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 7.
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)
Friday, May 22 – New Hampshire 6, Trenton 5 (12 inn.)
MANCHESTER, N.H. – In what was probably the most dramatic walk so far this year, Cullen Large took a fourth ball on a full count and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th, giving the Fisher Cats a walk-off base on balls.
The late win looked unlikely earlier in the contest, with Trenton taking early 4-0 lead off Estevan Florial’s three-run dinger in the third. The Fisher Cats clawed by two runs in the bottom of the third, and Brock Lundquist’s three-run blast to right landed 392 feet from home plate, giving New Hampshire its first lead of the contest. Trenton’s Ben Ruta evened the game back up on a Mac James fielding error, with neither team able to add a run until Christian Williams came across the plate thanks to Large’s final walk.
At the plate for the ‘Cats, Lundquist went 4-for-6 on the day, Alejandro Kirk went 2-for-4 with two walks and a pair of RBI, Alfredo Silverio went 3-for-4 with two runs and Large also had two earlier walks before his game-winner.
On the mound, Chase Whitley (1-1) was the winner of record, the seventh Fisher Cat pitcher of the game. Whitley had three outs including a strikeout, one of 17 recorded by Fisher Cats pitchers over the contest.
The five-hour and 14-minute win brought the Fisher Cats to 17-24 on the year.
Saturday, May 23 – New Hampshire 1, Trenton 0 (11 inn.)
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Fisher Cat fans got a second straight day of walk-off heroics with a walk-off single from Kevin Smith in the 11th.
Smith’s hit came off the first pitch of his at-bat against Trenton reliever Andrew Gist, a line drive to shallow right center just deep enough to let Riley Adams easily trot home from third.
The game-winning hit was Smith’s first in nine days and the only hit in his five at-bats on Saturday. Josh Palacios and Brock Lundquist had three-hit days, with Palacios, Christian Williams and Cullen Large getting doubles, putting them at 83 on the year, just three doubles away from retaking the league lead back from Harrisburg.
Adams also accumulated a trio of walks.
New Hampshire starting pitcher Ryan Borucki went five strong innings for the second start in a row, striking out seven Thunder batters against just four hits.
Borucki was one of six New Hampshire pitchers, including new relief pitcher Eddie Butler.
Butler joined New Hampshire from Triple-A Buffalo, bringing New Hampshire back up to 16 pitchers. Also known as “Red Beard”, he spent 2019 pitching in Korea and was in the majors from 2014 to 2018.
The winning pitcher was James Dykstra (1-0), recording the final two outs in the top of the 11th.
Sunday, May 24 – Trenton 9, New Hampshire 1
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Fisher Cats couldn’t continue their path to a sweep of the New York Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, with their only run coming off a Brock Lundquist RBI single to right, bringing Josh Palacios across the plate.
New Hampshire’s six pitchers used on the day gave up three Trenton home runs, with starter Andrew Kay (4-2) giving up four hits and four walks in five innings of work, allowing three earned runs to put him on the hook for the loss.
Despite a light rain, there were no delays, but the game still lasted four hours and six minutes.
Earlier in the day, closer Sean Wymer was demoted to Single-A Lansing. Wymer has been one of New Hampshire’s better pitchers this year, leading the team with seven saves in nine opportunities. He allowed just three earned runs in 17 innings of relief during his time with New Hampshire.
Monday, May 25 – Trenton 9, New Hampshire 5
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Thunder leave New Hampshire with a split thanks to a contest that saw 25 combined hits between both teams.
There was at least one run from either the Thunder or the Fisher Cats in every inning except for the fourth, with Trenton putting up three-run innings in the sixth and eighth.
Alfredo Silverio went 3-for-5 in the leadoff spot, with Forrest Wall and Josh Palacios grabbing two hits each.
Kevin Smith hit his third home run of the year in the second, with Palacios, Wall and Alejandro Kirk each getting doubles, bringing New Hampshire back into the league lead for doubles with 88, one double ahead of second-place Harrisburg.
Andrew Sopko (0-5) was the loser, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing four earned runs off eight hits and a walk, striking out seven batters.
