Monday, September 05, 2011

The Rivercats 2011 season

The last game of the regular season was this afternoon where the Cats dropped an extra inning game - 6-5 in the bottom of the 10th. to Colorado Springs at their quirky ballpark.  Here are some general comments on the season:

Play – The Cats ended up winning 88 games in the regular season (2 less than their best record).  Of those, 47 were on the road.   They won 7 of 11 extra inning games.  This was a season of streaks.  So before their last regular season game they had established a 10 game winning streak (a record) but earlier in the season they set a new record for consecutive losses (9).   They are below the median in hitting stats near the top in pitching.  They allowed the fewest runs (1271) and amassed an ERA of 4.20.  They also had the highest number of Ks. Round Rock allowed almost 200 more hits and had an ERA that was almost 70 points higher.

The real story here is the heart of the club.  For a good part of the season they showed great heart as a team - even in today's loss, they were never out of the contest. 

Playoff Matchups – We’ve done pretty well against Reno this season with a 9-6 record.  Our away record with them is 4-3.  There were two games rained out – so for some reason we were scheduled to play 17 games against them.  The last time we played Reno was at the end of July, at home where we dominated them. In runs scored against Reno at home we outscored them 43-41 and in away games outscored them 57-54. We played one series against Round Rock which we lost 1-3.   That was in mid-August. We got 38 hits for the series but could not convert those into runs.  We were outscored in the series 25-14.  

There are other parts to a baseball experience so here are some comments on the non-game issues:

Season Ticker Holder Benefits – These remain pretty good.  This year they gave you an electronic card with $72 credit for each seat, much better than the Cats cash for the last few years.  There were a series of events (which unfortunately we only got to one) which looked fun.   Fan appreciation night was sort of a bust.  In previous years there were more goodies – that could be a sign of the times.

Food – Part of the ballpark experience is the food and the Rivercats had some advances this year.   No, the Bacon-Double-Cheeseburger on a Donut was not a favorite but several new items were.  There was a baked potato dog.  There were three new kinds of “gourmet” hamburgers.  And there was a vegeburger which was excellent.   They also introduced souvenir cups which cost $6 but then can be used for the rest of the season for a huge soda for $3.  Value for the money was there.

Staffing was a bit less than last year.  So for example, the stand that sold the baked potato dog was only open on big nights.

Parking – The range of parking options at the field is huge and varied – ranging in price from $7-10.   At the beginning of the season roads were torn up so they allowed you to park free for the first home series.  That was a nice touch.

Attendance – For most of the season it looked a bit down.  In mid June attendance was averaging 7177, which would mean about 520,000 for the year which is about 100,000 fewer fans than previous years and 300-400,000 from the highs of several years ago.

Now on to the first two games of the playoffs which start in Reno on Wednesday.   We come back to Sacramento on Friday.  Same cycle runs for the winners of the Divisional Championships in the following week.

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