Pregame Meal: Thursday, July 18th
By Matt Appel (@mattappel)
Howdy, ‘Cats fans! The ValleyCats and Doubledays are at it again tonight, after Tri-City saw its six game-winning streak snapped last night. The offense sputtered, scoring only once and getting only five hits. I asked yesterday what would cool down first: the weather or the ‘Cats. Well, it’s still over 90 degrees here at the park, so that settles that.
-With last night’s loss, the ValleyCats are just 4-6 in their last 10 home games, which is concerning considering how well they played at home at the start of the season, winning the first five games at The Joe. More recently, they have dropped five of seven home games, and the offense hasn’t scored more than five runs in any one game during that stretch.
-On a positive note, Tanner Bushue was named the New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending on July 14th. During that week, Bushue pitched six scoreless innings against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on July 11th, and got his second win of the year. He becomes the first ‘Cats pitcher to receive that honor since Brian Holmes took home the award the week of July 29th, 2012. Bushue only added to his resume by throwing four more scoreless frames last night. To date, his ERA is a very impressive 2.03, and he has the lowest WHIP in the league at 0.64.
-In what is usually a very entertaining scenario, Andrew Thurman and Michael Feliz will throw tonight for the ‘Cats. The two righty’s have been two of the better pitchers for Tri-City this year, as they have only surrendered six earned runs in 38.1 IP this year. Feliz has arguably been the best pitcher in all of the NYPL this year, as he leads the league in ERA at 1.07 (amongst qualifiers) and is third in strikeouts with 32 punchouts, and figures to add to that total tonight.
-If you look up and down the ValleyCats lineup, and roster, for that matter, there really aren’t many impressive batting averages. Tony Kemp is hitting .318, but he is the only true regular hitting above .300. In tonight’s lineup, if you remove Kemp, the highest batting average belongs to James Ramsay, with a respectable-but-not-great .267 mark. Michael Martinez, who has become the daily cleanup hitter, is only hitting .200. The ‘Cats enter tonight 6th in the NYPL in average, so I guess it could be worse.
-No BP on account of the inferno that the field is during the day. Seriously, god bless catchers, because wearing that much equipment in this kind of heat would land me in the hospital without a doubt. Here’s looking at you, Jake Rodriguez.
2B Kemp (.318)
RF Toney (.184)
1B Gregor (.224)
DH Martinez (.200)
LF Kemmer (.209)
3B Dineen (.235)
C Rodriguez (.167)
CF Ramsay (.267)
SS Lindauer (.074)