Sunday, September 02, 2012

Brooklyn Cyclones: Wild Card Or Bust

From the desk of:   THE SURF AVENUE SLUGERS

BROOKLYN CYCLONES:  After Talking Over First Place From Brooks In July, Hudson Valley Never Looked Back.  Renegades Clinch 2012 McNamara Division Flag.

The margin of difference in Saturday's standings stayed as they ended Friday.  Brooklyn still trails Hudson Valley by five games.  The race for the division flag however, is over.  The Cyclones will not be division champs this season.  With four games left in the regular season, the math says not this time.  Despite the Brooks defeating their rival Staten Island Yankees Saturday evening, the Hudson Valley Renegades shutout the Iron Birds 2-0 in Aberdeen to clinch the 2012 McNamara Division title.

Brooklyn relinquished first place just prior to embarking on their great western road trip through Batavia and Mahoning Valley.  That last home stand concluded July 24th with a second consecutive loss to Aberdeen.  At the same time Hudson Valley was taking two from the Yankees.  The Renegades were in the midst of a seven game winning streak at the time, and slipped into the division lead.  Their play has not wained since.  After late July, the Cyclones never tasted first place again.  They got close.  Down the stretch however, Hudson Valley proved more consistent than did Brooklyn.  Hudson Valley at one point was 9-1 over a ten game stretch while Brooklyn was playing 5-5 baseball.

The division crown seemed lost a week ago.  Brooklyn was seven games out at the time. Then Staten Island intervened with a pair of wins over Hudson Valley.  Thanks to the Yanks, Brooklyn gained two games on the leaders and were newly afforded one last opportunity to make up five games with eight  left on the schedule.  With success unlikely, that quest finally ended Saturday night.

With a 44-28 record, and .611 winning percentage, the Cyclones must now invest all their efforts  toward protecting a precarious one game Wild Card lead over the Batavia Muckdogs.  This is a race the Cyclones once lead by seven games over the State College Spikes, before the Muckdogs bum rushed the competition.  The 'Dogs are now winners of eight consecutive games, and show no signs of letting up.  During their latest game in Williamsport, the Muckdogs and Crosscutters engaged in a thump fest won by the 'Dogs in a 12-11 final.

Brooklyn has one game left against Staten Island Sunday, before ending the season with a three game series against the Lowell Spinners.  Batavia will start a two game series against the Auburn Doubledays Sunday, and end the season with a two game series against the Jamestown Jammers.


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