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Old 10-20-2017, 06:16 PM   #1
Archelirion
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Jvyäskylä Foxes

1st January 2017

Considering that I come from a background of playing (and occasionally writing) Football Manager, I’m honestly unsure why it’s taken me as long as it has to try and do a managerial save – especially as I seem to struggle with the long-term (or even short-term) reporting of ‘league almanac’-style gubbins. Here goes nowt!

---

So, I’ve set up a fictional league in Finland! One major league (obviously) of 12 teams, and an AAA, an A and a Rookie League (same size) make up the club system, and I’ve also put in a high school and college system to give a steady flow of interesting youngsters to watch out for. The major league (known as the Baseball Veikkausliiga) has 132 games spread pretty solidly between April and most of August, with most of the roster sizes left as their standards (25 first, 40 reserve etc.)

The team I’ll be working with are the Jyväskylä Foxes (the nickname bearing more than an allusion to their football/soccer team, who I’m very fond of). We have a (completely self-imposed) fierce rivalry with the Kuopio Stags, based on geographical proximity and, again, football rivalries.


The MIGHTY Jyväskylä Foxes

Kuopio Stags. Boo. Hiss.
(thanks to the amazing cephasjames logo pack)

From the get-go – that is, without even looking at any players – we have obstacles to overcome. The first obstacle is our budget: at $6.5m (which is just shy of £5m in Britspeak, and about 5.5m euros) we have the lowest budget in the league. This is, partially, due to our market size, fan loyalty and fan interest all being pretty low (an average, average and 45 don’t exactly make pretty viewing), but also thanks to our owner, a Tarmo Mattila, who happens to be totally tight git. Perhaps worse, he’s a meddling tight git. So he’ll be fun. We’ve got about $1m in extension room, which to be fair is basically a 20% increase on where we’re at currently.

Mattila wants to see a winning record this season, as well as us sign a power hitter and to reach the playoffs – which in this league system means winning our division – in 4 seasons. So not much.

Positions that need immediate work are
• 2B – most urgent. Ali Öunap is our number one right now, and I don’t trust his infield accuracy under pressure.
• Get a power hitter (to appease the management – plus it’s always handy). Obviously if we can get a 2B that can do this then we’re laughing, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
• We could probably do with a new shortstop as well, although I can probably trust Sippo Ahlapuro for a bit if needs be.
There’s no one of any use on the free transfer list either, so might have to see if we can work some trades.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. For starters, the top 100 prospects list came in, and we inhabit positions 1 AND 2, with right fielder Saku Kulovuori and starting pitcher Jussi Ramstedt respectively. Kulovuori in particular is insane; only 20 years of age, he’s potentially already one of the best batters in the division, and with a bit of work on his eye, is definitely one we must hold onto.

I also like the look of our first SP Valio Taitto, who will surely be able to do a job in big games while Ramstedt continues to develop – 1B Armas Kivi too, although his speed might cause us one or two problems. Just got to hope he finds those gaps!
---
LATER THAT DAY

Alright, so it turns out our budget room is -$731,000. We are in so much poo.

My first business was offering Saku Kulovuori a 2 year contract – turns out he was only signed to a minor league one. Madness. Offered him $149k over the period, can’t have thought he’d say no to that. Also offered Ramstedt a 1 year one at $69k, which is significantly improved from the $110k he was after initially. Bit concerning he didn’t want to go for 2 years, but hopefully it’ll work out between us.

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Old 10-20-2017, 07:31 PM   #2
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5th January - 13th March 2017

5th January 2017

Heard that Vantaa’s star Hugo Svensson smashed his car into a tree today. Sounds expensive. He’s already making a name for himself though, good and bad – 11 years of major elsewhere seems to have given him a bit of an ego.

Haha. Hahaha. Ha.

6th January 2017

Fantastic news today, as both Kulovuori and Ramstedt agree on their contracts! I hope this is the start of something long and happy between us. Still scratching my head over this -$731k.

While I’m here, a little focus on the 5 other teams in our conference:

Tampere Eagles – A HUGE $13.3m budget and the highest player payroll in the league - $9.2m compared to our PITIFUL $5.2m. That being said, outside of LF Tarvo Pihlström and P Keijo Hautala, I certainly don’t think the Eagles are any better or worse than us, at least on face value. Big market, but only 59 fan interest says a lot.

Oulu Baltics – Oulu look pretty similar to us financially – maybe a smidge better off, maybe – and their owner is even more of a hardass than ours (although a bit more lenient on the money front). Their outfield looks really solid on the wings, but if we can smash enough past them down the centre then I dunno if Kim Birkelund is up to it.

Kuopio Stags – High budget, highest projected attendance, and their team is better than ours – and most other sides – on paper. Why oh why must these guys of all teams be our bitter adversaries (even if they themselves don’t care, I DO)? Santeri Vihavainen and Matti Kauranen are incredibly handy with a bat, and Tuomi Kaipanen is probably the best relief pitcher in the gig right now. Oh well.

Helsinki Municipal – If I fancy our chances against any team in our conference, it’s these guys. Kalle Helasvuo and Jarkko Hättönen are both excellent batsmen, but I reckon defensively they look really, really weak. They’re also the only team in the league with a player payroll less than ours (at $4.9m). They do have $700k to play around with for free agents though. Grumble.

Kouvola Cedars - In offensive clout these guys look pretty weak, but with Lalli Remes and Tenho Riksman in their pitching quarters, they could easily pull off some low-scoring victories. Keep an eye on this lot.

13th March 2017

My main scouting man, Tenho Lehväslaiho, came storming into my office today reckoning he’s found some kid in Cuba that could be a future worldie. Sadly, I think even Helen Keller could see that this guy is, frankly, not gonna cut it. Still, I’ll give him a chance – nothing else is happening in the transfer world right now.


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Old 10-21-2017, 05:52 AM   #3
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April 1st - OPENING DAY

1st April

D-Day arrives my dudes. We welcome the Helsinki Municipals – who, by the way, the prediction bods are reckoning will win the conference (I reckon they’re pulling an April Fools’, personally) – to the Harjun Diamond for a three day series. Quite nervous right now, to be honest.
I got a news piece this morning coming in from dear Chairman Mao-ttila (heh, get it) wishing me luck, and giving me a friendly reminder that we’re aiming for a .500 target this season. Yeah, thanks pal.

