As we build-up for Herts Falcons’ biggest game of the season so far on Sunday at the London Mets it is time to bring you up to date with the record-chasers. On opening day pitcher Matt Gilbert overtook Cody Cain to become the National Baseball League’s (NBL) career strikeouts leader. He has been continuing to add to that total over the last few weeks of the NBL season and is now on 414, but suddenly we have a race. Gilbert is being chased by another Falcons pitcher.
Mike Osborn started the season with 384 career strikeouts accumulated over 17 years playing in the NBL. He started his NBL career with the London Warriors (1998-2004) moving on to the Richmond Flames (2006-2011) and then with the Herts Falcons which he joined in 2012. He struck out 9 batters in a strong outing against the South London Pirates on 17 May and added 5 more against the Essex Arrows and the Bracknell Blazers. He is currently on 398, 16 strikeouts behind Matt Gilbert so it will be interesting to see how this race will develop over the next few weeks.
Michael Osborn is very close to another major milestone. He ended the 2014 season within 35 regular-season plate appearances of the 1000 mark. Only Alan Bloomfield has more than 1000 recorded plate appearances in modern British baseball history. He has had 4 plate appearances so far this season.
Maikel Azcuy hit his 34th and 35th career home runs against the Pirates and the Southampton Mustangs on Opening Day which put him level with the NBL career home run leader, Simon Pole. He followed this up with a home run at Finsbury Park against the London Metros, however this was a BBF Cup game so would not count towards his NBL career total. He has been hitting the ball hard with 10 more hits since then, 5 of which were doubles. Azcuy will be back at Finsbury Park this Sunday as the Falcons look to end the unbeaten run of the London Mets. A home run in this doubleheader would be special on many levels.
The game starts at 12pm at Finsbury Park. Herts fans travelling by car are advised that there will be a marathon at Finsbury Park and they should contact us to receive a copy of a letter from Haringey Council which permits them to enter the area and park their car.