After four full weekends of play in the IBL Tommasin Padova is no long the solo proprietor of the top spot in the league, with the Rimini Pirates and UnipolSai Bologna now joining them after their respective two game sweeps last weekend.
This past Sunday, Padova missed out on a big opportunity that would have given them a four game advantage over the 5th place Nettuno club, a very important figure considering the number of games played in the first round of the IBL where only the top four clubs move on. Padova has already faced two very tough teams thus far in 2015, where they took 1 of 2 from Bologna and then 2 of 2 from Rimini. Look for Padova to have another chance this weekend to add some much needed distance in the standing in their quest towards a postseason birth when they take on a 2 and 6 Parma club in a home-away 2 game series.
Nettuno comes out of their fourth weekend of play with a bittersweet taste in their mouth… Walking away with a huge win on Sunday made swallowing the probable loss of Nunez for the remainder of the season a little bit easier… That plus the fact that Nunez’s would be replacement is batting an impressive .647 (11 for 17). This upcoming weekend is without a doubt an important one for this group as they will be welcoming in a very experienced San Marino club who is currently filling in that 4th spot in the league, a game and a half up in the standings.
The two clubs that benefited the most with Padova’s series split were UnipolSai Bologna and Rimini, as they were both able to walk away with series sweeps themselves… Bologna over Parma and Rimini over Nettuno2. Bologna seemed to have a little more trouble on the weekend taking care of a Parma club that they more then likely underestimated, winning game one in Parma by the final of 1-0 and then game 2 in Bologna on Sunday by the final of 2-1. Rimini on the other hand got to Nettuno2 5-2 in game one and then 10-4 in game two. It’s easy to say that these two clubs have a ways to go yet in terms of returning back to form, a scary thought for the rest of the league. At the moment Bologna’s mound has held their own, while it’s been Rimini’s offense that has been the difference maker over the last couple of weeks, an offense that saw the return of Peppe Mazzanti, who right off the bat lent a huge helping hand with his 4 hits and 4 RBI’s on the weekend. This upcoming weekend should be an interesting one when these two powerhouses meet up in a home-away two game set beginning on Friday.
Currently filling in the 4th spot in the league you can find the 2014 EU Camps, T&A San Marino. San Marino has had a rough go thus far, not living up to the standards on the offensive side of the ball that the club is accustomed to (.233 team batting average). That plus the fact that their so-called foreign ace, Romulo Sanchez didn't hold his own in his short stint in the IBL. Sanchez’s replacement on the roster, Eduardo Figueroa, will be available this weekend after his arrivale from Venezuela. With that said San Marino is still sitting pretty in the standings, and have a huge opportunity this weekend to add some much needed distance between them and the number 5 team in the league, Nettuno, when they face off head-to-head down in Rome on Friday and Saturday.
Parma and Angel Service Nettuno2 are both currently sitting at a 2 and 6 mark on the season. On Parma’s side it’s been the offense that has been the culprit of this sub .500 start to 2015, with the club as a whole batting just .180. With that said, Parma’s mound has been spectacular… in fact the club currently holds the second best ERA in the league, allowing just 2.23 runs per 9 innings. As for Nettuno2, the top of the lineup has been swinging a decent stick thus far, but their mound has not held up at all against the rest of the league, posting an inflated ERA of .527 against opposing lineups.
Finally, the club sitting at the bottom of the standings with just a single ‘W’ on the season is Godo. Surprisingly Godo claims name to the best mound in the IBL (.214 ERA), however the lack of run support has dramatically taken any spectacular pitching performance out of the equation, as the the team is batting just .173. Godo will try to change their luck against the worst mound in the IBL, Nettuno2, this weekend on their home diamond.