By Sam Blum
June 18, 2014
Mike Roberts walked out to the mound as a lounging Cotuit bullpen beyond right field began to scurry into a frenzy.
An out had yet to be recorded, but Matthew Vogel’s start was in jeopardy of being cut short.
“You have those days where you’re on and off,” Vogel said. “Obviously today was a day I was off. And I was way off.”
Vogel walked two and gave up two hits and three runs before being pulled without recording an out in the first inning in Cotuit’s eventual 5-4 loss to the Braves at Doran Park.
His pitches were coming in around 91 miles per hour, but he lacked command.
“I’ve kind of been in a funk since my whole freshman year,” Vogel said. “I’m trying to work through it right now, and I know as long as I stay here, I’ll eventually come back to my normal self.”
The Kettleers jumped out to a 1-0 after just three pitches, and it didn’t take long for the Braves to get it right back. A Mark Laird single and steal, followed by a Billy Flemming single tied the score.
The next batter walked, and Roberts walked out to the mound.
It didn’t seem to calm his nerves. After ball four sailed over both Fisher and the umpire’s head, Roberts looked out to his bullpen to see if Bailey Clark was ready to come in.
He was. And Vogel’s night was done.
“Coach Roberts needs to work on something, not Matt,” Roberts said. “I just need to put the right people in the right place. This is a league for guys that are really mature and ready.”
After the game ended, Vogel walked up to Roberts and asked if he could get extra bullpen work.
Roberts welcomed the idea, but later admitted that he needs to retool the way he uses Vogel in the future.
Said Roberts: “Matt’s not ready in this league to be a starter. Period.”