Author Archives: Marcus

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?

The regional team fighting Knights

The Sharks playing in the regional series was off to fight the Nyköping Knights. The Sharks in the regional series have had it tough to score wins the previous seasons. They are still looking for a win this season, but it was really close in Sundays game. Here’s a report from the games by Alexander Rikner:

Heartbreaking losses in Nyköping

The regional team dropped both games at Nyköping Knights on Sunday. Hajarna took the lead in the first game and the game was tight behind Ted Bratsbergs pitching and stellar defense through four innings. Hajarna fought back from a 1-3 hole to tie the game up at 3-3 in the top of the fifth. From there, it was all Nyköping. The Knights came right back in the bottom of the fifth to take a 6-3 lead. Holding Hajarna scoreless in the top of the sixth, the Knights kept going in the bottom of the inning scoring seven runs to end the game 13-3.

The second game was pure baseball entertainment. Once again, Hajarna struck first taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Nyköping fought back and when Hajarna came back in contention in the top of the fifth with the score 4-5, the Knights drove in two runs in the bottom half. But this one was not decided yet. Hajarna refused to give up and scored three runs in the top of the sixth to tie the game up at seven runs a piece. The Knights, however, was not discouraged. Capitalizing on a couple of misplays by Hajarna they took the lead with 8-7 and held on in the top of the seventh to seal a double win.

Anton Ericsson provides some images and stories about burgers from the games.

Next chance to catch a Shark game at home will be this Saturday at 1pm when the Gothenburg Sharks welcomes Sundbyberg Heat in a double header. The regional team’s next home game is not scheduled until July 6 versus the Nyköping Knights. All scheduled games are available at the games section.

Nothing for free

Sölvesborg decided to not give anything for free today! Game one was not only lost in the second but also in the sixth. The Gothenburg run support had four runs coming in the fourth and seventh, the Sölvesborg scored 5 in the second. They scored 9 more until the game was over in the seventh inning.

Gothenburg featured Jason Norderum in the second game. A good coaching move! Make sure to get away with at least one game pitchingwise. If we would just scratch out inning five of this game we would come out on top. Since I didn’t see that game, just reading the play by play, that inning five was no earned run for the pitcher and the team let six.

Game one was lost due to doubles, not seeing them I can’t say if they were well deserved or not, but three consecutive normally isn’t just the pitchers fault. The latter runs wasn’t earned. The Sharks got a problem supporting the pitching staff with good defense. Good thing is that they are up on the board! The defense could be Lundquist good 97%, but with no run/goal support there is nothing left to win.

I hope that the Sharks goes back into Shark Park and makes the most out of their practices to come back strengthened for the next home game. That would be home at Shark Park vs Sundbyberg next weekend on the 24th.

On a separate note, Stockholm won two games away vs Karlskoga making the Stockholm Monarchs still undefeated for the season. Leksand won two games vs Sundbyberg. Looking forward to the home games vs Sundbyberg Heat next weekend!

Weekend wrap up

The past weekend was full of baseball!

Leksand @ Gothenburg

Leksand Lumberjacks was visiting Gothenburg in the Elitseries. A beautiful day where the games was preceded by the national anthem and the ceremonial first pitch. A lot of people found their way to the Shark Park which was offering both sun and some occasional clouds! The spectators could not only enjoy the weather but also some good pitching from both teams. Even though the game was not as tight as a Shark fan would have hoped, it was an exciting one where the Sharks failed to produce enough runs in the end. Even though it wasn’t the failing factor in this game, the defense needs polishing. The Sharks seems to have problems producing the extra sharpness and have the quicker feet when needed for the final out. The passiveness or perhaps choosing a play with a lot of margin let Leksand on base a few too many times.

Game two featured pretty much all of the Gothenburg pitching staff available. Coach Anders did what he could to keep the arms fresh not letting each of them too many innings. Even though the runs let was a few too many, two runs scored is not enough to win a game on this level.

Game one ended 6-1 and the second game ended 12-2. Both games in favour of Leksand. A well deserved win according to how the game was played.

Malmö @ Gothenburg B

The Gothenburg team in the second division welcomed Malmö Pilots to Shark Park on the two Sunday games. The Gothenburg team featured youngsters,old timers and up and coming players who all share the love of the game. Malmö showed off some good pitching and a tight defense which made it hard for the Sharks to get on base. Malmö capitalized on some mistakes made by the Gothenburg defense but must be given the credit they deserved for their hot bats. Brian Jordan with the Pilots left the game 8 for 8.

