It’s June 13, 2021. Here’s what’s been going on lately with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Tuesday, June 8 – Portland 9, New Hampshire 8
Wednesday, June 9 – Portland 5, New Hampshire 4
Thursday, June 10 – New Hampshire 5, Portland 3
Friday, June 11 – New Hampshire 14, Portland 6
Saturday, June 12 – New Hampshire 4, Portland 2
Sunday, June 13 – New Hampshire 9, Portland 2
The Fisher Cats leave Maine for a second time this year with a result that shows significant improvement over their first trip to Portland as well as their home series against Portland and last week’s series against Binghamton.
The result was no surprise to Fisher Cats Manager Cesar Martin, who feels that his team’s issue wasn’t talent, but consistency.
“If we put ourselves together, we can beat any team. We just have to continue getting better,
Perhaps most notably, the Fisher Cats’ bullpen got their first save of the season, the last team to get a save this season in the Double-A Northeast. While it took them 33 games to get their first save, it took only two more to get their second on Saturday, even though Jon Harris cut it close.
Still, the trend throughout May was that the Fisher Cats would fold late in close games, with the trouble coming from a new reliever every time. In recent weeks, Martin said it would take time for New Hampshire’s relievers to overcome the rust from not pitching in 2020 and it appears they’ve gotten enough time to correct those early issues.
Meanwhile, the offense has been humming along. This week the Fisher Cats picked up ten hits or more in four of their six games against the Sea Dogs, including a season high 20 hits on Friday.
The Fisher Cats also got at least five innings from their starting pitching in four of the six contests against the Sea Dogs this week. Ironically enough, one of the poorest starts came from Zach Logue, who earned promotion on Saturday to the Triple-A Buffalo-Trenton (Truffalo?) Thunder-Bison (Bunder? Thison? Cut us some slack, the pandemic has made things complicated.
Still, the promotion doesn’t come as much of a surprise as Logue is one of the most touted prospects in the Blue Jays organization and his promotion was inevitable, despite his recent slump.
Fisher Cats of the Week
#1. – Johnny Barbato – In a week of good starting pitching, Barbato put in what was the best starting pitching performance of the bunch.
On Saturday, Barbato went seven innings and gave up just three hits and two walks. He only gave up one run and if it weren’t for the fact that two of those three hits came in the sixth, he probably wouldn’t have had that blemish on his record. Barbato leave Saturday’s contest with a 1.46 ERA over his first two appearances as a Fisher Cat.
#2. Brody Rodning – Brody had a good week the first time the Fisher Cats went to Maine and this week was even better than that stretch.
Rodning was the one with the first save of the year, a seven-out appearance without any hits. He also got the win after recording the final two outs in New Hampshire’s ninth-inning rally on Saturday and another two final outs on Tuesday.
#3. Samad Taylor – If not for a pinch-hitting appearance on Saturday where he got a walk and later scored, Taylor would now have a 12-game hitting streak after Sunday’s win.
Taylor also had more than one hit seven times during that 12-game timeframe. Against Portland this week, he hit .550 (11-for-20), scoring 11 runs and recording two doubles and three home runs.
“He’s become more consistent,” said Martin. “But he’s had good at-bats all season.”
Next up is the Hartford Yard Goats, another team that has been struggling this season. Then again, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies were struggling even more than the Yard Goats have been and the Fisher Cats lost five of six against the Rumble Ponies.
The Yard Goats lost their series against the Reading Fightin’ Phils this week. Of their seven series so far this season, they’ve won only one, taking four of six against Portland at home in early May.