The first two weeks of the 2017 season have not been kind to the Brooklyn Cyclones.
For eight days, the team stared at the same number in the win column, and in fact, their 2-8 start was tied for the worst start in franchise history. The 2006 Cyclones squad, who lost their first seven, made the playoffs.
So there is certainly hope, especially as Brooklyn faced a Sunday doubleheader with the Connecticut Tigers, a chance for the Cyclones to double their win total in one afternoon. They didn’t quite accomplish that, but a much-needed step in the right direction was all the team could really ask for.
“We showed some pretty good life today,” said Cyclones manager Edgardo Alfonzo.
When it was all said and done, Brooklyn had taken game one by a score of 7-6, while they dropped the second game 3-2.
The first game on tap was a resumption of Saturday’s washout, so the action picked up in the bottom of the second, with a runner on third base and no outs. That runner, Carlos Sanchez, would score on a wild pitch as the Cyclones began chipping away at the Tigers’ lead.
Rehabbing Chase Ingram (elbow) was tasked with getting Brooklyn through the middle innings, and he delivered, working three frames, allowing one hit while striking out two. Ingram was followed by Trey Cobb, the Mets’ eighth round selection from Oklahoma State, who turned in a second solid outing to being his career. In four innings, Cobb has yielded only two hits, no walks, and punched out four. He works with a fastball that reaches 94 miles per hour, and has impressed the coaching staff.
“Cobb is doing tremendous for us lately,” Alfonzo remarked. “All of these guys [in the bullpen] have been what we expected.”
Throughout the rough patch early in the season, the Cyclones had not been capable of a true rally, unable to string together hits to create much needed runs. This seemed to take a turn for the better when, in the fifth inning, the heart on Brooklyn’s order came through.
After Matt Winaker reached on an infield single, Quinn Brodey laced a single into center field that was misplayed by the Tigers defense, allowing Winaker to come all the way around to score the tying run. Brodey ended up on third as a result of the disarray, but he would have scored from any base on Jose Miguel Medina’s roaring triple off the 16-foot wall in left field, which gave the Cyclones the lead.
“Losing is never fun,” said Winaker, the Mets’ fifth round selection in this year’s draft. “But we’re playing some better baseball, I think we’ve got a lot more wins in our future.”
It was the first time this season that Brooklyn had fallen behind and regained an advantage, and Medina’s solo home run in the eighth inning – only the team’s second of the season – was the cherry on top.
The regularly scheduled contest did not produce a favorable result, but it certainly wasn’t the worst that the team has seen this season. Jose Carlos Medina, who has been sharp all season, was his usual self, working all seven innings. The three runs that the southpaw allowed, however, proved to be an insurmountable deficit.
There were positives to be taken from Brooklyn’s ninth loss of the season. Reed Gamache tied a career high with three hits (the Cyclones out-hit Connecticut seven to five), while Medina gave the bullpen a desperately needed day off.
“That’s another tremendous game from him,” said Alfonzo of the 20-year-old native of Mexico. “It’s just a shame we haven’t been able to score more runs behind him.”
The loss didn’t seem to faze the clubhouse. The matinee victory clearly gave the team a much-needed confidence boost, something that can lack when there are four-hour bus drives to dwell on everything that has gone wrong for this ballclub.
It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what changed on Sunday, but Alfonzo was a believer in the novelty Captain America themed jerseys the team wore in honor of Superhero Appreciation Day at MCU Park.
“Hopefully we can wear them again tomorrow.”
- Dylan Snypes and Carl Stajduhar have not played since July 26, and not because they fell out of favor with Edgardo Alfonzo. The 2017 draft picks are both dealing with mild arm soreness, something the manager said he expects after they endured a long college season. Snypes and Stajduhar figure to be back in the Cyclones’ lineup within the next week.
- Next: Brooklyn wraps up their series with Connecticut on Monday, before they head to Troy for a three-game set with the Tri-City ValleyCats.