Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cats trampled by Elks en route to 6th consecutive loss

Gabe Clark launches his 2nd homer of the year
13 runs, 18 hits, 2 errors for Bend. 7 runs, 11 hits, 2 errors for Victoria. Need we say more? Well, perhaps a little more... I wish I could suggest that Tuesday's 13-7 loss to the Elks was an aberration, but to be quite honest it's exactly the kind of game I was expecting to see every now and then at RAP this summer. Lots of offense from the Cats, but not much pitching.

On the offensive side, the new guys, Gabe Clark and Aaron Barnett, continue to impress. Along with Griffin Andreychuk, they are turning into the engine of the HarbourCats offense. The night started off well, especially when Andreychuk and Alex DeGoti hit back-to-back solo shots in the bottom of the second. Andreychuk reached base five times on the night and scored on four occasions. Clark homered for the second consecutive night -- a towering drive high into the screen in left to lead off the bottom of the third -- and he finished the night with three hits and a pair of RBI. Meanwhile, Barnett also had three hits and knocked in a pair of runs. Hunter Mercado-Hood chipped in with a pair of singles and an RBI.

Unfortunately, the bottom of the order continues to be a major problem for the HarbourCats. The last four spots in the order went a combined 0-for-18 on Tuesday night. On Monday night, the bottom three spots in the order went 0-for-11. Needless to say, it's time for some of the underachieving hitters to step it up.

Clark is congratulated by Bob Miller
Logan Lombana got the start for Victoria and he was fortunate to only give up three earned runs in his five innings of work. It took him 104 pitches to stagger through those five innings, so the 'Cats coaching staff was wise to get him out of there with a 6-4 lead. Unfortunately, the HarbourCats bullpen imploded in spectacular fashion after Lombana was removed. Relievers Alex Fagalde, Carson Schneider, Ryan Keller and Mark Marinch combined to give up 9 earned runs, 10 hits and 3 walks over 2 1/3 innings (!!). Those 2 1/3 innings seemed to stretch out for an eternity. Mercifully, Don Sullivan was able to stop the bleeding by pitching an effective 1 2/3 innings to close out the debacle.

On a night when we should be celebrating the performances of guys like Clark and Barnett, we're instead left shaking our heads. Let's hope that the HarbourCats can put this behind them as quickly as possible. The losses are starting to mount and the season will start slipping away if the team doesn't turn things around soon. Mikey Wright (2-1, 3.50) takes on Jake Thompson (0-1 , 12.27 ERA) on Wednesday night at RAP. Let's hope that Wright can pitch a gem tomorrow night, but my gut tells me that we might be in for more of the same.

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