Leafs Spoil Fan Appreciation Day, Down Fat Cats 8-4 + Season Wrap-Up

The 2011 Regular Season came to an end for the Ottawa Fat Cats on Saturday. They played the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team that had won their last 4 games. The Cats seemed to be getting back into their mojo as of late, sweeping the Hamilton Thunderbirds last weekend, but the Fat Cats have been a pretty streaky team this year. For example, before the 3-game series vs. Hamilton, Ottawa was swept by Kitchener in a doubleheader. You never know what’s going to happen with the Fat Cats, which what made this season finale so interesting.

William Sebastian got the nod, and started on the mound for the Cats. He would go head-to-head with Sam Jew, a man who had started 8 games for the Leafs, but had yet to record a win.

The game was unusually fast paced for the first few innings. After inning number 2, Ottawa and Toronto were tied at 3.

After the 2nd inning, things cooled off. Chris Latimer scored Joe Stone on a sac fly to take the lead, however that would be the last of the Ottawa offence. Dan Marra had some timely base running in the 5th, and got himself in scoring position at the right time with a stolen base. Later in the inning, a single and a sac fly score Marra, and break things open for Toronto.

The Maple Leafs would go on to score 1 run per inning until the 8th. William Sebastian came out of the game after struggling in the 5th, and Josh Soffer allowed the Leafs to build up a lead. LaDale Hayes saw some action on the mound, after starting the game in LF for Ottawa (going 2/2). He would let the Leafs finish things off in the 9th,as Toronto scored 2 runs in that inning, to win the game 8-4. Leafs’ pitcher Sam Jew earned his first win of the year, also putting up a complete game.

A mediocre performance in the mid innings spelled the fate of the Fat Cats today, but the good start was fairly encouraging. If the team can play like they did at the beginning of the game during the playoffs, then we should be able to some noise. Our opponent is being decided as we speak. It will either be the Majors or the Leafs, depending on how the 2 teams perform during their last few games. If Toronto defeats the London Majors and the Burlington Twins on Sunday and Monday respectively, then we’ll be facing London. If they can’t pull it off, then Ottawa will have the privilege of playing the Leafs, one of the hottest teams in the IBL right now. It’s going to be a hectic last few games this season.

Personally, I’d much rather face the London Majors in the first round. Even though they’ve had been in that upper echelon of this league all season, we’ve done better against London (3-2) than we have vs. Toronto (1-4). Also, if you take the play of these 2 teams during the last week or so into consideration, the Leafs are on a 5-game winning streak, while London is below .500 in their last 5. In case you’re wondering, the Fat Cats have gone 3-2 in their last 5 games. So even we have been playing more prominently than the Majors as of late.

Wrapping up the 2011 Season

In 2010, there were 9 teams in the IBL, with 8 of those 9 teams making the playoffs. In their inaugural season, the Ottawa Fat Cats had the embarrassing distinction of being the only team to miss the playoffs. This year, Ottawa was poised to make sure that that didn’t happen. While there was only 8 teams in the league this season after Guelph’s departure, meaning everyone makes the playoffs, I’m sure that the Ottawa’s goal was to finish with a respectable record by the end of the season.

In the end, while we didn’t manage to finish over .500, I think that the 16-18 record and 6th place finish that Ottawa mustered up is more than respectable for a team in their 2nd season. Returning players like Latimer, Mombo, McGovern and Desclouds provided the experience; import players Howroyd, Hayes, Dietrich and Mathis provided the star power; and depth players like Joly, Stone and Charette provided the support.

All of these assets proved to create a winning formula. While the Fat Cats weren’t the best team in the league, they were definitely had a lot of heart and determination. The gruelling 7 hour road trips, 16 inning marathons and tough tests from worthy opponents, helped this team bond throughout the year.

This team will face it’s first test, as it guns for the Dominico Trophy for the first time this August. How will this team adjust for the playoffs? Stay tuned to find out, because this season is just starting. Heart is what makes a true champion, and that’s why the Fat Cats have a legitimate chance has a league title. The question is, will Ottawa’s streaky regular season translate into an early exit, or can they exile their demons, and become a force to be reckoned with?

I am proud to be a Fat Cats fan after this regular season, and I hope that this team stays for years to come… whether it’s at Ottawa Stadium or somewhere else in the area, as long as I have my Fat Cats, I’ll be happy.

Thanks for following this blog during the season, and keep checking this page for updates throughout the playoffs!

    • Pierre
    • July 25th, 2011

    Just missing winning half their games is somewhat of a disappointment but not bad considering what they did last year. I also didn’t think this year’s team would be this good earlier in the year. There are still issues, especially the hitting. Pitching is what got us here. A positive is finishing strong, having a good second half and against a few good teams too.

    Our first round opponent is still up in the air. I was previewing a possible first round match-up with Toronto but they still have to play one game against the Twins. Given the Leafs very strong showing lately, I’d say we are going to face London. May be for the best as you said. But going against the Maple Leafs would be more interesting.

    • Mike
    • July 25th, 2011

    Ottawa won the season series versus london (3-2) not (2-3). Just a little FYI

    • I was going by the Fat Cats website, where it says that we went 2-3.

      Saturday, June 11th * @ London 7:30pm L 4-2
      Sunday, June 12th * @ London 1:00pm W 16-11
      Saturday, June 25th * London 7:05pm L 4-2
      Sunday, June 26th * London 2:05pm W 16-11
      Saturday, July 9th * @ London 7:30pm L 6-4

      Maybe they had a typo on their page.. is this the case? If so, I’ll change it.

        • Mike
        • July 25th, 2011

        Ottawa won the season series versus london (3-2) not (2-3). Just a little FYI
        They website is really incorrect.They won the 25th 8-0 and sunday I can’t remember the but I know they won. Use pointstreak next time.

    • Pierre
    • July 25th, 2011

    The Fat Cats site is wrong. Pointstreak and my own data are in agreement and show Ottawa winning 3-2:

    Saturday, June 11th * @ London 7:30pm L 4-2
    Sunday, June 12th * @ London 1:00pm W 16-11
    Saturday, June 25th * London 7:05pm W 8-0 (FC site wrong, this was McGovern’s first shutout)
    Sunday, June 26th * London 2:05pm W 5-4 (also wrong)
    Saturday, July 9th * @ London 7:30pm L 6-4

    Not sure why the team site has the scores wrong and I never noticed till now but then, I never check that page. I remember London and I think Brantford switched their series but doesn’t explain this error.

    Doing a quick check, the site also has the score wrong for the May 28 game (first game) they lost 2-1, not 1-0. Everything else is correct.

  1. I am fixing the mistake on the blog post right now. From now on, I’ll use Ptsrk, as they are more accurate.

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