It’s Aug. 9, 2021. Here’s an update on what’s been happening lately with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Tuesday, Aug. 3 – New Hampshire 8, Hartford 2
Wednesday, Aug. 4 – Hartford 12, New Hampshire 1
Thursday, Aug. 5 – New Hampshire 6, Hartford 2
Friday, Aug. 6 – New Hampshire 8, Hartford 5
Saturday, Aug. 7 – Hartford 7, New Hampshire 4
Sunday, Aug. 8 – Hartford 10, New Hampshire 5
After facing off against one of the worst teams in the Double-A Northeast, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats had an opportunity to rise above .500 and it was an opportunity that was wasted.
Normally, a series split is fine if not something to be celebrated, but in what has become a recurring theme throughout the season, New Hampshire saw games they could have won on Saturday and Sunday and watched them instead become defeats.
In this series, New Hampshire Fisher Cats Manager Cesar Martin believes that the Yard Goats are a far better team than their 27-56 record as of today would indicate.
“The way we started, it seemed like we could win the series, but credit to them,” he said. “They had a few good starting pitchers and some good hitters that put good at-bats together.”
The only game where the Fisher Cats were completely out of it was Wednesday’s game, which started just past noon. Due to the lingering effects of COVID-19, this marked the first matinee start of the season, with a normal season holding several to accommodate summer camp group packages.
Tuesday’s game ended at around 10:15 p.m., but Martin said that he did not see the quick turnaround as an impediment, since the Yard Goats had to deal with it as well.
If things continue to go as they have been, the memory of this Fisher Cat season once all is said and done will remember quality hitting and speed on the basepaths and inconsistent pitching that showed flashes of brilliance at times.
Still, it’s hard to argue with Martin’s assessment that on the whole, the Fisher Cats’ pitching has shown marked improvement following the first month of the season where the bullpen could not record a single save.
With the news that Fisher Cats hurlers Kyle Johnston and Fitz Stadler got the call up this afternoon, Martin is reminding his squad of the ultimate truth in the minor leagues: the measure of victory or defeat isn’t measured by the standings or by stats, but by each pitch, each catch, each throw and each at-bat and how much progress is shown compared to the last time.
“When we have meetings, that’s the mentality we bring – it can be anybody at any time that gets promoted. Even though the season is almost over, keep on putting in the work and on any night you can be the guy, and we’ll be looking for those results,” he said. “I think promotion is a great motivator for them and they’re always happy to step up and fill spots left by other guys making their way because they know they can be next.”
“I’m happy for Johnston and Stadler, they’ve been making adjustments throughout the season and they’ve been two of our better pitchers, they really deserved this,” he added.
Fisher Cats of the Week
#1. Casey Lawrence: The Fisher Cats all-time leader in wins did not get another one on Thursday, that instead went to Stadler, but he would have had six scoreless innings if not for a pair of doubles in the fourth. It also should be noted that Martin praises Lawrence for his leadership in the clubhouse.
#2. Samad Taylor: Taylor had three multi-hit games during the series, putting him at a respectable .309/.392/.537 slash line. He also has 22 stolen bases so far and would likely have more if he could bring down his approximately 2-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
#3. Demi Orimoloye: If not for Friday, Demi would have had a hit in each game of the series, he’s now more than halfway to eclipsing his 14 hits in July thanks to 3-for-4 performances on Wednesday and Sunday. He also went deep on Sunday and hit the Hilton Garden Inn, the first time a Fisher Cat has done that since early July, marking just one of his five extra-base hits over the series.
The Fisher Cats now travel to the capital of Pennsylvania for a six-game series against the Harrisburg Senators and then a rematch in Connecticut against the Yard Goats a week after that before returning home for a series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.