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Archive for the ‘New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ Category

New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Thunder sweep Fisher Cats, headed to EL Championship Series

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 11, 2010

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats second-ever playoff run came to an end Friday in an 8-1 loss to the Trenton Thunder in front of 5,370 at Merchantsauto.com Stadium.  Despite seven strong innings by Scott Richmond and multi-hit games by Darin Mastroianni and Eric Thames, New Hampshire fell to Trenton 3-0 in the best-of-five Eastern Division Championship Series.

Friday marked the first playoff game ever played at Merchantsauto.com Stadium since the 2004 Eastern League Championship was won at Gill Stadium.  

The Fisher Cats snapped a 29.2 inning scoreless streak with two outs in the ninth on a David Cooper RBI single, plating Adeiny Hechavarria, who reached on a double down the right field line.  New Hampshire had been shutout of games one, two and through 8.2 innings of game three. 

Trenton did their damage early on a pair of home runs.  Damon Sublett got the Thunder on the scoreboard with his first hit of the series, a solo-shot over the right-field fence on a 2-2 offering.  Sublett, who had two home runs in all of the regular season, gave the Thunder the 1-0 advantage.  Rene Rivera then hit a two-run blast in the seventh to extend the margin to 3-0.  Rivera’s third home run in as many games this series was a towering shot to right field, and scored Marcos Vechionacci, who reached off a wild pitch on a strikeout.  

New Hampshire pitcher Scott Richmond (0-1) gave the Fisher Cats their third consecutive quality start of the series, but received the loss for his efforts.  Richmond threw seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out four and walking none.  

The Thunder got to the Fisher Cats bullpen in the top of the eighth to take a 7-0 edge.  Trenton sent 10 men up to bat in the frame, scoring four runs on three hits, two walks and two fielder’s choices, in which the lead runner was called safe both time.  

Jonathan Jaspe shined defensively for the Fisher Cats behind the plate.  The catcher threw out a runner at second base on a bunt attempt in the third, and picked off a runner at second in the sixth on a backdoor play.  

Manny Banuelos (1-0) earned the win for the Thunder, shutting out the Fisher Cats through seven innings.  The southpaw scattered five hits while striking out five and walking three.  The ambidextrous Pat Venditte and Adam Olbrychowski came in as lief for Trenton to secure the victory. 

The lead grew to 8-0 in the ninth on a pair of doubles by Daniel Brewer and Vechionacci.  

New Hampshire had their chances, but were induced into four double plays, and got caught stealing twice to seize any opportunities.  Mastroianni (2 for 4) and Thames (2 for 4) led the charge offensively for the Fisher Cats. 

Edwin Encarnacion, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 28 by the Toronto Blue Jays, made his Fisher Cats debut on a rehabilitation assignment, but went 0 for 3 on the night with a walk.  

Trenton will now take on the winner of the Western Division Championship Series between the Altoona Curve and Harrisburg Senators.  The Curve currently hold a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-five series.  The Eastern League Championship will begin on September 14.

Guarantee your ticket to the 2011 Northeast Delta Dental All-Star Game by purchasing 2011 Fisher Cats season tickets.  For ticket information visit www.nhfishercats.com or call (603) 641-2005.


Posted in Eastern League, Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Trenton Thunder | 1 Comment »

Pettitte strong, Rivera wins game for Trenton

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 10, 2010

In a rehab start, Andy Pettitte led Trenton to a 2-0 series lead over New Hampshire. (Kevin Littlefield/MiLB.com)

by Jed Weisberger, MiLB.com

TRENTON, New Jersey – Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte admitted his Major League rehabilitation start for the Double-A Trenton Thunder in an Eastern League divisional playoff game Thursday night made him think a bit.

“I realize this start was important to me and I certainly needed the work,” the 38-year-old veteran said. “I also knew it was a playoff game for the Thunder and I didn’t want to lose the game for them.

“Naturally, since Trenton is one of our farm teams, I hope they win the Eastern League championship. Winning a championship here is a great thing for the guys to carry over when they get to higher levels.

“I’m glad I pitched well.”

His four two-hit innings helped the Thunder, which took a 2-0 series lead over the Fisher Cats with a 1-0 victory on catcher Rene Rivera’s 12th-inning home run to center field. The game draw a playoff-record crowd of 8,072 to Mercer County Waterfront Park.

The Fisher Cats will host Game 3 at Merchantsauto.com Stadium on Friday, aiming to avoid elimination.

