7/8 7/12 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/13 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 7/27 8/2 8/3 8/3 8/9 8/9 8/16 8/23
FS 3|3 FS 0|0 HB 0|2 BW 0|4 EL 1|1 ON 0|0 IS 0|13 EL 1|1 IS 0|0 WW 0|0 ON 3|0 KF 6|3 KF 0|1|0 FS 0 BW 1|2 EL 1|2 R★ 2 BW 0 The
WW 0|0 WA 1|1 KF 1|3 KF 1|10 HB 0|0 WA 3|3 WO 11|8 WA 0|2 WA 3|3 ON 3|3 WW 1|1 WO 0|0 EL 4|0|1 BW 2 WA 0|1 BW 0|0 G★ 0 EL 2 Thrill

Week 10

Lafayette Park The Drey The Drey
7/1 * 7/2 7/2 7/2 7/3 * 7/3 *
BW 3|3|12 WD 15|0 WD 13|14 WW 0 BW 4|11|3|3 AK 1|5
CC 1|2| 0 FS 1|4 WW 1| 0 FS 3 JM 0| 0|0|0 BW 0|6
BW w 3 Split 1-1 WD w 2 FS w 1 BW w 4 Split 1-1

* Newly added games

Marquee Match-up:
July 2nd | 3 PM | The Drey
Warriors & Squirrels vs. Wiffling DeLoppes

But Darrel, that's not one match-up. It's three! I know, and while true, just take a step back and look at what the results from Saturday's games at the Drey could mean. The DeLoppes will play 4 games: 2 vs. Squirrels and 2 vs. Warriors. The Squirrels and Warriors will both play 3: 2 vs. the DeLoppes and 1 against each other. With that info in hand let's take a look at where the teams could possibly be after Saturday.

The Warriors can get away with a record as high as 15-7 or as low as 12-10. The Squirrels can settle anywhere from 13-11 to 10-14. While the DeLoppes can jump to 20-4 or fall to 16-8. You can pretty much take the 1 game between the Warriors and Squirrels and call it a push, because what matters here is what the teams do in their combined 4 games against the DeLoppes. That is why the Marquee is written as "Warriors & Squirrels vs. DeLoppes."

The Warriors roster has been showing up and showing up well. So, say that they win their 2 games again the DeLoppes and the 1 against the Squirrels: 15-7. The Squirrels lost their games against the DeLoppes at Frenchtown 2-0 and 2-1. So, maybe they can get their shit together and take 1 game from them on Saturday: a 1-3 record on the day for the DeLoppes resulting in 17-7 overall. Warriors: 15-7, DeLoppes 17-7. Now, you're looking at a real race for second place in WSEM, separated by only 1 game!

Contrarily, if the Squirrels manage to get some run support for their pitching, have a great day ending up 13-11, and the Warriors split with the DeLoppes to end up 13-9, then we'll have a single game separation in the race for third place! The bottom line is if the Warriors and Squirrels can combine for a winning record against the DeLoppes Saturday, then things can get interesting toward the top of the standings going into the final weeks of the season. Hell, if the two teams sweep the DeLoppes and Westside beats the Squirrels, then Westside and the DeLoppes will be tied for 2nd place at 15-7 and 16-8, respectively. Most people had written that off and focused on the race for 4th, 5th, or 6th. Sure, there will likely be shake ups in those ranks as well, but the fact is: the top is not safe!

On-field breakdown:
Pitching: the rotations of the DeLoppes and Squirrels are the top 4 league leaders in WHIP, while the Warriors come in second to last in that category. This can be accounted for nearly completely by BBs. In 87.1 innings pitched the Squirrels have walked only 44 batters, the DeLoppes in 95 innings have walked just 50, while in 71.1 innings the Warriors have a staggering 135 walks. The Warriors begin to make up for the BB, though, by allowing only 59 hits to the DeLoppes 62 and Squirrels 99. The DeLoppes take the clear advantage in team ERA with a 1.68, more than 2 points better than the Squirrels 3.84 and further the Warriors 5.33. Numbers do not tell the full story, though, as the Warriors have been getting better in recent weeks on the mound with Maclin Malloy finding his groove, and the Squirrels will be missing new star Mike Merlo on Saturday. Nevertheless, those two factors do not play a role in deciding which team brings the best pitching staff into play:
Advantage - Wiffling DeLoppes

