ValleyCats starters over the past two series (six games):

34.2 IP, 27 H, 6 BB, 32 SO, 3 R (0.79 ERA)

That’s incredible.

The ‘Cats took three relatively easy victories at Lowell this season, but Connecticut held serve with a sweep of its own over Aberdeen. Nothing has come easy for the Tigers this season, who have been outscored by 42 runs (!) but are above .500. Connecticut is 18-10 in one-run games; no other team in the league is more than three games above .500 in such contests.

So the ValleyCats will have to continue pitching well this weekend against the league’s best team, the Brooklyn Cyclones. Vermont is essentially out of the race, at 2.5 games back with three remaining and two teams to catch; they need to sweep Staten Island, have Brooklyn sweep the ‘Cats and have Connecticut lose at least two of three to Aberdeen in order to win the division. But the ‘Cats need to match or better Connecticut over the final three games, and the Tigers have a weaker opponent – the same Ironbirds they just swept.

It’s do or die time for the ValleyCats, who need to put up some wins against the top team in the league. If they do, they’ll be playing playoff baseball next week. VCN will be at this weekend’s games, so stay tuned for coverage of the critical series.

Kevin Whitaker

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