Friday, April 28, 2006

It All Comes Down To This


I can't wait. Harvard-Dartmouth weekend with the division at stake is Ivy League baseball's answer to Christmas morning--just as exciting and just as predictable.

Kurt the Harvard SID tells me that you will be able to follow this weekend's games on the live Gamecast at GoCrimson.com. They've been working hard through some real IT difficulties to get it going again, and I really appreciate their efforts. That said, there's also a promotion at the park, where the first 150 fans (no punchlines there, please) get a seat cushion and a complimentary team photo. I've never heard of this happening before, but I'm thrilled that the athletic department is doing this. Someone's figured out that Dartmouth's tendency to bring buckets of drunk fratboys to O'Donnell eats away at our homefield advantage, and they might have to do something to counter that. Here's hoping they advertise the promotion well.

Alex McPhillips does a good job with his preview:
Said sophomore Shawn Haviland (3-5, 4.06 ERA), who will start Game 1 tomorrow, “If we have a lead late in Game 2 after a win in Game 1, we might bring in [projected Game 3 starter Javy Castellanos] to close. We want to win.”

In keeping with its regular weekend rotation, Dartmouth will likely start with sophomore Russell Young (3-2, 3.96) tomorrow in Game 1 and go with senior staff ace Josh Faiola (5-2, 1.90) in the nightcap.

It will be the first appearance for Faiola, a former co-MVP of the prestigious Cape Cod League, since going 12 innings in an epic 2-1 loss to Yale on April 22. In that start, he threw 145 pitches.

Haviland said the Crimson won’t expect Faiola to show signs of wear.

“Sometimes you throw 145 and have no stress,” he said, “and sometimes you throw 65 with all kinds of stress—you’re rearing back. So it’s different.”

“But,” he added, “to throw that in a losing effort is impressive. He’ll be a great matchup for Cole.”

Adam Cole (2-2, 4.09), the Harvard freshman, will take the mound in Game 2. On Sunday at Dartmouth, Harvard will likely start Castellanos (4-3, 5.45) in Game 3. Beyond that, Harvard coach Joe Walsh could go with a combination of his most experienced arms—including seniors Matt Brunnig and Lance Salsgiver, and possibly even Haviland in relief—in Game 4, depending on the stakes.
Lance's arm only has so much experience at Harvard, but the point is well taken. Then there's this from Haviland, the reigning Ivy Pitcher of the Week:
Dartmouth eventually won Game 4 and the division title, but Walsh has made no secret of his willingness to use his best pitchers in unusual situations.

“Every single weekend—and Coach Walsh will tell you the same thing,” Haviland said. “I try to beg my way into the games on Sunday. My arm never gets sore. If I’m on the hill [in relief in Game 4], there’s nowhere I’d rather be.”
No objections here. I want this kid on the mound (to the point where I'm ready to start wondering aloud why he doesn't pitch the nine-inning games), and I'm glad he wants it even more.

Morgan Brown provides some positive clarity on the Klimkiewicz situation:
Brown, who will be back in the field after missing a start against Rhode Island this week with a strained hamstring, said doctors gave Klimkiewicz the go-ahead to play this weekend for the first time since injuring his elbow on April 22.

“He’s a senior,” Brown said. “There’s no way he wants to miss this weekend. If there’s any way he can play, he will.”


By the time we get to Saturday, it may already be a two-horse race. The Brown-Yale series starts today in Providence. If Brown can get one win at home, Yale's out of the race.

Kurt the Harvard SID does a great job in his preview picking up on the fact that Dartmouth hasn't won two games at Harvard since the Reagan administration. In fact, I'm going to flat out recommend reading the official GoCrimson.com preview, which is the best I've ever seen Harvard put out. If you're bored after that, there's also this preview in The Dartmouth.

6 comments:

cg said...

Great preview, it puts Dartmouth's to shame. However I hope the probable lineups are a bit different. I hope Klim is in there and that would hopefully put Taylor Meehan at 2nd base. I think Wilson is more comfortable at 3rd and I hope Brunnig is rested so he concentrates on pitching on Sunday if needed. I also think Kramer should be given a look at catcher in one of the games as he has been hitting the ball nicely.

cg said...

Great preview. However I hope the probable lineups are a bit different. I hope Klim is in there and that would hopefully put Taylor Meehan at 2nd base. I think Wilson is more comfortable at 3rd and I hope Brunnig is rested so he concentrates on pitching on Sunday if needed. I also think Kramer should be given a look at catcher in one of the games as he has been hitting the ball nicely.

mb said...

I'm with you on Klimkiewicz. My hope is that DHA was just being conservative there. I'd have to think that if Klim plays, things will fall in as you've laid out.
Yale has won the first Brown game, 3-1, so the scoreboard watching will continue for at least a few more hours...

Brian said...

And Princeton beat Cornell in Game One today in Ithaca, with Erik Stiller pitching a complete game three-hitter. The Tigers can clinch the Lesser Division title with a win in the nightcap.

BB_King said...

I would imagine that lineup is just going based on the last game and not wanting to reveal too much. For Dartmouth's part they play a lot of guys so their lineup could be different too.

Not that its any substitute for #19, but Meehan has been swinging it and Stokes has turned in some solid defensive play...

cg said...

I, personally, can't wait for tomorrow.