Rock Cats: Day Game Away from a 4-Game Sweep
by, 06-25-2012 at 11:24 AM (737 Views)
[Originally published at Twins Fan From Afar]
The Rock Cats finish up their four game series, as well as their week-long road trip, in a noon game today against the Richmond Flying Squirrels, but the series has already been a success. The Rock Cats won the first three games, and go for the sweep in today's finale.
Friday night was an offensive showing for both teams, but New Britain prevailed, 9-8. Evan Bigley had 4 hits, including his 9th home run, and Chris Colabello had 2 hits, including a double, and 2 RBIs. Catcher Chris Herrmann also notched 2 hits and a double. Starter B.J. Hermsen actually pitched pretty well, but wasn't aided by his defense. Though he only was charged with 2 earned runs in 6 and 1/3 innings, 6 runs scored thanks to errors.
Saturday New Britain won 6-1. Blake Martin, traditionally a reliever, started and went 4 innings. Luis Perdomo threw the other 5 innings and gave up only 1 run, striking out 6. Chris Colabello had a double and a home run, and Evan Bigley hit his 15th double of the season. Oswaldo Arcia also had a hit, and Minnesota's own Nathan Hanson hit his second home run of the season.
On Sunday, the Rock Cats won 7-3. Logan Darnell turned in a quality start for the Rock Cats, pitching 6 innings and giving up 3 runs. He struck out 3 and walked 2, but gave up 2 home runs. Daniel Turpen was excellent out of the bullpen, throwing 3 innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 2. Chris Colabello, again, had a big game. He notched 3 hits, including his 12th home run, in 5 at-bats, and scored twice. Evan Bigley was 3-for-4 with his 16th double and drove in 2 runs, and Matt Rizzotti was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Oswaldo Arcia was 1-for-5 and is batting .174 in a very, very small AA sample size.
These are just very short summaries, but I think it's important to note who is carrying this team lately when it wins. It's not necessarily Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Arcia or Chris Herrmann (although Hicks and Herrmann certainly have been productive at various points this season). Right now, it's unquestionably Chris Colabello, the 28 year old journeyman, 25 year old Evan Bigley, who recently was told that with Arcia's promotion, he would lose playing time, and 25 year old Nathan Hanson, who has played various positions and has found more playing time as a result of his hot bat. I'm not sure if any of these guys are destined for major league careers, but it's nice to see veteran players getting the job done at AA -- a level at which they need to excel.
Let's look at the last 10 games: Evan Bigley is hitting at a .400/.415/.700 clip, and has 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR and 10 RBIs. The 25 year old is now hitting a respectable .265 on the season. Chris Colabello is hitting .293/.326/.488 2 2B, 2 HR and 8 RBIs. He's still leading the entire Eastern League in RBIs with 52, and his 12 home runs are good for 3rd in the Eastern League. Guess who's in second place in the Eastern League RBI race? Evan Bigley, with 48. Finally, there's Nathan Hanson. In his last 10 games, he's hitting .343/.378/.629 with 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR and 4 RBIs. After starting the season off slow, Hanson is batting an even .270 on the season.
The finale of the Rock Cats-Flying Squirrels series is noon (eastern time). The Rock Cats are still 3 games back in the standings, and are hoping to gain a little more ground today. All season long, this has been a streaky team, so hopefully they will continue to ride this current streak.
[Update: All my positive mentions of Bigley were not in vain. He took home Eastern League player of the week honors for this past week. http://eastern.league.milb.com/news/...=.jsp&sid=l113]