Pregame Meal: Wednesday, July 17th
By Matt Appel (@mattappel)
Hey ‘Cats fans! After a most successful of homestands, the ValleyCats return home tonight to kick off a six-game homestand against their post-season foes from last year, the Auburn Doubledays and Hudson Valley Renegades. The question right now appears to be what will cool off first: the weather, or the ‘Cats?
-While the offense did pick it up, the key to the sweep of the homestand was phenomenal starting pitching. From July 6th through the 14th, the ‘Cats starters registered nine consecutive scoreless outings of at least three innings. Their team ERA in July is 2.27, tied for the lowest in the entire league, with Lowell.
-For the first time this year, we will see Conrad Gregor in left field tonight, due to injuries to both Ronnie Mitchell and D’Andre Toney that have left them day-to-day. I asked Conrad when the last time he played left field, and he said it was during his freshman season at Vanderbilt. The centerfielder in that game? Tony Kemp.
-Talked to Chris Cotton before the game. If any of you out there think that some of these players haven’t necessarily worked hard to get to this point, go have a word with Cotton. He worked off his behind to walk onto the LSU squad his freshman season, and became one of the best closers in America over his time with the Tigers. He turned in possibly the best performance of the year by any ‘Cats pitcher in his last start Saturday in Batavia, going five perfect innings and picking up the win.
-One roster move to pass along. LHP J.D. Osborne, who was taken in the 36th round out of Wofford College and played for Greenville, has been added to the roster. Osborne has pitched superbly thus far, registering a 0.00 ERA and six saves in 14 innings.
-Adrian Houser hasn’t allowed an earned run in a month. He gets the ball tonight for the ‘Cats. We’ll see Tanner Bushue as well at some point.