Pettitte, sidelined since July 18 with what has been diagnosed with a “small persistent tear” in his left groin, tossed four scoreless innings — throwing 51 pitches (37 for strikes) and striking out four. He then threw 14 more in the bullpen.

“The plan was for 65 pitches,” he said. “So I finished in the bullpen. I feel real good, but I know I’ll have to deal with some soreness tomorrow. I felt a little short in the first inning, but I got more and more comfortable.

“I really felt the best, and I stepped it up a lot in the fourth inning. I was just glad to get some work, because I have had no work at all. It’s not fun when you’re not contributing to your team. ”

While Pettitte, who was 11-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 18 starts with the Yankees, felt his effort was “a definite step forward,” he still knows he is not quite ready for a return to the Bronx.

Though satisfied with his overall command, mechanics and ability to pitch in sequence, neither his stamina nor his changeup are where he wants them to be.

“With the setbacks I’ve had with this, I’m doing almost no work with my legs,” he said. “If I pitched for the Yankees next week, I might be able to give them four or five innings.

“As far as my changeup, I pulled a few of them, one of which was a wild pitch. It’s been the toughest pitch for me to come back with. I’ll need it to get Major League hitters out.”

Pettitte, who flew back to Texas on Thursday night to rejoin the team, credited Trenton catcher Austin Romine with a big assist. He feels the Yankees will ask the lefty to make one more rehabilitation start, probably Tuesday.

“I worked with Austin a lot in Spring Training,” said Pettitte. “He was familiar with my pitches and knew the New Hampshire hitters, what they like and what they don’t like.”

Romine was simply happy to work with Pettitte.

“He’s easy to call a game with,” said Romine. “If there was anything special he wanted to work on, I was there for him. That was some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen. Nothing was straight.”

Both New Hampshire’s Zach Stewart and Trenton’s Adam Warren were spectacular. Each struck out 10, with Stewart pitching seven innings and Warren six. “That’s playoff baseball,” said Trenton manager Tony Franklin. “You won’t see many runs scored in games like this.”

Rivera played with the Seattle Mariners from 2004-’06, batting .227 (34-for-150) in 53 games. He was signed by the Yankees on May 21 and batted .319 (30-for-94) with five home runs in 25 games. With Romine serving as the everyday catcher, Rivera has found his niche as the Thunder’s designated hitter. “I just want to get into the game and contribute,” the 27-year-old said.

In other Eastern League action:

Altoona Curve 6, Harrisburg Senators 4

Andrew Lambo doubled twice and had three RBIs and former 10th-round pick Derek Hankins allowed one run over 3 1/3 innings of relief for the win as Altoona evened up its series with Harrisburg. Starter Jeff Locke held the Senators to three runs — one earned — on four hits over 4 2/3 innings before former first-round pick Daniel Moskos pitched the ninth for the save. Box score

Posted in Eastern League, Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Trenton Thunder | 1 Comment »

Postgame Journal: Sea Dogs make Fisher Cat clinch bitter-sweet

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 28, 2010

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Saturday, August 28, 2010) – In a game featuring the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year and an unbeaten starter, you would expect a low-scoring affair. That was not the case on Saturday at Merchantsauto.com Stadium as Blake Maxwell and the Portland Sea Dogs out dueled the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 5-2.

Maxwell remained unblemished at Double-A this season, allowing five hits and two runs over 5.2 innings.

Both pitchers got off to strong starts in the first inning as Drabek threw a 1-2-3 first inning for the Fisher Cats, while Maxwell got out of the first on just one hit. New Hampshire shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria lined a single off the glove of third baseman Ray Chang for a one-out single.

Drabek allowed a leadoff walk to designated hitter Ryan Lavarnway, but settled in and a flyout and a double play ball by catcher Luis Exposito to end the threat. Maxwell allowed just a two-out walk to left fielder Callix Crabbe in the bottom of the second.

In the third, Portland left fielder Jorge Padron singled to center and the two runners were cut down behind Drabek, the recently named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, to end the inning. Maxwell worked around a single to Hechavarria and hitting right fielder Adam Calderone as he got a little help from his defense in the bottom of the third. Right fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang made a great play, running at least ten feet to his left to track down a sure hit from center fielder Darin Mastroianni for the second out.

Drabek retired the top three batters in Portland’s order to begin the fifth inning, including striking out two of the Red Sox’ top young prospects: shortstop Jose Iglesias and first baseman Anthony Rizzo to end the inning. Catcher Matt Liuzza hit a one-out single, but was caught stealing on an inning-ending strikeout double play.

