The Toronto Maples seemingly own the Hamilton Mounties by virtue of their 14-8 edge over the season. The last time the Maples visited Hamilton they dropped the first two games of the series but somehow pulled out a 3-2 win in the finale managing but 2 hits as the Mounties wasted a fine performance by Tate Crosby (8 IP/2 hits/1 BB/8 K’s….but 2 HR’s). Prior to that contest Hamilton had a 5 game lead over the 37-39 Toronto club. But, things have flipped since that June afternoon.
Hamilton will have to do without their big bat and 4 time All Star Dave Teague for this series. Meanwhile, the Maples will do without a bevy of players and not the least their big first baseman Stephen Gilbert (22 HR’s in 116 games).
How close are these teams? Toronto has a season run differential of +17 while Hamilton one of +19. The Maples are 28-20 post all star while the Mounties have struggled with a 22-25 record. The teams are separated by 2.5 games so clearly Hamilton must win at least 2 of 3.
The Mounties have been averaging +37,000 crowds during their 30-24 home season and tickets will be scarce for this set. The Maples actually play better on the road at 35-29. Should be a good one!
The Toronto Maples are looking every bit like a playoff team for the first time in their history. After a typical April/May where they played 26-31 ball June ‘changed their tune’ with a 14-9 record and July ‘they let it fly’ (thanks Paul Simon) going 19-10. This morning their record is 59-51 as they find themselves 5 games back of the league leading Windsor Vigilantes.
The Maples lead the Canadian League in Runs Scored, OBP, and Batting Average. The Starting Pitching is ranked 3rd.
Kevin Thomas…just 1 HR but a .343 BA and a .432 OBP means he’s the ultimate table setter. His 135 hits is only second to one player in the league.
Hilton Madore, LF, leads both leagues in Hits with 146 and he has 15 HR’s.
Henri Francois, quite possibly the pitching face of the GLBL has not missed a beat since he defected from the World Champion Milwaukee Eagles as he has a 12-3/ 1.96 ERA line for Toronto.
Stephen Gilbert 1b in his 3rd season with Toronto gets better and better with the bat as he has turned in a .284/.377/.513 line up to now.
When it comes to closers, lights out closers, River Guiterrez is the man. River is practically unhittable as he has allowed 26 hits and 8 walks in 46 innings pitched which translates to a 0.38 ERA and a 0.72 WHIP. No surprise as this guy has turned in WHIP’s of 0.76 and 0.77 in previous years. His K/BB ration is 12.9.
The Hamilton Mounties trail Toronto by 4.5 games so the fortune of the Maples could go either way. Some big Sunday – Tuesday series coming up this week and next as Toronto faces Hamilton next week and Windsor the week after.