Gee and Pen Tame Tigers, 4-2|
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Thursday, August 23, 2007
BROOKLYN, NY- There may have been a bevy of sweaters and blankets at a chilly Keyspan Park tonight, but the Cyclones pitching staff was red hot, getting a solid performance from starter Dillon Gee and plenty of support from the bullpen, etching out a 4-2 victory over the Oneonta Tigers.
“We were good today,” said Cyclones catcher Jason Jacobs. “We had a lot of clutch hits and we were putting the ball in play. Gee looked really strong as well. His control was there and his changeup was really good.”
Giving the scoreboard some company in the first inning, the ‘Clones got a RBI single from J.R. Voyles that allowed Jacobs to score after he singled earlier in the inning, giving the ‘Clones a 1-0 lead. However, Gee would give up the lead on the second pitch of the next inning to Chris Carlson, who hit his league-leading 10th home run of the season, effectively tying the score at 1-1.
The score would then remain deadlocked at 1-1 until the bottom of the fourth, when Oneonta starter Sean Finefrock threw a wild pitch to Ezekiel Carrera that scored Raul Reyes, who singled earlier in the inning and got to third on a double by Will Vogl, putting Brooklyn ahead 2-1.
Regaining his command after surrendering the Carlson dinger in the second, Gee was once again solid for Brooklyn. Having not recorded a win since July 21 against Tri-City, Gee was out to prove his early season dominance was no fluke and went four strong innings, giving up only one run and striking out four.
“He pitched great today,” said Alfonzo. “I would have kept him in longer, but he went over his pitch count.”
Replacing Gee in the fifth was Steven Cheney, who kept the score at 2-1 through 1.1 innings of work, but allowed two runners to get on base in the sixth, before being replaced by Dan McDonald. Getting the next two batters he faced out, McDonald would keep the score at 2-1 and after consecutive hits from Reyes and Vogl to start the bottom of the sixth, McDonald was given some insurance after Matt Bouchard hit a RBI single to stretch the lead to 3-1.
“I’ve been feeling really good at the plate lately,” said Bouchard. “I’ve been swinging the bat a little better since the All-Star break and it feels good to help the team that way.”
The Cyclones offense wasn’t finished producing in the sixth however, as Carrera would reach on an error that would allow Vogl to cross the plate, giving the Mets Single-A affiliate a 4-1 lead. With a three-run lead going into the seventh, Grady Hinchman would replace McDonald in the eighth and would only be able to get two outs in the innings before being pulled in favor of Will Morgan.
Morgan wouldn’t be able to keep the Tigers bats silent through the eighth though, as Carlson added another RBI to his resume to give the Tiger a fighting chance a 4-2 with one inning left to play. However, Eddie Kunz came out of the pen in the ninth pitched a scoreless inning and nailed down his fourth save in a 4-2 Brooklyn victory.
Loving what he saw from his pitching staff tonight, Alfonzo feels confident that his young team is starting to gel into a championship-caliber squad that has learned from their stretches of inconsistency as of late. Nevertheless, Alfonzo understands how dangerous the Tigers are and knows his team has to continue to play their best in order to beat them again tomorrow.
“You have to be careful with this team, they’re one of the best team’s we’ve played this year,” said Alfonzo. “We have to keep doing the little things if we want to beat them tomorrow. We have to be careful, but I like how we played today.”