Thursday, September 25, 2008

Recap: Dallas versus Sluggers in Rd. 5

Another example of how close the Sluggers can play. As a theme, a small advantage was the focus last night. Michael Lee acquired an advantage in the form of active rooks and displayed excellent skill in turning it into two pawns, then victory. Slava aimed for an endgame where his outside passed pawn would be an advantage, but it ended up being only enough to draw. The first board game appeared to be headed into a middlegame contest with an IQP when it took a sharp turn into an ending. That became a bishop’s of opposite color where the players looked to spend more time convincing themselves they could win. So, only Readey’s game was left. It looked like John was working to keep a solid position and didn’t achieve much form the opening. Slowly Bartholomew outplayed him to get to a better ending and a win. A tie match was a common expectation and that’s what we got.

I said on the message board that the Sluggers needed a win to keep realistic playoff hopes alive. That was a bit of an exaggeration, but it doesn’t look great for them. The next 2 Mondays the Sluggers face New York, a team they have had zero luck against, and then the West leading Mechanics. There might be a little pull for the Sluggers against the Mechanics based on the rivalry, but they will need more than some emotional push. The rest of the schedule sees Arizona twice wrapped around a match with Tennessee. As much as I would like to say that the schedule favors them, it just doesn’t. We aren’t entirely sure how good Arizona is and the first match with the Tempo ended in a tie. The Sluggers are not out of the playoffs today, but they have a pretty rough road to get there. There is a bright spot that they hold their fate in their own hands.


Greg Shahade said...

I find it interesting that you would be disheartened by Seattle's remaining schedule, as by all accounts (using opponent's current record as the baseline, which seems like the most logical thing to do) they seem to clearly have the easiest schedule of the three teams they are tied with, and I'm not sure that it's even close.

I think they are the only team out of those four that faces just one team with a winning record, the only team that faces two teams with a losing record...etc etc. So really it's stretching things to act as though their remaining schedule is a hinderance to their playoff hopes IMO, unless you feel that all of their future opponents are drastically underperforming and are much better than their records, which may be true in one or two cases, but seems a bit crazy to say that they have a tough schedule compared to their competition, if you base it on the evidence.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who gets to play Tennesse twice should have an easy road to the playoffs. Did any other team get that luxary? The article is ridiculous for the reasons Mr Shahade mentioned. NY is not doing well at all and you have to play AZ twice.

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