Sölvesborg @ Stockholm

The first game of the day was a tight one. The game ended 2-0 to Stockholm. Jacob Claesson with the Stockholm Monarchs pitched all nine innings not giving up a single run. The Sölvesborg pitcher Eddie Aucoin gave up the game losing run in the forth. If game one was tight, game two was totally the opposite! Sölvesborg started out fine with a two run lead, but Stockholm took over after that. Karl Knutsson started off with the pitching and was relieved by Mathias Person for an inning. Karl then entered the mound once again, but failed to produce the energy to stand up for the Stockholm offense. Rickard Ödmo took them to an early finish in the sixth where the game ended 5-20. Stockholm is still undefeated but was challenged for the first time in game one.

Karlskoga @ Sundbyberg

The Karlskoga Bats was coming from back to back losses versus Leksand (0-10 and 1-2) and Sundbyberg on the other end was 2-0 versus Sölvesborg (1-17 and 4-7). The Bats took their first win of the season in game one but came up short in the second game. That puts Karlskoga one win ahead of Gothenburg. The Bats are off to Stockholm next.

Sundbyberg won todays game over Akademin comfortable 16-5 (7).

Gothenburg on the road

The Sharks will head for Sölvesborg on Saturday. Both teams are looking for their first wins of the season and someone will break their track record. Exiting weekend coming up.

Next home game

The next home game is May 24 when Sundbyberg is visting Shark Park!

And we’re off

Finally! The first game of the season is history and we can look forward to a new season of baseball!

The Sharks travelled to Stockholm for the first game. Stockholm had already begun their season with double header versus Leksand the previous week. Stockholm won those two games comfortably.

Jason Norderum started pitching in game one for the Sharks. He let one run, which wasn’t earned in the four innings he pitched. Eventually, Gothenburg let 10 runs, only giving up five hits. The amount of walks Gothenburg gave up turned out to be costly. The Claesson’s of the Stockholm pitching staff gave up four hits and two walks which the Sharks failed to capitalize on.

Game two were cut early due to the weather but they managed to squeeze in five innings. Gothenburg put themselves up on the board in the third inning when Jason hit a single to the right, where both Joe Lankford and Simon Tysk managed to score! Stockholm started game two by giving Hiba a severe headache. Stockholm scored no less than six runs in the first and four in the second. They managed to score once in the third, but the bleeding stopped there. However, those runs in the first and second was more than enough to put Gothenburg in the backseat and Gothenburg failed to recover. Gothenburg did as Leksand the week before, left Stockholm empty handed.

While Gothenburg was visiting Stockholm, Leksand won two games vs Karlskoga Bats. Karlskoga lost game one 10-0 and the game lasted only until seven innings. Game two was quite the opposite and was a tight game where Leksand came out on the front winning 2-1.

Sölvesborg who lost two games to the Akademin in their opening game got a visit from Sundbyberg. It was Sundbybergs first game of the season and they were pumped! Scoring no less than 17 times in game one. The second game got a bit tighter where Karl Knutsen pitched the entire game for Sölvesborg. Sundbyberg’s national team player Philip Gajzler drove in a two run homer in the ninth and set the final score to 4-7.

Leksand will go on the road and visit Gothenburg Sharks home opener on Shark Park. You are welcome to join us watching the ceremonial first pitch of the season and two exciting games! Please note that game one starts at 12.

Jason Norderum to Gothenburg Sharks

The Gothenburg Sharks is happy to announce that the second American import of the 2014 season is the left handed pitcher Jason Norderum. Jason was born 1981 in California and have played baseball pretty much his entire life. He has a few games in the AAA for New Orleans Zephyrs in ’06. Prior to that he had several seasons in the A and AA. After the visit to the AAA he played several seasons in the indie leagues until 2011.

Gothenburg Sharks are very happy to welcome such well renowned pitcher to the team. It will be of great help to our game bur perhaps most of all, a very skilled coach to our younger pitchers.

 

Below is an interview with Jason that was made before he arrived in Sweden

Tell us a bit about yourself and where you come from?

