This is a current awareness blog that links to the latest sources of information on Basque Pelota matches and Tournaments. It covers both North and South Basque modalities: Mano, Main Nue, Pala, Paleta, Remonte, Cesta Punta, Jai Alai, and minor modalites. We link to match articles, statistics and video highlights and/or full match videos.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Jai Alai/Cesta Punta--Erik Mendizabal's amazing week at Dania Jai Alai

About 3 weeks ago Aritz Erkiaga had an amazing week at Miami Jai Alai. See that post for further explanation and a video example of Quinela Jai Alai and how it works.

To refresh your memory

August 29-September 5, 2016

Player----Games Played----Wins----Places (2nd place)----Shows (3rd Place). Selected winning percentages and "in the money" percentage

Aritz----39----16----5----5 .410 winning %, .667 "in the money" %

This was over double the number of wins of the second highest winners.

At the time, and especially after looking at other sets of weekly statistics at Miami kindly provided to me by Tiger's Jai Alai Chalk Talk Discussion Forum, I thought it was unique. After all, for the entirety of the recent Winter 2016 season at Miami, the most wins any weekly wins leader had was 14 (Eric Irastorza--last season's triple crown winner--twice). Within the first two months of the new season, Aritz smashed through that barrier. Aritz' week was thoroughly analyzed, day by day, because it was felt I wouldn't have to do that again for a long time. :)

A "long time" turned out to be a little less than three weeks. For the week ending September 24, 2016 (Sep. 19-24) at Dania Jai Alai, Erik Mendizabal put up the following numbers.

Erik----41----17----8----2 .415 winning %, .659 "in the money"%.

The second highest winner, Ibon, had 10 wins.

Rather than go through Erik's week day by day (which you can do yourself from this link), I thought it would be interesting to compare the statistical nuts and bolts of the two great weeks.

Wins and starts from post positions: A=Aritz, E=Erik

Post 1: A:  6 of 8: E:  6 of 11
Post 2: A:  3 of 5, E:  2 of 4
Post 3: A:  3 of 4, E:  3 of 5
Post 4: A:  0 of 2, E:  2 of 3
Post 5: A:  0 of 2, E:  1 of 5
Post 6: A:  2 of 6, E:  1 of 6
Post 7: A:  1 of 5, E:  2 of 4
Post 8: A:  1 of 7, E:  0 of 3

Singles Matches A: 4 of 6, E: 5 of 8

Early games: A: 3 of 10, E: 4 of 7

Aritz won with 10 different partners. Erik won with 9.

While no direct comparisons can be made because Aritz and Erik play on different rosters, the recipe for success seems very similar. Dominate from early post positions. Dominate when you don't have to worry about a partner. Dominate early games. In the last of these, Erik seems to have an advantage, but we must factor in the strength of each early game roster.

We can only compare them to their competition. It's hard to imagine two more dominating weeks. But then 3 weeks ago it was hard for me to imagine one.

Oh, and one more thing. You cannot watch Aritz play without pay per view. But Erik is another story. You can see him 8 performances, between 30 and 40 games a week at Dania. You can link to free (live only) performances at Dania Jai Alai from the Dania Weekly Leaders page (live streaming and schedule--times are US Eastern Time) on the right side of this blog (under recurring results), where you can also follow week by week roster statistics. Tiger's Chalk Talk Forum (see above) also links to the live streaming, and contains a wealth of statistical information, as well as a lively forum of Jai Alai fans who know much about the history, strategy, and tactics of the Quinela game.