The first sign of trouble for the Fisher Cats came in the top of the fifth inning when Drabek walked the first two batters of the inning, Lavarnway and Chang, before inducing another double play ball to Exposito. With two out, Padron walked and center fielder Che-Hsuan Lin struck out to end the threat. Maxwell came back with a very brisk 1-2-3 inning on two groundouts and a strikeout.

Drabek had some constructive criticism for his game, saying “It’s no fun walking people, so it could have been a lot better and I’ll have to work on it.”

David Purcey came in to relieve Drabek after five, one-hit innings. Purcey is currently on a rehab assignment from Toronto and has been sidelined since August 12 with a sprained right foot.

Things unraveled for the Fisher Cats in the sixth inning as they scored four runs off relievers Purcey and Trystan Magnuson. Purcey loaded the bases with two outs on singles by Chiang and second baseman Nate Spears and a walk to Lavarnway. Chiang and Spears scored on a two-run single to right field by Chang, while Exposito drove in two on a single to left field. Padron ended the inning with a fielder’s choice.

Maxwell came into the sixth inning with a large cushion behind him and struggled as well. After striking out Hechavarria, he allowed a single to Calderone and then he came around to score on a two-run home run to right-center field (20) by first baseman David Cooper. Manager Arnie Beyeler booted him with two outs in the inning after 5.2 innings. Eammon Portice came in and struck out catcher Matt Liuzza to end the inning.

Radio voice Bob Lipman noted to reporters in the press box that with Cooper’s 20th home run, the Fisher Cats have three 20-home run hitters for the first time in franchise history (joining outfielder Eric Thames and infielder Shawn Bowman).

Portland came back with another run in the seventh inning on a Nate Spears one-out RBI double to left field. Chiang, who singled, came home to score on the play. Fisher Cats left fielder Callix Crabbe robbed another hit and run from Rizzo on a diving catch to end the inning. Portice came back on to pitch for the ‘Dogs, allowing a one-out single to second baseman Jonathan Diaz and a two-out knock to Mastroianni.

Magnuson came back in to retire the heart of the Sea Dog lineup on a groundout, flyout, and strikeout. Portice came back with a 1-2-3 inning of his own, recording flyout between two whiffs.

Alan Farina came in to pitch the ninth for the Fisher Cats and induced groundouts to the bottom of the Portland order, each to a different infield position. Daniel Turpen relieved Portice and earned his first save of the season, retiring the first three batters he faced.

During the game, the Fisher Cats clinched a playoff spot as Reading lost their game against Binghamton. “They’ve played hard all year,” said manager Luis Rivera. “We’ll celebrate when we win and when the time is right.”

The game was played in front of a crowd of 8,476 fans, which ranks third all-time in Fisher Cats history. A John Smoltz rehab in May 2009 and the 2008 Eastern League All-Star Game hold the top two slots in franchise records.

Posted in Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs, Postgame Journal | 1 Comment »

Welcome to Merchantsauto.com Stadium!

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 28, 2010

Greetings from Merchantsauto.com Stadium, where the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) are set to take on the Portland Sea Dogs in the third game of a four-game series. We posted a full preview earlier today.

The Sea Dogs just sent out a press release detailing a roster move that activated Che-Hsuan Lin from the disabled list.

Here are tonight’s starting line-ups:

SEA DOGS (62-69)
3 Nate Spears 2B
10 Jose Iglesias SS
25 Anthony Rizzo 1B
26 Ryan Lavarnway DH
36 Ray Chang 3B
23 Luis Exposito C
47 Jorge Padron LF
35 Che-Hsuan Lin CF
11 Chih-Hsien Chiang RF

45 Blake Maxwell RHP

23 Darin Mastroianni CF
22 Adeiny Hechavarria SS
24 Adam Calderone RF
9 David Cooper 1B
20 Adam Loewen DH
40 Matt Liuzza C
12 Callix Crabbe LF
5 Jonathan Diaz 2B
7 Luis Sanchez 3B

15 Kyle Drabek RHP

Posted in Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs | Leave a Comment »

KCT Baseball Game Preview: Portland at New Hampshire

Posted by Joshua Kummins on August 28, 2010


Tonight the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) host the Portland Sea Dogs in the third game of a four-game Eastern League series at Merchantsauto.com Stadium. The Fisher Cats hold a 7-6 advantage in the season series, which concludes next week. The ‘Dogs evened the series with a 5-1 win last night, thanks in large part to a three-run home run by designated hitter Ryan Lavarnway in the sixth inning.

