Lake Monsters Pitching Shuts Down Cyclones 4-1
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Monday, July 30, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY - After two games against the Vermont Lake Monsters this weekend, the Brooklyn Cyclones offense have gotten a first hand look at the second-best pitching staff in the NY-Penn League and the results haven’t been good. Tonight was no different for the Mets Single-A affiliate either, as they’d get four-hit by the uber-dominant Vermont staff, losing 4-1.

Having yet to lose a game through six starts this season, Dylan Owen would get the call today for Brooklyn and would strike out six in 5.2 innings of work today, continuing to use his fastball, slider and curveball to dominate NY-Penn League hitters. However, if you ask Owen, he wasn’t as sharp as he could have been.

“I made some good pitches tonight, but there were some I didn’t make,” said Owen, who had a 5-0 record with a 1.96 ERA before today’s game. “They capitalized on them and outplayed us tonight.”

With both starting pitchers keeping the game scoreless through the third inning, offense looked like it was going to be hard to come by. Feeling the strain after seeing his usually hot-hitting club muster only 11 hits in their last two games, Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo would have to wait until the ninth for his team show even the most lethargic amount of prowess on offense.

“It’s hard to manage a game when your team isn’t getting on base,” said Alfonzo. “We had no offense at all tonight and it’s hard to win like that.”

The Lake Monsters would score the first run of the game, courtesy of a Jake Rogers RBI single in the fourth that would give the Nationals Single-A affiliate a 1-0 lead. Despite regaining his composure on the mound afterwards, Owen got into trouble again with two outs in the sixth, giving up another run on two hits that would stretch the Vermont lead to 2-0. Owen was then replaced by Grady Hinchman, who would also give up a few runs on a RBI singles off the bat of Garrett Bass in the seventh and Anthony Benner in the eighth that put the game out of reach at 4-0.

Failing to get any runs across the board on Vermont starter Colton Willems, who threw seven scoreless innings, the Mets Single-A affiliate were kept at bay with a hearty helping of off-speed pitches, inducing several ground balls that limited them to only four hits.

Alberto Tavarez, who struck ‘Clones infielder in the head in the first game of the series, would then come out of the Vermont pen in the eighth and pitched well enough to keep Brooklyn out of the game, giving up only a Chris Fournier sac-fly in the ninth that tied the knot on an otherwise impressive 4-1 Lake Monsters win.

Losing their first series at home this season, the Cyclones aren’t worried about their minuscule offensive output during this three-game stretch with Vermont. Instead, the team feels that this is only one series and that they’ll get back to their winning ways against Lowell and Oneonta, the two teams they’ll be playing on the road this week.

“We’re not used to losing,” said Owen. “We’re happy where we are right now, but we’re ready to hit the field against these teams on the road and do our best.”