By Ben Fischer
University of Maryland
July 13, 2018
WAREHAM – After the Cotuit Kettleers fell 17-7 to the Falmouth Commodores on July 5, Kettleers coach Mike Roberts left the Lowell Park scoreboard on, hoping to light a fire beneath his team.
The message seemed to have gotten across, as the Kettleers (12-13-2, 26 pts) won three of their next four games, including a hectic 12-7 comeback win over the Orleans Firebirds. Since that win however, Cotuit has sandwiched a tie with Wareham between uninspiring road losses to Hyannis and Wareham. After the 8-2 loss to Wareham, Roberts offered a blunt assessment of the state of his ballclub.
“My overall thoughts are there was no intensity,” Roberts said. “I told the guys that afterwards. It’s a great group of guys and you always want to stay positive but we lack intensity as a group.”
Roberts added that he felt that his team needed to improve on their fundamentals, highlighting pitchers throwing strikes, defenders playing clean defense and hitters being aggressive at the plate.
The Kettleers 3-5-2 slide in the last 10 games has dropped them to last place in the West division behind Falmouth and Bourne, both tied with 27 points. The Kettleers chief issue this season has been their inconsistency. They have won three games in a row just once, beating Orleans on June 16 and sweeping Y-D in a doubleheader on June 17.
Roberts said that he believes that it is his job to find the “intensity button” to get his team to play with more passion, adding that if he fails to do so, the Kettleers inconsistency will continue.
“We have a lot of nice guys, but a lack of baseball intensity,” Roberts said. “It’s my fault, I haven’t been able to find the right button. I’ll keep trying. There’s a phrase that at 212 degrees, it turns over. Well, I’d like to just find 12 degrees and let the players get the other 200.”