October 23, 2012

Week 8 Recap

Game 1: 186
Game 2: 171
Game 3: 200
Series: 557
Week Avg: 185
Season Avg: 190

On Sunday I decided to go out and take the C-System for a spin. Although I've had it since August, I had yet to throw a full game with it.  If you recall, I purchased the ball from a fellow bowler over the summer and had the fingertip inserts changed out to my size, but just changed the slug in the thumb hole rather than paying to have the hole plugged and redrilled to compensate for the minute difference in my span from how the ball was already drilled. I loved the way the ball reacted, but I wasn't able to consistently hit my mark because the ball would fall off my hand early. When I did hit my marks the pins didn't stand a chance. I'm taking a vacation day on Monday and at least part of my time off will consist of me going to a better pro shop to have the thumb hole plugged and the span corrected. I look forward to having this ball as a fully functioning member of my arsenal, particularly on nights like yesterday . . .

I planned to move my marks further outside this week to get better carry and hopefully throw more strikes; however, how far I had to move outside to find the pocket was completely unexpected. For the first time this season the lane conditions differed, with heavy oil in the front end causing the ball to break later down the lane. I ended up standing with my left foot on the 22 board and throwing at the 7 board at the arrows, the same shot I played on the Viper pattern over the summer. I struck on occasion, but still had difficulty stringing them together. I missed a 3-10 split in the seventh frame and then missed an easy 4-7 in the tenth frame to finish with a 186.

The second game saw me throw three splits and miss an easy 6-pin. I spent much of the game trying to fine tune my line. It seemed that for the majority of the game I was either just high enough to leave a split or just light enough to leave a 2- or 4-pin.  But when I was in the pocket, it was a thing of beauty.  I spared in the tenth frame for a 171.

The third game was just as frustrating as the first two after doubling early. I left one split this game, but stayed clean the rest of the way. After a series of spares I realized that I was over-rotating my wrist and trying to force the ball across the lane.  After easing up a little bit on my release I threw a turkey beginning in the ninth frame to round out the evening with a 200 on the nose.

I'm officially in a downward spiral with my average plummeting 4 pins in the last few weeks.  I'm still not throwing a bad ball, I just need to find that line to the sweet spot. I've been lucky enough to make the majority of my spares, without that this small slump would be a whole lot worse.  These games drag on and I feel like I am bowling terribly, but then I look at the score and I'm really not that far off pace. A few more pins bounce my way and I'm stringing six or more strikes together. It'll come, I just need to be patient and make small, smart adjustments.

Our lead off man had a great night last night and kept us in all three games, picking up the slack for however many pins I was under average. On a night when I personally could have used a bit of pressure to keep me on top of my game, we had clinched all but the first game before I stepped on the approach in the tenth.  This was also the first week the team took all available points so I'll take it, but hopefully I can contribute a bit more next week.

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