New Hampshire is just 1.5 games behind Trenton (NYY) for the Eastern Division lead with a 75-56 record. With a win tonight, the Fisher Cats can clinch their playoff spot and win at least the Wild Card title. Portland is out of the playoff race with a 62-69 record, fifth place in the division and 14.5 games back. They trail fourth-place Binghamton (NYM) by a half-game and third-place Reading by 2.5 games in the standings.

Eastern League Pitcher of the Year Kyle Drabek makes the start tonight for the Fisher Cats. He is 14-9 with a 2.98 ERA in 25 starts this season and is just two wins away from tying the franchise record for wins in a single-season. The initial record was set in 2004 by Gustavo Chacin. It is worth noting that he pitched the only no-hitter in the Eastern League this season on July 4 against New Britian.

Blake Maxwell will take the hill for the Sea Dogs tonight, with a perfect 5-0 record and 2.19 ERA in nine apperances (five starts) at Double-A. He began the season as a reliever at Advanced-A Salem (4-1, 2.66 in 24 games), while also throwing seven innings at Triple-A Pawtucket.  

Get a quick lodown of everything you need to know for the game with this quick audio podcast.

Posted in KCT Baseball Game Preview, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs | 1 Comment »

Fisher Cats tabbed to host 2011 Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Game

Posted by Joshua Kummins on June 18, 2010

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats have been selected to host the 2011 Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Game at Merchantsauto.com Stadium on July 13, 2011.

Fisher Cats owner Art Solomon and Northeast Delta Dental President/CEO Tom Raffio made the announcement on the field during Thursday’s game against Akron, marking the second time in four years game comes to Manchester.

“We are excited to work with our great partners in the city and business community to showcase Manchester,” said Fisher Cats President/General Manager Rick Brenner.  “Through the combined efforts of so many people we were able to put together a great event in 2008, and we look forward to the challenge of putting on an even better show next summer.”

“We are excited about bringing the Eastern League’s 2011 mid-season classic to Manchester,” said Eastern League President Joe McEacharn.  “This is our opportunity to show off our stars and Manchester is certainly a star in the Eastern League. The community has embraced the Fisher Cats and we certainly return the fans’ enthusiasm.

Tickets for the 2011 Northeast Delta Dental Eastern League All-Star Game will be going on sale in August.

Posted in Eastern League, Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats | Leave a Comment »

Postgame Journal: Fisher Cats top Sea Dogs for fifth straight win

Posted by Joshua Kummins on May 16, 2010

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (Satruday, May 15, 2010) – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats used a strong pitching performance by Kyle Drabek to win their fifth straight game, 5-0, against the Portland Sea Dogs at Merchantsauto.com Stadium on Saturday night.

Drabek allowed six hits over seven scoreless innings en route to his staff-leading fifth win. The game marked the first shutout of the season by a Cats starter.

It was a pitcher’s duel between Drabek and Casey Kelly, the second-best prospect in the Red Sox system as both teams were held to just three hits through the first four innings.

Drabek is no slouch either as he was one of three players traded to Toronto from Philadelphia in exchange for Roy Halladay and was named the 2009 Paul Owens Award winner, given to the top pitcher in the Phillies organization.

New Hampshire took the lead in the third inning on an RBI single to center field by designated hitter Adam Calderone, scoring shortstop Jonathan Diaz.

Casey Kelly exited after 4.2 innings, allowing just two hits and an earned run, while walking a season-high three and striking out six.

He was relieved by Tommy Hottovy, who allowed a solo home run to his first batter, Adam Calderone. The dinger cleared the wall in right-center field and was his sixth of the season.

The Fisher Cats put the game out of reach with three runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Adam Calderone and a two-run double by second baseman Brad Emaus. Portland left fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang threw out his counterpart Eric Thames at third base to save another run.

Hottovy allowed five hits and four runs over 1.2 innings, but Kelly took the loss. Bryce Cox also came out of the Portland ‘pen and allowed just two hits over 1.2 innings.

Trystan Magnuson was the only Fisher Cat pitcher from the bullpen, yielding two hits and two walks over two innings, while fanning two.

The division rivals close the series in the Queen City on Sunday afternoon as Stephen Fife faces Randy Boone.

Posted in Eastern League, Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Portland Sea Dogs, Postgame Journal, Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays | 3 Comments »