It’s been two long and arduous weeks without a drop of baseball to watch at Nat Bailey Stadium.
The Vancouver Canadians Baseball Squadron (or Troupe, if you prefer) last played at home on May 14 (versus Everett) before embarking on a scenic bus tour of Washington State.
And that last game at home was an unfortunate loss, of the drubbing variety, with the Aquasox thumping us 16 to 6.
Needless to say, and I think I speak for the rest of the hometown faithful here, I’ll be glad to see the C’s return on May 30 so they can wash away the memory of that getaway game from the part of my brain that is responsible for baseball recollection. Which I believe is the Occipital Lobe.
In anticipation of the C’s (hopefully) triumphant return to the Nat, I wanted to do a little checking in and a little previewing for the upcoming homestand so we’re all ready to go come first pitch on Tuesday.
Checking in: Current stats
With this being a weekly column, I don’t want to spend too much time on the standings, as things can change so much day to day that what goes to print can quickly become more irrelevant than a snowplow in the summer.
But. As of this writing, the C’s are tied for second place in the Northwest League with Spokane, who they just so happen to be on the road playing until May 28th. Both teams are a half game back from the first place Eugene Emeralds. Who they just happen to be playing when they return on May 30th.
There are a myriad of different ways everything could shake out, but suffice it to say, this upcoming series at home will likely be an important factor in the league's first-half playoff picture.
And, just in case you forgot, here’s how the playoffs work in our small but noble league, straight off the MiLB website:
“With only six clubs in the Northwest League, the format for the Postseason will consist of a single, best-of-five Championship series. The two playoff participants will be decided based on the best winning percentage of each half. In the event the same Club wins both halves, the Club with the next best winning percentage in the second half will advance.”
We’re still firmly in the first half, but it’s almost June and that can become July pretty darn quick. If the C’s want to clinch in the first half, doing more winning than losing in Spokane and then at home will go a long way to help that cause.
Previewing: Eugene Emeralds take on the Vancouver Canadians
As I have already mentioned (it’s like I won’t shut up about it) it’s the Eugene Emeralds who roll into town when baseball returns to Vancouver at the end of May. Last year’s champions and the team I am currently advocating to be our greatest rival.
It should be a juicy series to sink our teeth into and I wanted to flag a couple of players on each team (the villains and the heroes, respectively) to keep an eye on.
On the villainous Emeralds (the High A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) watch out for Luis Toribio, who leads the team in homeruns, and Grant McCray, who has 17 stolen bases on the year and is the Giant’s # 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
On the heroic C’s, Rainer Nunez appears to be heating up offensively and catcher Andres Sosa has returned to playing action after a stint on the Injured List.
So, there you have it. Baseball returns to our fair city after a horrendously long hiatus. Get your pencils and your scorecards ready and join me (won’t you?) as always, at the Nat!