Unfortunately, I did not meet up with fellow CodBall author Andrew when I was at Wilson Field yesterday. Here are a few observations from that game........ Although neither team was charged with an error, Chatham's first run scored on a wild pitch, and their third run scored on a passed ball. The first run for Y-D was helped by a misplay in rightfield on a fly ball that should have been caught by Andrew Crisp. He lost the ball in the sun and turned what should have been the first out of the inning into a double that set up Y-D with runners on second and third with no outs. Alex White did a good job battling back to allow only one run in that inning.
The A's have to win one game on the road and yesterday's game was there for the taking. The most obvious problem from Chatham's perspective was their inability to get the big hit at the right time. Chatham left 11 runners on base, including two in the second, sixth, and ninth innings. They left the bases loaded in the eighth.
Buster Posey was a catalyst for Y-D all day. He was on base after being hit by a pitch in the fourth inning before the misplay in rightfield and he scored the Red Sox first run. He also singled in the eighth inning when the Red Sox rallied to take a 3-2 lead. In addition to that, Posey walked in the first and singled in the sixth.
Hey, baseball is all about second guessing the manager, right ? Even the manager who has more wins than any other manager in Cape League history isn't immune from that. Many folks were surprised that White came out to start the eighth inning for Chatham. Collin Cowgill, leading off that inning for Y-D, homered to right-center field. After the next batter grounded one back to White for the first out, Grant Green walked. I think it is safe to say that at this point, everyone expected that was the end of White's day. Instead, he was left in to face Posey and Jason Castro who both singled, with Castro's hit plating the second Y-D run of the inning. Rob Wooten came in at this point to stem the tide by striking out the dangerous Sean Ochinko and Gordon Beckham.
Pinch-hitter Sean O'Brien led off the ninth inning for Chatham. He hit a screaming line drive to centerfield on which Cowgill came in and made a great diving catch. As it turns out, that catch may have saved the day for Y-D. The A's did tie the game up in that inning, but the damage could have been much worse if O'Brien had reached base.
It should be a fun time before a big crowd at Veterans Field tonight when Y-D's Scott Green matches up with the A's Tom Milone. One thing in Chatham's favor as they attempt to send the series to a third game is that they do not appear to be intimidated by Red Sox closer Nick Cassavechia, even though he lead the league with 11 saves this year. Chatham handed Cassavechia the loss back on July 12, when they came back from an 11-1 deficit to win that game and Cassavechia allowed one run on two hits and a walk in the ninth inning yesterday.
Chatham has their work cut out for them as they have to win two straight from a team that has only lost 12 of 45 games all year.