By Zach Leach
Sunday night’s slate of games brought us to the midpoint of the 2014 season. Crazy, right? As it always does, the summer is flying by, and before you miss it, check in on what’s going on around the league as we enter the second half of the season.
In the East Division, there’s a tight race at the top of the standings. The Harwich Mariners have held the number one spot for almost the entire season up to this point, and have somehow held off the streaking Orleans Firebirds. Orleans put together a six-game winning streak and has won eight of their last ten, as they challenge the Mariners for the division lead. The dark horse in the East is the suddenly hot Chatham Anglers, who have won four straight and now find themselves right in the mix. With just a half-game separating each of these three teams as of now, this promises to be a fun race to watch in the second half. At the bottom of the division, the Y-D Red Sox and Brewster Whitecaps are vying for the fourth and final playoff spot, with Y-D up two games currently. They helped themselves out with a win against the Whitecaps on Sunday to widen the gap. Brewster will need to push to get back into the playoff picture, or else risk missing the postseason for the third straight year.
Over in the West Division, things are a little more clear-cut. The Bourne Braves have been unrelenting in their pursuit of the division crown, having not relinquished the lead since the first week of the season. They were pressed for a while by the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, who have since been floundering, losing six straight and eight of their last ten, to slip into third place in the division. They have been replaced by a team with opposite luck, the Falmouth Commodores, who have taken advantage of the Hyannis losing streak with a eight wins in their last ten games, including a current three-game winning streak. Another team poised to take advantage of the Harbor Hawk’s struggles are the Cotuit Kettleers, who are now just a half-game out of third. The lone wolf on the wrong side of the standings are the Wareham Gatemen, who for the second year in a row, are having a hard time winning games. Though they are on pace to easily beat their record from last season, they need to string together some wins in the second half if they want to play postseason baseball.
July is the most important month of the Cape League season, where teams can either put in the effort to cement themselves as a contender, or grow complacent and see their title hopes slip away. With so many storylines in the standings, you don’t want to miss any of the second-half action as we head toward another exciting conclusion to the best summer baseball league around.