My 25-man dream team looks currently like this, going into the season:

SP: Auno Laakkonen (26) – solid and unexceptional, but by no means bad. Honestly got nothing remarkable to say about this fella.
SP: Veikko Makkonen (25) – curveball isn’t great but he’s got a solid fastball on him, and his stamina is actually quite encouraging. Makkonen is listed as being worse than Laakkonen, but I’m not convinced.
SP: Jussi Ramstedt (21) – the future golden boy (please), if Jussi can build his stamina up then I’m a happy bunny. Really mean fastball on this fella, and he can pull a solid curveball out too.
SP: Valio Taitto (31) – the golden man of now, Taitto has got an impressive bag of tricks he can work with. Alas, he’s not a master at any of them, but the sheer variety should keep us ticking over for a good while. First choice for now.
SP: Ilkka Weilin (28) – probably second choice for now, although is in effect a slightly worse, easier-to-tire Taitto. Seems unhappy at the moment for whatever reason, might treat him to an ice-cream later.

RP: Aarto Ahoniemi (27) – crap.
RP: Jyri Hakkila (24) – slightly less crap, but still crap. Useful slider on him, I guess.
RP: Markko Lavinen (30) – actually a real shame his stamina is shot, as his amazing stuff and fastball would be handy as a SP. Still, probably the best RP we’ve got.
RP: Reku Nordstrom (26) – excellent stuff, but a little rigid in his movement. Very good backup nevertheless to Lavinen.
RP: Jammu Rynnäs (24) – eh. The Auno Laakkonen of relief pitchers.

CL: Pellervo Halonen (32) – our only first-team CL really, but he can certainly do a job. Excellent stuff, and a wicked cutter/slider ability to go with it. Please don’t get injured.
(CL: Sulevi Rahnasto (20) – playing for feeders Seinäjoki Lynx, Rahnasto is out first option in case Halonen runs into trouble. Actually moderately handy.)

C: Oiva Joutsela (28) – decent ability as a catcher, which is lucky as he’s unlikely to get us too much with the wood in his hand. Solid at avoiding K’s though.
C: Axel Saevas (35) – honestly not worth the $200k salary he’s on. Rubbish. Will look to offload in all likelihood.

1B: Armas Kivi (25) – alright if unremarkable on the first base, Kivi should get us a few doubles this season. HRs might be a bit dry, but you can’t have everything.

2B: Veli Kuikkonen (26) – an awful batsman, Kuikkonen is definitely more suited to being on base than anything. Actually got some decent infield range, even if his arm is rubbish.
2B: Ali Öunap (24) – I’m still cautious but he’s the best we’ve got on second base right now. Solid-ish batsman, his best asset is working on them DPs.

3B: Kaleva Kanniainen (35) – slow but a decent slugger and with an excellent outfield throw. Would be more suited to being a outfield player really if he didn’t run like he has a piano on his back. Will hope for big hits to recompense.
3B: Matti Mikkola (36) – old. Slow. Useless. Why is he in my first team again? I must have someone in my feeders that is better…

SS: Sippo Ahlapuro (25) – an unremarkable batsman but honestly a fantastic, well-rounded thrower. Masters at SS, but can also play on 3B if needs be. And judging by the above, needs may very well be.
SS: Staffan Aslin (26) – again a really solid chucker, but doesn’t actually master the role he wants to play (he’s actually, probably, more suited to playing in the right fielder position). Not a great batsman though.

LF: Ilpo Hokeri (35) – AAGH. Actually an okay baserunner, which is good because Ilpo is AWFUL at everything else. Good lord.
LF: Kimmo Merikanto (27) – may not be an exceptional batter, though far from bad, Merikanto’s biggest advantage is that he is exceedingly quick, and EXCELLENT at baserunning. Won’t get any HRs out of him, but otherwise very good.

CF: Veli Joensuu (28) – a left-handed batter, Joensuu is a master at avoiding K’s, hypothetically. Will probably get a few runs out of this fella.

RF: Saku Kulovuori (20) – THE MAN. Not actually an incredible fielder by any stretch, Kulovuori answers our prayers with the bat though. If anyone’s picking up homers, it’s Saku.
RF: Asko Turku (28) – Kulovuori ability. Sadly, that ability is his fielding ability. He’ll do okay at getting a few doubles though, most likely.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:54 AM   #4
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(by the way, anyone know how/if it's possible to change a thread title? I got it a bit wrong and can't see how to do it )
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Old 10-21-2017, 11:42 AM   #5
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Game 1: Jyvaskyla Foxes (0-1) 1 v 5 (1-0) Helsinki Municipal

Not even close to a Hollywood start for us Foxes, getting soundly beaten by the 6th innings – dear Taitto had a total nightmare. His sequence of foul balls led to Teppo Tiainen effectively being able to walk his first run round in the 2nd; Veli Joensuu was able to equalise in the 3rd with a solid double, building on Kanniainen’s single to eventually make it home. Sadly, we only got to the 5th before the combined efforts of Timo Vihermaa’s triple and Jarkko Hättönen’s flyball put us 3-1 down – two more doubles saw Antti Peurajärvi and Mikko Kaihlavirta finish us off. Asko Turku driving a single in the 9th was genuinely our only input from there – much improvement is needed.

Vantaa Wolverines 8 @ 3 Kouvola Cedars
Espoo Whalers 6 @ 3 Pori Leviathan
Helsinki Municipal 5 @ 1 Jyvaskyla Foxes
Kuopio Stags 3 @ 12 Tampere Eagles
Turku Tigers 4 @ 8 Oulu Baltics
Helsinki Capitals 12 @ 4 Lahti White Cats


Game 2: Jyvaskyla Foxes (0-2) 5 v 8 (2-0) Helsinki Municipal

Positive starts and ends today, but alas, 2 conceded in both the 4th and 5th, 3 in the 8th and 1 in the 9th condemned us to a three point defeat - Teppo Tiainen had men-on-base for both of his home runs which was ultimately what killed us today. Saku Kulovuori’s homer in the 4th was impressive but solo, and while Kaleva Kanniainen did some real damage with his home run in the 9th, allowing Kimmo Merikanto and Kulovuori through, it was a bit late. Already growing to not like the Municipals.

Could be worse though. Could be the Wolverines.

Vantaa Wolverines (1-1) 6 @ 15 (1-1) Kouvola Cedars
Espoo Whalers (2-0) 9 @ 3 (0-2) Pori Leviathan
Helsinki Municipal (2-0) 5 @ 8 (0-2) Jyvaskyla Foxes
Kuopio Stags (1-1) 9 @ 6 (1-1) Tampere Eagles
Turku Tigers (1-1) 8 @ 5 (1-1) Oulu Baltics
Helsinki Capitals (2-0) 5 @ 2 (0-2) Lahti White Cats

We end up joint last on the weekly power rankings, with a -4 score. Nice.


Game 3: Jyvaskyla Foxes (0-3) 0 v 9 (3-0) Helsinki Municipals

Ugh.

What, you want more analysis? Must I? Our first 2 innings were absolutely miserable, which went a long way to Ilkka Weilin’s ERA of 18.00 – the absolute FIRST batter, Mikko Kaihlavirta, found a home run, and it went to hell from there. Foul balls allowed Timo Vihermaa to plod round, and Antti Peurajärvi’s 2-RBI home run meant we were 5 down going into the 2nd. Helasvuo contributed to two more with a home run in the next innings, and scrappy fielding from Öunap allowed Söderberg onto an 8th run in the 4th innings.

