Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cats pitchers are mere mortals after all

Thud. That was the sound of the HarbourCats pitching falling back to earth. After reeling off an incredible string of 29 consecutive scoreless innings, Victoria pitchers acted like mere mortals Sunday night as they couldn't hold a 5-0 lead and the H-Cats eventually lost 7-6 to the Bend Elks.

Tim Peabody got the start for Victoria. The book on Peabody coming into the summer was that he is nearly unhittable but has trouble finding the strike zone; this spring with LMU, Peabody held opponents to a .202 batting average, but issued a generous 5.9 walks per nine innings. Although he had only given up one walk in 8 ⅓ innings as a HarbourCat coming into tonight, his control problems resurfaced against the Elks. Peabody only gave up one hit in 4+ innings on the mound, but he walked a grand total of seven batters and surrendered a pair of runs. He could have escaped without giving up any runs, but Quintin Torres-Costa allowed a pair of inherited runners to score in his second straight relief appearance.

Hunter Mercado-Hood, on-base and
RBI machine (photo by Brian Hayes)
Ryan Keller took the loss in a less-than-stellar return to the HarbourCats lineup, as last year’s closer gave up a pair of runs in 2 ⅓ innings on the hill. Keller also surrendered three hits and a pair of walks. Victoria pitchers walked 11 batters on the night after only walking 26 batters in the first eight games of the season.

The offense was once again led by Hunter Mercado-Hood and Nathan Lukes. Mercado-Hood had three RBI on the night, giving him 11 on the season and putting him in a tie for most RBI in the league with Cowlitz’s Austin Baker. He also reached base safely in four of his five plate appearances. Lukes scored a pair of runs and had two hits and an RBI. Bryce Greager and Sean Watkins knocked in the other runs.

The loss drops the HarbourCats into fourth place in the tight West Division with a 5-4 record. However, the team is only one game back of the first-place Cowlitz Black Bears. Victoria opens a three-game series against the Bellingham Bells on Monday night at the STD at RAP. We’ll see you there!

  • Even after giving up six earned runs on Sunday, the Victoria pitching staff still sports the fourth-best ERA in the league (3.49).
  • After smashing the all-time WCL record for most homers allowed last season, Victoria pitchers have surrendered only one home run in their first 9 games. Medford leads the league in fewest homers allowed this summer (0).
  • Victoria is second in WCL attendance with an average of 1,663 fans per game. The expansion Yakima Valley Pippins lead the league with an average attendance of 1,778. The rest of the league is fairly close in attendance numbers, except for the struggling Kelowna (625), Klamath Falls (422) and Kitsap (354).
  • The HarbourCats have scored three or more runs in eight of their nine games.
  • Check back on our blog for Bubba’s Bellingham series preview!

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