Guelph ousts Fat Cats: Series recap

LaDale Hayes was the final Fat Cat to take to the plate this season (photo courtesy Freedom Photography)

That’s all she wrote on the 2012 season for your Fat Cats. For those of you who are still unaware (if that is the case, you mustn’t be following me on twitter), Adam Reynolds and the Guelph Royals shut down the Fat Cats and ended their season with a 8-2 victory in Guelph monday night.

There were many fans who figured that this loss was coming after the Cats dropped a game at home on the long weekend. Jonathan Trottier was on CFRA last week and he said that the Cats basically had to sweep the weekend to have a shot at the series. I agreed with him since winning 2 straight against a hot Guelph team when they have home field wasn’t a very realistic scenario.

That’s why the 1-0 Saturday night loss was such a heartbreaker. In a game that—when looking back upon it—was a must-win for the Fat Cats, we couldn’t get the run support for Brandon Huffman who pitched an great game.

That was in fact the 2nd loss of the series tallied to Huffman’s record when it shouldn’t have been the case. Game 1 was the first instance, in which fielding errors heavily contributed to our demise.

On Saturday, the only Fat Cat to get a hit off of Guelph starter Andrew Vant Wout was Eitan Maoz. The regulars *cough cough, Hayes* were swinging at everything they saw, which resulted in no other offense.

To Hayes’ credit, he did have a great game on Monday and was the reason that we even found our way back to Guelph.

We really just couldn’t get our bats going all series. This can somewhat be attributed to Guelph’s pitching, but I also saw some bad habits from the beginning of the season rear their ugly heads.

Matt McGovern, who got off to a horrible start offensively this season, batted .071 in the 6 game series. Our best performers at the plate these playoffs, Jason Coker and Eitan Maoz, only finished tied for 35th on the IBL leaderboard. Stats like this aren’t good enough to win you a playoff series.

Game 6 started out well for the Fat Cats, as we struck first on the scoreboard in Guelph for the 2nd time. Things appeared to be looking up. McGovern was pitching solidly while we were getting on base and working with the presented opportunities productively.

Unfortunately, fielding errors spelled our end once again, this time for good.

After Pat Gagnon put a pinch hitter in for himself during the 7th, Mombourquette was moved over to take his place at 2nd and Huffman was put across the diamond at 3rd. 3rd base isn’t his usual position; as you saw during the Royals half of the 7th when he committed 2 errors, helping the Royals to a 5-2 lead.

It’s unfortunate that the defensive substitution—which was the correct choice at the time—put Huffman in a position that he’s only manned on one other occasion this season; but an inning earlier, the 9th hitter in the Ottawa order was coming up and we had a couple in scoring position. A pinch hitter which came in the form of Brett Sabourin was a logical choice. Unfortunately, it didn’t help the cause.

The 3-run homer from Sean Reilly a few minutes later dropped the anchor.

I’ve gotta tip my hat to Guelph, as they were clearly the better team throughout the series. The Royals got the better of us in pitching (despite a couple of thrilling duels courtesy of Brandon Huffman), batting and especially fielding.

I expect them to take their talents to the IBL final. Royals fans definitely deserve it as well, as they had to go through a summer without ball last year when the Royals suspended operations due to lease issues at Hastings Stadium. Believe us, Guelph baseball fans, we know how going without baseball for a year feels.

In fact, it may be a situation that us Ottawa fans will have to relive next summer if a AA group gets the stadium lease—although, I’ll save that talk for another day.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for stopping by the blog all season.

This won’t be the final post of the year. I will have a full season recap out in the next week or so, and a rundown of my experience at a AAA game in Syracuse a couple days ago, including how it stacks up against attending a game in Ottawa.

Take care, fans.

    • Usockem
    • August 9th, 2012

    Thanks for the blog throughout the season Michael. Keep your readers updated on the AA situation.

    • Thanks for the kind words.. would be nothing without readers like you. Will do my best to keep the blog updated throughout the winter.

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