Writing > Heading into the last two weeks

July 20, 2012: Heading into the last two weeks

Diablos Rojos del México 8 Sultanes de Monterrey 2
1:00pm, Wednesday July 18 2012 (game one of a doubleheader)
Time: 2:27
Attendance: 2,597

Diablos Rojos del México 2 Sultanes de Monterrey 3
1:00pm, Wednesday July 18 2012 (game two of a doubleheader)
Time: 2:24
Attendance: 2,932

Diablos Rojos del México 6 Sultanes de Monterrey 8
7:00pm Thursday July 19, 2012
Time: 3:49
Attendance: 5,321

Heading into the Wednesday's doubleheader, it was as tight as you like in the Zona Norte. The top four from each zone advance to the play offs, and with just twelve games remaining for the Diablos, they were in a three-way tie for the two remaining playoff spots. The Sultanes and Reileros, barring a Redsoxian collapse, are gonna make it; and the Diablos, Acereros, and Saraperos are fighting it out for those last two places. While the Diablos were playing the Sultanes, the Acereros and Saraperos were playing each other (Saraperos taking two of three).

Mexico City came out all guns blazing in the first game of the doubleheader. 12 hits, 3 walks, and an error leading them to an 8-2 victory. The second game was more frustrating. They took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, coughed up two runs in the fifth, tied it up in the bottom of the inning, and then off reliever Winston Abreu's first pitch in the seventh and final inning (doubleheaders in Mexico are seven-inning games), Monterrey catcher Luis Juarez hit a home run to left. 3-2 Sultanes. Series tied.

I've not seen this happen in a major league park (but, aside from the SkyDome, I've not been in a major league park for over three years), at Foro Sol last night before the third game of the series, they showed Baseball Bugs on the video screen before the game. Which was nice. The video screen in woefully used in general, with screensaver logo-and-moving-background stuff. They'll do the usual at bat stuff with photo, name, position, a few basic stats, but on the whole, it's cheap and shit. There's a guy with a palm-sized camera that is called the Diablo Cam; he mainly scans the crowd for couples, so the everyone else in the crowd will begin shouting "Beso! Beso!" until they kiss. Nine innings of kiss cam. You can imagine how tedious that becomes.

The animated graphics they use during the game are half a step up from bowling alley graphics. Obviously this is trumpet-blowing in the extreme, but if they let me loose on this place, I could improve it 200%. Really, though, that's not so much about my talents, more about the terrible stuff they currently have. This team needs a makeover do badly. They have decent uniforms (if you ignore the league-wide advertising on jerseys and sometimes pants), but that's about it. The Twitter feed is tedious, the Web site is a joke, the promotional graphics they use on Twitter and Facebook look like your mum has suddenly discovered that Photoshop has things called filters.

Everything about this team seems to be aimed at people who don't really actively like baseball. I guess that's part of a baseball team's deal, though: getting casual fans to buy tickets. Ad at last night's game there was, relatively, a lot of people. Over 5,000, which is pretty good for a Diablos midweek game. But you just get the feeling that most of them don't know or care about the current situation.

The Diablos kinda need to win these home games. They're far better at home (34-18) than on the road (21-31). Thankfully, they've only got three road games remaining, but it still means they gotta win the home games. And for a glorious bottom of the seventh, it looked like they might win last night. They'd out-hit the Sultanes all game, but were down 5-1 going into the bottom of the seventh. They put up five runs, taking the lead into the eighth. And immediately gave up three runs. That's how it ended. Not really an ideal start to the last two weeks of the season, but they're still in it. Each of the contending teams have 55 wins, the Saraperos have 47 defeats, and Diablos and Acereros both have 49. I'm not sure of how it works if teams have the same record at the end of the season, but hopefully, with three games against the .398 Broncos this weekend, the Diablos won't need any tiebreaker situation.