It’s June 17, 2019, here’s what’s been going on over the past week on the path 400 miles to Toronto.
Tuesday, June 11 – Bowie 6, New Hampshire 0 (road)
Wednesday, June 12 – Bowie 4, New Hampshire 2 (road)
Thursday, June 13 – Bowie 9, New Hampshire 4 (road)
Friday, June 14 – New Hampshire 4, Richmond 2 (road)
Saturday, June 15 – New Hampshire 7, Richmond 6 (road)
Sunday, June 16 – New Hampshire 2, Richmond 1 (road)
A Sweep and a Sweep
In an echo of the prior week’s home stand, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats struggled against Bowie and excelled against Richmond.
However, Fisher Cats manager Mike Mordecai believes the reason for the split sweeps lies not with the Fisher Cats’ opponents, but within their own play.
We didn’t swing the bats very well in Bowie and we didn’t pitch well either,” said Mordecai. “The defense was shaky as well, so it wasn’t a good series all the way around. Down in Richmond we got some good pitching and timely hitting.”
“If you can pitch and play defense, you can stay in any game. It doesn’t matter who you play, if you can’t pitch or catch, you’re not going to do well,” he added.
Touted prospect Nate Pearson has seen limited innings since injuring his arm last year, but he reached five innings for just the third time this season and for the first time in Eastern League play.
It also marked the fourth time in his eight New Hampshire appearances that he put in over 60 pitches, and hopes were high he was on the way to a full recovery from last year’s injury.
However, Pearson left after two innings and just 28 pitches on Saturday, so its fair to expect that Pearson will continue alternating between short starts (25-40 pitches) and longer starts (60-90 pitches) in the “opener” role and Willy Ortiz will accompany Pearson as a tandem long reliever follow-up.
Toronto still has high hopes for Pearson eventually fully recovering and turning into a major league starter, boasting a repertoire of four pitches, including a fastball that has been clocked with triple digit speeds.
The Second Goatless Half
This season, the Eastern League joined the other two Double-A leagues with a split-season playoff format. Sunday marked the end of the first half, with the Trenton Thunder and Harrisburg Senators punching their ticket to the postseason.
Despite a largely disappointing first half, New Hampshire does have one reason for optimism: they only have one more series with the Hartford Yard Goats.
New Hampshire finished seven games behind Trenton and had seven more losses than wins against Hartford. The Fisher Cats had a winning record against every other divisional foe outside of Portland, who they only faced in one series so far.
Former F-Cats Make History
On June 13, former Fisher Cat Cavan Biggio made history by hitting two home runs against the Baltimore Orioles. That was his 15th game in the majors, and it marked the second time this year a Fisher Cat from last year’s squad hit two home runs in a game, with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. going deep twice on May 14 against San Francisco.
That game on May 14th was Vlad’s 13th major league appearance, making it only the eighth time in Major League Baseball history that a pair of teammates his two home runs in a game during one of their first 15 games.
This week, the Fisher Cats return home for series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the Trenton Thunder.
Fisher Cats of the Week
Pitching: Vinny Nittoli (2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 2 SV)