Fat Cats split rain-compressed road trip

Tim Nelson was unable to make the journey this weekend, leaving Pat Gagnon and Josh Soffer with managerial duties.

After the Friday rainout in Hamilton, the Fat Cats would instead start their trip in Kitchener at Jack Couch Park; which, in my opinion, was one of the biggest successes of the season so far.

19 hits came flying off the Ottawa bats, with only 2 men (Miller, Wilson) mustering less than 2 hits. Coker, Hayes and McGovern had 3 hits each, which led the team. Those hits translated into 14 runs for Ottawa. Usually you see that kind of run production from the Panthers at Jack Couch Park, but James Amelotte held them to just 3.

Speaking of which, James Amelotte was outstanding on Saturday afternoon, dealing 10 strikeouts while only allowing 6 hits and walking 2. A great performance from a great pitcher who has seemed to assume the starting role that was given to him quite nicely. It’s nice to have another solid starter going in to the playoffs along with Huffman and Hummel.

I would like to include McGovern in that list, but we’ll have to wait and see how he does leading up to the postseason. For those of you who don’t know, he made his long-awaited return in Barrie on Saturday night and pitched well according to fans in Barrie and the Baycats GM, Doug Dimma. 1 K, 1 BB, 3 H, 1 R in 2 IP are some pretty respectable stats for a guy who hasn’t pitched since last September.

I also heard from some Barrie fans that the umpires weren’t too sharp. Josh Soffer agreed out loud on his twitter account, tweeting “I’ve never seen/had such a blatantly intentionally bad umpire”.  Since it’s also been reported from Barrie fans, I have to assume that there’s no bias there.

Coker was on the mound once again. Granted, it was in the 9th in a 6 run game, but I’ve been impressed with him. For a guy who has only pitched twice this year, he’s not half bad. I just wish that I could see him pitch live or on TV to make a solid decision on him instead of just assuming. Either way, I’ve been impressed with the shortstop’s game on the mound and in general this year.

The Toronto game was cancelled about 4 stanzas in and will be replayed at a later date, however that still got Brett Sabourin 3 innings pitched, in which he walked 4 and allowed 4 earned runs while posting just 1 K.

Really not sure what’s been going on with him lately. Prior to this game his last start was in Brantford on June 29th, so you can likely come to the conclusion yourself that he would be a little rusty. In fact, that game in Brantford was the last time that he’d pitched over 1 inning.

That may have been the case today at Christie Pits, but Sabourin has been off this season altogether. He has the 2nd worst ERA on the team (not counting Boisvert and Durward) and is 1 of only 2 Fat Cats pitchers with a losing record (along with Eric Boisvert). I’m not sure that I would keep him on the bump in the postseason.

On the other hand, his offensive game has been commendable. In his 7 games as either a first baseman or designated hitter—he may have played a game or 2 in the outfield as well—Sabourin has posted a .297 ERA and a .400 OBP. Of course, these are only after 17 at bats; but if you compare it to say, Chris Latimer’s stats in those same categories (.200, .279), I would think that Sabourin would be a more valuable piece in the DH spot than some of the other Fat Cats hitters. I’m hoping that he gets slotted in there more often as the season draws to a close.

What was supposed to be the final series of the regular season for the Fat Cats vs Brantford will take place this weekend at Ottawa Stadium. Once again, the game means quite a bit standings-wise, as the Cats currently sit in a tie for 6th place with the Kitchener Panthers, a game back of Toronto for 5th and a game and a half behind Guelph for 4th place.

There is still an opportunity for Ottawa to jump in to a home field advantage these playoffs, but in order to do so we’ll have to take at least 1 game away from the 26-5 Sox this weekend. Won’t be an easy task!

    • IBL FAN
    • July 18th, 2012

    “Josh Soffer agreed out loud on his twitter account, tweeting “I’ve never seen/had such a blatantly intentionally bad umpire”. Since it’s also been reported from Barrie fans, I have to assume that there’s no bias there.”

    I think you need to expand on this. I was at the game, it did not matter who umpires were there. Josh Soffer pitched like shit and anything close to the plate the Barrie batters hit the pitch hard. You forgot to add all 8 stolen bases Barrie had, 11 hits and 2 Ottawa errors. Also add that Gagnon had to catch 17 innings on Saturday and he lost many strikes for his pitchers by blocking out the umpire.

    • Alright, thank you for your input.

      You have to remember that I wasn’t at the game, so I’m going off of what others have told me regarding the umpires. As for the Barrie stats, you have a good point and I’ll make an effort to recognize them in the future.

    • Joe
    • July 18th, 2012

    I so agree with above comment regarding BAD pitching. I think the pitcher needs to quit whinning and practice pitching!!!!! I was also at that game. The game result had absolutely nothing to do with umpires!

    • Pierre
    • July 18th, 2012

    Amelotte will be a big asset for the playoffs. Huffman is good but get a good starter for the opponents, I think it can come out even. Think McGovern against Brantford in finals. McGovern, he likely won’t be the same he was last year but anything helps. Hummel rounds it up. I had great expectations for Sebastien but he’s been let go. Coker just started pitching, don’t know why it took this long. LaDale hasn’t pitched at all and that surprises me. I’d let him pitch and get the rust out as we’ll likely need someone like him during the playoffs.

    I don’t know if and when those two games will be made up. If not, I don’t see how the Fat Cats can improve in the standings to get home field advantage. Even if they win both against the Red Sox, which I highly doubt. Should be two low scoring games as these teams are the best pitching in the league.

    • I’d be very interested in seeing Hayes get some pitching action before the season ends. Not like they have no one to replace him in the field either. Miller/Sabourin/Maoz would LF if he ever pitched. If we had Hayes pitching I could see something like this for a lineup:

      Hayes-1, Maoz-2, McGovern-3, Charrette-4, Mombo-5, Coker-6, Miller-7, Dietrich-8, Wilson/Stone-9, Latimer/Sabourin/Huffman-DH.

      Obviously that’s just one situation.

      If the Fat Cats could move up from 6th or whichever position they end up in after this weekend, I can’t see the league getting away with not rescheduling those games if they would have implications.

    • Pierre
    • July 19th, 2012

    >> Not like they have no one to replace him in the field either.

    Well, we don’t if only 12 guys make a road trip…

    If he hasn’t pitched this year, he won’t now and playoff time is not the time after not having pitched in a game in a year and not thrown in months. He practiced his pitching all winter apparently. Now, after hearing that and having been signed as a pitcher by other teams and he throws in mid-90s, why the heck would you not give him a shot? I know pitching is our strength but you can never have enough. Guys get hurt, or don’t perform as well as expected.

    >> I can’t see the league getting away with not rescheduling those games if they would have implications.

    True. There’s other issues by having the Fat Cats travel, mid-week, to Toronto (that game by the way shows as being final but I think that’s wrong) and Hamilton. I guess they could play them next weekend but the playoffs would start then. I just don’t think those games will be made up or just the Toronto one somehow, if it has implications.

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