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 20.
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)
- Week 18 (end-of-week record: 48-70)
- Week 19 (end-of-week record: 51-73)
Monday, Aug. 24 – Binghamton 5, New Hampshire 2
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Binghamton’s five pitchers limited New Hampshire to just four hits en route to victory on Monday.
New Hampshire’s two runs came in the seventh, but the Fisher Cats left the bases loaded in what was their last real chance at a comeback.
Thomas Pannone gave up four of Binghamton’s five runs, lasting 5 2/3 innings. Pannone (6-9) gave up five hits, two of which were home runs, as well as two walks while striking out eight batters.
In other news, the Fisher Cats announced earlier in the day that Alejandro Kirk will likely need another four days before he fully recovers from the elbow contusion he suffered earlier this month.
The Fisher Cats also saw a roster change, with reliever Jesse Chavez promoted to Triple-A Buffalo and reliever Alex Wimmers returning from Advanced-A Dunedin.
Tuesday, Aug. 25 – Binghamton 6, New Hampshire 1
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – New Hampshire’s offense remained stuck for the second straight day in upstate New York, barely escaping a shutout.
The Fisher Cats’ only run came on a Brock Lundquist double that from Deiferson Barreto across the plate in the fifth, one of two Lundquist hits on the day.
On the mound, Anthony Kay allowed two runs in his start for the ‘Cats, lasting 5 1/3 innings. Kay (5-11) gave up eight hits and two walks, striking out three. Kyle Regnault was responsible for the Rumble Ponies other four runs, all coming in the eighth.
All six of the runs were earned, despite three New Hampshire errors, putting the Fisher Cats at the bottom of the league with 94 errors in total.
Earlier in the day, reliever Brett Cecil returned from Triple-A Buffalo, with Emmanuel Ramirez taking his place in Buffalo’s bullpen.
Wednesday, Aug. 26 – New Hampshire 4, Binghamton 3
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Fisher Cats finally found enough runs before the Rumble Ponies could sweep them out of town.
Riley Adams drove in all four New Hampshire runs, grabbing the first two on a second-inning home run, driving in two more runs on a single in the fifth.
Binghamton came close to tying things up in the eighth, but lefty reliever Chasen Shreve came in to get the final out, shutting the door on what ultimately was Binghamton’s best opportunity at taking the lead.
Andrew Sopko got the win, giving up just two hits and two walks over five innings of work to raise his record up to 6-8 on the year. Brett Cecil shut the door in the ninth to earn his 14th Eastern League save of 2020.
Thursday. Aug. 27 – Portland 2, New Hampshire 1 (10 inn.) (Game 1)
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Cole Sturgeon’s extra-innings homer provided Portland a victory in the first half of Thursday’s doubleheader.
Each team found one run during regulation, with Joey Meneses’ single driving Sturgeon home in the third and Brock Lundquist’s single bringing in Josh Palacios in the fourth to tie things up for New Hampshire.
Lundquist’s single was the last base hit until Forrest Wall connected on a 1-2 fastball in the ninth, with Wall’s base hit providing New Hampshire its last baserunner of the game.
Thomas Hatch lasted 5 1/3 innings in his start for New Hampshire, giving up four hits and three walks, striking out five Sea Dogs. The loss went to Chandler Shepherd, he fell to 4-5 on the year.
Before the first game, pitcher Curtis Taylor got the call up to Toronto, with T.J. Zeuch leaving Toronto to join the Fisher Cats for the first time since 2019.
There were also changes in the bullpen, with Louis Head arriving from Advanced-A Dunedin, while Patrick Murphy and Brett Cecil were moved to Triple-A Buffalo.
Thursday, Aug. 27 – Portland 4, New Hampshire 3 (Game 2)
MANCHESTER, N.H. – An eighth-inning rally came up short as the Fisher Cats dropped the second half of their series opening doubleheader against the Sea Dogs.
After Forrest Wall’s RBI double in the second, Portland would take the lead off a pair of runs in the third, adding insurance runs in the fourth and fifth.
Brock Lundquist’s leadoff double in the eighth brought hope back to the New Hampshire faithful, and he would join Chavez Young in scoring off Kevin Smith’s two-out single later in the inning. However, Josh Palacios could not keep the rally going, with the Fisher Cats going down in order in the ninth.
New Hampshire collected ten hits in the contest, with Wall, Lundquist and Palacios each grabbing a pair.
Graham Spraker was the loser, going 4 2/3 innings before getting the hook from his fifth start of the season. Spraker (1-3) gave up three earned runs off five hits and two walks, striking out two.
Portland’s other run came after a Kevin Smith error, one of his two on the day.
Friday, Aug. 28 – New Hampshire 8, Portland 5
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Six first-inning runs were all the Fisher Cats needed to grab a victory on Friday night.
The Fisher Cats’ first four batters reached safely to spark the early rally, with 11 batters coming to the plate. Portland starter Enmanuel De Jesus hit two batters during that stretch, including a scary moment with Alejandro Kirk, who returned today from several weeks on the injured reserve after being hit by a pitch in the elbow.
New Hampshire added two more runs in a sixth inning highlighted by Chavez Young’s solo homer and Josh Palacios’ triple. Young added a double in the eighth and Palacios knocked two other singles and also stole a base.
On the mound, Thomas Pannone’s start was cut short by an unspecified injury. He allowed three hits and no runs over three innings of work. Chasen Shreve picked his first win of the year after picking up two innings of relief following Pannone’s departure.
Saturday, Aug. 29 – Portland 6, New Hampshire 5
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Saturday’s contest could serve as a representation of the Fisher Cats’ season as a whole.
Despite taking a 5-4 lead in the eighth off Alejandro Kirk’s RBI double, Fisher Cat closer Brett Cecil gave up two runs in the ninth, leading to his third blown save during Eastern League play this year.
Adding salt to the wound, Brock Lundquist left the bases loaded in the ninth, striking out on a hanging 1-2 slider offered up by Portland’s Kyle Hart.
Alfredo Silverio joined Kirk in hitting a double on Saturday for the Fisher Cats, with Chavez Young hitting his first Eastern League triple of the year.
Kirk also added a single earlier in the contest, joining Logan Warmoth in the two-hit club for the Fisher Cats.
Brett Cecil is now 5-3 on the year. Fisher Cat starting pitcher Anthony Kay went 5 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs off seven hits and three walks, striking out five batters.
In addition to Cecil, relief pitcher Curtis Taylor returned from Toronto earlier in the day.
Sunday, Aug. 30 – New Hampshire 5, Portland 3
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Fisher Cats won their home finale, heading into the final week of the season on a positive note.
Chavez Young and Deiferson Barreto each hit home runs, with Barreto also grabbing a double and a single. Young also added a single to finish with a 2-for-4 day, while Riley Adams and Alejandro Kirk both reached base twice by walks.
On the mound, Andrew Sopko couldn’t get enough run support to factor in the decision, but still posted a good start. In 5 1/3 innings, Sopko gave up just two earned runs off four hits, striking out four batters in the process.
Curtis Taylor was the winner, climbing to 1-0 after two innings of relief. Chandler Shepherd recorded the last five outs of the contest to earn his second save of the year.
The Fisher Cats end 2020 with a 33-37 home record, one more win than their 2019 campaign.
Batter of the Week: Josh Palacios – Palacios went 10-for-28 (.357) over the Binghamton and Portland series, scoring four times and driving in three runs.
Pitcher of the Week: Louis Head – Head got the callup from Dunedin last week and he appeared in three games this week against Portland, not giving up any earned runs over 4 1/3 innings, striking out five batters against three walks with no hits allowed.