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First Fisher Cats Game In The Books
Category: MLB
Tags: MLb Toronto Blue Jays New Hampshire Fisher Cats


First Fisher Cats game of the year with excellent seats.



Saturday marked the first time my family and I made the trek from Vermont to Manchester to see the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays, Double-A) play. Despite being a Red Sox fan, the Fisher Cats are a guilty pleasure of ours. The ballpark is beautiful, the atmosphere is fantastic, and for $48.00, a family of four was able to sit five rows behind first base. Throw in the All-You-Can Eat burgers, dogs, and nachos they were doing for the day and the fantastic weather, and the experience was excellent.


I wish I could say that the Fisher Cats had fared as well against the New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins, Double-A).


At first glance, the Fisher Cats should have had the obvious advantage, as they were starting Brett Cecil, a lefty that is one season removed from a 15-7 record with the Blue Jays in 2010. However, things unraveled quickly for Cecil, as he struggled with his control and the team made 5 errors and committed a passed ball behind him. Cecil would last 5 innings, but surrendered 6 runs (5 earned) while walking 3 and striking out 4.


The Rock Cats countered with 5 very efficient, if not spectacular, innings from Logan Darnell. Darnell surrendered just 3 hits while walking 2 and striking out a single batter.


The afternoon was a struggle for the Fisher Cats, as New Britain jumped out to a 7-0 lead. However, New Hampshire rallied late, plating their first run in the 7th, and then 5 more in the bottom of the ninth before falling short in the end. A 3-run home run by Kevin Howard (3 for 3, 3 RBI) helped get the Fisher Cats back into the game, and a RBI ground-out by John Tolisano and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Goins brought NH within a run before Koby Clemens struck out.


And no, Koby's dad, Roger Clemens, was nowhere to be seen in the park.


Of the Jays top prospects, only number 9 prospect A.J. Jimenez appeared in the game. Jimenez, a talented defensive catcher, went 0 for 3 on the afternoon. He is coming off a season where he hit .303 with 52 RBI at high-A Dunedin in 2011, but is off to a miserable.214 start through just 7 games. That said, Jimenez is blocked on the overall depth chart by current Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia and overall top prospect Travis D’Arnaud, so he’ll have plenty of time to work on his hitting.


One player I was impressed with that does not appear on any of the top prospects list is center fielder Justin Jackson. He went just 1 for 4 on the day, but everything he hit was solid and his make-up at the plate was excellent. He won’t hit for much power, but he may turn out to be a solid utility outfielder down the road.

So aside from the outcome, the experience was great, as it is every time we go to a minor-league game. Maybe next time, the Fisher Cats will win one for us.

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