10-Time Cape Cod Baseball League Champions

Red Sox pitchers struggle with the long ball

rn by Michael McClearyrnrnAlfonso Rivas roped one high into the right field sky. ?The crowd at “Red” Wilson Field as the ball sailed closer to the short right field fence. ?The ball sailed over the wall and the crowd erupted. ?Rivas had just tied the game and it looked again like another come from behind win was in the making for the Red Sox. ?The Red Sox called their near-flawless reliever Riley McCauley into the game to keep those hopes alive. But, just as easily as Chatham lost the momentum, it took it back.rnrn”The kid was gearing up for a fastball. ?I had to go to him,” McCauley said. “I threw it where he wanted it, he just got a good barrel on it.”rnrnThe Red Sox gave up three home runs in the ball game. ?Two were off pitches from starter John Rooney and the other was off of McCauley, which ended up being the decisive hit of the ball game. ?The Anglers tallied six runs batted in off of the three homers with the last off McCauley being a grand slam.rnrn”I was just trying to go at them with my best stuff,” McCauley said. “Name of the game is to not give up runs. Pitching’s not going to go your way every time.”rnrnThis marks the Red Sox fourth loss in?its last five games in what has been undoubtedly?its worst stretch of the season. ?The offense’s struggles have been the deciding factor in the other three losses, but Saturday’s game was defined by a few costly mistakes on the mound.rnrnComing on with the bases loaded was a tough situation for McCauley to begin with. ?He has been a reliable source of outs all year long. ?He leads the Cape league with six saves and rarely comes into a game in a non-save?situation. ?He has just eight appearances all year despite being Y-D’s most efficient reliever.rnrn”He’s the closer, he’s used to coming in in tight situations,” Manager Scott Pickler said. “We had to get him in, we thought it was the right time. He just threw a bad pitch.”rnrnOnly one of the runs allowed on the grand slam was earned to McCauley. Despite giving up the home run, McCauley?was not credited with the loss as Karl Blum allowed the three runners to get on base before McCauley appeared. ?rnrnRooney started the game out strong and, for a while, it looked like Saturday’s game could be his best start. ?But, after allowing a run in the third, Pickler said that he got “tentative” which led to him allowing two home runs in the fourth and fifth innings. ?rnrn”I got deep in the count and threw good pitches that just got hit,” Rooney said. “I left some a little bit up and I think I paid for it.”rnrnRooney continued to say that that was his “story of the game”. But, there was a lot to like about his outing. ?In the first and third innings, Rooney allowed two people to reach first but was immediately?able to pick both of them off. ?The Hofstra pitcher has a phenomenal move to first which looks identical to his motion to the plate. ?rnrnRooney has picked off quite a few guys in his time with the Red Sox, but he was able to showcase what a strength the skill was in Saturday’s game. ?He showed that runners aren’t safe once they reach first, with one of the broadcasters from the?game saying, “Sometimes, he fools me.”rnrnDespite these successes, the final scoreboard tells the story of what Rooney couldn’t control. Just as they have plagued the Red Sox all season long, a few mistakes defined the game for the pitching staff.rnrn”Just got to set this aside for the next time I get called upon,” McCauley said. “I have to learn from (Saturday), just don’t do that again.”rn

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