We recorded 6 hits. I don’t want to talk about it.

Vantaa Wolverines (1-2) 1 @ 2 (2-1) Kouvola Cedars
Espoo Whalers (3-0) 4 @ 3 (0-3) Pori Leviathan
Helsinki Municipal (3-0) 9 @ 0 (0-3) Jyvaskyla Foxes
Kuopio Stags (1-2) 2 @ 5 (2-1) Tampere Eagles
Turku Tigers (2-1) 4 @ 1 (1-2) Oulu Baltics
Helsinki Capitals (3-0) 5 @ 4 (0-3) Lahti White Cats
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Old 10-21-2017, 02:47 PM   #6
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Ugh, not the start you wanted. But there is 129 games left in the season and your rivals are 1-2 so you can still catch them early. First season will be a battle to make a name for yourself and get your up and coming stars recognition. Good luck in Finland!
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Old 10-21-2017, 03:32 PM   #7
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Love the idea of playing in Finland!
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:08 PM   #8
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Series 2 - Vantaa Wolverines (away)

4th April 2017

Dunno if it explains his awful performance yesterday, but today I heard that Ilkka Weilin is out for 2 months with elbow tendinitis. I was perhaps expecting an injury at some point, but certainly not as soon as it’s come. That puts Ramstedt up to second, and… Laakkonen in third. Oh dear. At least it brought to my attention that we don’t have a team trainer right now, so I’ve offered Jori Aikio a $32k contract. Hopefully we hear good news about that.

Game 4: Vantaa Wolverines (2-2) 8 v 6 (0-4) Jyvaskyla Foxes

4 games down, still looking for that win. Veikko Makkonen allowed Hugo Svensson, Reima Keto AND Urho Koivisto to effectively walk around in the 2nd – 3 runs from only 2 singles and nothing above that. Very similar results were seen in the 3rd, allowing Ale Isotalo, Petteri Polvinen and a second from Svensson to make it 6-0 at only the third-way point. Veli Joensuu was able to get one back for us in the 4th, and if Merikanto could have gotten the break in the innings things could have been very different for us. ANOTHER Svensson run and a second for Isotalo meant things were looking ugly, but a spirited ending spearheaded by – astoundingly – Matti Mikkola meant we sneaked 5 runs in the last 3 innings. Maybe next time…?

Oulu Baltics (2-2) 3 v 1 (3-1) Helsinki Capitals
Jyväskylä Foxes (0-4) 6 v 8 (2-2) Vantaa Wolverines
Pori Leviathan (0-4) 6 v 9 (3-1) Turku Tigers
Tampere Tigers (2-2) 5 v 7 (1-3) Lahti White Cats
Kouvola Cedars (2-2) 1 v 4 (2-2) Kuopio Stags
Espoo Whalers (3-1) 3 v 7 (4-0) Helsinki Municipal


Game 5: Vantaa Wolverines (3-2) 4 v 5 (0-5) Jyväskylä Foxes

UGH.

Close, but AGAIN it’s close because of how we end, not how we start. Ale Isotalo once more punishes us with a home run, this time in the 1st – however, it was Kauno Vilkuna who finished the job off for us in the 4th, with a 406ft drive that allowed himself, Ilmari Saari and Reima Keto through to make it 4-0. Reima Keto’s scrappy 2nd run proved to be the decider, but not before Kaleva Kanniainen got a 3-run home run of his own. Kulovuori got another homer in the 8th, but it was too late. We REALLY need to get our pitching sorted out – an ERA of 8.44 this time.

Oulu Baltics (3-2) 5 v 4 (3-2) Helsinki Capitals
Jyväskylä Foxes (0-5) 4 v 5 (3-2) Vantaa Wolverines
Pori Leviathan (1-4) 7 v 0 (3-2) Turku Tigers
Espoo Whalers (4-1) 7 v 1 (4-1) Helsinki Municipal
Tampere Tigers (3-2) 2 v 0 (1-4) Lahti White Cats
Kouvola Cedars (2-3) 1 v 5 (3-2) Kuopio Stags

With Pori beating Turku – convincingly, we’re now the only winless team. The only way is up I guess!

Jori Aikio accepted his contract – a little ray of sunshine in what has, really, been a miserable opening week for us all. He certainly looks like he knows what he's doing – hopefully Weilin will be our last big injury for a while. Lord knows we need a full-strength team right now.


Game 6: Vantaa Wolverines (3-3) 3 v 5 (1-5) Jyvaskyla Foxes

WE WOOOOOOON

It was looking a bit nervy to begin with on both sides, and it was Vantaa’s Urho Koivisto who managed to get around (frustratingly, without even having to hit the ball) with some nifty basestealing in the 3rd. Our catcher Oiva Joutsela gave our fans something to cheer about in the 5th with his home run also helping Asko Turku around – only for Afghan RF Khayri bin Shafeeq to crack a sneaky 380ft homer straight afterwards. However, the winning blow was to come shortly; Kanniainen and Armas Kivi were able to sneak round doing some basestealing of their own, before Veli Kuikkonen (who, obviously, I said was a terrible batsman) cracked a double which helped Asko Turku to the 3rd run of the inning. Urho Koivisto gave as another scare in the 7th, but we held on! Here we come – obviously gonna be Kaikki-Suomi Cup winners 2017 now.

Jyväskylä Foxes (1-5) 5 v 3 (3-3) Vantaa Wolverines
Oulu Baltics (4-2) 7 v 5 (3-3) Helsinki Capitals
Pori Leviathan (2-4) 5 v 1 (3-3) Turku Tigers
Espoo Whalers (5-1) 6 v 4 (4-2) Helsinki Municipal
Tampere Eagles (3-3) 4 v 9 (2-4) Lahti White Cats
Kuovola Cedars (2-4) 1 v 2 (4-2) Kuopio Stags

Got our first Lakeland derby in the next series – hopefully we can push on now!


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Old 10-22-2017, 07:51 AM   #9
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Series 3 - Kuopio Stags (home)

7th April 2017

Finnish baseball woke to the news this morning that Keijo Hautala, from the Tampere Eagles, is out for about 8 months with radial nerve compression (I can only assume in his right hand). Feel really bad for the bloke, but I must admit it’ll make our lives a smidge easier when we play them!

Finally put Weilin on the disabled list today (kinda forgot to, a bit) – replaced him with 19-year old Ylermi Haapaniemi, promoted from our rookies, the Iisalmi Fennec Foxes. He’ll need some work, but I’ve seen him pitch 100mph+ fastballs and Lehväslaiho reckons he’ll get a decent slider some day so… who knows?

