Were you curious how you lose baseball games in an efficient way?
The Sharks excelled in that on Sunday.
“We just didn’t make the plays,” former bench coach Joel Earnest says.
The return of veteran Joe Lankford and having a full bench of players did not help as Göteborg Hajarna (4-6) basically handed Tranås (3-1) two victories last Sunday.
Once again, a no name reporter was named manager of the team in Jonny Edgren’s absence. He did not do well.
After inserting himself third in the batting order he was helpless at the plate. Going 0-4 with two strikeouts and an error in right field, adding frustration to the Hajarna faithful who turned out for the home opener.
The Sharks sent legendary pitcher Hiba Nabi (0-1) to the mound in the first game. Despite pitching well, Nabi had nothing to show for it at the end of the day. He ended up taking the loss, going six innings, giving up six runs (four earned) on seven hits, striking out seven and walking four.
Nabi lost the game on multiple errors from the Sharks’ defense as the Tranås defense was not up to speed with his pitching. On offense, the Sharks in general were decent enough but the run-producing side that has been thriving playing away from home seemed caught up in the seriousness of the moment in the first series at Shark Park.
The Sharks found themselves trailing in the first and were still trailing until they tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, just to give up the lead again in the sixth. In the end, Hajarna handed Tranås a 6-4 win in game one.
“We didn’t have it today. Neither offense nor defense showed up,” the interim manager said.
That same interim manager at least did something good that day. Benching himself and scribbling down Niclas Ekström’s name in the number three spot for game two.
Ekström, tied for second in the league in on base percentage (.714), promptly showed why the no name reporter should stick to coaching when he smacked a long double to left center and generating good at bats. Together with good defense from the Sharks in general, and excellent defense from catcher Toofan Khazal in particular, they kept it close.
Tranås and Hajarna traded runs for the first four innings behind Mokhlad Al-Ghaminis (1-1) solid start as the game was tied at 2-2 four innings. Mikael Lindquist threw a perfect fifth inning before the floodgates
opened. The Sharks gave away eight runs in that fateful inning, mostly with a display of bad defense.
“I guess the upside is that was a season’s worth of errors, hopefully we’re done with that now,” the interim manager said.
Al-Ghamini got a no decision behind his excellent pitching, going four innings of two-run ball, on seven hits and one walk, striking out eight.
Tranås eventually took game two 12-2.
Joe Lankford, in his comeback, walked twice scored a run and stole a base.
Joel Earnest was activated from the 60-day DL after the game. To make room on the roster, the interim manager put himself on the DL.
Mokhlad Al-Ghamini leads the league in K/9, striking out 16,71 per nine innings.
John LaChine also made his comeback on Sunday, going 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Next game is on Sunday, July 19th when the Malmö Pilots visit Shark Park, First pitch is at scheduled for 12:00.