08/01/2022 8:17 AM
Article By: Ethan Kagno
The playoffs are right around the corner as teams make their final push to clinch a playoff berth. All teams in the West have punched their ticket and will play another week of baseball. The Gatemen across the bridge in Wareham won’t come back over, as they were the first team eliminated from playoff contention. With spots still open for grabs in the East, here is what you need to know for Week 8, presented by Legacy Athletics.
Yarmouth-Dennis Struggles To Clinch No. 1 Seed
The Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox have a six-game losing streak coming into August 1st and risk losing the top spot in the East. They stand at 19-16-7, only two points clear of second-place Brewster (18-17-7). However, Y-D still boasts one of the better pitching rotations on the Cape, allowing just 125 earned runs up to this point which ranks second. They also have allowed the least amount of hits (274) this season. Y-D travels to Chatham to face the Anglers in their second-to-last game of the regular season before hosting their first playoff game since 2019.
Tight Playoff Races
Both divisions are coming down to the wire and a lot remains up in the air in terms of playoff implications. In the East, Y-D (19-16-7; 45 pts) is two points ahead of, second-place Brewster (18-17-7; 43 pts), as mentioned before. Last place Chatham (13-20-9; 35 pts) are separated by only three points in the standings – thanks to a 5-3-2 record in their last 10 games – the Anglers have put themselves back into the playoff race. They’ve gotten hot at the right time, and the rest of their regular season games have essentially turned into must-win contests. In the West, the battle for the top seed is likely to come down to the final regular season game. Currently, Hyannis (22-14-6; 50 pts) has a grasp of the one-spot by a single point up on Cotuit (22-15-5; 49 pts) and Bourne (21-14-7; 49 pts). Wareham (13-22-7; 33 pts) was eliminated following a win by Falmouth on Saturday.
Players To Watch:
Rikuu Nishida (Hyannis/Mount Hood CC) & Mitch Jebb (Hyannis/Michigan State)
Rikuu Nishida and Mitch Jebb both enjoyed a record-breaking week for the Harbor Hawks, in which they broke the single-season franchise record for stolen bases. Jim Watkins was the previous record holder with 22 thefts in 41 games for Hyannis in 1987. The two soaring Harbor Hawks set a new record last week with 24 SB and counting. The all-time Cape record is 43, set by Mick Morandini (Yarmouth-Dennis) in 1987. While it doesn’t seem likely either of them will beat the all-time record with a couple of games left in the regular season, don’t tell that to Hyannis’ middle-infield. However, a top-10 all-time finish could be in line, as they need three more stolen bags apiece (27 total) to join that conversation.
August 1st: Bourne Braves vs Cotuit Kettleers (4:30 pm @ Lowell Park)
As mentioned before, the seedings may not play out in the West until the final couple of games. A red-hot Bourne squad visits Lowell Park for a date with Cotuit. Both teams have a chance for the number one overall seed in the West, although Hyannis controls their destiny headed into the final two regular season games. Any outcome besides a tie should clear up the tight division.
August 2nd: Chatham Anglers vs Harwich Mariners (6:30 pm @ Whitehouse Field)
There could be major stipulations headed into the final game of the 2022 Cape League season. The Anglers currently trail Orleans and Harwich by three points heading into tonight’s slates. While a Chatham loss ends their season, Orleans and Harwich can both clinch the final two playoff spots with wins tonight. If Chatham wins and Harwich can’t manage at least a tie, game number 220 of the season could essentially be a one-game playoff to decide the final seed.
August 4th: Let The Playoffs Begin!
It all comes down to this. Eight teams, four in each division. Keep your eyes peeled for the playoff schedule as soon as all of the seedings are finalized.