After months of anticipation, the 2011 Elm City Baseball season kicked off in abbreviated fashion last week. The Mile Mackerel welcomed the ECB’s newest member, the Colorado 470s, into the league in Leg 1 of the battle for The Shield Of Gratitude. Mile High finished just outside of the playoffs in 2010 and was looking to start the season off on a positive note for a potential playoff run. Colorado, under new ownership, has made no bones about the fact that their days of being the ECB doormat are over, and looked to prove their point by defeating their crosstown rivals in the Denver Derby.
In a week free of two start pitchers and very many closing opportunities, the focus was on hitting in Week 1, and the 470s answered the bell with a flurry. Scanlan’s squad launched 11 homers as a team in just 4 days led by 3 from inaugural draft pick Ian Kinsler. Mile High kept pace with 10 homers of their own, putting both Colorado teams at the top of league in that category after Week 1. The 26-point win by the 470s can be attributed to the Mackerel’s all-or-nothing approach at the plate. As a team they registered exactly 0 doubles for the week (25 1Bs and 2 3Bs). Tack on an extra win late in the weekend for Colorado’s Gio Gonzalez, and the 470s ended the week winning their first ever series 5-4.
“Is was great to get our first series win,” Scanlan said, “but it was almost more important to make a statement coming into the league. Things worked out very well for the squad this week. Hopefully we can ride that wave into our first full week of action against the Tiger Army.”
Mile High GM Jon Bielecki spoke with a sense of subdued optimism after Week 1’s loss, “We’re not too worried about Week 1,” he said, “Lincecum could have gotten a win on Opening Day, and I’m fairly certain Tulo will get a few hits this year. Teixeira snagging Player Of The Week honors was huge after struggling early on last season. We’re pretty happy with the squad as-is for the moment.”
Mile High will take on Baltimore in Week 2 starting on Monday.