25 July 2007

Rough stretch dooms Mariners playoff hopes

By Matt Rice
GateHouse News Service

Harwich - The up and down ride that has become the Mariners season took another down swing last week as the team dropped four of five games last week, including two blowout losses to division foes Orleans and Y-D.

    Starting pitching, once one of the teams strong suits, has faltered lately as the team has been outscored 32-13 in their last five games.

    After winning four-of-five last week, the Mariners found themselves back in the chase for the final playoff spot behind division leader Y-D. But three loses in a row, two to Y-D and one to Orleans, again put the Mariners on the outside looking in for the postseason.

    Against Chatham on Monday, the Mariners managed only five hits, including none in the final three innings, and one run off A’s starter Ryan Hinson as they lost 3-2.

    Alex Avila had the only RBI on the night, a single in the fourth inning that drove in Kent Mattes, as the team continued their struggles at the plate.

    The pitching duo of starter Kris Dabrowiecki and Danny Farquhar pitched well and kept the game close, giving up only three earned runs, one in the third and two in the fifth, but the offense couldn’t take advantage as they were shutdown by the A’s bullpen down the stretch.

    The Mariners broke a three-game losing streak on Sunday as they defeated the Cotuit Kettlers 5-3 behind the starting pitching of starter Ryan Kulik. Kulik didn’t get the decision as he left after six strong innings, giving up only two earned runs on nine hits.

    Harwich got three runs on two hits in the first inning but needed RB singles by Kyle Day and Steve Strausbaugh in the top of the ninth to put the game away.

    After their 4-1 win over Orleans last Monday, the Mariners endured a two-game layoff before losing 7-4 to Y-D on Thursday.

    Harwich followed up that loss with an 11-1 loss to Orleans on Friday and an 8-1 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday, essentially knocking the team from the playoff chase.

    As they have throughout the season, the Mariners find themselves in last place in the East with 12-20-1 record, good for 25 points, 14 points away from the final playoff spot. 

    The Mariners will play three of their next four games at home. They’ll play Chatham tonight, Falmouth tomorrow night before traveling to Y-D on Friday.