Fisher Cats can’t make up ground against Reading

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It’s July 22, 2019. Here’s what’s been going on lately on the path 400 miles to Toronto.

400 Miles to Toronto: New Hampsire Fisher Cats Column

Game Results

Monday, July 15 – New Hampshire 2, Portland 0 (home)

Tuesday, July 16 – Portland 4, New Hampshire 0 (home)

Wednesday, July 17 – Portland 10, New Hampshire 4

Thursday, July 18 – (Game in Reading postponed to Friday)

Friday, July 19 – Game 1: Reading 6, New Hampshire 4

Friday, July 19 – Game 2: Reading 3, New Hampshire 1

Saturday, July 20 – New Hampshire 9, Reading 4

Sunday, July 21 – New Hampshire 16, Reading 1

A Rough Week

The Fisher Cats had a precious chance to gain ground in the Eastern Division standings this week, only to see that chance squandered with a series split against division-leading Reading.

Losing a series to Portland heading into Reading didn’t help either.

“It’s a day-to-day thing, we have to take one day at a time,” said Fisher Cats Manager Mike Mordecai.  “We’re going to have to turn the screws up to make up any ground.”

Pitching Forecast Remains in Doubt

While it was a rough week in the standings, it was tough in terms of juggling arms as well.

Thursday’s rainout did not help, as the skies cleared for about two hours after the game was called, a window that could have seen starter Joey Murray at the very least eat up a few innings until lighter rain returned around 10 p.m.

Instead, Murray was moved to Saturday’s contest and the ‘Cats pulled out all the stops to avoid sending out another position player to pitch in a potentially critical situation like they did with Nash Knight on July 2.

With the sweltering heat pushing Sunday’s start time to 5:35 p.m., the fatigue of an all-night bus ride back to Manchester may compound those problems this week.

On top of that, starting pitchers Patrick Murphy and Willy Ortiz were placed on the disabled list during the Portland series and with the Blue Jays looking to be sellers as the trade deadline looms, more prospects may be coming to Manchester to further complicate any pitching forecasts.

Danny’s ‘Stache

Fisher Cat fans remember Danny Jansen’s 2017 stint in Manchester and this week he made national news by shaving off his mustache in the middle of a game.

Jansen started Friday’s game against Detroit 0-for-3, but returned for his fourth at-bat without the mustache he had for his previous three at-bats.

The clean-shaven Jansen hit a two-RBI double, his first hit in several days.

He would strike out in the eighth and not get another hit for the rest of the weekend, but no doubt he’ll save the razor for the next time he’s needed in a clutch situation at the plate.

Coming Up

The Fisher Cats will get another chance at Reading as they return to Manchester this weekend, but first is a three-game set against the first-half Western Division champion Harrisburg Senators.

Harrisburg easily swept the Fisher Cats when the two teams met in Pennsylvania earlier this year.

Fisher Cats of the Week

Batter: Nash Knight 7-for-18 (.388), 2 R, 1 BB, 1 RBI

Pitching: Justin Dillon: 1-0, 12 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 10 Ks