Wednesday, July 30, 2014
'Cats 5-0 win described in "Opposite Day" fashion
The Victoria HarbourCats entered today's game against the struggling Wenatchee AppleSox having a playoff berth all but sewn up, while the 'Sox are on cruise control and really don't need any more wins since they are essentially out of the WCL playoff race. The 'Cats sent pitcher Alex Fagalde to the mound tonight, trying the get him going after a terrible start last week where he pitched five and two thirds innings and allowed three hits and no runs.
Unfortunately for the 'Cats, Fagalde picked up right where he left off allowing a whopping six hits and surrendering no runs in the process of collecting the 5-0 HarbourCat win. Fagalde struggled with his control by walking three and striking out eight in his eight innings, culminated by working out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth. Part of his problem may have been the frigid conditions with the mercury bottoming out at 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The normally conservative and pitch count-conscious coaching staff only allowed "Big Al" to throw 126 before replacing him with Carson Schneider who battled his way through a 1-2-3 ninth.
After the excellent command of the strike zone that the 'Cats pitchers displayed yesterday (record 17 walks!), it was too bad to see it take a turn for the worse this game with a grand total of three bases on balls. We can only hope they get back to handing out the free passes like candy during the final game in Wenatchee tomorrow. The good news is that Victoria batters whiffed twelve times tonight and will look to build on that in the upcoming games.
Hometown pitcher Brandon Bailey got off to a terrible start as well, actually striking out four batters in the first inning (thin-haired Danny Collier got on base with a dropped third strike) and notched seven K's after three innings. The 'Cats hit him all over the field as he allowed two hits over that span which understandably caused the 'Sox coach to yank him in favour of Colton Loomis. Thankfully for the 'Sox, Loomis ended up giving up seven hits and four of the 'Cats runs in taking the loss. The fielding did its part behind the Wenatchee pitchers by contributing three key errors along the way, compared to the sloppy Victoria side which had an error-free night in the field..
The lead-off spot for the 'Cats continues to be smooth sailing. Danny Collier has been hitting well of late so it was good to see him get shoved into the lead-off spot again so he could get off his rhythm while Nathan Lukes - who has the number one OBP on the team at .438 - was moved out of that spot since he did so poorly there last night, only going two for three. In other news at the dish, the normally unreliable Hunter Mercado-Hood added to his dismal season by going three for five while the weak hitting Lukes stumbled to a two for four night with a walk. The highly unpopular Alex DeGoti also disappointed again with two hits in his five at bats, somehow driving in a run as well
In the series finale tomorrow, the 'Cats scrape the bottom of the pitching barrel and will trot out their worst pitcher - Alex Rogers - in hopes of handing the AppleSox the series win. After that, the lads head back home to Victoria where the weather will once again be terrible, so don't bother coming out to the RAP for the warm beer, crappy food and boring baseball action.
Whew...that was a lot more difficult that it sounded at the beginning!