Can Waves Overcome Huge Adversity Saturday?
When the season schedule initially came out the Waves were projected to have a tough time getting more than 1 win out of their 3 games on Nov. 12th given that they will be facing the Cobras, Express, and underdogs. Then, about a week and a half ago, the team found out they would be without their all-star batter and fielder Mason Klingberg and the likelihood of 2 wins was given even less of a chance. Yesterday the Waves lack of being at full strength situation got even worse when they were informed their ace pitcher Adam Clark unexpectedly became inactive after telling the team he was good to go just a day before.
Luckily, this offseason team owner Anthony Nusbaum decided to invest in a deep roster. Even with Kingberg and Clark out the Waves still have Lane Traver (proven to be a solid player), Keith Bunn (relatively anticipated rookie), and Nusbaum himself (decent batter/relief pitcher). In short, the Waves can still remain competitive with the big boys (Cobras, Express) and will still be favored to beat the underdogs. As long as they can manage to avoid an 0-3 start the team will still be in the playoff hunt going into the 2nd half of the regular season on Dec. 23rd because they will not only have their 2 stars back in action, but their schedule is also much weaker (Bison, Storm, Rapids). In reality too, the losses of Klingberg and Clark for Saturday aren't as bad as they seem because even with them analyst were still expecting the outcomes to be the same as they are now without them: Lose to Cobras & Express, beat underdogs.
What is admittedly different now is their margin for error in those games. If the Waves had their 2 stars they could maybe upset the Cobras or Express despite a couple mistakes, but less talent means less opportunity, so they will need to play perfect in those games to win. Against the underdogs the Waves were being picked to win somewhere around 3-4 runs. Now they are only about 1-2 run favorites.
Of course, whenever a team's 2 best players go down there's only one thing the rest of the group can do to stay successful - keep confident. The Waves know this and are trying to embrace a "chip on the shoulder" mentality for Saturday. Lane Traver said it best for the team with an "I think we're going to surprise a lot of people" comment.