Manchester Ink Link is simulating the entire 2020 New Hampshire Fisher Cats season as we wait for the real baseball to return.
Today we enter Week 18.
In case you missed it, here’s are our previous stories on the Fisher Cats’ simulated season so far.
- Week 1 (end-of-week record: 2-4)
- Week 2 (end-of-week record: 5-8)
- Week 3 (end-of-week record: 9-11)
- Week 4 (end-of-week record: 11-17)
- Week 5 (end-of-week record: 13-22)
- Week 6 (end-of-week record: 16-24)
- Week 7 (end-of-week record: 19-27)
- Week 8 (end-of-week record: 21-33)
- Week 9 (end-of-week record: 23-36)
- Week 10 (end-of-week record: 24-40)
- Week 11 (end-of-week record: 28-45)
- Week 12 (end-of-week record: 31-49)
- Week 13 (end-of-week record: 33-53)
- Week 14 (end-of-week record: 37-55)
- Week 15 (end-of-week record: 39-60)
- Week 16 (end-of-week record: 43-63)
- Week 17 (end-of-week record: 47-65)
Tuesday, Aug. 11 – New Hampshire 13, Richmond 8
RICHMOND, VA – Home runs from Ryan Noda and Kevin Smith propelled the Fisher Cats to victory in the series opener. Josh Palacios also chipped in a 4-for-6 day with three runs scored for New Hampshire.
Fisher Cats starter Ryan Borucki suffered a mild oblique strain, forcing him to leave after just one out.
Chandler Shepherd (4-4) got the win on the back of his five outs of relief, Kyle Regnault recorded his third save of the year after pitching part of the seventh as well as the eighth and ninth, giving up just a pair of hits in the process.
On Monday, the Fisher Cats learned that outfielder Roemon Fields is returning to Triple-A Buffalo after his month in New Hampshire. Ben Revere, one of the cornerstones of New Hampshire’s offense this season, also got the call up to Buffalo.
Reliver Addison Russ also was sent to Class-A Lansing after arriving from Toronto a few days ago.
In return, the Fisher Cats also received Gabriel Guerrero from Advanced-A Dunedin after losing him a week earlier as well as Buffalo outfielder Jason Bourgeois.
Wednesday, Aug. 12 – Richmond 7, New Hampshire 2
RICHMOND, VA – The Flying Squirrels came back with a vengeance in the second game of the series, picking up three runs in the first and four runs in the second.
Fisher Cats starting pitcher Anthony Kay was responsible for all seven runs, exiting the game after two outs in the second. Kay is now 5-9 and has not won a game since June 20.
Offensively, New Hampshire’s ability to hit doubles continued, with Josh Palacios hitting his 25th, Forrest Wall getting his 20th and Jason Bourgeois getting his first since coming to the Eastern League earlier this week. Bourgeois also announced that he will be retiring at the end of the season, his 20th as a professional.
In other news, the Fisher Cats will find themselves without the services of catcher Alejandro Kirk for the next two weeks, after leaving the game after being hit by a pitch in the third. Officially, his injury was described as an elbow contusion.
Kirk currently leads the league in doubles, 34 so far on the year.
Thursday, Aug. 13 – Richmond 5, New Hampshire 4
RICHMOND, VA – Prior to the season, the Eastern League unexpectedly removed its split-season playoff format and on Thursday, the Fisher Cats became the first team to be eliminated from playoff contention under this new format.
The Fisher Cats were unable to find a run over the final six runs of the contest, but Kyle Regnault couldn’t hold their 4-3 lead, giving up a two-run double to Richmond third baseman Ryan Howard in the seventh.
Regnault’s blown save was his third of the year, and the loss put his record at 1-1.
At the plate, Alfredo Silverio went 2-for-4 with Josh Palacios and newcomer Otto Lopez providing three hits each. Josh Palacios also added a double, his 21st of the year.
Earlier in the day, New Hampshire welcomed back Andrew Sopko and Brock Lundquist from Advanced-A Dunedin as well as Lopez.
To make room on the roster, Jason Bourgeois and Ryan Borucki got the call up to Triple-A Buffalo.
Friday, Aug. 14 – New Hampshire 11, Bowie 3 (Game 1)
BOWIE, MD. – The Bowie Bay Sox eventually ended the Fisher Cats’ sixth inning, but not before 16 batters came up to the plate, giving New Hampshire more than enough offense for the victory.
