Staff's Control Caught in Twister in 8-1 Laugher
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Tuesday, July 8, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY - With stellar pitching often overshadowing spotty offense at home this season, the Cyclones managed a respectable 5-5 record in 10 games at Keyspan Park coming into yesterday's game with Mahoning Valley.
On Monday however, the Mets Single-A affiliate's pitching staff was an undeniable disaster, walking nine hitters and was unable to support another flaccid offensive showing in an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Scrappers.
“This is the first time the bullpen gave it up for us today,” Cyclones skipper Edgar Alfonzo said. “We only gave up four hits, but we gave up eight runs and lost because of all of the walks. That was the game right there. I'm worried about our offense right now too. I don't know why we're not hitting here. I hope we can figure it out.”
Cyclones starter Jenry Mejia made his Keyspan debut and was decent, giving up two runs on two hits through four innings, but was erratic when it mattered most. The Brooklyn offense didn't help the 18-year-old much either, despite batting around early on and collecting five hits through the first four innings. Unable to get the lead, the Baby Mets mustered only one run on a Kirk Nieuwenhuis RBI single in the fourth.
Things then got furry at Keyspan Park in the top of the fifth, as Mejia walked the bases loaded. Alfonzo then replaced the youngster with Wendy Rosa. But after just four pitches and another walk, the Clones found themselves down two runs and in need of another pitching change.
Jimmy Johnson then came into the game for Brooklyn and despite getting Scrappers lead-off hitter Juan Valdez to a 3-2 count, he too would be unable to escape another bases on balls. Things continued to get even worse for the Mets Single-A affiliate in the fifth, as Johnson walked the next two hitters he faced, forcing another pitching change.
“We didn't have the command we needed today. That's it,” said Brooklyn catcher Luis Alen. “We didn't do the job.”
Roy Merritt was then summoned to the mound and got his team out of the purgatory they put themselves in, striking out Zach Booker and giving up a run on a ground out and pop out. Continuing to pitch into the eighth, Merritt kept the score at 7-1 and miraculously, didn't allow a walk in the three innings he pitched.
By then the damage was done already though, as the team gave up five runs on seven consecutive walks, without allowing a hit in the fifth.
“Our coach told me to just throw strikes when I got out there and that's what I tried to do,” said Merritt, who recorded nine outs in a row. “I wanted to stop the bleeding.”
With the score still 7-1 in the eighth, Mike Lynn came out of the Brooklyn pen and silenced the Scrappers in his first inning of work. The ninth was another story however, as Lynn gave up two hits and a run, stretching the Scrappers lead to 8-1.
Unable to mount a comeback in the eighth or ninth, Brooklyn went down without a fight and now find themselves with a 5-6 record at home and a 11-10 record overall.
“We have a great team and we know everything is going to turn around,” said Allen. “Things are rough now, but we know we're going to start wining here.”
Injured on Sunday, Zach Lutz, the team's leading hitter, is still listed as day to day.
With another hit yesterday, Ike Davis stretched his hitting-streak to 12 games, just five shy of the team record, set by Lucas Duda in 2007.