Fat Cats hot at the right time
The playoffs are on the horizon and it has been determined that your Ottawa Fat Cats will do battle with the Guelph Royals. This 4-5 match-up was made after the Cats went into their weekend road trip with 2 blowout wins in Hamilton and Toronto.
No disrespect, but with the Cardinals you almost expect to blow them out. They’ve been getting absolutely demolished lately and it’s really because they have nothing to play for (aside from their pride).
We dealt them a 10-2 loss on Tuesday; with Huffman, Hayes and Dietrich each recording 2 RBIs. Hayes wasn’t even in the game for all 9 innings—he finally got some action on the mound for the final 2 innings, dealing 2 strikeouts and just allowing 1 hit. Not a bad outing at all and we may have something going for us there.
This was actually the 2nd time that Hayes has thrown for the Fat Cats. I believe the 1st time was in Brantford last season and he fared poorly. I don’t remember exactly how things transpired, but he didn’t last an inning. Glad to see him get a 2nd chance as he does have potential, shown here throwing 93 mph.
With such a short bench for the final trip of the season, I’m sure you’re wondering who Pat Gagnon (acting manager) saw when he looked down the bench for a Hayes replacement in the outfield. He found Josh Soffer, who was slotted in LF and was walked in his only plate appearance. I don’t remember him ever fielding previous to Tuesday, so he I would say that he did well from what I could tell on pointsteak.
The variation of positions continued for Josh the next day. Soffer, usually a closer, started the rain shortened Toronto game on Wednesday and pitched his way to a complete game* while striking out 3 and only allowing 3 hits in 6 innings pitched. Against a Toronto team that enjoys swinging for the fences at the little league park Christie Pits that is quite impressive.
It wasn’t just those two who showed that they can be versatile ball players. Mombo, Huffman, Sabourin and Gagnon were among others who played out of position and even with the short bench, they helped deliver convincing wins, 10-1 over Toronto and 10-2 over Hamilton
After a victory over the Brantford Red Sox and 2 wins in this fashion, one has to agree that the Fat Cats are on the prowl going into the first round of these playoffs.
Guelph lost the season series to Ottawa 3 games to 1, including the season opener in Guelph and a sweep in Ottawa. It seems like the Royals talented offense is snake bitten against the Fat Cats.
Frankie Hare, who batted .414 this season and quite frankly tore up the league, only managed to hit .307 against Ottawa. Sean Reilly hit .333 when he also is usually in the .400s. Hare and Reilly have a history of performing under their expectations in Ottawa—all you have to do is look back at the sweep of the Baycats in the 2nd round by Ottawa last year, a Barrie team that both Reilly and Hare were members of.
Guelph also has given up an average of 4.5 runs a game when taking on the Fat Cats, while the Cats in the same category vs Guelph score a 3.75.
Point being, the Fat Cats have been able to have more success over Guelph that the Royals have had on us, and our superb pitching staff—which has rebounded nicely after an starting the year poorly—has managed to shut their stars down.
I may be a little biased, but my prediction for this first round series is a Fat Cats victory in 6 games. Who have you got in this series?