The DeLoppes and Warriors rank 2nd and 3rd, respectively, as a team in all of the major offensive categories: AVG, SLG, and OBP! The two even place the same way in HR; although, HRs will be a fairly moot factor this Saturday at the Drey. What will come into play on the vast open plain of an outfield are 2Bs, 3Bs, and all around aggressive baserunning. The Warriors are second in the league with 16 2Bs, the Squirrels 3rd with 11, and those teams both have a single 3B to their credit. The DeLoppes, however, trump all with 28 2Bs and 4 3Bs, due in large part to DeLano's 11 2Bs and 3 3Bs. I will heed again that the numbers aren't the whole story. The Warriors by far have been playing their best ball of the season lately, and Matt Whelan has been absolutely raking: getting on base and lighting up the AVG column. Teammates Shane Myers and Alex Share are right there with Whelan, as well. Offensive advantage is tough to call, I'm tempted to call it a "push" between the DeLoppes and Warriors. The DeLoppes top to bottom have a lineup that can get on base and hit for power. The Warriors are all speed demons, aggressive baserunners and with the expansive territory at the Drey that could strongly favor them; DeLano is the only DeLoppe that challenges the extra-base aggression of the Warriors. With the long ball taken out of the equation and a large field to cover:
Advantage - Westside Warriors

Week 9

The Drey Westside Reservation
6/25 6/26
AK 0|0 JM 0|3|0|3
FS 3|3 WW 2|1|9|16
AK fft WW w 3

Marquee Match-up:
June 26th | 2 PM | The Westside Reservation
Jason Mattseals vs. Westside Warriors


Both the Mattseals and Warriors were the incredibly unhappy recipients of wins by forfeit in Week 8. The Mattseals, riding the excitement of finally having broken into the win column, wanted to get out and play the Ass Kickers. Unfortunately however, Mike Constanti was forced to call in forfeits for his team and the two gifted wins were no consolation to satiate the gushing, new competitive excitement of the Mattseals. The Warriors went through an even worse situation in their forfeit victories.

Belgian brought only two players up to Farmington; so, while the teams went ahead and played four games, no stats from them can be recorded. The Warriors, as one would expect, are pissed off, want to play their asses off and show up the entire league. Both teams are going to come out with a "fuck all!" vigor to take out the aggravation from this past weekend when they meet up on Sunday. Alex Shore was already upset that the 'Seals vs. Kickers game got billed on the Marquee over his Warriors and Belgian, so with the added fuel in play this week we may get some spectacular fireworks in Farmington!

Due to the Ass Kickers forfeit, we did not get the opportunity to see if the Mattseals could keep their new-found success rolling on the field and be competitors in this league for real. This week the Warriors will be so much more than happy to test the Mattseals, and the potent Westside roster will prove an even greater measuring stick for Hewlett's arm and the 'Seal team's abilities as a whole. The Warriors lineup is full of good-to-great hitters, top to bottom. They can spread the ball around, hit for power, and have speed to burn. We will see for sure how much Hewlett's pitching has improved against this young, aggressive lineup. Hewlett will have to bring his "A" game, as the Warriors can make anything less look like batting practice and any mistake will surely be capitalized on. If he can keep them in the park and slow their carousel around the basepaths, then he has become a legit ace without question.