Despite being kept scoreless for the first five innings of the contest, New Hampshire exploded for 10 runs in that sixth inning, tying a franchise records for most runs in an inning last seen on April 10, 2010 against Binghamton.
Brock Lundquist hit a one-run homer in the eighth for insurance, his 12th home run of the year.
Lundquist finished with a pair of hits, as did Forrest Wall and Riley Adams. Wall also hit his 21st double of the year during the sixth-inning barrage.
The offensive explosion overshadowed an excellent pitching performance from Thomas Pannone. In his six-inning start, Pannone (5-8) gave up just two runs off five hits and a walk, striking out nine Bowie batters. Chandler Shepherd got his first save of the year for his efforts in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
This game was a makeup for a postponed game on Aug. 5, with the Fisher Cats batting in the bottom of each inning despite the fact they were playing on the road.
Earlier in the day, Chavez Young returned to the Fisher Cats from Advanced-A Dunedin. Young was demoted on May 10.
Friday, Aug. 14 – Bowie 10, New Hampshire 3 (Game 2)
BOWIE, MD. – In a mirror of the earlier game, Bowie slapped seven runs on the board in the second inning and didn’t look back to earn a win in the 7:05 p.m. contest.
Fisher Cat starting pitcher Patrick Murphy managed to escape the second, but got the hook after hitting Jesmuel Valentin with the first pitch of the third. Valentin would go on to score, with Murphy also responsible for six of the seven runs scored by Bowie in the second. Murphy is now 2-8 on the year, with his last win coming on May 1.
Brock Lundquist hit a solo home run in the third, echoing his home run in the day’s earlier contest, with Josh Palacios, Christian Williams, Otto Lopez and Ryan Noda each recording doubles.
Saturday, Aug. 15 – Bowie 8, New Hampshire 5
BOWIE, MD. – New Hampshire relief pitcher Emmanuel Ramirez transformed what looked like a certain Fisher Cat victory into a certain loss as the Bay Sox put up eight runs in the seventh inning.
After allowing a leadoff walk to 2017 Fisher Cats alum Richard Urena, Ramirez botched a grounder from Mason Mccoy, beginning the downward spiral for New Hampshire. With the loss, Ramirez is now 2-2 on the year.
Ramirez’ appearance spoiled an excellent start from Andrew Sopko, who gave up just two walks and two hits over five innings of work.
At the plate, Forrest Wall hit New Hampshire’s ninth triple of the year, and Brock Lundquist hit a home run for the third straight game, putting him at 14 dingers for the year. Josh Palacios was ejected from the contest in the first after arguing a balls and strikes call.
Earlier in the day, the Fisher Cats saw relievers Louis Coleman and Brett Cecil promoted to Triple-A Buffalo, with pitchers Curtis Taylor and Chasen Shreve coming onto the roster in their place.
Sunday, Aug. 16 – Bowie 3, New Hampshire 1
BOWIE, MD. – Fisher Cat batters were held scoreless over the first eight innings, negating a quality start from Anthony Kay.
It’s been a frustrating season for Kay (5-10), who has seen his ERA jump from 2.55 to a peak of 4.70 earlier this week against Richmond. On Sunday, he went 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs off six hits and a walk, striking out six Bowie batters.
Those two runs came off a first-inning homer by Dilson Herrera, with Bowie infielder Ryan Mountcastle adding a solo homer in the eighth.
The Fisher Cats appeared to be poised for a comeback in the ninth as Forrest Wall came up to the plate as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded and one out. On the tenth pitch of his at-bat, Wall scorched a grounder to first that couldn’t find its way to right field. Riley Adams would score on the play, but Ryan Noda quickly provided the game’s final out to squelch any thoughts of a comeback.
Batter of the Week: Brock Lundquist – The 24-year-old outfielder marked the return from his brief stint in the Florida State League with home runs in three of his five contests this week, adding a pair of multi-hit days as well.
Pitcher of the Week: Andrew Sopko – Despite suffering a mild calf strain on Aug. 7, Sopko returned from a pair of rehabilitation starts with Advanced-A Dunedin to stymie Bowie in a scoreless no-decision on Aug. 15.