Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is an amazing baseball player, but baseball is a team sport. This week, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats will get a chance to see what life looks like without their superstar. It’s June 8, 2018, here’s what’s going on the path 400 miles to Toronto.
Sat., June 2 (Game 1) – Binghamton 6, New Hampshire 5
Sat., June 2 (Game 2) – New Hampshire 3, Binghamton 0
Sun., June 3 (Game 1) – Binghamton 4, New Hampshire 2
Sun., June 3 (Game 2) – Binghamton 5, New Hampshire 1
Tues., June 5 – Akron 13, New Hampshire 3
Weds., June 6 – New Hampshire 7, Akron 6
Thurs., June 7 – Akron 7, New Hampshire
The Fisher Cats narrowly escaped their first four-game losing streak of the season this week, so it was already a stretch the ‘Cats were looking to forget before Guerrero left in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s contest with an apparent leg injury.
Guerrero also had Sunday’s doubleheader off as well, putting New Hampshire at 3-3 in games without Vlad so far this season.
The team is not providing any information on the severity of Guerrero’s status, placing him on the 7-day disabled list as of Thursday afternoon. However, the bigger overall issue right now for the Fisher Cats is consistency, particularly from the pitching staff. New Hampshire’s averaging around five runs a game so far this season and on most nights, that’s been enough. However, as the last week has shown, those runs are not guaranteed. There’s also no guarantee the Fisher Cats’ opponents will be held at bay either.
Perhaps most frustrating has been the recent struggles of reliever Kirby Snead. He’s allowed earned runs in three of his last four appearances. Before that he had not allowed an earned run in 13 straight appearances here and at Class A-Advanced Dunedin, dating all the way back to April 14.
“Just tough breaks,” said Snead. “Started the season hot, couple outings have been not so good, but I’m going to keep on going out.”
Fisher Cats of the Week
Batting: Harold Ramirez – Ramirez appeared in six of the Fisher Cats seven games this week, recording a hit in all but one (Game 2 on Saturday), and he still managed a walk there. He went 3-for-3 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, scoring a pair of runs and added three more hits on Tuesday and a home run on Thursday.
Starting Pitching: TJ Zeuch – The 22-year-old Ohio native had a tough start in Manchester, but is settling in nicely, with three straight wins to his credit.
On Saturday, he got his second complete game of the year, bringing his Eastern League ERA under 4.00 for the first time.
Relief Pitching: Danny Young – Young arrived midway through Wednesday’s contest and gave the Fisher Cats some much needed breathing room, getting New Hampshire out of a tough fifth and holding the line in the sixth and seventh as New Hampshire’s bats slowly warmed up.
Around the Horn
With Guerrero’s departure, Gunnar Heidt will likely gain more importance as a positional salve, with the Fisher Cats able to put Heidt at just about position outside of pitcher or catcher, with the catchers and non-catchers continuing to pass around the designated hitter slot.
The Fisher Cats had to do without Josh DeGraaf this week, serving a suspension following his ejection on Sunday.
The Fisher Cats now welcome the Bowie BaySox to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium for a three-game set before facing Akron again next week in Ohio.