I was born in Redding CA, which is in the northern part of the state. I enjoyed playing sports- baseball, soccer, basketball. I did a lot skateboarding with friends all over Redding. Since I was on several traveling baseball teams in grade school and high school I was able to see a lot of different cities in Cali and other states. We even went to Australia for a tournament.

Did you read up on Gothenburg as a city yet?

Yes of course I looked up Gothenburg on the Internet. I’m looking forward to being there.

What’s the word on the street about Sweden? Is it all tall blonde, good looking women and IKEA?

We have heard good things about Sweden’s conservative , environmentally conscientious thinking. Of course we hear about IKEA, bounds, etc.

What have you heard about the Swedish baseball game?

Haven’t heard too much about the games of baseball in Sweden, but I have heard there is a strong and passionate interest for the game.

In preparation for Europe, did you alter your off-season routines this year or are you sticking to an old programme of strength and conditioning combined with hitting and fielding?

I have continued my routine that has been my way of life for the past 15 pulse years of professional baseball. This routine includes strength and conditioning. I have added cross fit, hitting, fielding, so I can be a complete player this season.

Do you think playing ball in Sweden (or Europe in general) will change the way you view the sport?

I will continue to have a love of the game- but I’m sure my ideas will be broadened with this European experience. I’m sure the game is the same- its all about the love of playing and of course trying to win.

What did baseball mean to you growing up as a kid?

As a young boy baseball was very important to me. I started playing when I was 5. Baseball has allowed me to travel, meet people and see places I probably wouldn’t have been able to see.

What’s your best baseball memory? Is it something that happened on the field while you were playing yourself? Or is it catching a foul ball at a major league game?

One of  my most exciting times was the championship run with hall of fame player and my manager Gary Carter in 2008. The win of the championship was great and playing for Gary Carter was awesome.

How would a baseball scout describe your skills as a ballplayer?

I believe I am a better than average left handed pitcher and the fact that I’ve been able to continue to play baseball for this many years shows something.

You were drafted by the Expos out of High School back in 1999. What was it like getting that call?

It was both exciting and scary to be drafted.

You have a son that’s playing t-ball. What advice(s) are you giving him growing up practicing sports?

Being able to play a sports a process that takes a lot of time. Skills are not developed in one year but over many years of learning and practicing.

When not playing baseball, what are your favorite things to do?

I like to do a lot of things outside. I play golf, ride bikes, walk, run. I like to travel and see new places.

You’ve been fortunate to play with a lot of talented players over the years. Are there any players that stand out and that when you’ve seen them, you’ve been vowed by their skills?

Grady Sizemore, Jason Bay, Cliff Lee, I got to be teammates with and got to see there process. Justin Morneau, Migueal Cabrera are a couple of guys I got to battle with and watch turn in to best at what they do.

During your career so far, you’ve seen Rookie Ball, A, AA, AAA and also some Indy Ball. Briefly, how would you describe the differences in play during the different levels?

The lower levels of baseball have raw talent. The higher levels (aa-aaa) have skills and talent that are much more defined. The game gets more difficult for both hitter and pitcher. Indy ball is a mix of many levels of skill and talent.

What’s your favorite major league team?

My favorite team is the SF Giants and my favorite player is Randy Johnson.

Besides the obvious baseball gear and stuff you usually pack for a holiday, name one thing that you’re definitely bringing to Sweden.

I will bring my sense of humor, willingness to play hard and a strong work ethic.

Do you play fantasy sports? Baseball or Football? Anything like that?

Yes, I played fantasy football one season but I would rather be a arm chair QB.

Living in California, what’s your take on the A’s stadium situation? Do you think owner Lew Wolff will be able to relocate to San Jose and build a new ballpark?

The Oakland A’s deserve a state of the art stadium and so do the fans. The have a good system and consistently return to the playoffs.

Expectations on the upcoming major league season? Any teams that really stand out as contenders? Any obvious bottom dwellers?

I’m pulling for the Giants this season. They play well on even years (2012-2010), and now its 2014 we will win again.

It’s still early but can we please get your picks for the World Series and who’ll be the WS champ? Will it be a Northern Cali Series in SF with the Giants and A’s?

Another battle of the bay would be nice-( without the earthquake). At this point as hard as iris to write the Los Angeles Dodgers look like they could be the champions.