The Fisher Cats sent six men to the mound, with Turner Larkins leaving with an unspecified injury after throwing 11 pitches in the ninth.
Earlier in the day, Cullen Large was promoted for a second time this year to Triple-A Buffalo. In his two stints with the Fisher Cats this year, he is hitting .275 (14-for-51) with four doubles, six RBI and a pair of homers.
The Fisher Cats also saw a change in their pitching staff, with Graham Spraker demoted to Advanced-A Dunedin and Thomas Hatch demoted from Triple-A Buffalo. Hatch pitched for the Fisher Cats in 2019, giving up 11 earned runs in 35 1/3 innings of work. This year he’s given up 23 earned runs in 50 1/3 innings against International League opponents.
Tuesday, May 26 – New Hampshire 7, Reading 5
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Fisher Cats owned the first six innings of this contest, gathering a 7-0 lead that was enough to withstand a late Reading rally.
Four of those seven early runs came in the fourth, highlighted by Alejandro Kirk’s two run blast. Brock Lundquist went deep in the third, his ninth homer so far this year.
Also of note at the plate, Josh Palacios went 3-for-3 with a walk, Mac James went 3-for-4 with a double and Ben Revere also added a double during his 2-for-4 appearance.
On the mound, Patrick Murphy gave up just one hit and two walks but was pulled after four innings after sustaining an ankle injury. He is listed as day-to-day.
Turner Larkins (2-2) took the win, striking out three of the four batters he faced in the fifth.
Brett Cecil needed just four pitches to record the final two outs of the ninth for his first save of the year.
In other news, Eddie Butler was diagnosed with a torn triceps suffered during an appearance earlier this week. He is expected to miss three to four months.
Wednesday, May 27 – Reading 12, New Hampshire 10
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Ten runs are normally enough to win, but the Fisher Cats have had plenty of bad luck this season.
The Fisher Cats recorded 12 hits, with three from Lundquist and two from Forrest Wall. Wall also had six RBI, with three men coming home off a first-pitch double in the seventh.
Sean Reid-Foley left the game with an unspecified injury after just 12 pitches, the first of nine Fisher Cat pitchers on the day.
Brett Cecil (1-2) was on the hook for the loss, responsible for 2 of the 6 runs during his time on the mound in the eighth and ninth.
Reading shortstop Bryson Stott scored four times, the most by any one player in the league this year.
In other news, Portland’s Johan Mieses was suspended by the Eastern League for three games after a recent ejection in Harrisburg.
Mieses sparked a fight with several Harrisburg players following the ejection, but the altercation did not result in any further ejections or punishments from the league for other players.
Thursday, May 28 – Reading 18, New Hampshire 4
MANCHESTER, N.H. – New Hampshire’s pitching staff completely collapsed on Thursday’s late morning matinee, highlighted by an eye-popping 13 runs in the ninth.
In that catastrophic inning, four pitchers took the mound, erasing the modest momentum New Hampshire gained from two runs in the eighth.
Turner Larkins allowed the first three batters to reach base in the ninth, with James Dykstra then filling in to allow the next six batters reach base safely and Chandler Shepard allowing the next six batters to reach after that.
First baseman Christian Williams finally took the mound as a last resort, forcing a double play and a fly out to finally end the nightmare.
Nine pitchers appeared in the game for New Hampshire, beginning with Archimedes Gamboa’s home run on the first pitch of the game setting the general tone over the day, with starter Ryan Borucki (1-4) leaving with an injury one out into the fourth.
Josh Palacios, Mac James and Deiferson Barreto each contributed doubles and Ben Revere had a triple in the eighth.
The 13 runs smashed the franchise one-inning record of 11 set three times, most recently on April 6, 2014 against Trenton.
Batter of the Week: Josh Palacios – This week, Palacios hit .300 (10-for-30) with four doubles, four three walks and four runs scored.
Pitcher of the Week: Christian Williams – Given the poor week across the board for New Hampshire’s simulated pitchers, it’s only proper that this week’s pitcher of the week is a position player coming in to retire the side where the bullpen failed.