Pregame Meal: Monday, July 8th
By Matt Appel (@mattappel)
Happy Monday, ‘Cats fans! It’s “Bark in the Park Night” as we certainly hope to see plenty of dogs at The Joe tonight. At the plate, the ValleyCats have lacked any type of bite at the plate since the calendar turned over to July. After another loss, and just four hits, Ed Romero held a closed-door meeting with the team to stress focus and concentration in important spots, where the ValleyCats have really struggled recently.
-How much have they struggled, exactly? In their last two games, both losses, the ‘Cats are just 3-for-25 with RISP. That was the main topic, according to Romero, of the post-game discussion. However, going back to the 5th inning of Saturday’s loss against Lowell, Tri-City has plated just one run in the last thirteen innings.
-The ‘Cats were the best team in the all of the NYPL in June, but July has been a totally different animal. They’re just 2-5 in the month, and their .222 batting average represents the fourth lowest in the league over those seven games. After hitting 11 HR in their first 14 games, the power has gone out for the ‘Cats. They’ve hit just two homers in the past seven games.
-How about Kyle Westwood last night? Five innings, no runs, one hit. He lowered his ERA to a minuscule 0.49, which is the lowest in the New York-Penn League. Which brings me to my next point…
-The ‘Cats pitching has really been phenomenal of late. While the offense has clearly struggled mightily recently, the pitching is certainly doing its part. The Tri-City pitchers have a 2.64 ERA in July, which is third lowest in the league. The team currently in town, Aberdeen, has the lowest at 1.64.
-There was a point in this season where the ‘Cats seemed to score at least eight or nine runs a night. Well despite that hot streak, the team has failed to score three runs in nine of their 21 games, which is a rather high percentage. The team’s record in those nine games? 1-8.