By Jon Mettus
Aug. 2, 2016
Yarmouth-Dennis — The Kettleers fell to the Red Sox, 6-1, at Red Wilson Field on Tuesday, eliminating them from playoff contention with one game left in the season. It’s the first time since 2011 that Cotuit has missed the playoffs and the third time under head coach Mike Roberts.
The Kettleers will host Wareham on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in their final game of the year.
Lehman was supposed to pitch
On the board prior to the game, Taylor Lehman (Penn State) had a question mark next to his name, having thrown three innings three days ago. He and Roberts decided one inning late in the game would be all that he would go.
And when Ross Achter came off the mound following much-needed six-inning start in which he allowed just one run, Lehman “possibly” would have been the person to come in from the bullpen. But during the game, Lehman hit his head on the bullpen seating structure’s overhang. Roberts turned it over to trainer Craig Moody to follow protocol and decide whether or not Lehman could play.
Instead of Lehman, Connor Simmons (Georgia Southern) came in and was tagged with five runs over the next 1 2/3 innings — including three within the first three outs. A 1-1 tie turned into a 6-1 loss.
“He may have been the person who came in possibly instead of Simmons, but we couldn’t do it because of hitting his head in the bullpen,” Roberts said.
Roberts proposes schedule changes
The Cape Cod Baseball League regular season finishes with a bit of an odd schedule. After three off days in six days, the season wraps up with six straight games, leaving pitching staffs — like Cotuit’s — depleted for the playoffs or a playoff push.
On Sunday, the league had a meeting with the head coaches and Roberts took a new proposed schedule with him. As the head coach at North Carolina, Roberts did the Atlantic Coast Conference scheduling for about 10 years, he said. He added that the schedule for the CCBL has been made by a computer the last few years.
“To try to make it a little more consistent,” Roberts said. “… We play 15 games in 17 games to open and then you play the last six days before the playoffs? It’s a little confusing on why that has been done. I don’t even know if anybody has an answer.”
Every year, Cotuit general manager Bruce Murphy sends Roberts the preliminary schedule and he gets to send suggestions backs. But by that point the schedule is basically finalized, Roberts said.
“Hopefully, they’ll make some suggestions,” Roberts said. “I think it’ll help every team if you didn’t play six straight days before the playoffs. I don’t think there’s any doubt.”
He added that the league has been “great” about communicating with the coaches to make some adjustments.
Lineup changes for final game
Josh Roberson (UNC Wilmington) and David Gerics (Pomona-Pitzer) will be the primary pitchers on Wednesday. Gerics hasn’t thrown since July 18 when lasted 3 1/3 innings of relief, giving up three runs.
Outfielders Jack Klein (Stanford) and Cal Stevenson (Arizona) will back them up. Stevenson threw one pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning on Tuesday and got the final defensive out for Cotuit.
As for the rest of the lineup, Roberts has not made up his mind. He’s going to send the team the lineup later tonight, but noted “there will be changes made during the ballgame.” He’ll preset the changes ahead of time so the players will know.