Friday, July 25, 2014

All-Star starter shuts down HarbourCats

It's called the Butterfly Effect. No not that horrible Ashton Kutcher / Amy Smart movie, the concept where seemingly unrelated events that occur miles away impact your life in a negative way. Monday night's All-Star game rain-out in Corvalis proved to be the HarbourCats butterfly Friday night at Royal Athletic Park. All-Star game planned-starter Jackson Lockwood who never got his chance to pitch Monday night, threw everything he had at Victoria for 7 strong innings, leaving the game to the bullpen up 5-1 and holding Victoria to a five-spot of hits and a single run. 

Cats starter Alex Rogers gave up home runs in both the 1st and 4th inning to dig a hole Victoria could never get out of. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits. Tim Peabody gave up a run in 2 innings of work, but showed great command of a nasty curve ball  that netted him 3 strikeouts.

Watkins, Clark, Degoti discuss hitting strategies in the 8th
The game got interesting in the 8th inning when the Victoria bats finally came to life. The heart of the 'Cats order got it done loading the bases for WCL RBI leader Hunter Mercado-Hood with only 1 out. HMH had a tough at bat, striking out on 5 pitches. Sean Watkins came through with a 2-run double to get the game to 5-3, but DH Aaron Barnett couldn't come up with a hit to tie the game. Barnett is struggling mightily of late, going only 3 for his last 20. Since July 7th, he's lost 83 points off his batting average, sitting now at .264.

The ninth inning saw another surge from the Cats, but it was snuffed out in a hurry by lights-out pitcher Joey Wise. Wise has yet to allow an earned run this year in 11.2 innings of work. Final score 5-3.

  • One thing is for sure, Baseball Card giveaway day is a success. Over 2,400 fans came out to enjoy the game, raising Victoria's WCL attendance lead on the season. I sensed a lot of "new" fans in the park, and heard nothing but positive comments leaving the park. There were some impressive defensive plays that were the talk of the evening, including a fabulous diving catch by Corvalis LF Scott Quinlan to end the 5th inning, and a leaping grab by also-All-Star 2B Marc Gallegos in the 9th off the bat of Wyler Smith.
  • And speaking of Smith, Victoria really needs a new lead-off hitter. In non-Kitsap games, Wyler is a combined 2-20 in the leadoff spot. Them ain't table-setting numbers...
  • Say goodbye to Quintin Torres-Costa when you're at the park this weekend. Q has really found his stride these past couple of weeks, and seems to have returned to his pre-Tommy John arm strength. He will be leaving us early next week to attend to personal matters. We here at the blog wish him all the best this year at the U of Hawaii, and hope to see him back. He leaves us with a 3.19 ERA in 25 innings pitched, with 33 Ks and only 22 hits. Mahalo Q!


  1. While a loss is never great, I was happy with how the Cats played against the powerful Corvallis squad on Friday night. It was a great ballgame to watch -- lots of great defense from both sides. Let's hope that the Saturday and Sunday games are just as entertaining.

    At this point I have little hesitation in labelling the Knights the best team in the WCL.

  2. I was very impressed by the Corvallis defensive play. They took several hits away from the HarbourCats with well-timed leaps and dives. Their pitching was superb as well. Despite the loss, it was an entertaining game with a chance to win. The inability of the HarbourCats to get that timely hit was their downfall last night - and in several games this year. It would also be nice to have a lead off hitter who could get on base. It's time to make a change.

  3. I totally agree. Wyler Smith should not be batting leadoff... I don't care how fast he is. He has the 9th-best OBP of the remaining players on the team. Somebody should tell Bob Miller that the 80's are over and that his managerial strategies are 30 years behind the times.

  4. Anonymous, your comment was not published because it is disrespectful. It's OK to have a difference of opinion, but you cannot resort to name-calling and expect to have your comment published. BTW, when Smith is in the line-up he should be batting in a spot in the order that aligns with his skill set. His OBP is too low to qualify for batting first in the order. And yes, we do actually watch the games. Closely.