For anyone that missed the play (including the Blue until Bola pointed it) here’s how it went down:
Bases loaded. Batter hits into the path of Nadine who picks it up and runs on the base- runner out. Normally that’s where the play would end except the runner on second base started to run to third but decided to turn back to second, probably as he would never have beaten Nadine’s rocket throw. His dive back on the base was tagged by Nadine earning her the double play all in the blink of an eye.
Pirates 6, Tigers 3
Once again we were able to start off with a quick succession of base hits that allowed Alice, Dave, Viene and Gids all to make the home plate whilst picking up RBIs along the way. It looked as if Chris was going to become unstuck as he ran from second to third but his tactical running angle meant that the ball from second hit his bum rather than into the glove of third base before Josie brought him home with a lightning fast sprint to first base.
6 runs scored with only Shaz out and Bola next up who managed, much to his frustration to hit the ball straight to the short stop for the easy out. D’oh two down now with both Nads and Neil making first base it looked promising until Alice became the third victim of ‘OOF’ Out On First.
Luckily we were not the only team to feel the heat that evening as the Tigers managed a spectacular collapse in the third following ‘3 up and 3 down’ thanks to some great pitching from Neil and infield defence from Chris, Nadine and Alice.
Pirates 12, Tigers 3
It was all going just a little too well for us at this point so we followed suit and managed to have our own little collapse. Dave found himself left on second whilst the Tigers exacted revenge with their own ‘3 up 3 down’ with Viene (OOF), Gids (caught) and Shaz (OOF). D’oh!!
To make matters worse the Tigers suddenly started to find their feet with a quick succession of base hits. It looked as if their run was going to come to an end with Gideon lining up his glove to take a fast fly ball in the outfield, except for the fact that his glove didn’t make it to the ball- his head did instead! A sickening ‘crack’ was heard by everyone within 50 metres as Gideon dropped to the ground, whilst the Pirates ran to his aid. Amazingly within 5 minutes he was back on his feet claiming he wasn’t that badly injured as ‘that was the benefit of having a tiny brain and thick skull’. Needless to say he retired with an ice pack as Chris had the shortest ever substitution and replaced Gids in the outfield while Shorty, now in for Chris at short stop, ended their run with throws to second and first base.
Pirates 12, Tigers 7
From sitting pretty at 12-3 their run run rally had put them right back it in especially after we suffered another batting collapse with only shorty bringing in the lonesome run. Once again Nadine and Neil were left on base while Josie, Paul and Alice were all out running to first. To put that into perspective we had scored precisely 1 run in 14 at bats over two innings. Ouch.
Just as in the previous innings the Tigers again managed to hit well including a big home run which yielded 3 RBIs. That being said Shorty was having a great game at short stop and together with Paul they made all the outs on first. Phew- only 3 runs scored.
Pirates 13, Tigers 10
This was starting to get close- too close. Of course that’s when it began. It meaning the legendary pirate relay which saw Dave and Viene make home thanks to 3rd base hit from Chris, followed by shaz, Shorty making home courtesy of Paul lovely hit to right field. To top it off Neil picked up his 5th home run of the season while Alice, Dave and Viene made home this time from home run number 6 from Chris. That homer gave Chris the elusive ‘cycle’- makings bases 1,2,3,4 in one game as well as the all important RBI, Just as well as we were all out the next go but with 11 runs scored it looked all but over now.
With the game edging our way and Chris on a roll it was time to shake things up a bit as Neil took to the outfield, Chris relived him of his pitching duty and Alice moved to third base. It took a little while to get used to this set up with a slight mix up between Alice and Chris allowing their lead runner to sneak into third and set up a possible Grand Slam home run opportunity. Just to show the Tigers were no pushovers they in turn delivered a beauty of a home run, easily clearing Dave and Josie in the outfield before Chris took charge and struck two Tigers out followed by a nice take from Shorty.
Pirates 24, Tigers 17
Back to the top of the order this time and Shorty leads off with a great hit to maintain his 1000% batting on the day. Both Josie and Paul made first again (though Josie was out running to second from a FC from Paul) allowing Neil to drive Shorty and Paul home through another home run, though this time it was courtesy of Neil forcing the error on third by semi suicidal running between the bases. This time it paid off which took his tally to 6 home runs, 3 of which have been down to aggressive base running and forcing the error! It looked as if we were going to enjoy another mini rally with Alice and Dave on first and second but Viene’s powerful ground ball for the short stop and we were all out, though 10 runs ahead.
At this point one could assume that the game was almost in the Pirate booty bag. Just to make sure Chris pulled off a killer pitching session with 3 up 3 down with 3 strike outs in a row! This time it wasn’t so much of a case of ‘who needs Tom’ but more a case of ‘who needs Neil’ or for that matter ‘who needs a team??’ Job done though!
Pirates 27, Tigers 17
MVP: Chris- 1 homer, 4 RBIs, 1000% ‘The Cycle’, 4 strike outs….the list goes on.
Runners up: Dave, Neil
Defensive Award: Nadine (double play)
Runners up: Shorty, Neil
Honourable mention: Josie for smiling her way through a game which only saw 1 ball come to her which she stopped and threw in.
Bola award: Viene (leading the way with her batting stats and joining the Pirates)
Shaz ‘almost play’ of the day: Attempting to catch the ball in the small of your back on a pop up.