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 4, the first week of May, with the Fisher Cats in the middle of the Eastern League’s Eastern Division standings with a record of 9-11.
All game information comes from Out of the Park Baseball ’21
Friday, May 1 – New Hampshire 5, Binghamton 3
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Patrick Murphy threw seven strong innings, bringing the Fisher Cats back within a game of .500 with their series opening win against the Rumble Ponies.
Murphy (2-0) gave up just four hits and three walks, striking out six and allowing one run in the seventh.
After James Dykstra allowed two runs in the eighth, Sean Wymer came in to shut the door in the ninth for his sixth save of the year.
At the plate, Forest Wall and Ben Revere obtained a pair of hits, Chavez Young had three hits with a pair of RBI and Ajelandro Kirk went 4-for-4 and a walk, scoring a pair of runs.
Revere, Kirk and Young each had a double, adding to the Fisher Cats’ league-leading 51 two-baggers. Young also hit a homer in the second.
On Thursday, the Fisher Cats lost relief pitcher Joey Murray to Advanced-A Dunedin, seeing the addition of reliever Jesse Chavez from Toronto’s Gulf Coast Rookie League team as well as Ryan Noda from Triple-A Buffalo.
The Blue Jays picked Noda in the 15th round of the 2017 June Draft out of the University of Cincinnati, with two years on the resume in the prestigious Cape Cod League along the way.
Noda can play outfield, but is primarily a first baseman and was a regular with the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts in 2018 and Dunedin in 2019.
This spring, he went 1-for-5 for the Blue Jays with a double on Feb. 24 against the Braves.
Chavez went to Buffalo on Friday in exchange for reliever Chase Whitley. Whitley appeared in two International League contests last week after his initial call-up from New Hampshire.
Saturday, May 2 – Binghamton 4, New Hampshire 1
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Rumble Ponies opened with a three-inning first and didn’t look back, giving Anthony Kay his first defeat of the season.
On Friday, Kay was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Month for April, finishing April with a 3-0 mark with a 2.48 ERA, over four starts, striking out 26 batters while allowing 18 hits and four walks.
In Saturday’s contest, Kay nearly equaled walk total for April, giving passes to three Binghamton batters over 5 ½ innings of work. He also allowed three hits, including Desmond Lindsay’s home run in the first.
Fisher Cats second baseman Logan Warmoth left the contest in the third after throwing out Johneshwy Fargas in the third inning. Warmoth appeared to suffer an unspecified injury, but additional details were not immediately available following the contest.
After the game, Fisher Cats Manager Cesar Martin announced that he would be enacting a six-man starting rotation for the near future, bringing Ryan Borucki back into the fold after a week in the bullpen.
Sunday, May 3 – Binghamton 5, New Hampshire 2
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Eight out of New Hampshire’s nine starting batters finished Sunday’s contest with a hit, but the Fisher Cats couldn’t string together a matinee win against the Rumble Ponies.
Brock Lundquist’s leadoff solo shot ate into the Rumble Ponies’ early three-run lead, but Binghamton’s three runs in the sixth brought their lead back up to three, chasing Fisher Cats starting pitcher Andrew Sopko.
Christian Williams brought home Kevin Smith in the bottom of the sixth for the Fisher Cats’ final run of the game.
Williams had a pair of hits, his first multi-hit game since April 29. Riley Adams was the only starting Fisher Cat batter without a hit, but recorded a pair of walks
Sopko (0-2) allowed three earned runs during his six-inning appearance, allowing six hits and no walks, striking out six.
Monday, May 4 – Reading 6, New Hampshire 4
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Fisher Cats managed just three hits, going without a hit until Brock Lundquist’s solo homer in the sixth, his second home run in as many days.
Following Lundquist’s shot, which reached the roof of the Sam Adams Bar and Grill, Reading starter Enyel De Los Santos retired the next three batters to squash any possibility of a Fisher Cats rally.
New Hampshire’s other three runs came in the seventh, with a bases-loaded single by Josh Palacios bringing Ben Revere home and a Riley Adams hit on the next at-bat bringing Alejandro Kirk and Forrest Wall around the plate.
Fisher Cats starting pitcher Thomas Pannone (0-2) was on the hook for five earned runs in his five innings of work, giving up five hits and a walk, striking out eight in the loss.
Earlier in the day, shortstop Kevin Vicuña was demoted to Advanced-A Dunedin.
Tuesday, May 5 – Reading 1, New Hampshire 0
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sean Reid-Foley took his first loss of the year in a pitcher’s duel that came down to one mistake.
That mistake came in the third, where a double from Reading catcher Rodolfo Duran eventually transformed into the contest’s only run.
Ben Revere and Josh Palacios each had two hits for the Fisher Cats, the only Fisher Cat batters with any hits during the game.
With the loss, New Hampshire’s team batting average over the first five days of May falls to .221, and .119 in their first three games against the Fightins’.
In other news, Logan Warmoth was diagnosed with a strained hamstring, incurring the injury during a throw from second to first on Saturday’s contest against the Binghamton. He is currently expected to miss the next six weeks.
Wednesday, May 6 – New Hampshire 7, Reading 5
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Fisher Cats avoided a sweep at Reading’s hands thanks to home runs from Mac James and Brock Lundquist.
Lundquist came across the plate three times and drove home two teammates in the win, finishing the day 2-for-3. Christian Williams also ended 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a run, with James also adding a single in addition to his homer in the eighth.
Williams, Ben Revere and Josh Palacios also added doubles, bringing New Hampshire’s Eastern League lead in that category to 57 so far.
Ryan Borucki lasted 5 1/3 innings in the start for New Hampshire, giving up one run off five hits and three walks, striking out seven. Borucki was relegated to a no decision after Josh Stephen’s grand slam in the eighth erased New Hampshire’s lead.
Lundquist’s solo homer highlighted a two-run New Hampshire eighth, putting Fisher Cats reliever Graham Spraker in line for the win. Sean Wymer retired Reading in order for his seventh save of the year.
Earlier in the day, Kyle Regnault was added to the bullpen, after signing a free agent contract on May 5 with Toronto. Regnault spent 2019 with the Hiroshima Carp in Japan, allowing 53 hits and 22 earned runs over 59 1/3 innings.
Batter of the Week: Brock Lundquist – During the first week of May, Lundquist earned his way back into the lineup with four home runs over three contests.
Pitcher of the Week: Sean Wymer – The Fisher Cats had only two wins, and both of them were saved by Wymer, who now has a share of the league lead in saves with seven. He now has not allowed an earned run over his past five contests.