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August 29. 2013 10:17PM

4-0 in August

On Baseball: Fisher Cats' McGuire responding nicely


New Hampshire's Deck McGuire pitches during a game earlier this season. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER -- Deck McGuire's climb out of the shadow of 2012 is almost complete.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats starting pitcher struggled to a 5-15 record with an ERA of 5.88 in his first full season of Double-A baseball a year ago.

McGuire will start tonight for the Fisher Cats at Binghamton, carrying a record of 9-9 and ERA of 4.96.

"Last year was tough as everybody knows. (This year) was a chance to come in fresh for a new season and build off the way last year finished," McGuire said prior to Thursday night's regular-season home finale against Portland. "This year, all year long it's been finding a comfort zone over the course of my 25, 26 starts."

McGuire was 5-9 a month ago. But in his last five outings (four starts and a relief appearance) he has gone 4-0 with a 3.00 ERA and recorded his first complete game of the year.

"It's been going well. It's been a culmination of everything we've worked on all year long," McGuire said. "It's been a nice stretch to finish up the year."

Fisher Cats manager Gary Allenson said that McGuire has been doing all the little things well in his recent span of success.

"He's gotten ahead (in the count) better. He's pitched down in the zone better and he's mixed his pitches very well," Allenson said. "It's one those things where you mix it up, not always throwing a fastball on a fastball count, good things happen and that's what he's done."

The 6-foot-6, 24-year-old from Richmond, Va., understands that many folks might look at his .500 record and just-under-five ERA as another down year. But that's not how McGuire sees it.

"I thought it was a really good year. I know numbers lie a lot," he said. "There are times this year where they weren't where I wanted them to be, but all in all, it's been a good year."

McGuire said one of the biggest lessons he carried out of last season was how to handle the game from a mental standpoint.

"That was the biggest learning part of last year. It was trying to find consistency within an outing," McGuire said. "This year, whether I have five good innings and one bad pitch in the sixth or whatever, just keep going. If you make one bad pitch in a start and it happens to beat you then there's not a whole lot you can do about it. It's learning to understand the game and learning to accept the process and keep building."

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ROSTER MOVES: Prior to Thursday's game, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Fisher Cats infielder Gabe Jacobo was placed on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 27 with a knee injury.

In other moves, catcher Jack Murphy was called up to Triple-A Buffalo and a pair of Single-A players from Dunedin (catcher Chris Schaeffer and outfielder Jonathan Jones) were shipped to New Hampshire. Jones was in the starting lineup Thursday night.

iclark@unionleader.com


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