Derby Day against the Challengers
Instead of team training, a night game against the bottom of the table, Wil Pirates, was on the program on Thursday.
Unfortunately, the Lions could not defend their 3-1 lead and ended up with 5:11 under the wheels. Optimal preparation for the important derby against the Zurich Challengers looks different.
In addition, the Lions had to do without their lead-off James and their coach Rafi. At least the latter problem could be solved. Hanel gladly accepted the responsibility.
Hanel's line-up was a surprise. The batting machine and outfield magnet put himself on the bench, probably because he had been fiddling with the setup for the last three nights instead of sleeping.
But the line-up was good. Only the pitcher-catcher twins Nelson and Andy had problems: Two walks, two hits and just as many missed catches brought the first two points on the scoreboard for the city rivals. The best part of that screwed up starting inning was the score.
The Lions could now show their potential against the super slow pitcher of the Challengers. But they showed little in the first inning. Only the bottom of the line-up was able to get two points in the second inning and equalize the game.
In the meantime, pitcher Nelson was at operating temperature. And the offensive also began to produce. Unfortunately, the Lions were deprived of their deserved wages by stupid base running. It should be mentioned at this point that Michi did not return to second base in time after Julius's Looper, and that Nils, who did not even want to steal, was plucked from first base completely unexpectedly.
In the end, however, it is thanks to the Lions' offensive toothlessness that the first game was lost 2:5. Two hits in the last four innings against super slow pitching - that's nothing and that has to be said too!
Lots of other things were said too. During the whole game, Spanish niceties were exchanged - incomprehensible to most viewers - with the Challengers having the last word in this duel.
Anyone who had hoped for a quiet, level-headed second game by the Lions was right.
The Lions started almost flawlessly with Mario on the mound and were able to take a 1-0 lead. But Mario's confidence in his defense got a crack in the second inning: two quick errors from third baseman Carlos and another from shortstop Andy meant 2 points and the lead for the city rival. Again, the best part of the inning was the score. For the next three innings, the Lions offensive was hanging around in the afternoon sun: only one hit and 0 points. But the defense was solid (especially Carlos suddenly miraculous) and kept the score of 1:3 until the 5th inning. Then there was a big deal for the Lions. With two outs, second baseman Nelson loses a pop-up in the sun (it's unbelievable how you can't score an error with such a mistake). The Lions run hot and the opponent scores 3 more points. But now the Lions offensive is awakening. Michi lifts a 2-strike curve ball into the left field (it's unbelievable how you can score an error on such a beautiful hit). Two hits from the strong Markus and the strong Nelson and two points have already been made. The Challengers pitcher then makes two pick-offs on first base and nothing happens. But Hanel did not expect the third pick-off. Out, inning over and weeping together.
Mario gets tired in the 6th inning. Coach Hanel puts himself on the mound and throws rocket-fast balls, many of them as treacherous bouncers. The Lions Offensive shows what it can do and produces hits from Carlos and Ramon. Unfortunately, Ramon jerks to the left briefly when he arrives at first base. The defense notices and tags Ramon. Out, maudlin "Apaya" calls, shortly afterwards inning over; everyone knows that. In the 7th inning, Hanel shows a few more rocket pitches and the Lions offensive shows its toothlessness. Gone is the walk-off magic of previous days.
As well as the Lions performed mid-season, they appeared powerless this week. With these three defeats, the glorious corona season for the Lions is over. The last game is in Wil on Sunday. Hopefully a win is in store for the bottom of the table.