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Canadians vs. Aquasox: Series Preview

Let’s be honest here. The C’s pulled off one of the great Houdini jobs of all time this season by somehow backing their way into the Northwest League playoffs. After finishing a game behind Everett in the first half with a healthy 22 and 16 record, Vancouver stumbled in the second half going 17 and 21 to finish third in the division. However, the Aquasox did the C’s a huge solid by winning the second half flag, ensuring the winner of the overall turtle derby would join them. Vancouver managed to pull it off with a win over Tri-City on Saturday night, eventually finishing at 39 and 37.

But hey, none of that matters now, both teams are 0 and 0 and it’s a sprint to two. I could spin all sort of stats out, giving the season series between the two (The ‘Sox won it 8-4), the teams head to head runs for and against (Everett scored quite a few more than the C’s), etc etc, but I won’t.

I also did a Six Stats to Beat Tri-City prior to that series. That won’t be necessary for this one. Pitching will win or lose this, simple as that. And, in a day of moves, Jays management have turned a potential question mark into a position of strength.

Bluefield’s early exit has bolstered the C’s bullpen with Chase DeJong, Brady Dragmire, and Jairo Labourt all flying into Vancouver last night, while Brandon Dorsett, Justin James, and Colton Turner were assigned to Bluefield. Turner’s assignment comes as no surprise as he’s been dealing with some forearm tightness and was bound to be shutdown. The other two have struggled as of late, plain and simple.

Speaking to pitching coach Jim Czajkowski, both DeJong and Dragmire will be used exclusively out of the bullpen while Labourt would get the game one start if the C’s make the finals and this series takes three games.

Offensively, as I predicted yesterday, Mitch Nay was promoted to provide a bit of pop in the middle of the order. He’ll DH and hit third with L.B. Dantzler moving to the four hole and Dawel Lugo hitting fifth.

I hate to say this, but unfortunately Justin Atkinson‘s hamstring healed, meaning there was no room on the roster for Matt Dean. Considering Dean put up a 1.118 OPS over the last month of the season, I’m surprised they didn’t come up with another way to make room for him.

Tom Robson gets the nod for Vancouver tonight. The Ladner native beat Everett in his only appearance against them, going five strong on the fourteenth of August giving up one run on two hits and two walks. He’s being given ‘a few more pitches’ than his usual eighty pitch count so am very interested to see how he uses them.

Callup Chase DeJong will be live in the bullpen and could make his first Canadians appearance. I for one hope to see him as reckon it’ll be our only chance. I predict a Lansing assignment in 2014 for the 6’4″ 185 pounder.

Everett are throwing Jacob Zokan who beat the C’s back on the 22nd of August. A ninth rounder in this year’s draft, the left-hander has had a pretty good year, putting up a 1.142 WHIP and 4.15 K/BB ratio.

The ThreePeat in Thirteen is live, let’s get this done.

Nay at the Nat (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

Nay at the Nat (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

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