Author Archives: Marcus

Time to sprint to the play offs!

We’re at the last games of the regular season. The Sharks (6-6) are currently located in the upper part of the Swedish second division (Regional series) at sixth place.

Here’s how the playoff works:
The top three teams qualify for the second round playoffs where the winner could earn a spot in the Elite series.
Teams placed 4-7 will have to play a first round qualifying playoff to earn the forth spot with the top placed teams in the second round.

The Sundbyberg Heat B will not take part in the playoffs since Sundbyberg Heat is already in the Elite series.

The Sharks are scheduled to play Skövde Saints in back to back double headers (this Sunday August 19th at Shark Park and Sunday September 2nd in Skövde). Four games to go. That will put us in an excellent position to reach the first round of the playoffs with an outside chance to go straight to the second round.

The Gothenburg Sharks are two games ahead of Enskede, Gefle and Skellefteå who are all in position to make it to the first round playoffs. Gefle and Skellefteå only has two games left to play while Enskede has six.

Looking upwards, Uppsala has nine wins and five games left to play. Tranås currently in a position to qualify straight to the second round also sits on nine wins with four games to go.

In the unlikely event of Tranås are swept by Karlskoga and Alby and Uppsala are swept by Enskede and Stockholm B (and possibly a postponed game vs Sundbyberg B) the Sharks has a chance to qualify straight to the second round.

Winning at least three games out of the four left versus Skövde Saints will guarantee the Sharks a spot in first round play offs regardless how the other teams perform.

The league just announced that the first round playoffs are held in Umeå (8-9/9) and the second round is hosted in Karlskoga (15-16/9).

Umeå is located some 1000km ride by car up north in Sweden.

Join us for the last home game of the season at Shark Park on Sunday 19/8. First pitch at 12!

Welcome to the 2015 season!

So the Schedule for the 2015 season is official. The first game of the season is away vs Botkyrka on the 2:nd of May. Gothenburg Sharks won the last series of the season, the series to stay in the Elitserien vs Botkyrka. It so happened that Karlskoga Bats decided to leave the Elitseries and reboot in the second division. Bokyrka took Karlskogas spot. This season starts how the last one ended, versus Botkyrka.

Join our events on the hajarna.se on facebook to make sure you get updates and get a notification when the we’re closer to gameday.

The home opener will be a week later, the 9th of May vs Leksand Lumberjacks. Leksand lost the championship to Stockholm in the 5th and final game of the final series.

First round of play down series vs Karlskoga

The Sharks were heading for Karlskoga for the first round of play down series. In 2013 the managed to win the third and deciding game away in Alby. Alby eventually lost to Sölvesborg who took Albys spot in the Elitseries.
Karlskoga almost managed to avoid a playdown spot but Leksand lost one game to Sölvesborg in the last round and forced Karlskoga to the first playdown round instead of to the play offs for the cup.

Althought he forecast projected light rain, the weather decided against. It was pouring at times and when the light rain took over it was just enough to keep the field wet. Since the teams were running out of days to play the series, they did all they could to get at least one game going. The field in Karlskoga is located on a hill of rocks and sand, perfect to let the water go quickly. That gave the Karlskoga team some hopes to get a game going despite of the puddles on the field, if it just would stop rain.
The teams were in luck. Some time after 1600 it was decided that they should get a game going and around 1700 the Umpire called out “Play ball!”.

Karlskoga Pitcher Parker Talbert was phenominal on the hill the six innings he were allowed to pitch. Niklas Hellerstedt started for Gothenburg and Christian Göttlisher took over after Niklas got in trouble after a few innings. The Karlskoga was up 14-1 after six innings. Gothenburg was forced to score at least four runs in top seven to keep the game alive. Some time there, Karlskoga did some substitutions, removing two solid players from the line up adding younger players. Gothenburg moved Patric Laffin from catching to center field adding Lundborg for catching. Khazal took over third from Weidolf. Previously Ted Bratsberg substituted Niklas Ekström on first base.
The Sharks rose to the occasion and gave Karlskoga pitching a hard time scoring just enough runs to keep the game alive and continued to score two more runs in the eight! Gothenburg entered top eight with five runs for and 14 against. Karlskoga was forced to a pitcher change when the coach for the second time entered the field in top eight with two outs and left the ball to Karlskoga veteran Kent Karlsson with Karlskoga ahead .
The Sharks got the upper hand on Karlsson directly in the top ninth by producing solid hits from the burning hot Gothenburg bats. Karlskoga was still ahead eight runs but the Sharks wasn’t interested in giving up. The first five at bats all scored. Fredrik Lundborg finally got to third with two outs, representing the tying run after a phenominal comeback by the Sharks. The go-ahead-run was on second represented by Göttlisher after 10 at bats for the inning. Karlskoga managed two outs during the inning. Kahzal was at the plate for the second time of the inning and everyone was ready for the miracle! It was in some sense really well deserved after picking up the game almost tying it despite they were down 13 runs not even three innings ago. In some other sense, Karlskoga deserved to walk off with the win in game one. Kahzal hits a groundball to third which manages the paly to first for the game. So very close for an awesome comeback.

