It’s only game two of the season and the surprises are flowing immensely. In game one of the season, the Mustangs demolished the Crushers 10-5 in the first game of the Mustangs franchise history. Arguably, game two was even more shocking. The game slated two teams that in which last season, were headed in two very opposite directions. The Badgers had just won their second straight world series and the Redbirds were at the bottom of the standings for the second year in a row.
One team was at the top of the valley, one at the bottom of a pit of despair. With that being said, this offseason presented the opportunity for that to take a major turn. The Redbirds were able to have a solid draft, most notably picking up Adam with the first pick and Luke Bradley, a former MVP. Meanwhile, the Badgers experienced great loss, with the departures of Sammy, Hudson, and Matt. Sammy and Hudson left to take on captain roles for the expansion teams and Matt went on to join Hudson and The Riptides. So with the Redbirds greatly improving and the Badgers seemingly falling off, there was only one way to see whether or not each team was headed in opposite directions from last season… play the game.
Adam and Luke both pitched two flawless innings and with a grand slam and a three-run nuke in the bottom of the second from the captain, Chandler Sartain, the Redbirds took the W and moved on to become 1-0 after a 7-0 thrashing. Meanwhile, the Badgers showed inconsistency on the mound and struggles at the plate. New acquisition, Jesse Spratt-Plunkett, was one of the lone bright spots for the squad. Jesse was able to pitch two scoreless innings and only allowed two hits, both to Adam. Unfortunately for the Badgers, that was the only bright spot for the team.
On the Other hand, the Redbirds had many. Adam looked filthy on the mound, only giving up one hit the entire game. Luke looked very solid as well, only allowing one hit as well. Therefore, there are some key, sort, takeaways from this game. Let’s go ahead and analyze those.
The Redbirds' rotation could be elite?
The Redbirds' rotation looks to be much improved this season. Adam is the clear ace of the team and is already the favorite to win the C.Y young award. Luke is a quality reliever and if he plays as he did in this game, this rotation looks to be disgusting. Granted, the Badgers are much worse than they were last season, but let’s not take anything away from a solid performance.
The Badgers need to find consistency on the mound
An important thing to note is that the Badgers pitched well, apart from the atrocious second inning. Lots of walks led to runners on base, and the Redbirds made sure to capitalize during those situations. “Pitching wise Jesse did phenomenally. I remember he was really good in 2020. For Drew, he had nice movement on his pitches, it was just spotting them that was the problem. Too many walks.” Badgers captain Reece Clapp said. As long as the Badgers can find the zone more frequently, they can for sure improve.
Is Chandler returning to MVP form?
Chandler hit two nukes this game which equated to all seven runs for his team. Chandler looked more comfortable at the plate than ever and with more confidence in his team, he knew that he did not have much pressure on his shoulders. If Sartain can continue this trend, the Redbirds may see themselves playing for a trophy at the end of the season.
Game two was full of surprises. Both teams are now seemingly headed in opposite directions than they were last season and both feature new key additions. It will surely be exciting to see how each team moves forward after their first game of the season.