08 September 2011

Mustangs Lose 8-4; Down To Luck And Last Game

One game back with one to play:

Owing to the kindness of the Missoula Osprey who defeated the Great Falls Voyagers last night, 5-4, the Billings Mustangs are still alive as possible winners of the 2nd half of the schedule in the Northern Division of the Pioneer League. Of course, they need to win tonight, and of course, the Voyagers need to lose for this to happen. Not an impossibility. I calculate it as slightly less than even money. Missoula won the first half and Helena has not had a great season in either half, but still, there is no wiggle room in this one.

Last night, the batters were a little weak and the pitchers were a little unlucky and the field umpire was just crappy. He evened up a bad call on a pick-off play with an even worse call on another pick-off play. Twice catcher Danny Vicioso tried to prevent a wild pitch, only to have it bounce he knew not where, leading to runners advancing, followed by seeing-eye ground balls by Dhanani through the infield to score runs, and once a run and hit attempt by Missoula led to the third baseman going toward the bag and not being in place to catch the line drive hit by the batter. And Robert Maddox's improvement in the field suffered a setback last night too. And baserunners seemed to steal bases at will last night. All in all, a weak performance. Arias hit a home run in the 9th, too little, too late. The radio announcer continues to play well, not afraid to say when the umpires mess things up. Things have to get better tonight.

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