The Chatham Anglers (18-8-1) moved to a league-best 10 games above the .500 mark after an 8-5 win over the Y-D Red Sox (12-14-1) in a wild game at Veterans Field.
The two teams combined for 12 runs and 16 hits in the first three innings, but it was the Chatham bullpen who stole the show late in the game, shutting out the Red Sox for seven combined innings.
"After the game, I just told the guys that it was a good win, and they just need to keep playing the way they are playing," Manager John Schiffner
said. "We have a great team, we just need to keep it up."
The Anglers will look to capture their fourth-straight victory tonight as they take on the Brewster Whitecaps (10-16) in a division battle at Veterans Field.
After struggling to begin the season, the Whitecaps have come on of late, winning seven of their last 10 games, and now sit only one game back of Orleans for the final playoff spot in the division.
In four games against Chatham, though, Brewster has yet to record a victory.
Right-hander Tommy Lawrence
(Maine) will get the start for Chatham. Lawrence is normally a bullpen guy, but will make his second start of the season for the Anglers. Lawrence starting is just one way that the bullpen has shown its talent and versatility.
photo by Chelsea Capwell/Chatham Anglers
Kyle Funkhouser (Louisville) and the Chatham bullpen
have yet to allow a run in the past 19.2 innings.
"I can not say enough about the bullpen," Schiffner said. "They have been phenomenal. We have guys in the bullpen who can do a lot of different things, which is very valuable. Credit goes to the guys and (pitching coach) Matt Gardner
In the past five games, the Anglers' bullpen has yet to allow a run in 19.2 combined innings. Over that period, they have only given up nine hits and have struck out 21 opposing batters.
The bullpen has come together as a group, and it has shown in their performances on the mound.
"No matter the game situation, no matter who is on the mound, we are confident that they can get the job done," Dominic Moreno
(Texas Tech) said. "We love it in the bullpen, everyone gets along great, and we are really performing well."
(Cal State Fullerton) has helped lead the Chatham offense over the past four games, collecting six hits, five RBI, one home run, and has also recorded a save for the Anglers.
For Davis, it has all been about comfortability at the plate.
"I did not feel really comfortable at the plate when I got here," Davis said. "The pitching was excellent, but I now feel comfortable and I feel like I am swinging the bat really well right now."
Davis is now hitting .255 on the season with nine RBI and 14 walks on the season, and has yet to allow a run in two appearances on the mound.
Trying to tame Davis and the Anglers offense will be Brewster right-hander Matt Pirro (Wake Forest), who has struggled with a 6.05 ERA in four starts this season.
In his last start, Pirro gave up six runs to the Falmouth Commodores over four innings, and was dealt the loss as Brewster fell 9-1.
As the season winds down and the playoffs creep closer, the Anglers will look to continue to distance themselves within the division. They sit nine points ahead of the second-place Harwich Mariners, and 14 points ahead of fourth-place Orleans.
"The team is pretty high in the clouds right now, but we can't get content with where we are at," Davis said. "We have to keep playing and working hard."
First pitch at 7 p.m. Tune into the Anglers Extra Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. for live coverage with broadcasters Brandon Liebhaber and Keith Zubrow at TRZ Teamline
or call 1-800-846-4700, code 3841.
Chris Jones is the Beat Writer and Social Media Manager for the Chatham Anglers. He is responsible for all game previews, recaps, and live-tweeting of all Angler games. Follow him on twitter at @Chrisjones_UO, and follow the Chatham Anglers at @ChathamAnglers.