Brooklyn Salvages Twin Bill
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Sunday, August 17, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY - Five and a half games behind the first place Staten Island Yankees before a double header with the Tri-City Valley Cats on Saturday, the Brooklyn Cyclones lost the first game 4-3 after the bullpen lost a late two-run lead, but stormed back in the second game behind Pedro P. Martinez and live bats, winning 6-2.
Five games back of the McNamara Division leading Yanks after the split, the Clones know they still have enough time to surprise a few people before the season’s climax.
“We know that there is time left and we’re playing well,” said Cyclones skipper Edgar Alfonzo. “We’re right in the middle of everything.”
Jose Jimenez got the Cyclones on the board in the first on a RBI double off Tri-City starter Shane Wolf that scored JR Voyles and gave Brooklyn an early 1-0 lead. Recent addition Juan Lagares then added an RBI single, giving the Mets Single-A affiliate a 2-0 advantage after only one inning of play.
After giving up two hits in the first inning, Brooklyn starter Jenrry Mejia threw two scoreless innings in the second and third, but wasn’t able to get himself out of a base-loaded jam with no outs in the fourth. Giving up a run on a Jonathan Gaston RBI single, Mejia was saved by a double play that got him out of the inning with the Cyclones still ahead by a run.
The Baby Bums got the two-run lead right back after a Kirk Nieuwenhuis RBI single in the bottom of the fourth, but Mejia got himself into another bases-loaded dilemma with two outs in the fifth and walked in a run that made it a one-run ballgame once again. Yury Santana was then summoned from the Brooklyn pen and got the Clones out of the inning with the score still 3-2.
“He was very inconsistent today,” Alfonzo said of his 18-year-old starter. “He was all over the place. I think he was trying to do too much out there today.”
Santana had problems of his own as well and left in the sixth with no outs and the bases-loaded for Stephen Clyne, who gave up a sacrifice fly that tied the score at 3-3. A J.B. Shuck ground out then sent another Tri-City Valley run across the plate, giving the Valley Cats their first lead of the game at 4-3.
The Clones offense wasn’t able to come back in the sixth and after a Caesar Cordido strike out, Alfonzo was ejected for arguing the called strike three with home plate umpire Matt Jones.
“I wasn’t upset about the call,” said Alfonzo. “I was mad that he made the call before the pitch got to the catcher. The ball was halfway there when he called it a strike. I don’t think it was right. I was disappointed about it.”
Clyne continued to pitch in the seventh and hurled a scoreless inning, but it wasn’t enough, as Brooklyn left the tying run on first base, after a Jimenez strike out ended the game with Valley City victorious 4-3.
Game two of the twin bill started eerily similar to game one, as the Cyclones jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first courtesy of RBI doubles by JR Voyles and Eric Campbell. In the second, the Mets Single-A affiliate got two more runs after a Nieuwenhuis single and error by Tri-City starting pitcher Jarred Holloway, stretching the lead to 4-0.
Clones starter Pedro P. Martinez supported his teammates by allowing only one run and striking out six in 5.2 innings of work.
“He had a good sinker and breaking ball tonight,” said Alfonzo. “All season-long he’s pitched well for us.”
With Martinez baffling Tri-City, Campbell padded the Cyclones lead in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run bomb that put the Mets Single-A affiliate ahead by five runs.
U-Conn product Erik Turgeon came into the game in the sixth with two outs and gave up a run in the seventh, but pitched well enough to secure a 6-2 Brooklyn win.
Splitting the series, the Baby Bums will look to win the rubber game tomorrow before taking a three-day breather for the NYPL All-Star Break.
Still hanging around a playoff spot with 18 games remaining, Brooklyn knows how important the next stretch of games are in determining their post-season hopes.
“This is very exciting,” said Alfonzo. “We’re right in the middle of things for the wild card and I know these guys are playing hard.”
Lagares had hits in both games of the twin bill and until Reese Havens is completely recovered from another groin injury he suffered on the road this week, Lagares figures to be the team’s starting shortstop.
“He brings a lot to the table,” said Alfonzo. “He can hit, run and he’s very smart. I hope he keeps doing what he’s doing.”
Brooklyn Dodgers legend Carl Erskine will be at Keyspan Park tomorrow and will play the National Anthem on his harmonica in addition to having his number retired by the team.