Fisher Cats trying to get their lineup fired up
As Red Sox Nation bemoans what seems like a championship hangover, here in New Hampshire it looks like there might be another baseball championship hangover, albeit a much milder one.
(for the most part)
One thing that would have been almost unthinkable in 2018: The Fisher Cats did not out-hit Hartford or Binghamton during this entire first road trip, even in their three victories.
Indeed, as of Easter, the Eastern League home run leader, Rhett Wiseman of Harrisburg has more home runs (eight) than all of the Fisher Cats combined (seven).
If the first few weeks of 2019 are any indication, this iteration of the Fisher Cats is going be more likely to scratch out singles and stolen bases than provide more Vladito-level Plakatas.
Still there are rays of light on the offensive front like the 10-run performance highlighted with Santiago Espinal’s grand slam on April 17. Plus, in five of the Fisher Cats’ seven first road games, the Fisher Cats scored in the first inning. New Hampshire also managed to score first in the other two games as well during that first trip.
The steadiest hitter in the Fisher Cats’ lineup early has been catcher Alberto Mineo, who has collected a hit in 10 of his first 13 appearances, with multi-hit games in seven of those appearances.
And Erratic Pitching…
On the mound, New Hampshire has had some good performances and some atrocious ones, something to be expected from a team hovering around .500.
2018 Florida State League Pitcher of the Year is 0-3 with an ERA over a half-dozen through his first four starts. Plus, Hector Perez, a key component of last year’s Roberto Osuna trade with the Astros has an ERA of 7.84 over his first three starts, finally getting to five innings on April 16 against Binghamton.
However, New Hampshire two starts earlier in April that could have turned into perfect games if not pitch limitations (Zach Logue on April 6 against Binghamton and Yennsy Diaz a day later), and the emergence of Kirby Snead as one of the premier relievers in the Eastern League.
Snead has four saves as of the Easter Break, tied for the Eastern League lead, and he got a win in the only showing so far where he didn’t get a save: an 11th inning appearance against Binghamton on April, 5. As of Easter, Snead hasn’t given up a run since that April 5 outing, which makes sense since he’s only allowed one baserunner in total since then.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try Six More Times
Hartford’s Jack Wynkoop got the win against New Hampshire on April 20, not a big deal unless one looks at his career record against New Hampshire.
In 2017, Wynkoop had three starts against the Fisher Cats. He ended with an 0-2 record with a 6.00 ERA.
A year later? Wynkoop had three more starts against the Fisher Cats. This time, he ended up with an 0-3 record with a 9.00 ERA.
Is the end of Wynkoop’s curse a mirror on the Fisher Cats’ so-so start? Maybe, or maybe you just can’t lose them all.