The Sharks lost the second game of the series 12-2 that was eventually played when the rain calmed down on Sunday. This puts the Sharks in the second round of the down series.

The Sharks must now play either Botkyrka or Rättvik for a second chance to stay in the Eliteseries. The rain has caused some trouble for the commissioner of finding a way to play all games. The current idea is to play the qualifying games on Sunday. Actually, it looks like whatever scenario we’re looking at, we’re playing ball in Shark Park on Sunday! See you there for games that means a lot for the future of the ball club.

The history repeats itself

The Gothenburg Sharks will have to face Karlskoga Bats once again the upcoming weekend. The teams met at Shark Park just more than a week ago in a double header where Karlskoga Bats won both games. Even though the numbers were greatly in favor of Karlskoga the games were closer than the numbers were. Gothenburg will travel to Karlskoga for the three game series to directly stay in the Elitseries the upcoming weekend! Two games on Saturday and possibly a third and directly deciding game on Sunday.

Karlskoga played in the other end of the series just last year and lost the cup in the fourth game vs Stockholm. In 2012, Karlskoga went all the way and won the cup in the fourth game of the five game series vs Leksand.

The loser of the series will have to face the winner of the second division play offs in a three game series. The winner will play in the Eliteseries 2015.

The Karlskoga Bats are of course favorites to win the first series. Stockholm was also the favorite to win vs Sölvesborg to go into the final the past weekend. Stockholm was down 6-5 starting bottom ninth in the third and directly decisive game and managed to turn it around to win! Sölvesborg was just inches from giving Stockholm two losses on the same weekend. That was almost twice as many as Stockholm lost in the entire season! The Stockholm Monarchs showed good morale and turned the game around and earned a very well deserved spot in the final vs Leksand after only one loss in the regular season.

The Gothenburg Sharks played Alby Stars in the playdown last year to stay in the series. Those games were away at Seagull Park where the Sharks almost killed the series in the second of the games. The second game went into extra innings and then the darkness took over and had to be taken up again prior to a possible game three. The game two of the series was taken up again the day after but the Sharks failed to capitalize on the extra nights sleep losing the game in the twelfth inning. That was just pure fuel to the Sharks bats which caught fire. The Alby Stars had to resign after eight innings losing the game 5-18. The Alby Stars eventually lost to Sölvesborg who took over the Alby Stars spot in the Elitseries.

The Sharks have been into a playdown before. They came out on top. Will the history repeat itself once again? The odds are against, the players are for! Go Sharks!

Four games at Shark Park this weekend

The Stockholm Monarchs are visiting Shark Park on Saturday in the Eliteseries. Tranås will play the Gothenburg team in the regional series on Sunday!

The Stockholm have had a fabulous season with only one loss. The Swedish National team is pretty much built around the Stockholm team. You could expect to watch some really good baseball. With this years track record the Monarchs are coming to Gothenburg expecting nothing less than two wins. The Sharks managed to score twice when the team visited Stockholm, but the teams offense have grown a lot tighter since. Some of Stockholm’s wins were really tight, so the Sharks should not have given up in advance to grab the second loss of the season for Stockholm.

Partial success against Sölvesborg

The Sharks managed to win one game but had to give up one in the double header played the past weekend. They will bring that with them on the road versus Leksand Lumberjacks the upcoming weekend.

Sölvesborg Firehawks brought the former Gothenburg Sharks players Brian Strawn and Evan Porter and a lot of faces shined up saying hello to their formed teammates and friends.

Game one was close to nothing but hungry Sharks. They made it hard for Sölvesborg to get on base and they really hit the ball well. Pitching worked, batting worked and defense worked. It looked really easy to play ball out there for the Sharks. The Sharks wasn’t satisfied with just hits, several extra base hits were noticed. Spencer Kreissberg pitched and gave up 4 hits, 2 walks and 7 strike outs. Laffin, which struggled a bit with his bat this year was two for four with one run and two runs batted in. Even though Joe went 0 for 2 he walked twice and scored once. He is .222 for the season but his on base percentage is .359. Weidolf had a very good game at bat and went 2 for 3 and walked once. Patrick Carlson joined the team for the first time this season and left the day with a .333 batting average with two extra base hits. José Muñoz is .400 for the season after Saturdays games. Norderum produced as usual at bat was 2 for 3 with one walk. The game was cut early when the Sharks scored their 10th run in the seventh.

