Clones Offense Gets Scrapped in 6-1 Loss
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Sunday, July 6, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY - Coming off a four-game road trip that produced three wins and 26 runs, the Brooklyn Cyclones surprisingly treated the fans at Keyspan Park to an old-fashioned pitcher's duel on Saturday, but forgot to support their staff with the necessary offense to win, losing 6-1 in extra innings to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
“I don't know what we're doing here at home,” said Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo. “We have to start doing something different. In Williamsport, we were hitting well and here we can't seem to hit with runners on. We had plenty of opportunities.”
After giving up two runs in five innings in his last start at Keyspan Park on June 30, righty Scott Shaw was solid early on, keeping Mahoning Valley scoreless through his first few innings pitched. However, he still felt off his game.
“This is probably the worst I've felt on the mound all season,” said Shaw. “I threw way too many fastballs and couldn't really get a feel for anything else.”
While Scrappers starter Brad Hinkle was strong through the early going as well, he also had luck on his side in the third. After surrendering a double to Brooklyn catcher Ralph Henriquez, the 6'10 starter gave up a walk to Brandon Richey with one out. The next hitter, Reese Havens, was robbed of an RBI, as a line drive off his bat hit Richey on his way to second base and kept Henriquez on second as well. Ike Davis then grounded out, ending the inning without a run crossing the plate.
However. Brooklyn managed to turn lady luck in their favor in the fourth, as Josh Satin hit his first professional home run and the first Brooklyn dinger at home this season, giving the Mets Single-A affiliate a 1-0 lead.
“It felt great,” said Satin. “It was one of those moments where I wanted to smile, but didn't.”
Shaw continued to pitch into the sixth with the score still at 1-0 and got into trouble, coughing up a RBI single from Isaias Velasquez, which tied the score at 1-1. A wild pitch and another single later, Shaw was out of the all game in favor of lefty specialist Jimmy Johnson. With runners on second and third, Johnson got the next two hitters out, keeping the score deadlocked at 1-1.
Righty reliever Chris Schwinden came into the game for Brooklyn in the seventh and kept the score tied through the eighth. The Scrappers bullpen wasn't as sharp in the bottom half of the inning however, but they again were fortunate. After giving up a Havens single, Mark Rodrigues was replaced by Daniel Morales, who walked Zach Lutz, threw a wild pitch and walked Sean Ratliff, loading the bases for Satin. Brooklyn was unable to regather the lead however, as Mahoning Valley third baseman Walter Diaz made a beautiful diving play on a sharply hit ground ball before tagging third and gunning down the Cyclones second baseman at first to end the inning and keep the score tied.
“That guy made the play of the year there,” said Alfonzo. “He dove for the ball and the first baseman made a great play scooping it up. After that happened, I didn't have a good feeling about the game.”
Schwinden continued to baffle Mahoning Valley in the ninth, getting the Cleveland Single-A affiliate in order and gave Brooklyn an opportunity to walk off with a win.
Center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the bottom of the ninth and drew a walk off Morales,while a sacrifice bunt by John Servidio moved Nieuwenhuis into scoring position for Ralph Henriquez. After the Brooklyn catcher popped out, Jefferies Tatford was summoned to pinch hit for Richey with two outs, but struck out and sent the game into extra innings.
Pitching his fourth inning of the night, Schwinden gave up a lead off double and committed an error on a Velasquez bunt, which allowed a run to cross the plate and gave the Scrappers a 2-1 lead. Matias Carrillo replaced Schwinden with no outs and gave up a sacrifice fly and walk before pinch-hitter Ramon Hernandez stroked a grand slam, clearing the bases and giving the Scrappers a 6-1 lead.
With most of the crowd already in the parking lot, Garrett Rieck came out of the Mahoning Valley pen in the tenth and got the Baby Mets in order, capping off a 6-1 extra-inning defeat.
With the loss, the Cyclones are now 3-2 through their past five games and 10-9 overall. Over that span, the offense hasn't been as consistent as Alfonzo would like. He sees it as a potential problem if things don't start to change soon.
“Our problem right now is our hitting,” said Alfonzo. “I know were going to hit. We have to try and do something different here at home though.”
With another hit last night, Cyclones first baseman Ike Davis has a 10-game hit streak to start his pro career.
“It's mostly one hit a game, but I'm happy I can help the team anyway I can,” said Davis. “It feels good to be hitting this well when I'm struggling though.”
According to Alfonzo, outfielder Brandon Kawal and Michael Parker, both listed on the DL are there for roster purposes only and needed to talk with the organization before releasing any further information about their status.