Mahoning Valley Scraps Together a Win in Game One.
HITTING WOES HAMPERING BROOKLYN
By nature, the New York Penn League is a pitcher's league. No one knows this better than the Cyclones. Their hurlers are dong a fine job carrying the club this season. And historically, they always have. But there is no hiding the fact the Cyclones' offense is not as potent as say, past year's versions; ...not nearly. Saturday's line-up was for intent and purpose, their regular starting line-up. Among them, Alexander Sanchez tops the list with a .273 batting average. At the opposite end, Juan Carlos Gamboa is sporting a .202 average. The collective starting line-up so far is batting .237 this season. And now they've slipped two games behind in the McNamara Division to the first place Hudson Valley Renegades.
After taking two of three in Batavia, the Cyclones arrived in Ohio Saturday to play the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Hansel Robles was Brooklyn's starting pitcher. Luis DeJesus started for the Scrappers.
After five innings of work, Robles left on the winning side of a 2-1 game. He surrendered five hits, among them a home run to Mahoning's Joe Sever, but not much else. Hansel struck out seven and did not walk a batter. In six innings pitched, Luis DeJesus left with his team trailing by one. He allowed five hits and walked none, while striking out two. Brooklyn scored in the first and third inning off him. After Brandon Nimmo led-off the game with a single, Kevin Plawecki drove him home with a two out double. In the third, Eudy Pina scored on an RBI single by Jayce Boyd.
John Mincone came in to relieve Hansel Robles for the sixth, and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits, and striking out one. For the Scrappers, Scott Peoples came out of their bullpen to take over for DeJesus. He kept the visitors scoreless in the seventh, and eighth innings, issuing one walk, striking out two, with no hits against.
David Wynn took over pitching duties for Brooklyn in the eighth. And once he walked the lead-off batter, traditional thinking says trouble promptly follows. But the Cyclones quickly erased Wynn's base on balls by turning over a 5-4-3 double play. No matter though, trouble found its' way through to the Cyclones anyway. The very next batter reached first base safely on an E-3 by Jayce Boyd. Mahoning Valley's Joe Sever (remember him?) then stepped up again, and launched a two run home run; his second of the game; to give the Scrappers a 3-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth inning, Jayce Boyd and Kevin Plawecki both looked at strike three. Stefan Sabol at least offered and struck out swinging against Mahoning's Cody Penny, who closed out his second save of the season. Scott Peoples earned the win in relief. Brooklyn's David Wynn suffered his first blown save and loss, pitching for the Cyclones.
Rain delayed the game for a little over an hour. The Cyclones record now stands at 23-17, and as losers of six of their last ten, have now even slipped behind the State College Spikes by percentage points for the Wild Card. Game Two of their series in Ohio is scheduled for late Sunday afternoon.