The Sharks went into the second game full with confidence after the win. Norderum started on the mound. Something was troubling Jason. He started with a 1-2-3 inning and everything looked fine. He had a really tough time commanding his pitches and set a record high hit by pitch and walked three in the game. He had several guys at two strikes but put them on base due to walks to hit by pitch a few times. He was taken out of the game in the fourth and hopefully there was nothing serious troubling him. Despite this, the standing was 1-1 entering the fourth with even though the Firehawks was commanding the game until that point. Jason was responsible for the two Firehawks on base with no outs and Hiba entered the mound. For some reason the Sharks totally lost it at the time. Errors happened and the defense totally broke down. Sölvesborg scored no less than eight times of which Hiba was responsible for one and Jason two. The Sharks did failed to recover after that devastating fourth inning. The game ended 1-12 in the seventh.

It is hard to tell what really happened in that second game. Perhaps the team just ran out of fuel after the first really successful game which they dominated?

We wish the Sharks best of luck on the road versus Leksand Lumberjacks and welcome them back 26th of July when Stockholm is visiting Shark Park!

The Sharks are coming back home!

It’s been a slow month for the fans situated in Gothenburg. The team has been playing two double headers away but they will squeeze in a double header home before the month is over. The newcomers Sölvesborg Firehawks will visit Shark Park Saturday 28th of June! Sölvesborg had a terrible start of the season but managed to catch some wins. They are six for fourteen, same as Karlskoga Bats.

The Gothenburg Sharks had a terrible set of games on the road versus Karlskoga and Sundbyberg. Lets hope that they can just forget about the games in Karlskoga and bring the offense back home from the Sundbyberg into the important double headers versus Sölvesborg on Saturday and get back into the series before it is far too late.

Karlskoga away (June 1)

Karlskoga has had some really good seasons the past years. Runner up in 2013 (lost the final vs Stockholm) and winner 2012. They were knocked out by the Gothenburg Sharks in the semi final 2011. Things have gone a bit slow this season though. Six wins after 14 games. Two of them versus the Sharks the first of June. The Sharks lost game one 10-0 after the Karlskoga, at times phenomenal, pitcher Paul Waterman shut down the Sharks completely. He allowed no hits, two walks and was noted for 8 strike outs. Kim Berglind started game one for the Sharks. He’s normally found in Uppsala but reinforced the Sharks. He allowed five hits and two runs in five full innings. Kristoffer Örjelund took over the mound in the sixth giving up three hits and seven walks in two and two thirds innings. Wilhelm Sundin took the Sharks and pitched a third of a inning but failed to prevent the tenth run (Kristoffer was responsible) and the game was ended premature in the eight.

Game two was pitched by the Karlskoga import Parker Talbert the first six innings allowing only one hit and Simon Andersson finished the Sharks off with a clean top seventh inning with one strike out and no hits, giving Talbert the win after Karlskoga scored 11 runs during the initial six innings. Jason Norderum and Hiba Nabi pitched game two. Jason gave up an unusual three earned runs (six scored during the first six) and Hiba added four earned and one unearned. During those seven innings the Sharks failed to get on the board heading back to Gothenburg scoreless.

Sundbyberg away (June 14).

Some two weeks later, on the 14:th of June, the Sharks travelled to Sundbyberg. Sundbyberg Heat have had a good 2014 season. They are one game behind Leksand Lumberjacks and four games behind the leaders Stockholm Monarchs.

The games vs Sundbyberg was the first one for Spencer Kreisberg who made his first appearance in the Swedish Elitseries since 2012 (playing for Karlskoga Bats). The Sharks lost the game 16-6 after seven innings. The frustrating part is that the Sharks let 16 runs of which 11 wasn’t earned! Spencer started on the mound for Gothenburg and had to see the Sundbyberg cross home plate ten times. Only one of those ten runs was earned. Hiba relieved one inning and had to let six runs of which four was earned. The game was ended premature in the seventh. Joe Lankford, and Spencer scored twice and Norderum and Melendez scored once. A multi hit day for the reinforcement Simon Tysk. Runs batted in by Laffin, Tysk, Melendez and Olivia.

Game two just want’s one that Gothenburg was supposed to win. Pitching wasn’t working, defense wasn’t working and the bats wasn’t working. Exception to that was the top of the batting order where Joe and Spencer did what they could. Both scored runs and both had extra base hits. Runs batted in by Laffin and Spencer.

Patrick Laffin have struggled this season. Half way through it his average has dropped from over .400 last season to .282 just now. He had 17 walks last year and halfway through this year he’s down to 2. Patrick is one of the keys to the Gothenburg offence, so lets hope that the numbers are going back to what they were last year and his team mates follow.

