Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bells sweep faltering Cats

Griffin Andreychuk
And that, my friends, was a good ol’ fashioned ass kicking. The Bellingham Bells defeated the ‘Cats 7-2 on Wednesday night at RAP to sweep the three-game series between the two clubs. The Bells outscored Victoria 23-5 in the series and outplayed them in every way imaginable -- hitting, fielding, pitching -- you name it.

Mikey Wright got the start for Victoria and his performance was less than outstanding. After surprising us with two exceptional outings to begin the season, Wright came back down to earth on Wednesday night. He pitched six innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out three batters. He didn't receive much help from his defense, although to be fair he was responsible for two of the four HarbourCats errors himself.

On the positive side, Hunter Mercado-Hood and Griffin Andreychuk had two hits apiece for Victoria and Alex DeGoti hit a solo home run. Andreychuk also reached base safely a third time by earning the team’s only walk of the night. Aside from that (and Alan Baldwin’s RBI triple), it wasn't easy to find silver linings in the series finale against Bellingham.

Let's get straight to the point: There are a bunch of spots in the batting order that seem like easy outs right now. The bottom five slots in the order went a combined 1-for-13 on Wednesday. Victoria catchers are hitting a combined 1-for-37 (.027) on the season. The team is hitting .222 on the year -- not only the worst team batting average in the league, but a whopping 16 points behind the 11th-best team in the league (Klamath Falls). In short, we’re in a serious batting funk.

Bubba's favourite urinal still awaits repairs
While the pitching is a surprising 5th best in the league, the HarbourCats are headed in the wrong direction here too. Saturday marked the end of a stunning 29 consecutive scoreless innings streak, but the pitching staff has now given up 32 runs in the last 31 innings.

The news isn't all bad, however. First and foremost, Bellingham is finally leaving town. Good riddance. The Bells look like a team that is destined to make the playoffs and I highly doubt that Victoria will be the last team that they completely dominate this season. Second, the HarbourCats get two much-needed days off on Thursday and Friday. The team has played nine games in the last nine days, so the mental break should do them a world of good. Third -- and perhaps most importantly -- help is on the way. Both first baseman Gabe Clark and catcher Aaron Barnett are set to join the team on the weekend and their offensive contributions are in dire need right now. Clark will provide needed punch in the heart of the order and Barnett is a line-drive machine.

The HarbourCats will play exhibition games against the Langley Sr. Blaze on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon before opening a three-game series at RAP on Monday night against the Bend Elks. The Elks are a team that the HarbourCats can handle. Let’s hope the momentum shifts in the ‘Cats favour when they get back at it for real on Monday night.

  • Hunter Mercado-Hood leads all HarbourCats regulars with a .289 batting average. Yes that’s right, not a single regular is hitting .300.
  • Wednesday’s game was the team’s 4th consecutive loss.
  • Victoria’s record is now 5-7, good for fourth place in the four-team West Division. The team is 3 ½ games behind the first place Bellingham Bells.
  • The Cowlitz Black Bears currently hold the wild card playoff spot. Victoria is 2 ½ games behind Cowlitz, but there are four other clubs between Victoria and the Black Bears.
  • The powerful Bells face the HarbourCats six more times this season, including another three-game set at RAP from August 1st to the 3rd.


  1. The starting pitching was very good throughout the 3 game series. Mikey Wright was doing fine until the solo home run in the fifth inning by Nate Anderson then things turned south. Throughout the series, when the HarbourCats went to the bullpen the runs started to pile up. But give Bellingham some credit, they have an awesome team, seven guys are batting over .340.

  2. Agreed, Bellingham is an awesome team. Tip of the cap to them for a well-played series. They even do all the little things well (e.g. bunting and taking the extra bag on the base paths).

  3. Glad to hear we have a hitting catcher en-route to us, and one with an outstanding school record this past season. Amazing for a freshman to get that many at bats and put up those numbers. Might be tough for the other C's to get any time once he arrives.