By Roy Reiss
There’s an old saying that “if it aint broke, don’t fix it.” Many fans commented that they liked the quick hit thoughts of last week, so here’s some more observations, perhaps a little insight, and even more ramblings as we’re about to start the third week of Cape League action.
- What’s with all the home runs being hit this year? The ball has been flying out of Lowell Park at an alarming rate thru the first six home dates. Five homers in one game, 4 in another (3 of them by Kettleers and some would say it should have been 4). Four more (and maybe another that hooked the right field foul pole) in last night’s game against Falmouth as the ball is jumping off the wood bats and easily clearing the fences at Lowell Park. We even saw Harwich’s Phil “Magic” Ervin hit two in the same game which is a rarity in Cape action.
- When you mention Tommy John surgery for a pitcher, you usually think of a one year rehabilitation period. Not so in the case of last night’s Kettleers starter T.J. Pecoraro (Vanderbilt). The stylish righty underwent surgery last June 7th and was miraculously back on the mound for the Commodores in March. By April he was starting and quickly became Vandy’s “Friday Night Hurler” as he led the team down the stretch to an NCAA Tournament berth. In fact one of his best starts was a complete game shutout against Ole Miss when he bested last year’s Kettleers’ closer, Bobby Wahl, in a real pitchers duel. In his first two Cape appearances, Pecoraro has worked 7 innings, given up 4 runs on 6 hits while striking out 7 and walking 3.
- Don’t know what’s going to happen the rest of the year, but have a hunch coach Mike Roberts will look back at the 8-6 home loss to Orleans as a critical juncture of the season. The club fought back after falling behind early and showed lots of character. Roberts also seemed to learn an awful lot about what each player is capable of doing during the long game. It’s one of those true moments in sports when we learn a lot about ourselves in a losing effort. You know, adversity is a great teacher.
- It’s great to have former Kettleers return to Lowell Park each year, and Ron Beaurivage was overwhelmed last Saturday when he turned back the clock. The 1973 Kettleers first baseman who helped lead the club to one of their 15 Cape championships returned for the first time in 39 years. Throwing out the first pitch was a highlight for Beaurivage but nothing could beat reliving memories and watching the game with Arnold Mycock, the GM who recruited him to Cotuit from UMass.
- Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that so many of the pitchers are surrendering base hits on 0-2 counts? Is it good hitting or simply poor pitching?
- Bet you didn’t know that 2 current Kettleers were high school teammates. Cael Brockmeyer and Tim Kiene went to Avon Old Farms in Connecticut and graduated in 2010. Both played baseball at the prep school and also formed a very formidable defense pairing in hockey (wouldn’t want to try and skate thru or around them). While Kiene matriculated to Maryland, Brockmeyer went to CSU Bakersfield and each lost contact with the other. Much to their surprise they were reunited this summer with the Kettleers and couldn’t be happier.
- If they had standings for refreshment stands in the Cape League, the Kettleers Kitchen led by John Cotellessa would be in first place. Imagine introducing ”lobster rolls” at the ball park! Fenway Park better take notice.
- After the first week of play, Kettleers pitchers were leading the league as a team, but they’ve slipped badly over the second week. Here’s a stat no coach likes to see – 45 runs allowed in 6 home dates. You’re not going to win many games allowing 7.5 runs per game.
- Speed at the top of the order is always something coaches love. It doesn’t get much better than the Kettleers’ Tony Kemp (Vanderbilt) and Raph Rhymes (LSU) and all the possibilities Coach Roberts can come up with if they reach base.
- Based on what we’ve seen in the early going at Lowell Park, you’d have to be impressed with Harwich, Orleans and Falmouth to date. However, seasoned observers will say it’s a long Cape season of 44 games where much can happen over the summer weeks, and it’s usually the team that gets hot at the end that has success in the playoffs.
Kettleers Korner will be anything and everything that might interest fans, past and present, about the Kettleers. Roy Reiss, who started his career working for Curt Gowdy Broadcasting, was a former sportscaster on Channel 7 and several radio stations in Boston. His son Mike now covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.