Catching Up: Part 1 – On the Field

Fat Cats vs. Burlington on Saturday, June 18th

The Baseball season is underway and while it may have taken me a little longer to get started than I had planned, that didn’t stop the Fat Cats from giving you, the fans, something to cheer about. Today, I’m going to officially kick off the 2011 IBL Season here at The Litter Box, with 2 part series called Catching Up. Part 1 will discuss the on-field performance of the Fat Cats so far.

I myself have only been to one Fat Cats game this season. The game was last Saturday against the Burlington Twins and boy, did I pick a good game to go to.  The Cats’ won the game by a score of 11-2, and the win was accompanied by what could be the catch of the season by Kevin Dietrich, who dove to shallow CF and absolutely robbed the Twins’ Mark Spillman of a single. The Fat Cats led this game by a score of 7-0 after the 2nd Inning, a definite positive sign for both the bats and the gloves of Ottawa.

This win against Burlington was the largest margin that the Fat Cats have won by this season, but that wasn’t the most runs that they’ve scored. In the game previous to the blowout vs. the Twins, the 1st place London Majors fell victim to the Fat Cats by a score of 16-11. Scoring 16 runs in one game is an impressive feat to begin with, so you can imagine how big of a deal it was to do it against the Majors, a team that had only lost 1 game up until that point.

The Fat Cats do still have a losing record, however they definitely do not look as bad as they did last season. The amount of errors that the Twins’ fielding was racking up reminded me a little bit of the Fat Cats circa 2010. This year, the errors haven’t come nearly as frequently for Ottawa. The fielding is much sounder with players like Chris Latimer and Kyle Barclay warming up to their surroundings in the IBL and playing much better this season.

GM Duncan MacDonald is looking like the Peter Chiarelli of the IBL right now, after bringing in some import players that have propelled themselves to the top of the Fat Cats’ lineup. Kevin Dietrich; an import from Charlotte, North Carolina; currently leads the Fat Cats in batting average, RBIs, and hits. Dietrich has proven that he is a threat at the plate and in the outfield, with his highlight reel catch vs. Burlington proving his fielding abilities. Ottawa’s other imports, like C Rick Howroyd, and INF Clae Mathis, also make pitchers and defenders shake in their boots.

The Cats’ returning players also have made an impact this season. Cody Mombourquette returns to the Ottawa Fat Cats this season. Last year he had a phenomenal start to the season, and was one of the only bright spots in what otherwise was a let down of a season for Ottawa. This year, Mombo hasn’t started as noticeably, but has still been solid and consistent.

C Eitan Maoz is a very interesting case. Coming over from Mississauga at the deadline last season, Maoz was a factor with the Twins, but didn’t play much with Ottawa at the end of the season. This year, Maoz has only played in about half the games, but is still in the top half in most offensive categories for the Cats.

It’s been a promising season for Ottawa so far, as they look to become a serious threat to the rest of the IBL teams. They have had a reasonable start on the field and if consistency improves, the Cats can easily challenge for home field advantage come playoff time.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back with Part 2 of Catching Up in a few days, when we dig deep into the off-the-field successes and failures of the 2011 Ottawa Fat Cats.

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