Sunday, July 6, 2014

'Cats complete the double sweep

All I can say Coming in to play Kitsap seven days ago, the Victoria HarbourCats were reeling from a nine game losing streak that had just been ended after squeaking one out against the Cowlitz Black Bears in 13 innings. What a difference a week makes.

After completing the rare double-sweep and beating up the Kitsap BlueJackets yet again by a score of 12-1 this afternoon, Victoria now brings its record up to a respectable .500 (12-12) and stays in second place in the West, teasing the fans again with thoughts of a second half chase for a wildcard birth. The 'Cat bats chased ace starter Joss Moss after just two innings, punishing him for seven runs off eight hits, and they didn't look back from there. Victoria got yet another solid pitching start with Logan Lombana giving up only a single run in his seven innings of work off seven hits while striking out fours and walking one.

That said, let's not get ahead of ourselves here, as plenty of teams will have their way with Kitsap before this year is done. But still, heading into a key series against the surprising expansion Yakima Valley Pippins, it's nice to sit back and admire the fact that they absolutely got the job done each and every game. Good teams beat the teams that they should.

Over the last six games, the 'Cats turned it around completely in every aspect of the game. What was the reason - was it Coach Miller getting tossed while arguing the close call? Did he maybe give them the "lollygaggers" speech? Was it playing the lowly BlueJackets six game in a row? Was it the fact they were sick and tired of losing? Was it a combo of all of the above? Really, who is just nice to see the lads back on track and soaring with confidence. I believe the 'Jackets were the perfect tonic for a Victoria team that has lots talent on paper, but was maybe lacking in confidence. Now that they have this key trait, we'll see where they go.

In the two series against Kitsap, the 'Cats put us some gaudy numbers. They outscored their opponent 63-13 and outhit them 82-45, despite the fact that they were outhit in two of the six games. Individually, Hunter Mercado-Hood went 11 for 18 (.611) with 11 runs scored and 12 RBI's, the latter which has him now fighting for the league lead. But the man who feasted even more than HMH was the speedy Ute, Wyler Smith, who also put up beer league numbers going 14/23 (.609) while scoring seven and knocking in ten. Smith was batting lead off today and with his speed, as long as he keeps getting on base like this you will see opposing pitchers approaching him with much caution. To put it in perspective, Smith raised his average form .184 to .338 in just these six games. Like I

So all that is awesome and the boys are flying but now they have to face Yakima, which have three of the top seven batters (by average) and a very impressive 14-10 record to lead the east division. They will certainly be a good yardstick to see if this recent seven game winning streak was more because Kitsap was not so good or because Victoria has turned a corner.

Will Wyler put the bite on the Pippins? Will the pitching staff continue to throw BB's? Tune in tomorrow fans...same Cat-Time, same Cat-Channel!

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