We ‘welcome’ Kuopio to the Harjun…

Game 7: Jyväskylä Foxes (2-5) 7 v 5 (4-3) Kuopio Stags

The knot in my stomach refused to go until the very end of this one, but we’ve won our very first Lakeland Derby! I could be happier – Jussi Ramstedt might be about to make our SP life even harder if his injury is bad – but Ouvi Joutsela had an absolute monster out there, going 4-4, HR, 3RBI and 2R in the game.

Kanniainen was the first to draw blood in the 2nd, building on his own single with Asko Turku and Joutsela’s efforts to give us a slender lead. The 3rd looked iffy – Kuopio’s Matti Wuorinen and Santeri Vihavainen put the Stags 2-1 up before a (get this) 6 pitch innings ended our 3rd very, very quickly. Two solo homers from Matti Kauranen (a colossal hit to be fair) and Ali Holkeri meant that going into the bottom 5th things were looking bad; Joutsela responded with a slog that sneaked over the left-hand wall to keep them honest though. Matti Wuorinen whacked a triple to help him – and the stags – on to number 5 in the 7th, but then our boys shone through. Öunap sneaked round after being hit by a pitch, aided by a double from Joutsela and a single from pinch-hitter Ilpo Holkeri – Joutsela and later Joensuu made it round, to equalise going into the 8th. Kimmo Merikanto then managed to get around on a double, and combined with Alex Saevas’ ‘run from a walk’ we held on to claim the victory!

Kuopio Stags (4-3) 5 v 7 (2-5) Jyväskylä Foxes
Lahti White Cats (2-5) 3 v 5 (5-2) Oulu Baltics
Turku Tigers (3-4) 6 v 10 (5-2) Helsinki Municipal
Vantaa Wolverines (4-3) 7 v 0 (5-2) Espoo Whalers
Helsinki Capitals (3-4) 0 v 1 (3-4) Pori Leviathan
Kouvola Cedars (3-4) 3 v 0 (3-4) Tampere Eagles


8th April 2017

Ramstedt’s injury, as it turns out, is only a spot of back tightness. It’ll leave him iffy for about 6 days, but nothing I’m going to worry about. That’s a relief. Valio Taitto also rang in today to say he’s got a cold. Rats. Looks like I’ve got a choice of starting Veikko Makkonen or the new boy Ylermi Haapaniemi. Let’s see what Ylermi can do, shall we?

Game 8: Jyväskylä Foxes (3-5) 4 v 3 (4-4) Kuopio Stags

Ylermi Haapaniemi, you absolute beaut. 19 years old, first ever major league game and he only goes and snatches player-of-the-game against our rivals – 7 hits from 8 innings, 3 struck out, 4 walks.

Saku Kulovuori started the game for us well, delivering a monster 472ft homer on only our third hit of the game. Ali Holkeri evened things out quickly though riding on a few singles, but in the 3rd we saw point number two – another home run – come through, this time from Veli Joensuu. Home run number three came from Kaleva Kanniainen who I think (though don’t know) is on a hit streak that goes right back to the first game against Helsinki. Santeri Vihavainen and Ali Holkeri both got round in the upper 8th to equalise late on, but Veli Joensuu was able to scrap round immediately afterwards to make it 4-3. Pellervo Halonen had his work cut out in the 9th, but was able to take save number 3 this season to keep us at win number 3.

Kuopio Stags (4-4) 3 v 4 (3-5) Jyväskylä Foxes
Turku Tigers (4-4) 7 v 3 (5-3) Helsinki Municipal
Vantaa Wolverines (4-4) 7 v 10 (6-2) Espoo Whalers
Helsinki Capitals (3-5) 0 v 6 (4-4) Pori Leviathan
Lahti White Cats (3-5) 7 v 5 (5-3) Oulu Baltics
Kouvola Cedars (4-4) 7 v 2 (3-5) Tampere Eagles


9th April 2017

It’s quite nice to be able to look at the table and not be in cold, dead last – I mean, we may be last, but in the Sininen Division the Capitals and White Cats have a 3-5 record, as do the Tampere Eagles in our own, so… I’ll take it? We have the joint least number of runs on 32 (with the Capitals), but we’re also one of three teams to have broken the 10 home-run barrier thus far.

I’ve moved RP Markko Lavinen to the CL position instead – Pellervo Halonen has done a grand job so far, but he needs a rest. Lavinen hasn’t played as much as a player of his ability should, so this benefits everyone.


Game 9: Jyväskylä Foxes (4-5) 12 v 6 (4-5) Kuopio Stags

That’s pegged the Stags down a few pegs – a series whiteout for us! 3 wins in 3! Special thanks must to Saku Kulovuori, who nabbed 4 hits in 5 innings, getting a double and 3 singles – and having a part in 7 runs.

In truth, the game was ours to lose by the 5th. Kimmo Merikanto earned a run from a base-on-balls situation in the 1st; Kuopio’s veteran Tomek Wirkkala equalised immediately afterwards by capitalising on a few singles. The 2nd went by without event, but the 3rd astoundingly saw SP Veikko Makkonen grab a run after a shoddy bit of fielding from Auno Wuorinen, before Kimmo Merikanto squidged past to make it 3-1. 4 more runs came in the 4th: Joutsela squirmed round early on, before a Kulovuori double allowed both Veikko Makkonen (again!) and Veli Joensuu to finish their journeys – Kimmo Merikanto finished his shortly afterwards. 7-1, and it was looking good.

Santeri Vihavainen got one back for the Stags in the 6th, before some excellent basestealing from Joensuu and Kanniainen - Kulovuori’s batting also finally got personal reward, making it 10-2. Iiro Vaananen and Matti Wuorinen grabbed another two in the 7th for the away team, but a single from Kulovuori was enough to let both Joutsela and (eventually) Merikanto through for runs number 11 and 12. Two more snuck past in the 8th, but by that point the game was long gone – a comfortable victory for us!

Kuopio Stags (4-5) 6 v 12 (4-5) Jyväskylä Foxes
Vantaa Wolverines (4-5) 1 v 3 (7-2) Espoo Whalers
Turku Tigers (4-5) 3 v 5 (6-3) Helsinki Municipal
Kouvola Cedars (5-4) 8 v 4 (3-6) Tampere Eagles
Helsinki Capitals (3-6) 3 v 8 (5-4) Pori Leviathan
Lahti White Cats (3-6) 9 v 10 (6-3) Oulu Baltics

That Lahti-Oulu game, by the way, was fantastic – Lahti managed 8 (including 5 in the 9th) and Oulu managed 7 runs in the last 3 innings each. A heroic effort from the White Cats, who sadly only just fell short.

In our news, RP Jammu Rynnäs is out for a few days with shoulder soreness. On the plus side, Saku Kulovuori is second in the rookie at-bats table now, and we have marched up the power ranking this week, way up to 6th with a score of 83.0! Oh yeah, and we’re 4th in our division. A good series against 3rd placed Kouvola and who knows? It’s a long season though – mustn’t get ahead of ourselves.

