Space City Pinball League Season 9 Week 3: Sayonara, Ghostbusters?

This week began with high hopes, but yet there was already a playoff elimination feel to the week, at least for me. There was little margin for error after the debacle of week 2. Every point matters from here on out, and could potentially mean the difference between A division, B division… or even missing the playoffs entirely.

I should mention earlier in the day I was feeling slightly ill and there was considerable doubt I would be feeling well enough to try to play by the time the evening rolled around. I went ahead and tried to play and it turned out to be a good thing I did. A 75.4M+ on Metallica during warmups told me all I needed to know about whether or not I was fit to play, and so the night began.

I would be grouped with Jason Cortez, Chris Palis, and Laurie Bender (I would play third in the rotation between Chris and Laurie). We would play, in order, Attack from Mars, Metallica, Iron Maiden, The Beatles, and Monster Bash. Also in the lineup, but not assigned to our group, were Guardians of the Galaxy and Batman. At long last, Ghostbusters would be missing from the lineup for once… good riddance, I say.

Our first game was Attack From Mars. I would begin my first ball facing 125.9M+ from Jason and 47.0M+ from Chris. I would get on the board early with a nice solid 775.9M+, good enough to hang onto the lead by the time ball 2 would come up. I would end ball 2 with a commanding lead of 1.21B+, which would be good enough to win (ball 3 only brought me up to 1.29B+). So the night begins with a first place finish and seven standings points, and one step closer to clinching week 2 as the drop week.

Moving on, the next game would be Metallica. After ball 1 the scores would be fairly close, but in the end Chris would run away with this one putting up a 24.4M+, with Jason also putting up a relatively high score of 10.8M+. It would take everything I had just to finish third with a final score of 8.0M+. This would bring me up to ten standings points with three games left to play.

Next up would be Iron Maiden. Ball 1 for me would be a real lemon with a paltry 279,650. The others would all have least decent scores of 4.5M+ to 16.5M+ for me to look back at as I began ball 2, which wouldn’t go much better. By the time my ball 3 came up I would have 3.5M+ and looking down at 42.0M+, 5.2M+, and 79.7M+ in order. I would sign off with 46.3M+ good for second place, bringing me up to fifteen standings points with two more games to play. It’s starting to look pretty good for the possibility of making A division after all.

We would move on to The Beatles. Going into my third ball, the scores were 903K+, 281K+ (me), 352M+, and 410M+. I would need everything to go right in ball 3 to have a chance to win. I would sign off with 1,043,790. Laurie had a threateningly close score as she drained and it came down to her bonus countdown as to whether or not she would take first place from me in the end. She would finish with 1,032,910–right around 11K short, which is a pretty small margin in this game. Jason would sign off with 557K+ sealing the deal. Here I stood with twenty-two standings points with one game left.

Monster Bash had a surprise in store. Laurie would finish ball 3 with 15.4M+. I would begin ball 3 with 4.4M+ already assured of second as both Jason and Chris had failed to catch up. I unfortunately wound up with a lemon for my third ball and finished with 5.3M+, but second place on this game brings me to a total of 27 standings points on the night and at least a nominal hope of finishing in the top 16 for A division. Nevertheless, I finished this week happy and in eager anticipation of what was to follow.