It’s time to get excited about playoff baseball in Coney Island as the Brooklyn Cyclones are looking like a playoff team as they have continued their strong baseball by winning three of their last four games over the weekend. They now sit with a two-game lead in the New York-Penn League’s wild-card race ahead of the Connecticut Tigers.
DICE-K TIME: Thursday’s 2-0 win over the Staten Island Yankees was potentially the Cyclones’ biggest win of the weekend because the Yanks were sneaking back into the playoff race. However, New York Met Daisuke Matsuzaka showed up on a rehab stint to help things out. He tossed a five inning shutout against the Baby Bombers on Thursday and the Cyclones offense did just enough that day as Tyler Moore and Michael Bernal each drove in a run in the fifth and sixth innings to go up 2-0. After that Brad Wieck, Kelly Secrest and Shane Bay made sure that held up behind four more shutout innings.
With the Yankees taken care of, the Cyclones hosted the Tri-City ValleyCats, who are the defending NYPL champions, for a three game series and took the first and last games of the series.
BEATING TRI-VALLEY AT HOME: Friday was a dominant 7-0 win for the Cyclones. Matires Arias was wild with six walks in five innings, but he managed to strikeout six in five shutout innings. Gaither Bumgardner and Cameron Griffin each pitched a pair of shutout innings and that held up thanks to a three-run second and a four-run third. Bernal got a big RBI-single, then stole second and scored on a bad throwing error by the catcher. Six hits, an error, a stolen base and a passed ball led to four more runs.
THE LONE LOSS: Tri-City did come up with a 5-0 win over Brooklyn on Saturday. That game was tied at 0-0 in the eighth inning after Corey Oswalt pitched six shutout innings. However, Kelly Secrest struggled in the eighth and allowed the ValleyCats to break through for a 1-0 lead. Then Luis Rengel and Juan Urbina struggled in the ninth and suddenly a close game was a 5-0 blowout. Only Adrian Abreu, Bernal and Tucker Tharp even got hits in that game.
A BLOWOUT SUNDAY: The Cyclones by far made up for that loss with the biggest win of the weekend, a 10-1 laugher. Tri-City even started that game off with a 1-0 lead after the top of the first, but Brooklyn answered back with three in the first, five in the second and then two more in the fifth as insurance. Ace starter Marcos Molina handled business on the mound while John Mora, Michael Conforto, Tyler Moore and Michael Bernal all had multi-hit games. Jhoan Urena drove in two runs.
THE PLAYOFF PICTURE: The Cyclones look like they have a good shot at the playoffs. They’re currently in first place in the wild-card race with a 38-30 record. That’s two games ahead of the Connecticut Tigers with eight games left to play. The Lowell Spinners and Staten Island Yankees are both potentially still in it sitting 3.5 games back, but don’t appear to be much of a threat.
UP NEXT: The Staten Island Yankees may be 3.5 games out, the two teams do face each other five more times in the final eight games including two games in Staten Island on Monday and Tuesday so they can’t be counted out. The Cyclones haven’t announced a starter, but former first-round pick Ty Hensley is going for the Bombers.