It’s July 26, 2021. Here’s a recap of the past week in the world of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Tuesday, July 20 – Reading 9, New Hampshire 8
Wednesday, July 21 – Reading 7, New Hampshire 6
Thursday, July 22 – New Hampshire 7, Reading 6
Friday, July 23 – New Hampshire 5, Reading 4
Saturday, July 24 – Reading 6, New Hampshire 0
Sunday, July 25 – New Hampshire 3, Reading 1
The Fisher Cats came into this series with the struggling Reading Fightin’ Phils with an opportunity to make up some ground in the standings, but left with three wins and three losses. Perhaps a split is better than nothing, but New Hampshire Fisher Cats Manager Cesar Martin believes that his club could have won every game except for Saturday’s with more consistency, especially in the bullpen.
“Obviously the first two games of the series we should have won, the bullpen has been up and down. We had been getting better (last week) in Hartford,” he said. Still, we’re making adjustments. Some guys are doing better, but we can’t pitch those guys every day, so I leave it to the rest of the pitchers. We should have won four or five games during this series.”
This week also marked the promotion of Vinny Capra, who earned Double-A Northeast Player of the Week honors earlier this month.
Capra had been posting a slash line of .370/.439/1.077 this season in New Hampshire, surpassing his 2019 RBI total in 67 fewer games.
“Obviously we still have some really good guys in the clubhouse, but Vinny definitely made an impact with the younger guys, he was one of the best hitters we had. No doubt about it, he earned the trip to Triple-A,” said Martin. “He made improvements, especially in his hitting and seeing him advance definitely provides motivation for everybody. He’s a great guy, and a great player and that’s all you can ask for. Everybody was happy he got promoted.”
The Fisher Cats, like the rest of the world, haven’t been able to escape the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just like the rest of the state, there are some signs that things are getting back to normal with slowly rising attendance figures, with Saturday’s game drawing over 6,000 fans.
It might not be as dramatic as the clubs representing the next two steps on the franchise ladder for the current group of Fisher Cats finally getting to go home soon, but it’s been a nice touch, even if Martin sees it as a bonus rather than a necessity.
“It’s nice to play with a lot of fans in the stands, but in the end it’s not the most important thing,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, we always like seeing a lot of fans but we want to play the same day every day no matter what and I think after a while the fans if we can do that then the fans will notice. Over the weekend the games had very good crowds and I think feeling that support did have a huge impact on the players and coaches.”
Fisher Cats of the Week
- Jordan Groshans – Groshans recorded a hit in every game he saw during the Reading series, recording a hit in nine of his last ten appearances. Three of those games saw more than one hit from him, including three doubles, four RBI, and three walks.
- Otto Lopez – Like Groshans, Lopez also recorded at least one hit in each of the five games he saw and had three multi-hit games. He’s now hitting .314 for the month of July and .341 on the season, making a quiet push for a possible league batting crown.
- Casey Lawrence – Generally 33-year-olds are not a common sight at the Double-A level, but Lawrence’s start on Friday was a welcome sight nonetheless. Returning to the Fisher Cats after stints on the team from 2012 to 2016, Lawrence pitched five scoreless innings on Friday, allowing just two walks and two hits, striking out four.