Dances


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Old 10-22-2017, 07:53 AM   #10
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Old 10-22-2017, 06:02 PM   #11
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Series 4 - Kouvola Cedars (away)

10th April 2017

Game 10: Kouvola Cedars (5-5) 1 v 3 (5-5) Jyväskylä Foxes

Our first game of series 4 was, admittedly, low scoring, but a win is a win – and this one brings us up to the 0.500 mark. Veli Joensuu built on Kimmo Merikanto’s double to earn a single run in the 1st, but aside from a little scare Nyyrikki Toivenen we had to wait until the 3rd for the next dose of damage. Veli Joensuu again built on a double, this time from Saku Kulovuori, before Kulovuori was able to finish his own run. Risto Forsbacka got round with a double in the same innings, but that proved to be ‘it’ for the game’s scoring. Auno Laakkonen claimed player-of-the-game, recording an ERA of 4.26 – still not exceptional, but certainly did the job.

Jyväskylä Foxes (5-5) 3 v 1 (5-5) Kouvola Cedars
Helsinki Municipal (7-3) 3 v 1 (3-7) Helsinki Capitals
Turku Tigers (4-6) 5 v 7 (5-5) Vantaa Wolverines
Tampere Eagles (3-7) 0 v 5 (7-3) Oulu Baltics
Pori Leviathan (5-5) 1 v 2 (4-6) Lahti White Cats
Espoo Whalers (7-3) 7 v 8 (5-5) Kuopio Stags


11th April 2017

Game 11: Kouvola Cedars (5-6) 3 v 4 (6-5) Jyväskylä Foxes

To be honest, I think every single Foxes fan’s arse was clenched for the final two innings of today’s game, but we’ve recorded ANOTHER victory to manage, somewhere, our 6th win on the bounce after a horrible, horrible start!

Speaking of horrible starts, we went 3-0 down in the 1st inning today: Jukka Rita and Risto Forsbacka were allowed through after switch-hitter Teppo Paronen managed an unlikely home-run. It was only the next innings, however, that we hit back with equal force – Veli Joensuu’s double allowed Armas Kivi and Sippo Ahlapuro home, quickly followed by Ali Öunap’s basestealing antics. Several short, uneventful innings followed, before our boy Saku Kulovuori scrabbled his way to run number 4 after Ilmari Mäkilä’s (ultimately) fatal fielding error. Immediately afterwards, however, the Cedars got 3 men on base, but thankfully Valio Taitto was able to – just – get Mäkilä out on time. A close finish, but another win!

Jyväskylä Foxes (6-5!) 4 v 3 (5-6) Kouvola Cedars
Helsinki Municipal (7-4) 3 v 7 (4-7) Helsinki Capitals
Turku Tigers (5-6) 5 v 2 (5-6) Vantaa Wolverines
Tampere Eagles (4-7) 3 v 1 (7-4) Oulu Baltics
Pori Leviathan (6-5) 5 v 0 (4-7) Lahti White Cats
Espoo Whalers (7-4) 3 v 4 (6-5) Kuopio Stags


12th April 2017

Just had a quick look at the statistical records, and we’re now the proud owners of having the best Bullpen ERA in the league (of 1.88)! I’ll take that 😊 Just seen that our last game against Kouvola is going to be played against SP Tenho Riksman – 2-0 record and an ERA of 3.07 isn’t going to be easy. We’ll have to be on our best here. Come on Kulovuori, don’t let me don’t now!




Game 12: Kouvola Cedars (5-7) 0 v 4 (7-5) Jyväskylä Foxes

OUR FIRST SHUTOUT! Jussi Ramstedt gave an absolute champion performance – right now I’m feeling mighty proud of our young SP. 96 pitches – 59 strikes – NO HITS CONCEDED.

A tricky start for both sides meant that it was only in the 4th that we claimed our first point – Asko Turku scrapping round after reaching on an error seemed an appropriate way to start proceedings. 3B Veli Kuikkonen scored run number 2 in the 5th in extremely similar circumstances, before scoring our third (and his second) from a double strike in the top of the 7th. Kulovuori smashed a home run to finish the job off in the 8th, and with no reply, a perfect game.

Jyväskylä Foxes (7-5) 4 v 0 (5-7) Kouvola Cedars
Tampere Eagles (4-8) 0 v 1 (8-4) Oulu Baltics
Espoo Whalers (7-5) 1 v 2 (7-5) Kuopio Stags
Helsinki Municipal (8-4) 3 v 1 (4-8) Helsinki Capitals
Turku Tigers (5-7) 4 v 8 (6-6) Vantaa Wolverines
Pori Leviathan (7-5) 5 v 4 (4-8) Lahti White Cats

Alas, it turned out to not be a perfect game – Ramstedt’s heroics once more came at the price of a sore shoulder, this time putting him out for two weeks. Will have to keep an eye on this.
Interestingly, this series means two things – we’re now joint 3rd in our conference (only 1 game behind the Municipal and the Baltics), and the Espoo Whalers have been seriously knocked down, from a 0.777 to a 0.583 record.

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Old 10-25-2017, 06:15 PM   #12
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13th April 2017

Got a well-earned break day today, so this seems like an opportune time to go through some season records at the much-scrutinised 9% point:

Note: any tied statistics are sorted by lowest plate appearances/innings pitched. All must have featured in at least 33% of all games, with notable exception of pitchers.

Plate appearances: 1st - Veli Joensuu, 55 – 2nd Saku Kulovuori, 50 – 3rd Kalevi Kanniainen, 49

(League: 1st Petteri Polvinen [VAN], 58 – =2nd Joonas Kuusela [ESP], Theo Lohse [POR], Bay Tanh [TUR] 57)

Hits (% PA’s): 1st Saku Kulovuori, 17 (34%) – 2nd Veli Joensuu, 14 (25%) – 3rd Kalevi Kanniainen, 12 (24%)

(League: =1st Sippo Karhu [LAH] (38%), Sampo Parviainen [ESP] (38%), Petteri Polvinen [VAN] (36%), 21)

2B’s (% PA’s): 1st Saku Kulovuori, 5 (10%) – 2nd Kimmo Merikanto, 4 (10%) – 3rd Veli Joensuu, 4 (7%)

(League: =1st Tuomi Iisalo [OUL] (12%), Mikko Kaihlavirta [HEM] (11%), Petteri Polvinen [VAN] (10%), 6)

3B’s (% PA’s): 1st Veli Joensuu, 1 (2%)

(League: =1st Jussi Vilkuna [HEC] (6%), Teuvo Valkki [LAH] (4%), Ragnvard Möring [HEC] (4%)

