Doubleday Series Preview: San Fernando vs California

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7teen
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Doubleday Series Preview: San Fernando vs California

Post by 7teen » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:43 pm

On to round 2 of the BBA post-season and the Doubleday Series. Here we meet our 4 division winners who all got byes and congratulate those teams who advanced out of the Geoghegan Series. The Series go from the best of 5 to the best of 7 as each team hopes to advance one step closer to the 12 wins now needed to take home the coveted Landis Series. Here, let's preview the Frick Series between the Bears of San Fernando and the Crusaders from California.

San Fernando Bears
The San Fernando Bears, formerly the Havana Sugar Kings, gave their fans something to cheer about in year 1 out west by making it to the post-season immediately. Granted, San Fernando inherited a franchise that not only made the post-season last season, they won the Landis Title. So yeah, a Landis Title then relocation. That's one way to spoil a new fan base. The franchise as a whole though hasn't seen a whole lot of success through the years. Since 1995, they've only made the post-season 10 times total. Of course the Landis last year makes many forget about all of those other failed seasons, isn't that right Buffalo fans! The Bears got a nice scare in round 1 against Twin Cities. They lost games 1 and 2 and were completely on the ropes. With Twin Cities having home field in games 4 and 5, it didn't look good. But the Bears managed to take the next 3 games to extend their season. Game 5 was an instant classic. With the game tied at 3-3 in the 9th, the Bears scored to take a 4-3 lead to the bottom half only to watch the Monsters tie it again. The game stayed tied until the 13th inning when the Bears offense broke through and scored 7 times to take the deciding game and the series.

California Crusaders
The Crusaders have had a pretty good post-season history dating back to 1995. This season marks their 19th trip to the post-season, their 4th consecutive trip, and their 8th time in 9 seasons. They have two Landis Titles to their credit, one back in 2024 and another one they likely stole from Madison back in 2002 (Take that Brett. We know you're still reading the forums!) The Crusaders are also riding one of the longest streaks of consecutive winning seasons in the BBA at 13 and counting. Their 98 wins give them home field advantage this year throughout the Frick portion of the post-season.

The Offense
The Bears come into the Frick portion of the post-season as the highest scoring offense in the league. In fact, they are top 5 in everything but strikeouts. The Bears are the best offense in the opening round on either side. Former Wolves player and reigning Gillstrom winner Luis Maldonado (.283/.350/.545, 44 HR, 119 RBI) is a dynamic player (fucking kill me now for even trading him.) If Maldonado doesn't strike your fancy, then what about Silk front runner Tai hoi Wie (.306/.417/.585, 42 HR, 146 RBI)? The duo combined for 86 homeruns, the most of any duo in the opening round. And oh yeah, they have
Jared Gillstrom (.335/.396/.537, 34 HR, 94 RBI).
While Hoi didn't exactly do much in the first round, Gillstrom led the team with 10 hits and a .417 batting average. Maldonado had a homer and 5 RBI. Juan Mendoza (.317/.399/.479, 19 HR, 102 RBI) stepped up against Twin Cities by hitting 2 homeruns and driving in 7.

While some stadium modifications changed the way the Crusaders offense played out this season, their stats don't reflect them being a highly touted offense. They hit more homeruns, 3rd most in fact in the Frick, but they still just ranked 9th in runs scored and were 12th overall in total hits. They also struck out a lot, subscribing to the new age philosophy of all or nothing when it comes to the plate. Flynn Johnson (.244/.304/.508, 34 HR, 100 RBI) and Fernando Moreno (.260/.374/.551, 39 HR, 64 RBI) were two of the leaders offensively, combining to hit over 30 homeruns each. Johnson was the only player to eclipse 100 RBI, and just barely at that. Like the Bears, the Crusaders have some guys who can still bases. But it is very odd looking at a team who offensively doesn't show a regular hitting over .280 this season.

The Pitching
On the flip side, the Bears pitching was not good. And that's being nice. They allowed 816 runs which was tied for the 11th most in the league. They had the worst bullpen in the Frick and walked the 14th most batters as a staff in the league. Ernie Kinney (17 - 5, 3.32 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 141 K) led the team in wins and ERA, but he doesn't exactly scream ace starter in a post-season game to me. Jon Reed (12 - 7, 4.36 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 205 K) has the stuff and lead the team in strikeouts, but if he loses his control it's over. The same can be said for Leon Ramirez (8 - 8, 4.31 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 179 K). The pitching stayed less than great in the opening round Kinney and Reed went 0-2 in there 3 combined starts. Feliciano Rafael (10 - 10, 4.25 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 172 K) got a huge win in his start and so did Ramirez, despite walking 7 guys in 6 innings of work.

This isn't your dad's Crusaders pitching staff. IT'S BETTER! What does this staff not lead the Frick League in? Their rotation was the best. Their bullpen the best. They allowed the fewest runs. Yeah there are a few categories at the bottom they didn't lead in but they're no worse than 4th. Luis Gracia (19 - 7, 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 190 K) fell a win shy of the 20 win mark and led the team in every stat but strikeouts. That honor fell to Miguel Ramos (12 - 11, 3.54 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 229 K) who will likely start game 2 or 3. The other game will go to Jaime Mercado (17 - 5, 3.95 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 129 K). It will be a fun series seeing how these pitchers fare against the Bears offense.

Head to Head
California won the season series 8-4.

California also won 53 games at home this seeing, tying them with Omaha for the most in the Frick this season. It all points to California here.

Prediction
This is one of those great challenge matchups. Which one prevails? The pitching of California or the hitting of California? Or which weakness becomes a strength? Can San Fernando's pitching get the California hitters, ones that don't hit well for average, out during the series enough to give themselves a chance?

The Bears are playing with a little house money at this point. Many in Twin Cities probably feel it should be them playing after having the Bears down 0-2 but that's not how it works. The Bears feel lucky to be alive and are still the defending Landis Champions.

And I predict the Bears continue on another round to try and defend. Call me crazy but I have to go with an upset somewhere and lets go here. The Bears are hot after 3 straight wins including a clincher in which they scored 7 runs in extra innings. The offense is clicking and figures out a way to scratch out enough runs and take this series in 7.
Chris Wilson

LB Surfers 95-96
FL Pac Champs: 95

Madison Wolves 99-2039
JL MW Champs: 99 to 2009, 17, 20, 21
JL WC: 12
JL Champs: 01, 04, 09, 12
FL Heartland Champs: 32
FL WC: 31, 33
BBA Champs: 04, 09

Portland Lumberjacks 2040-

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usnspecialist
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Re: Doubleday Series Preview: San Fernando vs California

Post by usnspecialist » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:15 pm

Im looking forward to this one. Best offense in the league against the best pitching. Will be interesting to see how my pitching holds up, as it actually did get a lot better in the last few months of the season. Would be surprised to see this go less than 6 either way.
Randy Weigand
Havana Sugar Kings/San Fernando Bears: 2032-
810-649

Landis Champion- 34
Johnson Champion- 34
Frick Champion- 36, 37
Johnson League Southern- 34
Frick League Pacific- 37, 39
,Wild Card- 33, 35, 36, 40

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Ted
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Re: Doubleday Series Preview: San Fernando vs California

Post by Ted » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:43 pm

My teams like first round losses after byes. Good preview though.
Ted Schmidt
California Crusaders (2021-present)
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