Brooklyn Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa is what most, who cover professional baseball, would call a baseball lifer.
When it comes to knowing what it takes to develop and field a winning team, Gamboa’s as steady as they come.
The Cyclones late-season swoon continued with a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers last night at MCU Park in Coney Island. The Scrappers, the short-season A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, took two of three from the Cyclones and any remaining hopes of a postseason in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn, at 32-33, is ten games back of the division-leading red hot Hudson Valley Renegades. The wild card race isn’t much better for the Cyclones, they’re six games behind the Staten Island Yankees.
The Cyclones have 11 games remaining on their schedule, they’d have to almost run the table to sneak into the playoffs. It’s a scenario Gamboa knows shouldn’t be a realistic goal at this point.
“I think the guys want to finish .500,” Gamboa said afterwards. “Obviously it would take some kind of miracle for us to get back into the wild card unless we virtually go on a seven or eight-game winning streak.”
It never clicked for Brooklyn after the New York Penn-League All-Star break, they’re 3-7 in their last ten games. The offense stalled, specifically around the time first baseman Pete Alonso was lost for the season with a broken finger.
The lack of offense put an added strain on Brooklyn’s pitching, a weight they’ve been unable to continue carrying down the stretch.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we got,” a reflective Gamboa continued. “Hitting has been a struggle the whole way through. We’re hitting .214 as a team, so when we score one or two runs that’s basically what we’re going to do on most nights. You hope the pitching can make it stand up and we just go from there.”
Brooklyn will head out on the road for a three-game weekend series against the Williamsport Crosscutters. The Cyclones will then return home for a three-game series against the Auburn Doubledays.
“We’re in a position to finish .500,” said Gamboa. “That should be our immediate goal right now.”