Monday, February 11, 2013

Strikes n Spares vs Pin Pals Post game recap

Strikes n Spares vs Pin Pals Post Game


Game I – Strikes ‘n’ Spares 842 vs. Pin Pals 899
Game II – Strikes ‘n’ Spares 856 vs. Pin Pals 840
Game III – Strikes ‘n’ Spares 799 vs. Pin Pals 875
Pin Pals – 15 points
Strikes ‘n’ Spares – 8 points

Our game of the week featured the 1st place team SnS vs the 2nd seed Pin Pals in a much anticipated match up.  The previous (and only) time these two teams met SnS walked away with a 1-point victory.  This week would prove different.  This match-up was against 2 teams that have been moving in the opposite directions, SnS had lost their previous 2 weeks while Pin Pals have been on cruise control.   Pin Pals were missing two of their best players this week, their captain Ayaz “Daddy” Dar and Ayaz’s mouth.  It’s been said that Ayaz’s mouth is the 5th man on the Pin Pals team as his squawking can affect even the best bowlers’ games.  With Ayaz this was projected to be a close match up, without him many predicted that it should be an easy win for SnS.
Game 1 – With the known absence of Ayaz perhaps SnS did not take the game serious enough.  3 of the SnS starters came late missing practice completely and it showed for some.  In a strange move Pin Pals choose to place Sid “The Kid” at the anchor position to face Jason Reis instead of potential MVP Asif Siddiqui who has been on fire the last few weeks.  Amaad B. had a rough game bowling well below his average with a 129, even if he had bowled to his potential it most likely would not have been enough as Chris “Chrisanity” bowled a monster 208 scratch which combined with his handicap is just about unbeatable by anyone.  Chris showed that his +200 game from previous weeks is not an apparition and that if he is on can reach that mark.   Raza and David bowled decent games of 151 vs 149 respectively with David’s handicap advantage proving to be the difference.  Mufty came out on fire nailing strike after strike and really put pressure on Asif who had not lost a match-up since we cannot even remember.  Asif found his strike throw a little too late as Mufty bowled a 234 and took the point.   At anchor Jason Reis did what he does and effortlessly bowled a 236, Sid put in a good effort, and with coaching from Asif in between throws bowled a 145 and just came up short.  Pin Pals take game one showing that even without their captain to will them on, they can still win it and perhaps rattled SnS.

Game 2 – Game 2 SnS benched Amaad for Naeem which turned out to be a good decision.  Naeem came out putting up a spare filled 182 vs Chris’ solid 157.  Raza decided to turn it up in game 2 and just came up shy of the 200 mark with a 192.  David put serious pressure on Raza finishing off with a 4-bagger and 168, but Raza with ice water in his veins closed the 10th to take the point.  Mufty continued his hot streak into game 2, but cooled off mid way through finishing with a 166.  With the handicap it just wasn’t enough to top Asif’s 196 whom at times had trouble finding his strike ball yet still manages to put up good numbers.    Game 2 is where Pin Pals’ secret weapon came into play as Sid again put up a solid 143, with handicap it bumps him to a 210 which means Jason must put up a +200 game just to have a chance.  Jason did post a +200 score of 205, but it was five pins shy of Sid for the point.  Reis is used to playing co-anchors across the league who may have only a few pin advantage on him, but this just shows how difficult it can be to go up against someone with a high handicap advantage.  SnS take game 2, leaving the score tied at 7 – 7 going into Game 3.

Game 3 – You could say that Pin Pals were playing with house money going into Game 3 as they had already taken 1 win away from SnS.  With SnS’s first place lead slowly being chipped away week by week this turned out to be a huge game.   The best lead-off bowler in the league remained on the bench again and Naeem made sure that it was not the wrong decision putting up a 193 scratch, his high game of the season.  After starting hot Chris ran into a brick wall named Naeem and was not able to take the point.  After posting a good game Raza followed it up with a 124 stinker, which will beat pretty much nobody.  David put in another solid game of 159 and taking the battle of the #2’s this week.  Mufty again was throwing strikes like it was his business and finished with a 201, but as many teams have found out Asif just gets better game-by-game as he gets more and more comfortable in the lanes.  Asif finishes with another +200 game of 220.  Mufty was close to taking the point with handicap but pulled out a split in the 10th frame while Asif turkeys out.  By the 8th frame Reis was on his way to earning himself a nickname as he was at 110, he managed to 4-bagger out to salvage an other-wise disaster of a game.  That meant Sid with his handicap would only need to post a 104 to take the point.  Instead he bowled his best game of the day with a 148 and taking 2 out of three points away from the best bowler in the league.

Player Summary

Amaad/Naeem – Amaad did not have it today while Naeem bowled the best he has ever.  Does this mean we may see someone new at the lead-off spot for SnS?  I think not, Ammad is arguably the best lead-off bowler in the league and his track record speaks for itself.

Chris – Once again Chris eclipsed the 200 mark and with his higher than average handicap it is just plain unfair to anyone he faces.  He has also become pretty solid at his spares and will be a huge key for the Pin Pals in the post season.

Raza –  Sunday has the tale of 3 Raza’s The Good (192), The Bad (Decent) 151, and the Ugly (124).  SnS needs the Good Raza to come out if they want to be successful.

David – David put up 3 solid, yet unremarkable games and bowled above his average.  Right side spares are David’s Achilles heel, if he practices that right side of the lane and somehow figures those pins out, added along with his effortless curve and decent handicap, no one in the league is beating him.

Mufty – Aside from a slight stumble in game 2 Mufty has on fire and consistently was in the pocket on Sunday.  He is a dangerous setup man that can run off solid strike after strike after strike.

Asif – Week after week Asif is solidifying his position as the leagues MVP, and continued this week.  He has been raising his average and can definitely be considering among the leagues elite.

Jason – The best bowler in the league vs. high handicap, high handicap wins this week.  We will see if he has a better chance in the final week when he does not have so many pins to overcome.

Final Thought – With the Pin Pals win SnS’s 1st place lead which they have held for pretty much the entire season is in serious jeopardy in the final week, and the Pin Pals can only get better with their captain Ayaz returning.   SnS need a win in the final week as they have now lost 3 in a row and do not want to back into a first round bye for the playoffs, (both teams today solidified first round byes in the playoffs).  What makes the Pin Pals run so incredible is that throughout the entire season they have never faced a short-handed team in any game, which many would say, are easy points, where-as other teams have faced off against blinds in 2 or even 3 weeks.  Aside from being swept the first two weeks of the season, which may be attributed to bowler rust, the only other loss the Pin Pals have this season was the 1-point loss against SnS mentioned earlier.  They may have shown today that they really are the best team in the league.


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