Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Big, Ugly, Greasy Win

We went from having one of our best nights ever, placing 13 out of 66 in the City Championships, to one of our worst nights ever. Still, we pulled out a W, going 3-1 against Overrated. Yes, they bowled poorly, too. As this win is difficult to explain given our prior records, it must be attributed to lane conditions. Lanes 17 and 18 on Monday night were slick, like bowling on Crisco. The ball had no bite. Spin was not causing a lot of action unless the ball was spinning like a dreidel and moving at low velocity. Oily lanes were not only problematic for us but also for the OR boys, as they could not seem to find the pocket either.

The hardwood was so lubricated that balls slipped easy between the pins. It was so slippery out there that the balls would emerge from the chute with glistening lines of lube. If by chance, you foot fouled, you would have found yourself on your back sliding down the lane as if it were a slip and slide. There was so much oil out there that Lou Ferrigno was rolling around on Lane 17 in preparation for the Mr. Olympia competition. Did I mention that the lanes behaved like they were coated with KY Jelly? Yes, it was slick.

While it may seem like I am just making excuses for our poor performance, there is good reason to believe that something was amiss with the lanes against the wall last night. For one, we bowled like shit. This is not necessarily unusual. What is unusual is that the team against which we bowled, bowled even worse. From last week, we dropped a total of 220 pins. On top of that, we had our fewest number of strikes on record, 24 to be exact. This was six fewer than we had ever bowled in a three game set. Yet, we took three of four. We even won a game with a handicapped score of 811 in the first. Our lowest pin total victory prior to this was an 827.

It is worth noting that with the completion of Monday’s bowling, the season is ¾ complete, and we are halfway through the 2nd half of the season. We currently stand in 2nd place with 20 wins, nine fewer than we had for the entirety of the 1st half. The Movements are still poised to finish at the top of the standings in the Bernaski League spring season.

We now have 13 weeks of bowling data. Using prior results, it is possible to estimate the probability that on a given night of bowling we only record 24 strikes. The graph above shows the number of strikes we have rolled as a team for all thirteen weeks, and it should be clear how unusual last night’s strike number is. We had consistently put up between 30 and 43 strikes for twelve consecutive weeks. What is the probability that we would only get 24? It’s at best about 2.4%, so last night, something was different, and it seems like the big puddles of canola oil in the lanes are the obvious culprits. This is even more amazing if you consider that last week we recorded 43 strikes, tying our all time record. But hey, we won, a big, ugly, greasy win.

Lead Off
After an unusual week by his standards, Johnebob came back with a highly consistent performance with three games between 154 and 160. He quickly adapted to Lube Land by throwing a big looping slow curveball. He managed a team leading 470 series, and took every category on the leader board but two. He exceeded his average by almost four pins. He had the high number for strikes with only eight. He rediscovered his spare ball, recording 56.5%. Even though his strike ball looked like it was thrown by a 12 year old, it was effective as he also lead the team in 1st ball average with 8.43.

On Deck
After an unbelievable week, I cooled off substantially. I started slowly with games in the 130’s in the first two but finished well with a 184 in the last. I could not find the pocket all night until the 5th frame of the 3rd game when I started to mimic Johnebob’s pansy throw. I managed to strike four of the last six frames to put up a big number. I took the handicapped pin total and single pin percentage, and came in with a decent 151 average.

In the Hole
The Canadian (who would love to point out that he has been in the USA for almost 10 years and is irked by being referred to as the “Great White Norther”) is still trying to figure out his new throw. He had a rough 1st game, not managing to crest the century mark, but he had a nice 2nd with a 136. He slipped again in the 3rd, but his performance was enough to give us three wins. In fact, he put up his best score in the game we lost, so we can’t blame him. Rookie woes will soon be a thing of the past for the man in the three hole.

Cleanup
JD has been up and down during the 2nd half, but he has been consistently hitting an average in the 130’s as he did last night. He recorded 14 marks including 6 strikes. He struggled a bit with spares, particularly the single pins. The heavy chicken was flying all over the coop last night. If you don’t know what a heavy chicken is, perhaps an instructional post on throwing an H.C. is in order. JD dominated the first frame averaging 15.0 pins (something also done by our leadoff man). Grease seemed to have a serious effect on all the spinners, Daniele included. When the night was over, JD lagged behind after mumbling something about “Ferrigno and lube.”

1 comment:

  1. Is it wrong that first few paragraphs of this post had me confused, scared, and a little aroused?

    ReplyDelete

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