On Saturday June 23, the Chatham Anglers (6-2) will take on the Bourne Braves (2-6) in the back-end of a two game road trip at 6 p.m. The Anglers are on a tear of late, scoring 18 runs in the two games following an off-day on June 20. Once again, Chatham's game on Saturday will be another matchup for the Anglers against a Western Division opponent.
Right-hander Ryan Thompson
(0-0, 0.00 ERA) (Franklin Pierce) will start tonight for Chatham. Thompson received a no-decision in his season debut, giving up four hits and striking out five batters in five scoreless innings. Facing a Bourne team hitting only .213 as a team, Thompson will look to attack the strike zone and deliver another solid outing for a pitching staff that leads the league with a 2.75 team ERA.
"Ryan did a great job last time against Hyannis," said assistant coach Pat McGee
, who is now in his seventh year with the team. "He also commanded the strike zone well. We're hoping for the same tonight."
The Braves will send righty Chad Green
(0-0, 0.00 ERA) (Louisville) to the mound against the Anglers. Green was given a no-decision in his first start, throwing three and two thirds scoreless innings and fanning five batters. Green will look for a deep outing to help a pitching staff with a 5.24 team ERA.
Offensively, the Anglers will look for more quality at-bats. With consecutive nine-run games, Chatham now has scored 44 runs this season and leads the Cape League 37 walks. If Chatham can get runners on base against the Braves, the Anglers could have another productive night at the plate.
"A walk is an indication of you being comfortable at the plate and commanding the strike zone. When we were striking out earlier this season, guys were swinging at balls out of the zone," said McGee.
In addition to the big hits, the Anglers have done an excellent job of hitting ground balls to move runners over on the base paths.
"I always say to the guys that the key to scoring runs and winning in this league is getting people to third base with less than two outs," said McGee. "This is a great way to score runs without stringing two or three hits together, which is very hard to do in this league."
Defensively, Chatham will try to help out its pitchers in any way possible. Against Yarmouth-Dennis on Friday, the Anglers prevented multiple rallies with run-saving plays in the middle innings of the game. If Chatham can continue to protect its pitchers' leads, the Braves could have great difficulty putting runners on base.
By and large, the Anglers' fate on Saturday evening will be decided by execution. While Chatham has shown to be the greater team on paper, the Anglers are on the road facing a Bourne team eager to turn their season around. In order to come out on top on Saturday, Chatham will need to match its intensity from the last two games. So far, the Anglers appear up to the challenge.
For live coverage of Saturday's game, tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame show with broadcasters Brandon Liebhaber and Chris Fitzgerald at 5:40 p.m. at TRZ Teamline