Clones Offense Neutered by Muckdogs in 2-0 Loss
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Sunday, August 10, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY -In spite of sweeping a three-game series with the Lowell Spinners this week behind phenomenal starting pitching by Pedro P. Martinez, Chris Schwinden and Scott Shaw, the Brooklyn Cyclones still found themselves three games back of the Staten Island Yankees for first place in the McNamara Division before Saturday night’s game with the Batavia Muckdogs.
However, unlike the pitching staff that was again on it’s game, Brooklyn’s bats couldn’t lend a helping hand in a 2-0, three-hit loss to Batavia.
11-12 at home this season, the Cyclones still seem confused at the plate behind their hometown fans and are searching for answers as the season begins to wear down.
“It’s hard to win when you have only one hit going into the ninth inning,” said Cyclones skipper Edgar Alfonzo.”
The game remained scoreless through the third, as Brooklyn starter Brad Holt [3-3, 2.08 ERA] and Batavia’s Thomas Eager [3-3, 1.83 ERA] were strong early on, allowing only a hit apiece.
“I got ahead early and got a lot of ground balls,” said Holt. “I felt really good and the defense was strong behind me.”
Things opened in the fourth however, as Holt got himself into a bases loaded jam and ended up coughing up a Chris Swauger single that gave the Muckdogs a 1-0 lead.
Throwing 36 pitches in the inning, Holt was replaced by Mattias Carrillo in the fifth. Carrillo gave up two hits in 1.2 innings pitched, with one being a solo home run by Colt Sedbrook that stretched the Batavia lead to 2-0.
Jeff Kaplan was then summoned out of the bullpen to finish the fifth and kept the game at 2-0 the rest of the way. The Mets Single-A affiliate’s offense continued to struggle off Eager and George Brown however, who replaced him in the sixth and gave up just one hit through the final three innings. Adam Reifer then had mop up duty and despite leaving two runners on, retired Ike Davis for the last out of the game.
With State Island’s win, the Cyclones now find themselves four games back of the McNamara Division lead and know they have to start producing at home if they want to make the playoffs this season.
“We can’t explain it, it’s crazy” said catcher Ralph Henriquez in reference to the team’s play at home this season. “On the road, we’re much more aggressive and at home we freeze up. With four weeks left, we know we’re still in it though. We just have to come out and play hard and anything can happen.”
Mets first round pick Reese Havens made his return to the starting lineup on Saturday after missing over two weeks with a pulled groin.
According to Alfonzo, Havens will most likely start at shortstop today as well.
Alfonzo also said that Holt was taken out of the game due to the team’s late arrival today and didn’t want to tire him out. After the game, Holt was fine and actually said he thought he could have pitched into the next inning.
Henriquez reached base twice in the game, once on an error and once with a single in the ninth.