The ValleyCats have outplayed Connecticut by 5.5 games this season in contests decided by more than one run. Unfortunately, in one-run games, the Tigers are 19-10 while the ‘Cats are just 8-11. That gap widened last night, as the ‘Cats fell 5-4 at Brooklyn while the Tigers won their fourth straight over Aberdeen, 7-6.
The ‘Cats generally played well last night but allowed one big inning – four runs in the fourth off starter Bobby Doran – and that proved the difference. Both teams were fairly efficient with their baserunners; the ‘Cats left four on and scored four, while the Cyclones had five of each. So Tri-City now has to win one, and almost certainly two of its next two games, and even that won’t guarantee a playoff spot. I have the ‘Cats at just 27% to make the playoffs now, with Connecticut nearly a 3-to-1 favorite. (Vermont was eliminated with its loss to Staten Island last night.)
The ValleyCats’ offense, save for a couple games at Lowell, has not played well over the last week and a half, and it can’t count on the pitching staff to continue putting up otherworldly numbers to stay in games. The ‘Cats need to get some runs against newly-converted starter Jonathan Kountis if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
I’ll be tweeting updates from the game.