Yarmouth-Dennis was the big winner this weekend. The Red Sox swept three games against Eastern foes after beating Chatham 9-4 on Saturday, then traveling to Eldredge Park to take two from Orleans, by scores of 5-1 and 2-1. Y-D has 39 points, putting them 4 ahead of the Firebirds and 5 ahead of Chatham. Orleans went into yesterday's doubleheader fresh off an 11-1 drubbing of Bourne. They ran up against a Red Sox team that is now 6-1-1 in their last 8 games. Y-D received quality performances from starters Mario Hollands (Cal-Santa Barbara; 5 IP, 4 hits) and Austin Ross (LSU; 6 IP, 3 hits). Over the course of the 14 innings, Red Sox pitching issued only two walks.
Chatham rebounded from the loss to Y-D by defeating Wareham 1-0 in a classic pitchers duel between Tyler Lyons (Oklahoma State) and Cole Green (Texas). Lyons went the distance in the shutout, allowing just 2 hits and no walks while striking out 11. Green nearly matched him by going 8.1 innings, also giving up just 2 hits and striking out 11. The difference in the game was Green issued 4 free passes, three of them after recording the first out in the ninth inning. Arizona State's Jordan Swagerty relieved Green at that point and Dean Green provided his Oklahoma State teammate with the winning run when he ripped a single off the second baseman's glove. The game was played in 1:54.
Brewster remains in fourth place in the East after the Whitecaps split a doubleheader with Falmouth, winning the first game 2-1 before dropping the nightcap 3-0. Kyle Blair (San Diego) pitched 6 innings of three-hit ball to earn the win for Brewster. You know you are going good when you allow just one run over 6 innings and your ERA goes up. Blair is second in the league with a 1.02 ERA. Cotuit's Jake Buchanan is the leader at 0.67.
Last place Harwich lost to Cotuit 4-1 on Saturday before beating Hyannis 4-2 yesterday. The Mariners are 2 pts. behind Brewster.
In the West, Wareham beat Falmouth 6-2 on Saturday before dropping the heartbreaker to Chatham yesterday. Josh Mueller (Eastern Illinois) went 7.2 innings on Saturday, limiting Falmouth to just 4 hits. One of those hits was Hunter Morris' league-leading fifth homerun. Brett Eibner's third homer, a three run shot, was the winning blow for the Gatemen.
Another team that made it a productive weekend was Cotuit. After beating Harwich on Saturday, the Kettleers kept their winning ways going with a 5-3 comeback win over Bourne. Cotuit trailed 3-2 heading into the eighth when they got to Braves reliever Kevin Munson (James Madison; 4 hits, 2 walks) for the game winning rally. The big blow was a two-run double off the bat of Tony Plagman (Georgia Tech). The weekend sweep moves Cotuit into a tie with Wareham at the top of the division, both with 32 pts. Cotuit is 6-1-2 in their last 9 games.
On the other end of the spectrum, it was a lost weekend for Bourne after dropping those games to Orleans and Cotuit. The Braves remain in third place, but they are just 2 pts. off the pace.
McKeon Park was deemed unplayable after overnight rains Friday into early Saturday morning, so Hyannis' scheduled game against Brewster on Saturday was postponed. That game will now be played this Wednesday at 7:00. Because of that postponement, Hyannis' only game this weekend was the loss to Harwich.
Last place Falmouth remains well behind the leaders. After a 1-2 weekend, the Commodores have a league-low 21 pts. and are 7 games under .500.
A few rambling thoughts while waiting for drama queen Brett Favre to tell the world that he is going to play one more season. Oops. Wrong sport. Sorry.....
Not much has been said about this, but all games scheduled for 9 innings now have a 12 inning cap. Doubleheader games scheduled for 7 innings now have a 9 inning cap. If the reason put forth was that they want to protect pitchers arms, it would be hard to argue. But the reason given is that they want to make things more equitable for teams that don't have lights at their home field. Great. Now everyone can have more ties. It isn't bad enough that Wareham - a team who plays their home games under the lights - has 4 ties already. An arguement can be made on both sides probably, but I'm not sure that ties adversely affect teams. You can't say a tie cost a team a point because they could just as easily have lost that game. The way things are now, I understand why they happen, but I don't think anyone likes tie games in baseball. I'm sure this idea has been tossed around before, but why not start all games in Cotuit, Y-D and Brewster at 4:30? The players have jobs? Maybe the teams arrive at the field at the same time as they would for a 5:00 game and both teams cut batting and infield practice by 15 minutes. That would mean each player gets maybe three or four fewer swings in BP. Some of the volunteers have day jobs and it is already difficult for them to get to the game in time for a 5:00 start? It seems that each team has plenty of young interns who could handle some extra duties for a half hour. The games that start at 4:30 as of August 1 each year, all go off without a hitch.
Thumbs up for Harwich's new home uniforms. They have a nice old-time look to them.
I see that Cotuit manager Mike Roberts was ejected from yesterday's game. I wonder if there was some emotion carried over from Saturday's game in Harwich when Roberts asked the firstbase umpire for help and his request was denied. On a close play at first, the firstbase coach claimed that Harwich's Connor Powers was well off the bag when he received a throw. The batter was called out on the play. Roberts came over from third and asked the firstbase umpire to get help from the plate umpire. He refused. This went back and forth with Roberts asking the umpire a few more times to get another opinion and each request was met with a "No." Finally the umpire told Roberts he didn't have to ask for help because he was sure of the call. Just wondering, but even if he was "sure" in his own mind, why not ask for help? Either the plate umpire agrees with the call, or just maybe he saw something that the base umpire couldn't see. I think the base umpire watches too much of his major league brethren on television. I have to admit though, that the MLB umpires have gotten much better about getting together in attempting to ensure the right call was made.
I promised myself I wouldn't say anything about the All Star game. I lied. It's a shame that Chatham's Jesse Hahn won't have the opportunity to show off his 95-97 mph fastball at Fenway.
Speaking of Chatham, many people have been overheard saying that Veterans Field is looking better than ever. The playing surface is beautiful and the brick knee-wall is a very nice addition.
Hyannis hosted Harwich yesterday. Apparently the rumors that McKeon Park slipped into Hyannis Harbor were exaggerated. No one from the Mets organization would ever admit to this, but I wonder if anyone else ever thinks that with all of the money they have put into McKeon Park, if they might not have been better served by directing their resources to the field at Barnstable HS where the Mets played when they first came into the league? With all of the rainouts around the league this year, they must not have been happy to have to postpone Saturday's game on what was a beautiful summer day.
When is a promotion really not a promotion? Maybe when your name is Jim Riggleman and you have been "promoted" from bench coach to manager of the Washington Nationals. An ex-Falmouth Commodore, Riggleman sure has his work cut out for him.
Y-D has four batters in the top ten in average. Austin Wates (Virginia Tech) is third at .348. Boston College's Mickey Wiswall is sixth at .322. Jordan Casas (Long Beach State) and Blake Kelso (Houston) are tied for ninth at .287.