As solid as Chatham has been in all facets of the game lately, it was that shaky on Saturday at Yarmouth-Dennis. The Anglers (13-22-1) dropped a crucial game to the Red Sox (15-17-4) by a score of 10-3.
The boys from Chatham are not out of the playoff picture yet, but winning the last meeting against the Red Sox (currently occupying fourth place in the East) would have been immensely helpful in the Anglers' effort to slide into the final postseason slot.
The early offensive production that Anglers' fans have come to expect was not there at Y-D. The man most responsible for that was Red Sox starting pitcher Alex Gonzalez (Oral Roberts). He surrendered just four hits and one run through five and two-thirds.
The lone run came in the top of the first inning. Joe Sever (Pepperdine) punched a line drive base hit to center field, scoring Alex Calbick (Maine), who reached on a walk. The next batter, Kris Bryant (San Diego), could not take advantage of a one out, bases loaded situation, as he grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Gonzalez held the Anglers scoreless for the remainder of his outing, but the Red Sox bullpen was even more effective once Gonzalez exited. Hard-hit outs plagued the Angler hitters, as did stranding three runners on base again, in the eighth inning.
Chatham's starter Pat Light (Monmouth), who was tagged with the loss, labored through four innings giving up six runs. The first reliever Jeff Gibbs (Maine) fared no better, allowing four runs in two innings.
Credit the Y-D hitters for making it a long night for any Chatham pitcher who dared take the mound at Red Wilson Field. The Red Sox sprayed hits to every inch of the ballpark, in just about every inning. In fact, the only inning in which the home team failed to get a base runner aboard was the 1-2-3 eighth, pitched by Chatham's Harry Marino (Williams).
The Red Sox scored in a variety of ways, hitting two home runs and taking advantage of walks, wild pitches, and errors. The most popular method to get runs across, though, was the sac fly. Four times in Saturday's game Y-D batters were able to lift long fly balls deep enough into the outfield to allow the runner at third base to tag up and score.
In the end, even the defense, which had looked quite crisp in recent days, failed to come through for Chatham. Two errors led to two unearned runs.
When seven walks are added to the equation, it is no wonder that Y-D put up ten runs.
Accounting for the other two Chatham runs were Kris Bryant and pinch hitter Pat Blair (Wake Forest). In the eighth inning, with runners in scoring position Bryant and Blair came through with back-to-back RBI singles off of Red Sox reliever James Lomangino (St. Johns).
The Anglers are back on the diamond Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET against the Cotuit Kettleers at Veterans Field.