Havens and Company Eat Venison in 7-6 Victory over Spikes
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Tuesday, July 15, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY - With a 6-7 record through their first 13 games at home in 2008, the Brooklyn Cyclones were in desperate need of some home cooking on Monday at Keyspan Park.
With Mets first round pick Reese Havens playing the role as team chef, the Clones got just that, rallying for 14 hits and defeating the State College Spikes 7-6.
“We're still putting the pieces together,” Havens, who had a homer and three RBI on the night, said before the game. “But I still feel that we have a lot of things going for us and we're ready to turn the corner.”
After starter Jenry Mejia [0-1, 11.25 ERA] hurled a scoreless first, Havens and Zach Lutz connected on solo-homers off State College starter Emilis Guerrero [1-2, 6.38 ERA], giving the Mets Single-A affiliate an early 2-0 lead.
During his last start, Mejia was also strong in the first, but collapsed and gave up five earned runs over his next four innings pitched. It must have been deja-vu all over again for the 18-year-old, as he soon lost the lead during the next half inning, after four consecutive RBI hits with two outs by David Rubinstein, Josue Peley, Chris Rice and Cole White gave the Spikes a 4-2 lead.
After being held scoreless in the third and fourth, Brooklyn reclaimed the lead after a Jake Eigsti single and an error allowed Sean Ratliff to score and a pair of RBI singles from Havens and Mets outfielder Angel Pagan, in what figures to be his last game of a rehab assignment with the team, put the score at 5-4.
Wendy Rosa came out of the bullpen to pitch the fifth for Brooklyn and got himself into a one-out, bases-loaded jam before being replaced by lefty-side armer Roy Merritt. Like he has been for most of the season, Merritt [0.77 ERA in nine appearances] was sensational, striking out both hitters he faced, ending the inning and keeping Brooklyn ahead 5-4.
“That was the turning point of the game,” said Brooklyn skipper Edgar Alfonzo. “We needed someone to come into the game and throw strikes and that's exactly what he did. He did great.”
Continuing to pitch through the sixth, Merritt retired seven of the eight hitters he faced in total.
The Baby Mets managed to pad their lead even further behind Merritt's shutdown pitching in the sixth, as Havens nailed down an RBI single, stretching the lead to 6-4. Yury Santana replaced Merritt with one out in the seventh and was also solid, retiring both hitters he faced. In the eighth, Santana did run into some trouble though, leaving runners on first and second with one out for Brooklyn closer Stephen Clyne, who got his team out of the inning without surrendering a run.
With a two-run lead in the eighth, the Cyclones continued to add to their lead, as an Eigsti suicide squeeze scored Kirk Nieuwenhuis and put them up 7-4.
Making his third appearance since rejoining the team on July 11, Clyne then got in a bases-loaded jam in the ninth and gave up two runs on a Chris Simmons RBI single. Clyne eventually settled down however, retiring Rubinstein and putting the finishing touches on a 7-6 victory.
“Yesterday we played well and today we played well,” said Alfonzo. “I know this team is ready to go on a winning streak now.”
With the win, the Mets Single-A affiliate is now 7-7 at home and 13-14 overall and have won two straight after losing five in a row last week.
“This really boosted our confidence,” said Merritt, who had six K's in only 2.1 innings. “I think the bats are getting comfortable now and I have a lot of confidence in them.”
Angel Pagan's next step in rehab will be to get as many right-handed at bats in as possible. With the Cyclones not facing any lefties in the foreseeable future, Pagan will stay with the team on Wednesday in Oneonta and then joing Binghamton for a few games.
“He needs to hit right-handed,” said Alfonzo. “He needs to face lefties because that's where his problems are right now.”
Josh Satin and John Servidio were recalled to the team on Sunday after spending the past four days in Kingsport. While Servidio was on the bench last night, Satin was back in the starting lineup.
“I'm happy that they're back,” Fonzie said. “They make us a better team. I like them a lot”
Last night's seven-run outburst was the most the team has scored at home since 6-18, when they scored nine runs against the Staten Island Yankees.
“I was looking for this,” said Alfonzo. “I was waiting for this. This is the team we're looking for.”