HR’s (% PA’s): 1st Saku Kulovuori, 4 (8%) – 2nd Kalevi Kanniainen, 3 (6%) – 3rd Oiva Joutsela, 2 (5%)

(League: =1st Matti Kauranen [KUO] (12%), Teppo Tiainen [HEM] (12%), 6 – 3rd SAKU KULOVUORI [JYV] (8%), 4)

RBI’s: 1st Saku Kulovuori, 16 – 2nd Kaleva Kanniainen, 11 – 3rd Veli Joensuu, 7

(League: 1st SAKU KULOVUORI, 16 – 2nd Teppo Tiainen [HEM], 15 – 3rd Heikki Mäyrä [ESP], 14)

RUNS: 1st Saku Kulovuori, 10 – 2nd Veli Joensuu, 10 – 3rd Kimmo Merikanto, 7

(League: 1st Teppo Tiainen [HEM], Sippo Karhu [LAH], 12 – 3rd Risto Forsbacka [KOU], 11)


Innings pitched: 1st – Jussi Ramstedt, 22.1 – 2nd Valio Taitto, 21.1 – 3rd Veikko Makkonen 13.0

(League: 1st Kimmo Airikkala [HEC], 26.0 – 2nd Miko Vaijärvi [OUL], 24.2 – 3rd Jussi Katajisto [ESP], 23.1)

K/9: 1st Markko Lavinen, 10.8 - 2nd Pellervo Halonen, 10.1 - 3rd Jyri Hakkila, 9.8

(League: 1st Arvo Peltomaa [KOU], 13.5 – 2nd Turo Halvoni [POR], 12.3 – 3rd Tomi Marttila [OUL], 11.6)

K’s: 1st Valio Taitto, 14 – 2nd Jussi Ramstedt, 11 – 3rd Auno Laakkonen, 9

(League: 1st Lalli Remes [KOU], 20, =2nd Tapio Mustonen [TAM], Kimmo Airikkala [HEC], 17)


Innings played: =1st Veli Joensuu, Kaleva Kanniainen, 106 – 3rd Sippo Ahlapuro, 104

(League: =1st Pelle Dahlengren [OUL], Joni Taipale [OUL], 111 – 3rd Ukko Tiensuu [KOU], 108)

Defensive EFF: 1st Asko Turku, 1.491 – 2nd Kaleva Kanniainen, 1.067 – 3rd Kimmo Merikanto, 1.058

(League: 1st Jose Perez [KUO], 2.035 – 2nd Kauno Laitinen [TUR], 1.986 – 3rd ASKO TURKU [JYV], 1.491)

Total chances
: 1st Armas Kivi, 106 – 2nd Sippo Ahlapuro, 60 - 3rd Oiva Joutsela, 52

(League: 1st Sampo Parviainen [ESP], 125 – 2nd Kalle Helasvuo [HEM], 123 – 3rd Kuisma Laitinen [HEC], 120)

Assists: 1st Sippo Ahlapuro, 42 – 2nd Kalevi Kanniainen, 27 – 3rd Ali Öunap, 22

(League: 1st Olli Sallinen [LAH], 45 – 2nd Joonas Kuusela [ESP], 44 – 3rd Mikko Kaihlavirta [HEM], 43)

Putouts: 1st Armas Kivi, 98 – 2nd Oiva Joutsela, 51 – 3rd Veli Joensuu, 37

(League: =1st Kalle Helasvuo [HEM], Sampo Parviainen [ESP], 115 – 3rd Kuisma Laitinen [HEC], 112)


Tl;dr? Saku Kulovuori is heading most of our batting records – Municipal’s Teppo Tiainen and Vantaa’s Petteri Polvinen are causing everyone problems.


Last edited by Archelirion; 10-25-2017 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 10-26-2017, 10:10 AM   #13
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Series 5 - Tampere Eagles (away)

14th April 2017

Promoted 22 year-old Leo Magnusson from Seinäjoki to be a temporary SP in lieu of Ramstedt’s fitness – much like Haapaniemi he’s got a wicked fastball, and his stamina is also excellent, so should be able to keep going for a good while. If he can play well enough, he might actually challenge Makkonen for his position in the team, so much to play for.
Lehväslaiho sent me his report for playing Tampere in this series – I hope we can manage to get a few wins here as the Eagles seem to be struggling in these early stages. Makkonen and his 5.54 ERA is going to play in game 2 unless something changes, but thankfully he’ll be against Valo Hanell who’s repping a 10.97 ERA after two matches.

Game 13: Jyväskylä Foxes (7-6) 2 v 4 (5-8) Tampere Eagles

JYV Lineup
RHP: Leo Magnusson
1: CF Veli Joensuu / 2: LF Kimmo Merikanto / 3: RF Saku Kulovuori / 4: 3B Kaleva Kanniainen / 5: 1B Armas Kivi / 6: SS Sippo Ahlapuro / 7: 2B Ali Öunap / 8: C Oiva Joutsela

TAM Lineup
LHP: Alpo Pakkarinen
1: CF Orvo Paasakivi / 2: 3B Arsi Laituri / 3: LF Tarvo Pihlström / 4: SS Kaleva Tikkanen / 5 2B: Juuso Merta / 6 RF: Riku Kahelin / 7 1B: Kauko Saarinen / 8 C: Ale Isokoski

Well, they say all good things come to an end but this was a particularly galling way to end things. After 3 incredibly tentative innings from both sides, it was actually us that struck first – and second – in the 3rd. Kimmo Merikanto nailed his run after a single which was helped around by Kulovuori getting hit in the shoulder and Kanniainen receiving a base-on-balls – Kulovuori made it round shortly afterwards on the back of Armas Kivi’s single. Alas, that was to be ‘it’ for us; Tarvo Pihlström smashed a home run out in the 4th, and Pakkarinen made it round after a sac bunt in the 5th to bring the scores level. Both teams had frustrating 2 RBI outs, but it was Pihlström again with the home run in the 10th to help both him and RF Terjo Tuulasmaa around. Should’ve done better, but it happens.

Jyvaskyla Foxes (7-6) 2 v 4 (5-8) Tampere Eagles
Helsinki Capitals (5-8) 7 v 4 (6-7) Vantaa Wolverines
Kuopio Stags (8-5) 6 v 3 (5-8) Turku Tigers
Lahti White Cats (4-9) 1 v 4 (9-4) Helsinki Municipal
Kouvola Cedars (6-7) 1 v 0 (7-6) Espoo Whalers
Oulu Baltics (9-4) 4 v 2 (7-6) Pori Leviathan

Interestingly, ours wasn’t the only game to go into extras – the Kouvola/Espoo game went into the 12th before Nyyrikki Toivenen’s 339ft homer to score the winning (and only) point in that tie.


