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EDS Game 2 preview: Chatham at Harwich

by KJ Edelman
Saturday, August 03, 2019

EDS Game 2 preview: Chatham at Harwich

A night after not recording a hit in nine innings, Chatham will look to save its season in Game 2 of the East Division Series. A win forces a Game 3 at Veterans Field. A loss ends the first place Anglers season. 

On Friday, the A’s ran into a starter it hadn’t been able to record an earned run on all season (12,1 IP, 0 ER against Connor McCullough) and a relief pitcher that threw up to 101 mph. Both continued the A’s offensive woes. Its lone opportunity to score came in the fourth, where a bases loaded chance with two outs was spoiled. 

Of the nine other teams in the Cape League, Chatham has struggled most at the plate with the fourth place Mariners. The no-hitter continued its hitting struggles against Harwich that began in the regular season, where the A’s hit .169 in six games against them. On Saturday, they’ll look to break out of it.

“It's kind of fun now with your back to the wall,” Manager Tom Holliday said. “You gotta give it everything you got and leave it on the field. Try to win one.”

Probable pitchers

Kolby Kubichek (Texas) has been Chatham’s best starter all season. On Saturday, he’ll begin on the mound. His season statistics are eye-opening — 0.90 ERA in 30 innings, 34 strikeouts and a 0.83 WHIP — and make him one of the best pitchers in the Cape League. He last pitched on Monday, where he worked a 1-2-3 first inning before getting pulled. The right-hander hasn’t allowed an earned run since July 7, but that one inning of work on July 29 is his only experience against Harwich all season. 

Antonio Menendez (Wake Forest) is expected to start for Harwich. The right-hander hasn’t pitched against Chatham all season, but comes into Saturday with a 3.72 ERA in 29 innings of work. He’s gone more than four innings in his last four starts, including three of which where he went over six frames. Menendez is a strike thrower, too, walking just eight batters this season.

Player to watch

All season, Chatham’s go-to hitter has been Kaden Polcovich (Oklahoma State). He’s had three game-clinching hits, including a three-run double against Orleans that won the A’s the East Division Title. More than anything, Polcovich has shown up in big games. 

“I love when the game's in my hands. That's a different at-bat,” Polcovich said on Wednesday. “(I’m) not going down without a fight, at least."

Polcovich finished sixth in the Cape League in OPS (.899). He hit .378 with runners in scoring position in the regular season, almost 75 points higher than his average. And last night, he hit the hardest ball of the night in the ninth inning that was eventually caught near the warning track. If Chatham’s offense is rejuvenated, Polcovich will be at the forefront.

Stat to know — .181

In Chatham's last five games, the A's have hit .181 — which is almost 50 points less than its league-worst .230 season mark. Since its eight run explosion on Wednesday, the A's are 4-for-57.

Season series

Chatham and Harwich split their season series at three. The teams first met in the opening week of the season, when the Anglers won 5-0 for one of their two shutouts this season. The A’s won the second meeting, 3-2, but have lost three of the last four to end the season.

In the last regular season meeting, Harwich pounded the A’s 11-0 on July 29, scoring two runs in the second and third and four more in the sixth to defeat Chatham.