Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fish keeping it routine

Players observe old habits during club's current hot streak

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Winnipeg starter Chris Salamida allowed four runs, five hits, two walks and struck out six in a six-inning stint Wednesday night.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Winnipeg starter Chris Salamida allowed four runs, five hits, two walks and struck out six in a six-inning stint Wednesday night. Photo Store

Winning streaks can make athletes go crazy. Pre-game meals are the same each day, batting practice lasts a certain number of hits and uniforms go unwashed game after game, but it's a good thing.

OK, maybe that last one doesn't apply to a professional baseball club like the Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Anyway the Fish are hot, seven-game winning streak hot, which is their longest win streak of the season and they are 10-1 in their last 11 games.

'We're firing on all cylinders right now. Everyone's are throwing the ball real well, the hitters are seeing the ball real well, you know they're putting up runs very early in the game and we're just trying to throw zeros as pitchers'

-- Fish starter Nick Hernandez

So maybe routine and a little bit of superstition has helped the current best team in American Association Baseball, a title they earned Tuesday after a 5-3 win over the Kansas City T-Bones.

For the Fish it's all part of keeping it going as long as they can.

"You know everybody kind of has their own stuff, the music playlist in the locker-room stays the same before every game and after the game when you're on a good win streak," said first-year Fish Ethan Hollingsworth, who is 2-0 since coming off the disabled list and picking up the win Tuesday over the T-Bones. "Just try to keep things going how they are."

Another Fish starting pitcher who lit up the mound in the last five games was Nick Hernandez. In a game against the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Hernandez was perfect through five innings before being relieved in the seventh. He said he hopes to repeat the same magic in the coming days.

Hernandez's routine sees him jog for 45 minutes the day after a game he pitches, followed by 25 pitches and some tossing time everyday during his five-day rotation, and peanut butter sandwiches on the day he starts.

"We're firing on all cylinders right now," Hernandez said. "Everyone's are throwing the ball real well, the hitters are seeing the ball real well, you know they're putting up runs very early in the game and we're just trying to throw zeros as pitchers."

The Goldeyes player of the month for June was first baseman Casey Haerther. Haerther had an average of .410 throughout the month, slapping 41 hits and driving in 21 runs. On the season, he leads the league with a .392 average.

For Haerther, he said all he tries to do is be at the ball park early, work on some things and maybe hit the weights. He doesn't like meticulously planning out his days.

"You know, I try not to be superstitious or anything like that," Haerther said. "That's when you get yourself in trouble, when you go on the road and they don't have the same food or what not, then you start freaking out, Just kinda have fun with it, you don't hit .400 in a month that many times in your life."

kyle.edwards@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 3, 2014 D5

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