15th April 2017

Haapaniemi was scheduled to play today, but I’m going to play the in-fitness Taitto in his stead this time I think. Had we won yesterday I might have let him play, but we need to get back to winning ways. Doesn’t look like they’re playing Hanell today either – Vähätalo is on the team sheet and he looks far handier.

Game 14: Jyväskylä Foxes (7-7) 2 v 4 (6-8) Tampere Eagles

JYV Lineup
LHP: Valio Taitto
1: CF Veli Joensuu / 2: LF Kimmo Merikanto / 3: RF Saku Kulovuori / 4: 3B Kaleva Kanniainen / 5: 1B Asko Turku / 6: SS Sippo Ahlapuro / 7: 2B Ali Öunap / 8: C Oiva Joutsela

TAM Lineup
RHP: Ensio Vähätalo
1: CF Orvo Paasakivi / 2: 3B Arsi Laituri / 3: LF Tarvo Pihlström / 4: SS Kaleva Tikkanen / 5: 2B Juuso Merta / 6: RF Riku Kahelin / 7: 1B Kauko Saarinen / 8: C Michael Sundqvist

How INCREDIBLY frustrating. Today’s match looked almost identical to yesterday’s – we go up, and then Pihlström punished us at the end. Sippo Ahlapuro put us ahead in the 2nd after recording a single, building on singles from Taitto and Joensuu and then basestealing the rest. Tarvo Pihlström recorded a 2-run home run (surprise sur-hecking-prise) in the 3rd – Kimmo Merikanto was able to basesteal his way to an equaliser in the 5th, but similar runs from Pihlström and Tikkanen in the 8th condemned us to defeat. Had Ahlapuro managed to hit something in the 7th things could have been different (Kivi’s double and a walk from Kulovuori meant bases were filled) but no luck.

Jyväskylä Foxes (7-7) 2 v 4 (6-8) Tampere Eagles
Helsinki Capitals (5-9) 2 v 6 (7-7) Vantaa Wolverines
Kuopio Stags (9-5) 8 v 6 (5-9) Turku Tigers
Lahti White Cats (5-9) 6 v 5 (9-5) Helsinki Municipal
Oulu Baltics (10-4) 10 v 4 (7-7) Pori Leviathan
Kouvola Cedars (7-7) 8 v 7 (7-7) Espoo Whalers

The Oulu Baltics become the first team in VB history to record 10 wins, perhaps fittingly with a 10-4 victory (matching their record) against Pori Leviathan. Spare a thought for the Espoo Whalers, who after notching up a 7-2 record are now 7-7.


16th April 2017

Lehväslaiho comes to me this morning with another one of his international ‘finds’ – this time, a 16 year-old Peruvian called Jose Ramirez. He reckons he could have a mean slider on him some day, but he needs A LOT of work. Still, if he fancies playing some baseball for Kaarina (who are currently 1-4 in the Single A) then he can come up here.



I don’t hope for a career ender, but if Pihlström could do his shoulder in a little bit today, that’d be cool.


Game 15: Jyväskylä Foxes (7-8) 2 v 3 (7-8) Tampere Eagles

JYV Lineup
RHP: Ylermi Haapaniemi
1: CF Veli Joensuu / 2: 3B Kaleva Kanniainen / 3: 1B Armas Kivi / 4: LF Kimmo Merikanto / 5: RF Saku Kulovuori / 6: SS Sippo Ahlapuro / 7: C Axel Saevas / 8: 2B Veli Kuikkonen

TAM Lineup
LHP: Valo Hanell
1: CF Orvo Paasakivi / 2: 2B Juuso Merta / 3: LF Tarvo Pihlström / 4: SS Kaleva Tikkanen / 5: C Ale Isokoski / 6: 3B Pellervo Keskitalo / 7: RF Riku Kahelin / 8: 1B Kauko Saarinen

UGH

Goodbye winning record eh? AGAIN we start well but our ending is horrid – peculiar, because Tampere aside we’ve done almost the opposite this season so far. A single from Merikanto and some stealing from Kulovuori put us ahead in the top of the 2nd, but from the 5th, things started going a bit wrong. A base-on-balls call allows the cold-running Kauko Saarinen to halve our lead, and then I’ll be damned if he doesn’t get a home run in the 7th! Isokoski put us 3-2 down in the bottom 9th – no chance of recovery. Very annoyingly, in the upper 9th we had 2 on base before pinch-hitter Ilpo Hokeri couldn’t keep us in. 3 defeat series. Joy.

Jyväskylä Foxes (7-8) 2 v 3 (7-8) Tampere Eagles
Oulu Baltics (11-4) 6 v 3 (7-8) Pori Leviathan
Kuopio Stags (9-6) 2 v 3 (6-9) Turku Tigers
Lahti White Cats (6-9) 4 v 3 (9-6) Helsinki Municipal
Helsinki Capitals (5-10) 0 v 5 (8-7) Vantaa Wolverines
Kouvola Cedars (8-7) 14 v 1 (7-8) Espoo Whalers

As Oulu march on, the Capitals find themselves at the other end of the spectrum – the first team to have lost 10 games in the VB. The Whalers also lose their winning record in spectacular fashion, with a 14-1 defeat to the Cedars – that brings their losing streak to 6.

We go back down to last in our conference because of that series. Bloody hell. Upsettingly, if we were in the Sininen we’d be in line for joint 2nd right now.

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Series 6 - Espoo Whalers (home)

17th April 2017

Power rankings update came through today – predictably, Oulu are waaaay ahead of the rest of the pack, with 142 points compared to Kuopio on 109. We don’t move from last week, in a solid 6th place on 85, and the Capitals are still on the bottom, 17 points from the Tigers, with 52.

Got a series against the Espoo Whalers now – had you asked me last week I’d have been terrified, but now I think we have a chance. If we can keep Sampo Parviainen (with that .419 record) and Joonas Kuusela quiet, we should do okay. Hopefully we get a few more runs this time round.


Game 16: Espoo Whalers (8-8) 5 v 3 (7-9) Jyväskylä Foxes

ESP Lineup
LHP: Petteri Rintala
1: SS Joonas Kuusela / 2: 2B Unto Immonen / 3: 1B Sampo Parviainen / 4: 3B Heikki Mäyrä / 5: CF Tomi Joensuu / 6: RF Antti Rita / 7: C Jukka Jyrkainen / 8: LF Veikko Vertala

JYV Lineup
LHP: Veikko Makkonen
1: CF Veli Joensuu / 2: LF Kimmo Merikanto / 3: RF Saku Kulovuori / 4: 3B Kaleva Kanniainien / 5: 1B Armas Kivi / 6: SS Sippo Ahlapuro / 7: 2B Staffan Aslin / 8: C Oiva Joutsela

Poor start to the series against Whalers – Makkonen has done NOTHING to prove to me that once Weilin and Ramstedt are back from the DL, he should stay in the 1st team. Things were going poorly as early as the 2nd – Heikki Mäyrä clobbered a homer out onto the far left, before Veikko Vertala’s effort down the centre made life easy for himself and Joensuu to finish their runs. We were lucky for a (rare) poor bat performance from Kuusela in the 4th, as with two on field that could have been disastrous, but an iffy fielding job from Veli Joensuu meant that Parviainen’s boundary hit put himself and Immonen through, making it 5-0 by the 5th. A spirited comeback looked to be on for us in the 7th, as Kanniainen, Kivi and Ahlapuro all made it round, but alas, from there only a single base-on-balls call for the final two innings. Disappointing.

