End of season evaluation and review - part 2

Places 6-9At the lower end of the top 8 there was a real scramble for the final playoff spots. This post  focuses on places 6 to 9 as they finished in the regular season and considers how 6th to 8th place performed in the postseason.
Some general observations for 6th to 9th place: Hyvinkää had a wild ride this season, with moments that looked like they would be firmly out of the top 8 and talks of being a potential top 4 team. If there was one word that gave any Tahko fan a cold chill it was “defence”. In a park that has such wide open spaces beyond the outfield, Pihkala can become your own worst enemy if you have a leaky defence. The signs were there from the very build up to the season, with training games against KPL and Manse showing some fundamental flaws. But Hyvinkää have a pretty resilient batting lineup and with veteran Juha Korhonen leading the charge, they could keep in sight of their opponents in any game. 
Seinäjoki started the season strong and looked competitive for a top…

End of season evaluation and review part 1

Places 1-5Now that the season has finished, it is take to take a look back at how the teams performed in 2020. This first post focuses on the top 5 as they finished in the regular season and considers how they performed in the postseason.
Some general observations for the top 5: Joensuu had the world at their feet coming into the postseason, and they feared no opponents. With a winning streak that went to 23 games in total, they looked almost unstoppable, only their local rivals (Kitee) proved to be a challenge. But the bubble burst with a short series against KPL who unlocked Joensuu’s defence at Kerubi in game 1 and Joensuu imploded, losing to KPL and the bronze series to Vimpeli. There was clearly a lot of expectation in the Joensuu ranks, as there had been all year, but a spirited KPL were determined to seize the moment.
The moment however may never have been, if Kitee had clinched the series against KPL. A back and fore series saw KPL on the back foot after Kitee levelled at Rantak…

A message to everyone involved in Superpesis in 2020

I tend not to write purely to thank people, but this year has been a very different year indeed. From the early signs of Coronavirus spreading across Finland and in deed the rest of the world, it looked to be a very dark and sad year for many.
The restrictions that many countries put in place to protect their citizens and their health care systems meant that certain activities could no longer take place, sport around the world had to find a way of adapting. By April and May 2020 the situation in respect of a Superpesis season this year looked very bleak and a number of teams (if not all of them) started to consider how they could survive financially if the season was cancelled.
With reducing infection numbers and some sacrifices from everyone in Finland, the prospects of a season started to emerge and by June 2020 the league had put together a plan with agreement of the teams. Superpesis 2020 would go ahead, but there would need to be a cautious approach to games, with limits on social …

Postseason review: Final

Sotkamon Jymy (2) v Kouvolan Pallonlyöjat (4)Review: Despite a shock home loss to open the series, Sotkamo stunned KPL at KSS before putting on a powerful performance to win their first title in 5 years. The series was exciting and dynamic, but in the end Sotkamo blew their opponents away. Game 1 saw both teams testing the waters and trying to figure each other out, as (for the first time ever) the 2 teams had never met in the regular season. A slender 1-0 lead from Sotkamo was extinguished in the 3rd inning of the first jakso before Jere Dahlström gave KPL the go-ahead runs in the 4th inning. Sotkamo came back from the break looking more composed and put 5 runs on the board before KPL could score. It was Jere Dahlström again who flexed his bat and started to turn the tide with 2 RBIs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. By the 4th inning, Sotkamo’s lead was crumbling fast and saw KPL level the score and with the game thanks to a 2 run home run from Juho Hacklin. 
In Game 2 Sotkamo control…

Postseason preview: final

Sotkamon Jymy (2) v Kouvolan Pallonlyöjat (4)Head to head: As curious a season this is, there has never been a final where the 2 teams haven’t met in the regular season. In fact KPL hasn’t played Sotkamo since 5th September 2019 when Sotkamo won the semifinal series in game 5! It is hard to imagine how these 2 teams will shape up in this series against each other; KPL has a number of high profile players this year that they didn’t have last year and Sotkamo are placing their faith in 17 year old Aapo Komulainen who makes his Superpesis debut this year.Form: KPL took the opening game of their series against Joensuu down to the wire; a scoring contest win gave them the platform for Game 2 at home with the chance of advancing to the final. Up until that series Joensuu hadn’t lost a game since 9th July this year, with 23 straight victories. KPL are arguably on their best form of the season at exactly the right time.Prediction: KPL to win 2-1. Sotkamo to win the opening game.Summary: Well!…

Postseason review: semi finals

Joensuun Maila (1) v Kouvolan Pallonlyöjat (4)Review: Joensuu’s winning streak came to a dramatic end when KPL won Game 1 in a scoring contest (kotiutuskilpailu). After 2 RBI’s from Aleksi Rautiainen in the 1st and 3rd inning, KPL were held scoreless and it looked like “business as usual” for Joensuu, taking the first jakso. The second jakso however saw KPL put the first score on the board as Tommi Mäentausta reached home off Matti Latvala’s hit. Despite 2 more RBI from Aleksi Rautiainen, Joensuu could do nothing more than level the score by the bottom of the 4th inning. KPL then secured the jakso with a Matti Latvala RBI to face the extra inning. The supervuoro was scoreless and the game went to a scoring contest. Reminiscent of Joensuu’s opening loss to IPV, KPL scored the only run in the Kotiutuskilpailu to put them in the driving seat for the series when Tommi Mäentausta was brought home off the bat of veteran hard hitter Jere Dahlström. In Game 2 Aleksi Rautiainen opened the scor…

Postseason preview: semi finals

Joensuun Maila (1) v Kouvolan Pallonlyöjat (4)Head to head: Joensuu continues to dominate, but now they face some serious competition in the form of KPL. Both of this season’s games between these 2 teams saw Joensuu take away 3 points comfortably, you may be forgiven in thinking that this will be an easy win for JoMa; however KPL have a lot of experience and talent in their ranks. Historically, the matchup has been 6-4 in favour of Joensuu, although KPL’s last win came on 30th May 2019. Form: I will repeat what I said in the last preview for Joensuu - their form is immaculate; they haven’t lost a game since 9th July this year! That’s now 23 straight victories. Whilst their wins against PattU in the quarterfinals were not the most elegant, Joensuu manage to do exactly enough to win games. KPL seemed to step up a gear in the post season, brushing off a slightly muted end to what promised to be. KPL put some solid numbers up at both of their home games in their 2-1 series win over Kitee;…