Pregame Meal: Friday, July 19th
By Matt Appel
Happy Friday, ‘Cats fans! After a wild 9-3 victory last night, the ValleyCats will aim for the series win tonight against the Auburn Doubledays. It’s the third consecutive Death Valley-esque night here at The Joe, as the ‘Cats will aim to improve upon their league-best record of 21-10.
-Last night set more than a few season-high hitting marks for Tri-City. 18 hits was the most this year, as was the six extra base hits. 4 doubles set a record for 2013, as did the two triples, which came back to back in the 2nd inning, something that doesn’t happen too often. Coming into the game, the team had just one triple the whole season. The last time the ‘Cats had that many hits was July 20th, 2011, a game the ‘Cats actually lost at home.
-Mentioned a few times last night on the broadcast that outside of Tony Kemp, there hasn’t really been a whole lot of consistent offensive production in the lineup. However, there are signs of that potentially turning around. Six hitters last night had multi-hit games, and three hitters, Ryan Dineen, Jake Rodriguez, and D’Andre Toney, had three hits. Someone in the middle of the Tri-City order needs to start hitting at a more consistent clip, and it looks as if a few guys might be on the verge of breaking out.
-Congrats to Andrew Thurman for his first professional win last night. Thurman has been one of the many very, very impressive starters for the ‘Cats this season. Two of those other strong starters are throwing tonight, in Kyle Westwood and Chris Cotton. Here’s a eye-popping stat: Tri-City has three pitchers, Chris Cotton, Kyle Westwood, and Richard Rodriguez, who are all slightly below qualifying for the league-lead in ERA, that would have the lowest mark in the league if they were eligible. Michael Feliz, even with his “worst” performance of the year last night, which was still overpowering at times, still holds the ERA title as of tonight, at 1.27.
-Once again, no BP, for the third straight day. Ed Romero trying his best to avoid any players being sent to the DL with a heat stroke.
-The ‘Cats have fared just so-so in 2013 in games like tonight’s: the rubber match of a series. The team is 3-3 in such games, but currently on a 3-game losing streak when looking to take a series, including two straight at home. Winning series’ is crucial to a sustained stretch of good play (obviously), so we’ll see if the ValleyCats can get back in that mode tonight.
-For the first time in the home slate this season, Ed Romero is running out the same lineup two nights in a row. And frankly, can you blame him? Last night was arguably the team’s best offensive performance this season.