July 4, 2012

Week 7/Scorpion Recap

Game 1: 177
Game 2: 201
Game 3: 163
Game 4: 174
Series: 715
Week Avg: 178
Scorpion Avg: 178
Season Avg: 183

I was excited to start a new pattern and even more excited because we were bowling against our friend Josh. His teammate carries a 219 average in his house leagues, so I was looking forward to watching how he handled himself on the lanes. The pattern performed as advertised for the most part. I was actually surprised at how much my ball reacted in the shorter backend. I started my evening with my left foot on the 20 board and throwing at the 8 board near the arrows (blue line in diagram). Although I was standing about where I did for the Cheetah pattern, I found myself throwing straighter through the frontend and relying on the increased hook in the backend to find the pocket.

Right off the bat I started the first game by missing the 1-2-4-5. I was having a little bit of a problem getting a good hit into the pocket, hitting slightly high or light which wasn't carrying like it would on a house pattern. I missed the 4-6 split in the sixth frame and chopped the 6-10 in the eighth. Late in the game I found the ball hitting high more often than not. I finished with a 177, but managed to take a point from my semi-pro competitor.

I was coming in consistently high to start the second game and I took this to mean that the first transition described in my Scorpion post was upon us. I moved my body left to the 20 1/2 board and threw at the 9 board (black line in diagram) starting in the third frame and began striking. My only open was a missed 7-pin in the eighth frame and I finished the second game with a 201.

The third game once again saw me battling accuracy issues. For the most part I was able to cover my mistakes by making my spares, but the second transition kicked in halfway through the game and amplified my errors. My high pocket hits turned into dead-on shots leaving the 6-7 split in the seventh, the 6-7-10 split in the eighth, and the 2-4-5 in the tenth frames. I was able to diagnose my problem as not staying parallel to the foul line at my release, facing slightly to the left and thus missing my mark to the left. I finished the third game with a 163.

I started the last game by moving up on the approach about six inches to avoid leaving splits from high hits. I missed an easy 2-pin in the second frame and chopped the 3-9-10 in the sixth frame, but other than that I was hitting the pocket pretty well. My biggest problem was that I wasn't able to carry the corners consistently, leaving a lot of 4- and 10-pins. I finished with a 174 game and 715 series.

Tonight was one of those nights where I bowled a bit worse than I actually felt. For the most part I wasn't throwing a bad ball, but I was a little slow to make adjustments. I have a better idea now of when to expect the lane transitions and I hope to anticipate them in the upcoming weeks. I have been on a steady decline the last few outings, so I need to pick it up and start throwing clean games or stringing some strikes together.

My opponent tried about six or seven different balls during practice and never really settled on one until the end of the first game. He threw more of an arching hook, placing the ball right over the second arrow. The ball itself was, as predicted, a duller more reactive ball. I think that because we were playing lines close to each other, even intersecting at two points, we were pushing oil back onto the other's line which resulted in less of an overall change in the pattern for us. It will be interesting to see how the pattern changes as I play against different bowlers.

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