Playoff-Bound A’s To Take On Defending Champ Red Sox 

9 August 2007


by Eric Adler 

CHATHAM — Bring on the Red Sox.

    It’s not often you hear Cape Coders utter those words, but that’s exactly what those in Chatham are saying these days as the playoff-bound A’s gear up for their upcoming series against defending Cape League champ Y-D.

    Game one of the East Division championship series between the A’s and Red Sox begins tomorrow (Friday) at Red Wilson Field at 3 p.m. Game two will take place Saturday at Veterans Field at 7 p.m., and the rubber match, if necessary, reverts back to Y-D on Sunday, again at 3 p.m.

    Y-D won the regular season series against Chatham, going 3-2-1, which included a 7-1 victory over the A’s in the teams’ last meeting Saturday. 

    But Chatham, which posted back-to-back wins over the Red Sox earlier this year (scoring 23 runs in that two-game set), is ready for the challenge. 

    “We have just as good a chance in the playoffs as anyone,” said first baseman Alan Dykstra, who leads the team with a .323 average and 31 RBIs. “Their pitchers always have a good plan against us, they attack more inside and try to keep us off balance. They’re also a good hitting team, so it’s going to take a good performance by our hitters and our pitchers to win, and I think it’s going to be a good series.”

    In second place for most of the season, Chatham (25-14-3 as of Tuesday) officially clinched the wildcard with a brawny 10-3 victory over Brewster Sunday night.

    No one played a bigger part than Dykstra, who hit a three-run homer in the first inning and a two-run shot in the third as part of his five RBI night that allowed the A’s to extend their summer stay on the Cape. 

    “I was seeing the ball really well, stayed back on the ball, and it all just came together,” said Dykstra of his team-leading fifth home run of the season. “Mostly it was good to beat Brewster to get into the playoffs and get it off our backs.”

    All told, Chatham banged out 15 hits, three from Dykstra, and two each from Addison Johnson, Kyle Seager, Trey Watten and the red-hot hitting Tim Federowicz, who’s produced 11 hits in his last 14 at-bats, including a perfect 3-for-3 effort against Bourne Thursday and a 4-4 outing against Cotuit the next day. 

    Before the start of Monday’s game, Chatham coach John Schiffner urged his team not to let up just because their place in the playoffs is secure. The surging A’s heeded that message, pulling out a 5-2 win over Wareham, giving them their 11th win in their previous 13 games. 

    Jeremy Synan went 3-for-3, Kyle Seager hit a solo homer – his first moon shot of the season – and closer Bryan Shaw worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to earn his team-best seventh save. 

    On a team in which most everyone is producing and most everyone has played a heroic role, one night or the other, the A’s seemed poised for a promising playoff run. The fourth-place A’s of last year, they are not. 

    “We have more depth this year,” said Dykstra, “and overall we have a better quality of players, not just as ball players but as people.”

    The A’s, looking for their first CCBL title since 1998, are hoping that key ingredient will bring the championship back to Chatham. 

Mariners Finish In Fifth In East Division 

     The Harwich Mariners finished dead last in the East Division this season and subsequently extended their streak to 20 years without a Cape League championship, and 10 without a playoff berth. 

     Harwich (14-26-2 as of Tuesday) never gave themselves a shot as a result of a nine-game losing streak early in the season and a six-game skid in late July that spelled their demise. 

     For the Mariners, their only saving grace in their lost season is knowing that two other Cape League teams – Cotuit and Wareham – sport slightly worse records.

     Harwich, which took on Orleans on Tuesday (past The Chronicle’s deadline) closed out the season at home against Brewster the next day.


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