The good news from the Yorkton Cardinals opening weekend: they can pitch, keeping the scores low in three out of four games. The bad news: there might not be much run support this year. After winning their opening game 8-5 in Melville, the Cardinals dropped all three of their games in their homestand. With a 2-1 loss to the Regina Red Sox, a 3-1 loss to Melville and a 6-3 loss to the Weyburn Beavers, the Cardinals have shown warning signs of potentially dead bats.
With a few more hits, the Cardinals very well could have ended opening weekend on the top of the standings. In the loss to the Red Sox both teams put together solid pitching performances before the Red Sox willed out a late inning run to break the tie and foil the Cardinals home opener celebrations. More of the same was on display in the Cardinals Sunday afternoon clash at Jubilee Park against the Millionaires as once again the Cardinals hot pitching kept them in the game despite zero run support from their batters. In the Weyburn game to wrap up the homestand the Cardinals scored one run in the ninth and loaded the bases with one out, but the Weyburn reliever shut the door on the Cardinals promising comeback bid. Cardinals assistant coach Riley Gallu confirmed that the Cardinals hitting could be better saying, “It’s plain and simple, you can’t win games if you don’t hit.”
It is entirely possible that the Cardinals hitting woes are a product of the early travel and unfamiliarity of the players and their surroundings with many of the WMBL players coming from various United States colleges, making these hitting woes just an outlier that will change with added game experience. If the Cardinals do not get out of their early season slump they will find themselves trying to drag themselves back into the playoff race quickly.
But with good pitching the Cardinals do have promise to be a competitive ball club as they have kept themselves in games until the late innings in each of their three losses. Another area the Cardinals could look to for some added run support is the basepaths, something coach Gallu addressed as a possible area of improvement for the ball club.
Overall despite the less than desirable results at home the Cardinals have shown that they will be close and entertaining baseball and won’t give up on games even when things aren’t going their way.
The Cardinals have a chance to turn things around as they head to Weyburn for a doubleheader followed by a home game against Melville at Jubilee Park Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.