Baseball NLA - Spring Training 2017
The Therwil Flyers completed their Spring Training schedule against the Neuenburg Atomics on a rainy Saturday over Easter. According to one of the few people keeping score, this resulted in a close loss in Game 1, and a commanding win in Game 2. The score however, took a backseat to the team finally getting back on the field to prepare to defend their Championship. This was accomplished with great fun, enthusiasm and at least one between-game-nap. The following is a short recap of the games. All advanced metrics are available courtesy of Swiss-Statcast and Flyers Stats&Info (aka the Flyers bench).
Game 1 - Loss 3-1
The Flyers first game of the season for was a low scoring affair. The trio of pitchers Lukas Croton, Hide Oshima and Stefan Koller teamed up to allow only three runs. Each threw three innings in their first outings of the year. After the early spring rust - both by the pitchers and the defense - was shaken off, the entire pitching staff looked solid. Offensively, the Flyers had a quiet game. The only run coming by way of a leadoff double by Sven Leemann, who took the weekend off from defending his country to join his teammates. Down by a couple runs in the 9th, the Flyers tried to rally, but ultimately came up short.
A short break involving hot dogs and a well deserved nap set the stage for Game 2.
Game 2 - Win
The Flyers came out swinging in the 2nd game. They were led by Shohei Oht- Taka Oshima, who threw 4 shutout innings and also hit the first home run of the season. Swiss-Statcast calculated the exit velocity at 110mph with a launch angle of 22°, resulting in a distance of 390 feet. The rest of the offense added a few highlights of their own. This included a towering, no-doubt double off the bat of Adi Kaufmann. The corresponding bat flip was impressive enough to generate advanced metrics of a 80° launch angle and a total distance of 23 feet. Not to be outdone, both Koller and David Castillo added triples. Due to the low oxygen content in the air at the high altitude the game was played in, both players arrived at 3rd base extremely tired and out of breath. In addition, Flyers Stats&Info credited Edwin Hernandez with the only base hit with a launch angle of 88° or more in the last three years in Swiss Baseball. Rookie Noah Senn also contributed his first career NLA double (but sadly Spring Training stats are not official). With Flyers catchers dropping like flies on this rainy afternoon, the veteran Koller had to take over catching duties for the last few innings. He showed off his strong arm and quick feet, picking up his first caught-stealing (non-baserunning) in years. He also guided reliever Kaufmann through a three inning save to close out the win.
This concluded Spring Training 2017. Opening Day against the Zürich Barracudas is next week on April 22nd at 11:00 in Therwil.