‘Cats Sweep Hamilton, Draw Close to .500
Author’s Note: Just to clear up any confusion, I’ve changed my WordPress username from ‘knox3’ to ‘michaelofc’. So, if you stumble across comments in older articles that are under my old username, just keep this in your head. Thank you.
I’m sure that the Fat Cats were happy to be back home. They finished off a 5-game road trip 2 weekends ago, going 2-3 in the process. Toward the end of that weekend in Kitchener, the Fat Cats were looking fatigued. You could tell that they just wanted to get home.
This weekend, the Fat Cats got their wish and were able to return home, to play a 3-game series against the Hamilton Thunderbirds.
The Cats will finish 6th in the IBL standings regardless of what the other teams in the IBL do. This weekend was a good opportunity to get players like Ivan Cherwinski and Kyle O’Brien on the field, to test them out. You never know what could happen in the playoffs, so these two and other Fat Cats who haven’t been utilized as much as others, may have to spring into action.
On Friday, Ivan Cherwinski got the nod at 1st Base, and Ottawa won the game 8-0. Cherwinski had 1 hit in the game, but that paled in comparison to the 4 hits of LaDale Hayes and the 3 hits of Joe Stone. Even those impressive offensive feats from Ottawa’s outfielders weren’t the biggest story from this game.
Matt McGovern started on the mound for the Fat Cats, and he also finished the game. That’s right, McGovern pitched a complete game shutout against Hamilton on Friday. He allowed just 3 hits, and had an unbelieveable 13 strikeouts. This was arguably the best ever performance by an Ottawa Fat Cats pitcher.
McGovern has become Ottawa’s most consistent pitcher since he arrived last season. He’s gotten better and better with every game on the mound in this league, and has wow’d me on more then one occasion this season. I definitely feel good with Matt on the mound.
Saturday night was the game that I attended on this weekend, and it was a perfect night for baseball. The announced attendance was only 2,028, but there was definitely more that that many people at the game. There looked to be closer to 3,000 people in attendance.
Ottawa started the game off slowly; going 3 up, 3 down for the first few innings. Headed to the 6th, it was 1-0 T-Birds.
In the bottom of that inning, Ottawa’s best players came out in the clutch for their team. Dietrich, Howroyd and McGovern (playing first) each had an RBI, and the Cats took a 3-1 lead. They would hang on to win game 2 of the series vs. Hamilton, after a somewhat lackluster performance at the plate.
On Sunday, the Fat Cats were looking to close out this series with a win. If they did so, they would have came within a game of a .500 record, and successfully sweep the Hamilton Thunderbirds.
The Cats not only won the game, but they also scored 16 runs in the process, topping Hamilton’s 9 runs. The 2nd was the only inning where the the Cats didn’t score a run.
LaDale Hayes continued his heroics, and tallied up 4 RBIs on the 5 pitchers that the Thunderbirds used during the game. His batting average currently stands at .432, and is one of the league leaders. He’s an absolute thrill to watch, and when Hayes is in the zone, nobody can stop him.
This game also marked the third time this season that the Fat Cats have scored 16 runs. That number stands as the most runs that the Cats have hit in one game this year.
Next weekend, we play our final game of the season against the 3rd place Toronto Maple Leafs. TML has been playing some stellar baseball this season and it will be a good challenge for Ottawa as they head into the playoffs. Speaking of which, if the standings stay the same after next weekend, this will be a 1st round playoff series. If Ottawa is looking to make any noise in this year’s playoffs, the Leafs will most likely be one of the obstacles that they’ll have to hurdle. It’s a huge game for the Fat Cats… what a great way to close off the 2011 regular season.