Sim F-Cats Week 12: Sopko gets his groove back

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Manchester Ink Link is simulating the entire 2020 New Hampshire Fisher Cats season this month as we wait for the real baseball to return.

Today we enter Week 12.

In case you missed it, here’s are our previous stories on the Fisher Cats’ simulated season so far.


Ryan Borucki (courtesy photo)

Saturday, June 27 – Hartford 8, New Hampshire 5

HARTFORD, Conn. – Even though memories of last week’s hot streak still lingers, the Fisher Cats seem to have reverted to their general trend this season, dropping their third in a row.

Ryan Borucki (1-6) continued to struggle, dropping his second straight start, even though two of the four Hartford runs coming across the plate during his five innings were unearned. Those other two runs came off home runs allowed to Colton Welker and Alan Trejo in the third.

Kyle Regnault allowed a solo home run to Hartford’s Mylz Jones in the ninth and an error in the sixth led way to Hartford’s three other runs.

At the plate, Dieferson Barreto drove in three of New Hampshire’s five runs, going 2-for-4 with a double. Alejandro Kirk also went 2-for-4 with a double, and the ‘Cats also got doubles from Riley Adams and Samad Taylor.

Earlier in the day, Alex Wimmers was demoted to Advanced-A Dunedin.


Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith (credit – Andrew Sylvia)

Sunday, June 28 – New Hampshire 5, Hartford 3

HARTFORD, Conn. – Kevin Smith’s grand slam in the ninth provided the difference in the Sunday’s contest at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, also providing the Fisher Cats’ first grand slam of the season.

Despite a bruised elbow incurred last week, Smith entered the contest in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement, with the ninth-inning knock marking Smith’s first home run since May 25 and his first hit since June 15.

New Hampshire was held to only two hits coming into the ninth inning rally, but Patrick Murphy kept things close for the ‘Cats thanks to his 7 1/3 inning start. Murphy gave up just two runs, scattering seven hits and recording strikes on 63 out of his 87 pitches.

Andrew Sopko (2-7) got the win for his two outs of relief in the eighth and Brett Cecil got his sixth save of the year despite allowing one run in the ninth.

Earlier in the day, Graham Spraker was recalled from Advanced-A Dunedin.


Thomas Pannone in 2016 (Wikimedia Commons)

Monday, June 29 – New Hampshire 8, Hartford 1

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Fisher Cats leave Connecticut with a masterful pitching performance from Thomas Pannone.

Pannone (1-5) struck out 11 Yard Goats, scattering six hits over 5 1/3 innings, a performance blemished only by home run to Casey Golden in the sixth.

Andrew Sopko provided five outs of scoreless relief and Emmanuel Ramirez shut the door in the eighth and ninth.

At the plate, New Hampshire got an early start in the first and second, with a six-run rally in the fifth providing insurance.

Ben Revere went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored, Alejandro Kirk went 2-for-5 with three RBI and a pair of runs, Ryan Noda went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Logan Warmoth went 3-for-4 with a double in his second game back from injury.

Warmoth saw his batting average jump 44 points with the performance, with his last multi-hit performance coming on April 23.


Ryan Noda (screenshot)

Tuesday, June 30 – New Hampshire 6, Portland 3

PORTLAND, Maine – Kevin Smith was the ninth-inning home run hero on Sunday and he’s passed the torch to Ryan Noda as the Fisher Cats opened their series at Hadlock Field.

Tuesday’s contest served as a coda of sorts to Sunday’s win, with five of New Hampshire’s eight hits in the contest coming during the Fisher Cats’ six-run ninth-inning rally.

New Hampshire sent nine batters to the plate during the rally, with Noda’s two-run blast joined by  a Logan Warmoth RBI single that scored Josh Palacios, a triple by Palacios that scored Samad Taylor and Alejandro Kirk after Kirk and Taylor reached with a double and single, respectively.

Anthony Kay gave up Portland’s three runs in the second, but limited the Sea Dogs after that, striking out seven Portland batters over his five-inning performance. James Dykstra held the line in the sixth and seventh and Brett Cecil (4-2) faced the minimum number of batters over the eighth and ninth, striking out three in the process.

With the win, the Fisher Cats are no longer in sole possession of the Eastern League’s worst record, tying the Bowie Bay Sox at 31-46 in a tie for the worst record.


Ryan Fitzgerald (promotional photo)

Wednesday, July 1 – Portland 4, New Hampshire 3 (15 inn.)

PORTLAND, Maine – The Fisher Cats three-game winning streak concluded thanks to a heart-breaking walk-off single by Portland substitute shortstop Ryan Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald brought Marcus Wilson home on the Sea Dogs’ 54th at-bat of the contest, finishing the game four hours and 49 minutes after its 7 p.m. first pitch. That ties the Fisher Cats’ longest-ever game, a 19-inning affair against Altoona on August 13, 2010.

Fisher Cats starting pitcher Thomas Hatch was the first of seven New Hampshire pitchers of the day, giving up three runs off four hits and a pair of walks over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out eight Portland batters, but also gave up a two-run home run to Nick Longhi in the third.

That home run cancelled out Deiferson Barreto’s two-run triple for New Hampshire in the first, and another third-inning Portland run coming in off the bat of Connor Wong’s single put Portland into the lead.

New Hampshire evened things up thanks to Ben Revere’s solo shot in the eighth, creating a deadlock until Fitzgerald’s game-winning hit.

Chandler Shepard (2-3) was the losing pitcher, recording two outs on the night before giving up the game-winning run.

At the plate, New Hampshire had ten hits, with Revere going 3-for-6, Barreto going 2-for-3, and Ryan Noda going 2-for-6.


Ryan Borucki (twitter screenshot)

Thursday, July 2 – Portland 10, New Hampshire 7

PORTLAND, Maine – New Hampshire starting pitcher Ryan Borucki imploded, leading to an early hook and an insurmountable Sea Dog lead.

Borucki was unable to retire any of the four batters he faced in the second inning, allowing six runs off five hits and a pair of walks before leaving the contest, allowing a grand slam to Marcus Wilson and a two-run double to Juremi Profar. With two more Portland runs coming off Logan Warmoth’s error in the second inning.

New Hampshire only mustered four hits over the game, but Ben Revere, Alejandro Kirk and Ryan Noda grabbed doubles and the Fisher Cats recorded eight walks to power three-run rallies in the third and ninth.


Hadlock Field during better times (photo/City of Portland)

Friday, July 3 – Portland 9, New Hampshire 1

PORTLAND, Maine – The Sea Dogs earned a series split with a one-sided whooping of the last-place Fisher Cats.

Portland had at least one run over six of the eight times it came up to bat, with New Hampshire’s only run coming in the seventh off back-to-back doubles from Alejandro Kirk and Ryan Noda.

Three of New Hampshire’s five hits came off doubles, with the other double earned by Logan Warmoth. Noda also had a single and a pair of walks.

Patrick Murphy (2-5) gave up six runs off seven hits and a trio of walks, striking out four batters.


Batter of the Week: Ryan Noda – The Chicago native has become the Fisher Cats’ everyday first baseman over the past month and this week he went 10-for-24 (.416) with three doubles, seven RBI, six walks and three runs scored.

Pitcher of the Week: Andrew Sopko – Sopko struggled in the starting rotation earlier this year, but he’s been doing well as a long reliever and setup man since leaving the rotation in mid-June. This week, he gave up just one run, three hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings of relief. He also got a win on June 28.

About Andrew Sylvia 1787 Articles
Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and license to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.