 

Busy weekend

Everyone have seem to enjoy the extra days off and kept themselves busy. The Sharks were no exception! A double header versus the Swedish Academy on Thursday and two more games today versus the Karlskoga Bats.

akademin

Gothenburg Sharks had to surrender game one versus the Swedish Academy but came back and took game number two. The Sharks blew up the zero in winnings column!

However, it seems like four games within four days took its toll on the Sharks. According to first results from Karlskoga, they failed to come up on the board in either of the games.

We’ll produce a more extended report from the weekend later on this week.

Two wins for Sundbyberg

The Sharks woke up late this Saturday. Sundbyberg was up early and ready for the games. That mimics how the games were played. A shortened game one due to Sundbyberg’s hot bats and an exiting second game was up for display for the audience!

Hiba started out pitching for the Sharks. As always when Hiba pitches, it is with a huge love of the game and his team mates. As always when Hiba pitches he seems to need an inning to get lose to put his best work to the plate. He had to see a few opponents score early, but that wasn’t on his watch. The Gothenburg infield defense let their pitcher down. The pitcher/catcher/infield communication didn’t work out really well either, with seven stolen bases for the game. The fourth inning was when the numbers went through the roof. No more than eight runs was scored there. Even though Hiba had to give up a few runs on his account, the defense wasn’t able to help him out. The Sharks should have shut down that inning prior to when it actually ended. Not that anything of this matter, because with a run support of two (2!) you can’t afford to give up that many runs! Just a hint of what defensive numbers that were up; Sundbyberg scored 17 runs during the game and had 9 runs batted in (RBI). That means eight runs walked in due to mistakes. A run support of two is far away from making up for it…

A good thing they woke up after that!

Because that was what they did! If the team weren’t awake already, Curtis Dionne made his first appearance of the season to make the final wake up call to the team. The semi-retired Shark icon had the possibility to sneak in to a game and he meant business. He took on the catching position and managed to keep up with Jason’s pitching quite well. The Sundbyberg were forced to see their stealing numbers go down to the floor and was picked off once. Jason Norderum put up with six innings of pitching where he was in deep trouble a few times. He managed to get out of the jam but the team let two runs of which none were earned. Meanwhile the Gothenburg offense managed to produce three runs in the third and fourth. Curtis Dionne took over on the mound and kept the opponents scoreless in the seventh. He had to see the first batter in the eight get on base and then gave up a go ahead homer to Philip Gajzler. Curtis managed one more out before giving up the mound to Wilhelm Sundin who quickly shut down the inning with a double play.

Wilhelm’s pithing seems to have improved a lot the past year. A completely different speed in the pitches than what we’ve seen before.

Curtis was at bat with two outs and two Sharks on base in the eight caused some extra discussions among the fans afterwards. Curtis appeared to have checked his swing well ahead of the plate with full count on the board, but the plate umpire wasn’t sure and asked for the assistance of the second umpire. He was well positioned between the mound and the short stop and decided that he did not check his swing tearing down all comeback chances for Gothenburg there. Curtis managed to calm down after some initial frustration. That wasn’t something Johan Weidlolf managed to do in the top ninth where he was sent back to the dugout to calm down. What seemed to be a very solid play to second to get ahead of the runner was turned down by the very same umpire that put Curtis away earlier. Home plate ump couldn’t be of any help to overturn the decision and due to that play the Sundbyberg managed to score two more runs, setting the final score to 6-3 in favor of Sundbyberg.

It seems like the Sharks haven’t earned that extra little help of a correct bounce, a critical decision going their way just yet. The infield defense it a huge problem just now. Joe Lankford moved into the short stop position for the second game and Johan Weidolf taking over the third base, which gave that little extra stability that the Sharks were looking for. The catcher position and second base are still looking for some reliability and consistency.

Jason put up with some solid pitching but seemed to lose his concentration a few times almost costing him a stolen base, a pair of hit by pitch and an error at first base after leaving the mound. His offense and pitching is very impressive though. The Sharks other American Patrick Laffin is putting up a solid .368 for the season but was kind of quiet the last game. I’m not sure that he saw a single ball coming his way at center field the second game and put up with one hit. He went two for three in the first game. The defensive adjustments moving Joe Lankford to short stop and Weidolf to third and having Nicklas Ekström taking on first really tightened that infield defense, making it much harder for the Sundbyberg to get on base.

Even though the Sharks were reinforced with Curtis Dionne the second game making a huge difference, the team came out as a different team. They stood up for one another and really dared to make the plays! A much wanted shift mentally giving them some confidence for the future. Even though the Sharks still are looking for a win this season, that game is getting closer by the minute. They showed off some impressive come back will in game two giving them a chance to come back on top. Perhaps on Thursday vs the Swedish Academy? Will you support the Sharks at Shark Park versus the future of Swedish baseball?