Thursday, August 30, 2012

Brooklyn Cyclones: Overcome Five Errors For Third Straight Win

From the desk of:   THE CONEY ISLAND NINE

Cyclones     7
Renegades  4
Thursday @ Coney Island
So Far The Brooks Are 3-0 During Final Ten Game Stretch.
Flaky Defense Needs To Shape Up, Quick!


Hudson Valley....46-23   *
CYCLONES........42-27   4 games back
Muckdogs........2 games back

Before the Staten Island Yankees provided Coney Island with an assist, Brooklyn's visit to Hudson Valley was shaping up to be an inconsequential trip.  As of Sunday, the Cyclones fell seven games behind the first place Renegades in the McNamara Division race.  Then, the Bombers swept two games from Hudson Valley, and Brooklyn did the same against the Iron Birds.  Suddenly, with eight games remaining and five games to make up, Brooklyn's head to head match up against the Renegades turned out to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

So game on!

On the hill, Gabriel Ynoa opposed Hudson Valley starter, Taylor Guerrieri.  Both hurlers pitched five complete innings.  However, Gabriel Ynoa exited on the losing side of a 2-1 game.  In his five innings of work, he allowed two runs, but only one earned.  He issued one walk and surrendered four hits, while striking out four batters.  In Taylor Guerrieri's five innings, he allowed one hit, one run, and struck out four.

Hudson Valley wasted no time scoring in the first inning.  Gabriel Ynoa hurt his own cause issuing two walks.  The Renegades took a 1-0 lead on a fielder's choice.  Brooklyn tied the game in their next at-bat.  Alexander Sanchez led off the top of the second with a double.  He too, eventually scored on a fielder's choice.  In the third inning, two Brooklyn errors conspired to give Hudson Valley a 2-1 lead.

The respective bullpens took over and kept things quiet in the sixth.  For Brooklyn, Logan Taylor was called in to pitch, while Hudson Valley handed the ball off to Jordan Harrison.

In the seventh inning Jordan Harrison blinked, and the Cyclones bats struck.  Phillip Evans led off with a single.  Then Alex Sanchez, Jayce Boyd, and Malkis De La Cruz, all doubled to help give the 'Clones a 5-2 lead.  With that, Harrison was off to the showers.  Next in from the Renegades bullpen came Rob Finneran, who closed out the frame preventing further damage.  He wasn't as lucky in the eighth inning though.  Brooklyn had their way with him shortly.  After Finneran hit Gavin Cecchini with a pitch, the next batter, Jayce Boyce, answered back with his fifth home run of the season.

Coach Donnelly sent Logan Taylor out for a third inning of work.  However, the pitcher did not finish.  Two hits and an E-4 by Jeff Reynolds got Taylor bounced from the game.  Beck Wheeler was called in next, and promptly issued an RBI double, making it a 7-4 game.

The Cyclones went down quietly in the top of the ninth.  Coach Donnelly then summoned Tyler Vanderheiden to oppose Hudson Valley's attempts at last licks.  The Cyclones closer performed flawlessly, retiring the Renegades in order.  Tyler earned his eleventh save of the season, and Logan Taylor received credit for his second win in relief.

Hudson Valley's McNamara Division lead over the Cyclones is now down to four games with seven left to play.  There is still hope for a division flag Cyclones fans.  It's a slim chance, but stranger things have happened.

In the other race, unfortunately for Brooklyn the Muckdogs won again!  Batavia is 8-2 in their last ten games and winners of four in a row.  As a result, the Cyclones Wild Card lead over the Muckdogs remains at two games.  However, I'm consumed by a sense of Who is chasing Who?  Down the stretch, the Cyclones are now winners of three in a row, but are only 6-4 in their last ten.

On a side note, if you have a bunch of disposable income laying around, and you can find someone who will give you odds, bet everything that Coach Donnelly will have his team outside early in the morning going through extra fielding drills tomorrow.  Especially at this point of the season, it's better to be proactive, than taking no action at all.  Wednesday night's game must have infuriated the manager.  The Brooks committed five errors in the game.  An error in the eighth inning could have been ruinous.  They have now committed eight errors in the last four games.  And that simply will not do - Not with seven games left in the season, and not with the Muckdogs biting at Brooklyn's heals.

The 2012 Cyclones have been cut out of an old Earl Weaver mold.  Saying they play stationary baseball is an understatement.  They are dead last in the league in stolen bases, and rank second to last in team batting average.  Yet, the Bums lead the New York Penn League in walks, and rank second in home runs.  Completing the Weaver equation, the Cyclones possess the best starting rotation in all the circuit.   So the final seven games of the Wild Card race would be a horrible time for their defense to fail them.  More pressing, their attention to detail must not escape them.


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