Whereas the intrigue around Hewlett taking the mound is once again on the question of his improvement, the story on the mound for the Warriors is one of renewed dominance. Maclin Malloy has his nasty stuff back, and more substantially: his accuracy. In the fourth game this past week he threw the first perfect game in WSEM. No matter what you say about the caliber of lineup he was facing, you have to admit that not throwing a single BB is an incredible accomplishment. Even though the games cannot count, the league has chosen to acknowledge Maclin's performance with an asterisked record that he did in fact throw a perfect game on June 19th, 2011 in a game against the Belgian Wiffles that was retroactively ruled an exhibition. Now, that it has been proven that Jeff Biegas (JM) can go without a hit in a game, could Malloy be poised to repeat his performance and throw another perfecto this week against the hit-or-miss Mattseals lineup? (*crossed fingers* Sorry! No jinx!)

Just like last week, the Mattseals will need to keep these games low scoring in order to win. It will be difficult for this 'Seals lineup to push more than a couple runs across home plate against this high caliber of opponent; with only 2 HR they have to manufacture runs, and against a team that can play solid defense behind the threat of dominant pitching that will make for a long day. The Warriors, as previously mentioned, have the potential to blow these or any game wide open with their offense. Not only does Hewlett need to bring his "A" game, but his defense needs to be mistake free behind him, as well: the Warriors' lineup is the exact reason that old adage, "you can't give the extra opportunites," exists. We know that Westside can bring good pitching, hitting, and defense to the field, and with them playing to make a statement to the league this week you can bet they will bring their best. If a truly turned around Mattseals team can also bring those things with them to Farmington, then we could witness a huge turning point in WSEM.

Elsewhere in Southeast Michigan: The Ass Kickers and Flying Squirrels will finish up their season series, started on Opening Day, with two games at the Drey on Saturday. The Squirrels took the first two games, and the teams have gone in different directions since. After going 2-2 to start the season the Ass Kickers have hovered around the .500 mark since (until the unfortunate forfeits this past weekend). The Squirrels took their 3-1 start and flushed it down the toilet, sinking to the bottom of the league and finally starting to bubble back up the standings and winning games. Both teams find themselves in the middle of the pack and trying to put a run together to carve out a safer slot for playoff seeding. Realistically, they are both fighting, along with the Commandos, for the 4th, 5th, or 6th places. One game can easily be the difference between drawing the Warriors in the first round or one of the middle of the pack teams currently in the dogfight with you. Every win from here out means a lot, and the two teams of those three that win the most will likely line up to see each other again on July 23rd.

Week 8

The Drey Constanti Field Westside Reservation
6/18 6/18 6/19
BW 1|0 JM 3|3 BW 0|0|0|0
FS 2|1 AK 0|0 WW 3|3|3|3
FS w 2 AK fft BW fft

It is a slate of three two evening and one prevening series this weekend in WSEM. Is it the heat of summer pushing the games later, or the jockeying for playoff seeding positions that has bumped the games into prime time slots? Well, all five teams on the field this week have much to play for. The resurgent Warriors have a shot at getting over .500 Sunday evening, while the Ass Kickers could get back to an even .500 Saturday with a sweep of the Mattseals. Finally cracking into the win column last week, the Mattseals look to prove themselves this week: that they have settled their pitching woes and found a way to compete in this league. Belgian has managed to win three games against the top two teams in the league, yet still find themselves in seventh place; so, they aim to climb back up the standings this week with four games to play. Lastly, the Squirrels... Well, they are 1-1 against Belgian this season, so that season series is on the line along with bragging rights. So, which of these series carries the most intrigue and possible excitement, enabling it to be emblazoned in lights as the WSEM Week 8 Marquee Match up?... Scroll down a tap or two and see...

Marquee Match-up:
June 18th | 6:30 PM | Constanti Field
Jason Mattseals @ Ass Kickers

Don't laugh. Well, okay take a minute and laugh, but then get back to me when you're ready to proceed... Yes, the Mattseals have made a second half of the season Marquee. All season the front office has been saying that the 'Seals would eventually get a feel for the game and start competing (behind the scenes we were secretly more just hoping that would happen), and it looks like that point in time may have finally arrived! Jason Hewlett showed stuff of a legit ace last Saturday: giving up just 1 R, 11 hits, and 2 BBs in 3 games, while striking out 16. I hear your grumbling, "he did that against the Squirrels... why should I be impressed?" Valid question, but he was all over the corners of the board with nice down and away movement. Is he the second coming of Dennis Pearson? No, but he is now the guy for his team that can give his team a chance to win every time he takes the mound.

