Monday, June 17, 2013
Victoria drops series finale
There were to be no late inning heroics on this Monday night, with the 'Cats whimpering to a 13-6 loss, unable to recover from the damage of that woeful inning. It was interesting to note that catcher Greg Fettes moved to first, presumably so that they could keep his bat in the lineup while slotting the white hot Alex Real behind the plate. To make room for Fettes, Chris Lewis shifted over to second with Jack Graham, who is only batting .100, the odd man out. Zach Storm - hitless entering the game until a dribbling infield hit in the eighth - filled in at DH, most likely in an attempt to get his bat going.
After three series against teams with a losing record, the HarbourCats now enter their first real challenge of the season in taking on the 6-3 Bellingham Bells in a three game road set against a team that is fresh off a series sweep of Wenatchee. Like Victoria, the Bells took two out of three against Medford but also managed to get a game off the South-leading Klamath Falls Gems. Statistically the two teams are pretty similar, but I would give the batting edge to Victoria as - heading into tonight's game - they lead in average by 20 points, as well as having a slight edge in slugging and OPS. As a team, Bellingham only has one home run and 14 extra base hits so far in nine games and 291 at bats, compared to Victoria which had three HR's (plus 2 more tonight!) and 15 extra base hits, but in only 218 at bats. I'd tip the Bells (but not by much) on the mound as they hold the opposition to a league leading .205 batting average. The two team WHIP's and ERA's are very close, with Victoria having only a slight edge so it should be very even there. All in all, it looks to be a very competitive and evenly matched series. The loss tonight to Kelowna may be a wake-up and just what the doctor ordered heading into a more meaningful and competitive series. But the good thing about baseball, is that it still only counts as one loss and tomorrow is a fresh sheet of paper - new day, new city, new game.
A couple of players to watch for on the Bells are new additions (in the Wenatchee series) Alex Calbick and Johnny Sewald (great baseball name!) who are both hitting over .400. Beware of RHP Aaron Sandefur who will most likely come on in long relief, but has 14 strikeouts in only nine innings of work, allowing three hits and seven walks in that time. As for starters, Luke Morrill comes in with a 1.00 WHIP and 2.45 ERA, while collecting seven strikeouts and giving up only four free passes.
Tune in tomorrow after the long bus ride from Kelowna has our lads waiting to stand up the Bell(e)s of the ball.