Casper and Company Spook Cyclones 9-2 in Game One
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Saturday, August 25, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY - Unable to muster any real offense, the baby Mets pitching staff was picked apart in the first game of tonight’s twin bill by the duo of Oneonta designated hitter Casper Wells and third baseman Cory Middleton, who combined for seven RBI, leading to a 9-2 Brooklyn loss.

“We played bad today,” said Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo. “All season, we’ve gotten great pitching and today we didn’t have it. I’ve never seen these guys pitch like that this season.”

Getting the start in game one for the Mets Single-A affiliate was Nick Waechter, who had a 3–0 record with a 1.43 ERA in his last five starts. Not wasn’t nearly as sharp today as he has been over the last month, Waechter gave up four runs in only three innings pitched.

“I didn’t have my best stuff today,” said Waechter. “I left the ball up way too much.”

Keeping Brooklyn close after Waechter’s sub-par performance was Mike Antonini, who replaced him in the fourth and stopped the bleeding, giving up a run on two hits in three innings pitched. With another solid outing under his belt, Antonini pitched well enough for the ‘Clones to stay in the game.

Getting an RBI hit from Matt Bouchard in the fourth inning, Brooklyn got on the scoreboard and was looking for more. Getting a solo-dinger from Raul Reyes in the sixth, the Cyclones were within three runs with one inning left to play and looked as if they were ready to break out offensively after being stifled by Oneonta starter Sendy Vasquez for most of the game.

“We were one big hit away from breaking that game wide open,” said Alfonzo. “It just didn’t happen.”

However, the game was virtually over before they had a chance to bat in the bottom of the seventh, as the pitching staff, for one of the first times this season, couldn’t keep them in the game.

Down 5-2 in the top of the seventh, Grady Hinchman came in to pitch for the Cyclones and wasn’t able to get the last out of the inning and gave up a triple to Wells and intentionally walked Chris Carlson before he beaned right fielder Kody Kaiser to load the bases for Middleton. Hinchman was then replaced by Edgar Ramirez, who would be the victim of a Middleton grand slam that put the game away in the seventh, resulting in a 9-2 loss.

Not even Mets catcher Paul LoDuca, who was on a rehab assignment with the club could help the Brooklyn offense, as the former All-Star went 0 for 3 with a strikeout.

“I was swinging hard today, but I don’t have my timing yet” said LoDuca. “That guy had pretty good stuff.”