Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ALGOS RETURN HOME WITH BACKS AGAINST WALL

It’s not as though the Guasave Algodoneros haven’t already faced adversity this season.

Midway through the 2011-12 campaign, the Algos had lost 27 of 35 games, including their last 16 contests to close out the first half of the schedule. Guasave finished eight games behind seventh-place Hermosillo for just 3 points, and fans had to be wondering what new manager Enrique "Che" Reyes was going to do after taking over from Matias Carrillo at that point, espcially since Reyes himself had been dispatched by Los Mochis. So what did happen in the second half?

In perhaps the most amazing in-season turnaround in Mex Pac history, Reyes guided the Algodoneros to a 21-12 record while winning the second half title by a game over Hermosillo. Yes, the Algos finished with an underwhelming 29-39 mark with a low-scoring offense and the worst pitching in the circuit, but if nothing else, this team showed they won’t quit.

However, this time around, Guasave doesn’t have 35 games to right the ship. After dropping the first two games of the LMP championship series in Obregon, the Algodoneros are home for up to three games, and they can’t win just one of them. 1B Japhet Amador (.327/5/11) and 2B Jose Rodriguez (.314/4/12) have hit well in the postseason, but OFs Brad Snyder (.127) and Leo Heras (.125) have just 12 hits between them in 14 playoff games while IFs Tony Thomas (.216) and Daryle Ward (.227) have struggled. And the Algos’ pitching staff has GOT to do better than show a 5.04 ERA as they have thus far.

Che Reyes has already proven he can pull a rabbit out of a hat this season, but he’s going to have to do it again soon against an Obregon team gunning for its second consecutive flag and a shot at repeating as Caribbean Series champions. Game Three is Tuesday night in Guasave’s Estadio Francisco Carranza Limon with Game Four set for Wednesday night.

A little magic show, anyone?