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Just Another Massive Monday – Canadians Need One More Win

Apologies for the verbose title, but it really is rather massive isn’t it? Sunday saw the Canadians come up big with a clutch 4-2 win over the Boise Hawks in game two of their three game Northwest League final. So, after seventy-six regular season games and four more in the playoffs, it all boils down to one game. I just hope the lucky UFO makes another appearance. Really do not want to leave anything to chance.

By all accounts, the plate umpire in game one had a rather large zone. Which may have contributed a bit towards Jairo Labourt‘s ten punch outs (more on that in a separate post). Today’s zone wasn’t quite so generous with C’s starter Kyle Anderson visibly frustrated over two of the first three calls. Not a great start.

He did settle down though, working five innings, giving up one earned on three hits and three walks. Anderson lives and dies with his change up. Today he threw some good ones, and when he missed, which he did, he wasn’t punished like he should have been.

Matt Dermody didn’t have his best stuff, his slider was a bit slurvier than usual, and he was missing with it up. He gave up a run when Victoria’s Jesse Hodges led off the eighth with a pinch hit double. He was cashed in on a Danny Lockhart single.

With his slider not having his usual bite, he had to be more precise with his fastball. Working down in the zone, he was able to work both halves of the plate. He is definitely one to look out for next season. After throwing ninety-four innings for the University of Iowa this season, the C’s have babied him through, with a pretty strict cap on his innings. Pitching coach Jim Czajkowski said there is still plenty of room for the 6’5″ 190 pounder to increase his velocity. He doesn’t work downhill enough. As he had thrown so many innings, making mechanical adjustments now could result in an injury.

Big Jim is excited to get a hold of him in spring training next year. His fastball currently sits 91/92 occasionally touching 94/95. If they can get him to sit in the mid-90, with his normally dominant slider, Dermody has a chance to advance quickly through the lower levels at least.

Chuck Ghysels followed, making things moderately more interesting than need be by walking the bases loaded, but he was able to work his way out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts.

Scott Silverstein struck out two against one hit to nail down the save.

Silverstein signs post-game autogrpahs (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

Silverstein signs post-game autogrpahs (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)

With both Silverstein and Dermody throwing today, it’ll mean someone new coming in to relieve Ladner’s Tom Robson tonight. If I had to guess I’d say it’ll be either Alonzo Gonzalez or recent call up Chase DeJong.

Speaking of Robson, I chatted to him briefly after the game. He’s pretty pumped to get the ball in a winner take all situation. I’ve been harping on his curve ball of late. When I asked him about it, he did say they have been putting in some extra work in the pen. He said he’ll know within an inning if he has a feel for it or not.

Discussing it with catcher Mike Reeves, he’s not worried about the pitch at all. ‘Robson has got such a heavy, power fastball, that if he isn’t throwing the curve for strikes, we’ll just use it to keep them off balance’ said the Peterborough native. The Boise hitters are quite aggressive, so, even if the deuce is in the dirt, it may still generate some swinging strikes.

Offensively, as per the entire playoffs thus far, Mitch Nay and Andy Fermin were the stories. I have to admit, I was disappointed that Clayton McCullough decided to go with Fermin at second over David Harris. Shows you what I know. Fermin’s seven playoff hits lead the C’s and it was his two run triple in the seventh which gave Vancouver the breathing room it needed.

Nay hasn’t needed much adjusting to the Northwest League with another two hits today. His second was of the bloop variety, but showed you his strength as he was jammed, but managed to muscle it into the outfield. Now, if only we could see him play third, with Atkinson moving the bench, and Harris coming in to DH…..ahhh, maybe I’ll just leave the managing up to McCullough, he has got them this far.

Notes from the Pressbox:

Not many I’m afraid, as the pressbox wifi died after the first inning so I went down and enjoyed the atmosphere of the Nat. Even had a couple of beers. Just wish I had remembered my sunglasses.

Boise obviously believe they have the book on Dawel Lugo, throwing him nothing but curve balls in four at bats. For the most part it worked, as the eighteen year old shortstop looked pretty bad in striking out three times. He did manage to keep his hands back on one though, cashing in Fermin with an rbi single in the sixth.

The #UmpShow continued when the first base ump called out Hawks center fielder Kevin Encarnacion on a pick off, watched him bounce his helmet in frustration, then ran him without a seconds hesitation. In the majors it may have been an equipment violation which they don’t have in the minors, but I think a bit of discretion could have been used given the situation.

With Encarnacion done and the Hawks short an outfielder they turned to pitcher Sam Wilson in center. Looking at his college stats, he had a pretty good year at the dish in 2013.

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