The River Cats aren’t supposed to be worried about this. They’re one of the strongest minor league teams in all of baseball, making the playoffs eight of the 10 years they have played in Sacramento and having won four Pacific Coast League Championships.
So the thought of the baseball team by the bridge missing out on its final as well as usual destination would be a surprise to say the least.
For guys like Corey Wimberly who are trying to prove themselves, playoffs are what’s on their mind.
“Playoffs mean a lot,” Wimberly said. “Especially from the guys coming up from Double-A, we got a little chip on our shoulder. The guys who were here last year lost in the championship game, so from both sides we’ve got guys with a chip on their shoulder.”
Sacramento (65-57) hosted the Omaha Royals (67-55) Monday evening to close out the series, and their play was not of the playoff mold.
Lefthander Bobby Cramer started the game on the mound for the River Cats but had trouble getting the run support needed to get Sacramento the win.
Opposing pitcher Matt Herges, however, found himself pitching for a team that ended up with seven hits in five innings.
The sole hit in the first five innings for the Cats came off the bat of first baseman Dallas McPherson, a similar story to the game Sunday night when McPherson sent one out. And just like Sunday’s game McPherson’s hit was a home run.
Omaha followed McPherson’s home run with a run of its own.
After Irving Falu reached on a throwing error by second baseman Adrian Cardenas, David Lough brought in Falu to give Omaha the lead.
The River Cats’ final run came in the ninth inning, but the damage was already done. It’s hard to win a game when you are out-hit 10-3 and you manage to field two errors.
Cramer was handed the loss while Herges ended up with the win.
The River Cats lost the game 3-2 and ended up losing three of four games in the series.
Chris Carter just got back from Oakland after he was sent there for assignment a week ago.
Carter struggled in Oakland, going 0-19 and striking out nine times.
His opportunity will come again next year, and how he does in this final stretch of games could benefit him greatly.
Luckily for Sacramento, Fresno also lost last night, so the Cats remains just two games back from first place in their division.
The road to the playoffs doesn’t get any easier, as they face the Iowa Cubs, the only team with 70 or more wins in the PCL.
Photo courtesy of Steven Chea