Espoo Whalers (8-8) 5 v 3 (7-9) Jyväskylä Foxes
Tampere Eagles (7-9) 4 v 7 (8-8) Pori Leviathan
Helsinki Municipal (10-6) 4 v 2 (11-5) Oulu Baltics
Turku Tigers (6-10) 4 v 5 (9-7) Kouvola Cedars
Vantaa Wolverines (9-7) 6 v 4 (6-10) Lahti White Cats
Helsinki Capitals (5-11) 2 v 6 (10-6) Kuopio Stags

Positive milestones reached for the Kuopio Stags and Helsinki Municipal today, the latter also doing everyone a favour by slowing down the Oulu Baltics a bit in their 4-2 victory. The Turku Tigers and the Lahti White Cats saw milestones of their own being reached, as they lose their first 10.


18th April 2017

Another youngster presented to me today by Lehväslaiho, this time from the little city of Fort Valley, Georgia. What is it with this guy and finding pitchers? Is he likely to be any good – probably not. Still, decent stamina and could develop a mean changeup pitch – so, to Iisami he goes.


Game 17: Espoo Whalers (9-8) 7 v 3 (7-10) Jyväskylä Foxes

ESP Lineup
RHP: Jussi-Pekka Sirkiä
1: SS Joonas Kuusela / 2: 2B Teuvo Vaijärvi / 3: 1B Sampo Parviainen / 4: 3B Heikki Mäyrä / 5: LF Unto Immonen / 6: C Tapio Isomäki / 7: CF Tomi Joensuu / 8: RF Veikko Vertala

JYV Lineup
LHP: Auno Laakkonen
1: CF Veli Joensuu / 2: 3B Kaleva Kanniainen / 3: RF Saku Kulovuori / 4: 1B Armas Kivi / 5: 2B Ali Öunap * / 6: LF Ilpo Hokeri / 7: SS Sippo Ahlapuro / 8: C Oiva Joutsela

Ouch. To credit Laakkonen he wasn’t awful as pitcher, but 7-3 is 7-3. Things started badly and went from there, again – Teuvo Vaijärvi’s line drive out towards the left shot over the boundary early on, and then Heikki Mäyrä got round on the backs of some singles from Unto Immonen and Isomäki. Run number 3 (in the 2nd) came from Veikko Vertala, whose base-on-balls call was supplement by a sac bunt from Sirkiä and some basestealing after Kuusela’s single. Mäyrä’s homerun in the 3rd was counteracted a little by Laakkonen’s run immediately afterwards, and two homeruns in quick succession from Armas Kivi and – astoundingly – Ali Öunap meant that by the 6th we were back in business. The Whalers hit back immediately, sadly, and a run from Kuusela and ANOTHER from Mäyrä in effect spelled our end. Basestealing from Parviainen in the 9th only compounded a rough day at work for us.

Espoo Whalers (9-8) 7 v 3 (7-10) Jyväskylä Foxes
Helsinki Municipal (11-6) 8 v 0 (11-6) Oulu Baltics
Tampere Eagles (7-10) 0 v 4 (9-8) Pori Leviathan
Turku Tigers (6-11) 5 v 7 (10-7) Kouvola Cedars
Vantaa Wolverines (9-8) 6 v 7 (7-10) Lahti White Cats
Helsinki Capitals (5-12) 2 v 6 (11-6) Kuopio Stags


19th April 2017

Game 18: Espoo Whalers (9-9) 5 v 6 (8-10) Jyväskylä Foxes

ESP Lineup
RHP: Jaakko Keto
1: SS Joonas Kuusela / 2: 2B Unto Immonen / 3: 1B Sampo Parviainen / 4: 3B Heikki Mäyrä / 5: LF Ahti Niukkanen / 6: RF Kalervo Heinamaa / 7: CF Tomi Joensuu / 8: C Jukka Jyrkainen

JYV Lineup
RHP: Leo Magnusson
1: CF Veli Joensuu / 2: RF Saku Kulovuori / 3: 3B Kaleva Kanniainen / 4: 1B Armas Kivi / 5: LF Asko Turku / 6: SS Sippo Ahlapuro / 7: 2B Ali Öunap / 8: C Oiva Joutsela

At last, a little bit of joy once more in the dying moments of a match. The Whalers were the first to damage today – Ahti Niukkanen scrapped around enough in the 2nd to claim run number 6 for himself, and then in the 4th Magnusson’s pitch was all too easy for Mäyrä to clobber, his double compounded by Joensuu’s 2B to double their lead. Joutsela’s single in the 5th proved enough to get him round after a Magnusson sac bunt and a Veli Joensuu single – and then the 6th came. Heinamaa’s single and Jyrkainen’s base-on-balls were key parts in Kuusela’s 3-run homer, meaning that by the end of the innings the Whalers were 5-1 up. Öunap scrabbled around in the bottom 7th to claim a point, but by the 9th it looked all but a done deal for Espoo.

It was not.

Öunap (who by the way has been doing excellently since snapping from his cold streak) cracked a line drive out the left. Oiva Joutsela immediately afterwards reached on an error, himself going to first and promoting Öunap to 2nd. Ilpo Hokeri hit a short single towards the right hand side, loading the bases up. Then, it happened – Veli Joensuu reached on another error, allowing Öunap to jog freely to base and prompting an almighty sprint from Joutsela and Hokeri. 5-4 now, one man out and two men on field. Kulovuori stepped up, hit a weak single off of Keto’s pitch and watched as Hokeri bust a nerve to equalise. All eyes were on Joensuu however, basestealing to claim the victory at the last ditch! Amazing spirit from everyone today, well done!

Espoo Whalers (9-9) 5 v 6 (8-10) Jyväskylä Foxes
Tampere Eagles (7-11) 6 v 7 (10-8) Pori Leviathan
Helsinki Municipal (11-7) 5 v 6 (12-6) Oulu Baltics
Turku Tigers (7-11) 5 v 3 (10-8) Kouvola Cedars
Vantaa Wolverines (9-9) 3 v 4 (8-10) Lahti White Cats
Helsinki Capitals (5-13) 2 v 3 (12-6) Kuopio Stags

The end of series 6 leaves things (with the exception of the Capitals, now with only two wins in their last 15) looking reasonably tight.

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