It’s May 31, 2021. Here’s what’s been going on this week with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Tuesday, May 25 – Somerset 2, New Hampshire 1
Wednesday, May 26 – Somerset vs. New Hampshire (ppd. – rain)
Thursday, May 27: Game 1 – New Hampshire 10, Somerset 8
Thursday, May 27: Game 2 – Somerset 2, New Hampshire 1
Friday, May 28 – Somerset vs. New Hampshire (ppd. – rain)
Saturday, May 29: Game 1 – New Hampshire 6, Somerset 1
Saturday, May 29: Game 2 – Somerset 12, New Hampshire 0
Sunday, May 30 – Somerset vs. New Hampshire (cancelled – rain)
After getting a chance to see the newest Double-A team earlier this month, the Fisher Cats got a chance to see the Somerset Patriots in the Garden State this week. Beyond the weather and the locale, this series had a feeling similar to when these two teams tangled in Manchester.
If not for two bad innings from New Hampshire’s bullpen, the Fisher Cats could have easily left Somerset with four wins instead of two. However, untimely late runs from James Dykstra on Tuesday and another two given up by Brady Rodning on Thursday erased a pair of exceptional starting pitching performances Kyle Johnston and Troy Miller, respectively.
Zach Logue didn’t give the bullpen much of a chance to squander things in the first game on Saturday, coming up just one inning short of a truncated complete game, and the Fisher Cats won in the first game on Thursday in spite of Maximo Castillo not getting past the first inning on the mound.
With Elvis Luciano not expected back until mid-July and Simeon Woods Richardson leaving the squad temporarily in hope of helping the U.S. qualify for the Olympic tournament, quality starts like those from Johnston and Logue in the near future, given that on any given night any random Fisher Cat reliever could implode.
New Hampshire will also need more late-inning offense as well. After four weeks, they’ve yet to win a game where they’re trailing after seven innings. However, there is some cause for hope there looking back at this week’s series. In the 10-8 slugfest on Thursday, they managed to tie things up in the seventh, keeping pace with the Patriots in the ninth and tenth before two more runs in the eleventh finally put the game of reach. They came up just short late on Tuesday as well, with a leadoff single in the ninth by Austin Martin followed by single by Otto Lopez setting the stage for one run, but not the two they would have needed to tie things up.
Fisher Cats of the Week
#1. – Zach Logue: With Woods Richardson temporarily away, Logue is the clear ace of New Hampshire’s staff. Now 3-0, he’s struck out 39 batters against three walks in five starts so far this year, including 12 against Somerset on Thursday.
#2. – Gabriel Moreno: The 21-year-old Venezuelan had another decent series. Even in his worst game, the 0-for-3 performance on Tuesday, he still drove in New Hampshire’s only run. In his three appearances during the series, he hit .384 (5-for-13) with a double and a triple to his credit.
#3. – Austin Martin: After some struggles earlier in the year, it looks like Toronto’s 2020 First Round Pick is finding his footing in Double-A.
In five appearances against Somerset, he hit .294 (6-for-17), including a 3-for-4 night on Tuesday, a double during the second game on Saturday and that ninth-inning hit during the second game on Thursday that gave the Fisher Cats hope of pulling out the win.
The Fisher Cats spent May against two of the top teams this year in the what-was-once Eastern League and now they get to play one of the worst so far in the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
Like New Hampshire, Binghamton won two games last week and came close in several more against Akron. Unlike New Hampshire though, this was by far the most competitive they’ve been so far this season, dropping their first ten contests of the year.