Of course that leads us into the hitting side of the game, and that is one that still poses a problem for the 'Seals. Both of their wins are 1-0: the results of smart, aggressive baserunning plays. They're sole bright spot offensively, Jeff Biegas' league leading hitting streak, was just cut down at 12 games Saturday. As a team they are hitting .219, with an OBP of .317, and a sluggishly low SLG% at .256: not even 50 points above their AVG. The good news is that the Ass Kickers offensive numbers are not leaps and bounds ahead.

Better yes, but not completely on another level. The Ass Kickers are a step up from the Squirrels in level of competition. That is the reason this is the Marquee Match up. You're right not to be overly impressed with the Mattseals wins over the Squirrels, but if they are able to beat the Ass Kickers - at Constanti Field - then that would show the 'Seals are finally for real. The Ass Kickers come in looking to heat up again after a disappointing Week 7, losing three to the Commandos and Warriors. As a team the Ass Kickers are hitting .248, just 39 points above the 'Seals. Their OBP looks much nicer at .403, due in large part to the league leading 30 BBs Ryan Bullard has racked up, and the Kickers SLG% is a much more impressive .403. The power numbers are the real divide here. In 14 games played for both teams the 'Seals have 62 TB to the Ass Kickers 112: nearly double the number of bases in the same number of games! This is where Hewlett's new mustard will really be tested; can he keep the Constanti brothers, Bullard, and Kirk in the smaller confines of Constanti Field?

Mike Constanti's pitching, on the other hand, is already field tested and proven to be ace quality: 2.06 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 2.86 K/BB, and 1.90 KPI. In just a 2 game series, it should be expected that each team's ace will take the mound both games - so long as they are tightly contested. Despite the optimistic look at the Mattseals coming into this week, I still fully realize the possibility that the Ass Kickers can win big in these games. However, I think pitching will command the day, and the scores will be kept low. Unlike the Ass Kickers, the Mattseals need to keep the score low (like under 2) in order to win. And again, that is why this is the Marquee: it is a test. A test that if passed will prove the Mattseals can now compete and win in WSEM: a sweeping change throughout the league. All eyes should be on this series for that reason, as the Ass Kickers are the perfect level up test for the Mattseals.

Elsewhere in SE MI: The Warriors and Belgian on Sunday evening almost grabbed the Marquee, but could not surmount a couple big obstacles. The first being that Belgian has two games to play before Sunday; making it difficult to know the state of the team (momentum, standings) or the meaning of the games and what will be played for on Sunday. The second is simply that it is almost impossible to know who will be on the roster for both teams, and therefore what product you are going to get on the field. Floating rosters and substitute players are a bane when trying to detail or hype games.

For the Warriors part, their roster looks like it is beginning to become more solid and secure. Key figure last year, Matt Whelan, has played two straight series, for one. On the other side of the diamond, however, the Belgian roster is in even more shambles as reports are that Chuck Weiler has left the team. Leaving only Chris Lewis and David Buhr as regulars. Just last week Belgian had to field 3 man roster with two substitutes against Git r' Done, and the subs were provided by Git r' Done. With any luck both teams can get their rosters in line, so that when they finish their season series later this season they will have a clearer shot at getting the Marquee.

