It’s June 7, 2021. Here’s what’s been going on lately with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Tuesday, June 1 – Binghamton 6, New Hampshire 4
Wednesday, June 2 – Binghamton 8, New Hampshire 7
Thursday, June 3 – Binghamton 9, New Hampshire 3
Friday, June 4 – Binghamton 11, New Hampshire 4
Saturday, June 5 – New Hampshire 8, Binghamton 3
Sunday, June 6 – Binghamton 9, New Hampshire 6
Ponies rumbling out of the Granite State
Suffice it to say, the Fisher Cats did not have a great week. During the month of May, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies had just four wins. Against New Hampshire this week, they had five.
“It was really tough taking just one game out of six,” said Fisher Cats Manager Cesar Martin. “Obviously, our pitching wasn’t great, we’ve been dealing with that. Defense is tough, we have to start getting better there. We had some situations where we could have started scoring runs and we didn’t. That’s just how it is right now.”
The week’s only win came thanks to new signing Johnny Barbato. Over his ten-year career, Barbato has seen action at the Major League level for the Yankees, Pirates and Tigers as well as a stop in Japan for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Prior to joining the Blue Jays organization, he was playing earlier this year for the Lincoln Salt Dogs in the independent American Association.
Even though he didn’t get the win thanks to yet another blown save by New Hampshire’s bullpen, this time from Curtis Taylor, he kept the Fisher Cats in the contest and Martin believes that he could play a role off the mound as well.
“He’s a very good addition to the club, I think he can help many of the younger pitchers in the bullpen and help give them some ideas on how to get through tough stretches given his experience in the big leagues,” said Martin.
After Sunday’s contest, New Hampshire remains as the only team in the Double-A Northeast without a save.
Fisher Cats of the Week
#1. Otto Lopez – The 22-year-old Dominican had a 17-game hit streak in May and it looks like another long hit streak is beginning to percolate, as he grabbed hits his last four appearances against Binghamton. During the series, he hit .333 (8-for-24) with a pair of doubles, including multi-hit performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
#2. Austin Martin – Toronto’s First Round Pick in the 2020 MLB Draft is here again and will probably be here several more times until he gets the inevitable call up to either the Show or Triple-A. This week he hit his first two professional home runs, as well as a double while batting .272 (6-for-22) and recording six walks, almost doubling his seasonal total so far.
“Out of a tough week, Austin’s week was definitely a positive. Watching him is definitely enjoyable when you see him playing like this,” said Martin.
#3. Andrew McInvale – One of the few bright spots in New Hampshire’s bullpen, McInvale had two scoreless appearances this week, dropping his Double-A ERA down to 1.98 as of Sunday. He hasn’t given up a hit since May 23 against Portland.
This week, the Fisher Cats face the Portland Sea Dogs for the third time this year. One big difference will be the absence of Johan Mieses, who is now with the Woo Sox hitting trains with baseballs. Mieses hit seven home runs against the Fisher Cats alone in May and was leading the league with 11 in total before his promotion.
Martin says that there isn’t any real key to victory against Portland when it comes to Portland’s play, but rather the Fisher Cats will need to look inward.
“The biggest thing isn’t Portland or any other team, we just need to make adjustments of our own, especially on the pitching side. Once we make our adjustments, we have the talent to beat any team,” he said.
Martin also believes that Simeon Woods Richardson will return to the team this week after the conclusion of U.S. Olympic qualifying and that Elvis Luciano will return from the injury list in the near future, although he also noted that Luciano isn’t going to be rushed back.