Week 7

Westside Reservation The Drey Lafayette Park Frenchtown Field
6/7 6/11 6/12 6/12
CC 6|11 JM 0|1|0|1 WD 16|14|8|6 BW 3|1|0|0
WW 7|6 FS 9|0|1|0 CC 5| 0|5|0 GD 2|2|1|3
Split 1-1 Split 2-2 WD w 4 GD 3-1

Marquee Match-up:
June 12th | 2 PM | Lafayette Park
Wiffling DeLoppes @ Campus Commandos

This was a tough one to choose. There are a few quality match ups on the schedule: Third and fourth place in our standings, the Commandos and Warriors, would have been good games to spotlight. However, they were make ups for this past Sunday, and were played on short notice: 7 PM Tuesday at the Westside Reservation. The Belgian Wiffles and #7 Git r' Done is another potentially enticing series. Far apart in the standings, sure, but Belgian just split a four game series with the DeLoppes in their return to the field. So, they could have it in them to take some games from Git r' Done, another team at the top of the WSEM totem, as well. Early plans for that Sunday series also include the opening of Git r' Done's new home field in New Boston, which of course adds spectacle and intrigue. Speaking of fields, spectacle, and intrigue... The Drey is opening up this weekend, but the Squirrels and Mattseals (who sublet the Drey from the Squirrels for home games) are both so far down in the rankings that not even a new field can give this series hope of life outside of a coma.

So, how did the #11 Wiffling DeLoppes and Campus Commandos match up at Lafayette Park get put up in lights over the others this week? Well, just look at the standings; second and third place! The Commandos and Warriors faced off in two heated offensive counter punches on Tuesday night, splitting their postponed two game series. So, both teams held their current third and fourth spots in the rankings, respectively, keeping the #2 vs. #3 four game series intact for this Sunday. Suffice it to say, the Commandos are pushing upwards beyond everyone's expectations and entrenching themselves in a comfortable spot in the league ranks, making for quite a story. Oh yeah, and the 12-4 DeLoppes are no slouches on the field, either.

There are some off the field points of interest to this series, as well. First, when the DeLoppes step onto the field under the Detroit skyline at Lafayette Park it will be their first time playing away from the friendly confines of Frenchtown Field. Will breaking out the road greys change the DeLoppes game? Could they have trouble adjusting to the new field? Maybe the Commandos could gain an early advantage as the DeLoppes take a game or two to get adjusted? Or is the DeLoppes' roster nothing but professionals who will be on their A-game no matter what? I will add that members of the DeLoppes have expressed concern over the conditions of the playing surface at Lafayette Park, even asking to have the games moved to Frenchtown Field to improve the quality of play. Aren't questions great for the build-up of a series? The answers should come quickly after 2 PM Sunday afternoon.

The second point of off the field intrigue is that, with the postponement of the two games against the Warriors last Sunday and the rain out of the Ass Kickers earlier this year, this will be the first time the Commandos play four games in one day. All of their games so far have been played as two game series. This could be what has the biggest effect on Sunday's games. The Commandos success is heavily dependent on the performance of Joe Seto, who through two games is able to hold up. Will he be asked to throw all four? Will he be able to throw all four? The Commandos are yet to find a consistent, effective second pitcher for their rotation. In a four game series that could doom them from the start. The fatigue is not just on Seto, either. Going from an hour and a half of wiffleball in the evening to three-plus hours in the heat of the afternoon is going to wear down all of the Commandos roster much more than usual. The big question here is just how much they have in the tanks, because the DeLoppes six man lineup can play for hours in the sun and still stay sharp and on their game throughout.

Back to performance on the field. The DeLoppes have cooled down some from their red hot start. They split a four game series 2-2 with Belgian this past Sunday, and are 3-2 in their last five games. They are still just one game behind Git r' Done in the standings, so they will be playing to retake the league lead this weekend. Both are playing four game series this weekend with a lot to play for, protect, and prove. In the other dugout, the Commandos are playing their best ball of the season so far and may be catching the DeLoppes in a "perfect storm" moment to have the best shot at beating them: Lafayette Park's nuances definitely lend a home field advantage along with the DeLoppes having come a little back to Earth might give the Commandos their best shot at stealing a few wins.

This will be an exciting week in WSEM. Two new fields making their debut, three four game series, two with a team playing for the top spot in the league, and the other two teams in those series trying to claw their way up in the standings and winning percentage column. A lot to play for, some new scenery, and a lot of fun to be had out there! This, sir, is why we play wiffleball!