Wait ’til next year: Cyclones miss the playoffs
The Brooklyn Cyclones needed a win and a loss by the Connecticut Tigers to get into the New York-Penn League playoffs and while they took care of business on their own end with a 3-1 victory over the Staten Island Yankees Monday night, the Tigers managed to win on the final day of the season to eliminate the Baby Bums.
The Cyclones and the Tigers finished the season with identical 42-34 records, but the Tigers held the tie breaker in the wild-card race since they won four of the six head-to-head games this year.
THE SWEEP: What really caused the Cyclones to miss the playoffs was their series against the Tri-City ValleyCats earlier in the weekend where they got swept in three games on the road. All three of those games were decided by one run and if they could have taken even one of those games they would have taken the wild card. Instead, they have to wait ’til next year.
THE BAD: The Cyclones have now finished their 14th consecutive season with a record better than .500 and they lead the NYPL in attendance. However, they haven’t made the playoffs in two years and have yet again set their own record for lowest attendance in franchise history.
THE GAME: The Cyclones did everything they could on the final game of the season. The offense didn’t score a ton, but they got timely hits and starter Casey Meisner pitched a terrific game that was help up by the bullpen that only allowed one run in four innings.
The Cyclones scored first when Jhoan Urena and Tomas Nido led off the inning with a single and Jean Rodriguez drove in Urena to make it 1-0. It could have been a bigger inning, but Nido was thrown out at the plate. In the fifth, John Mora drove in Pedro Perez, but again the inning was cut short when Mora was caught stealing second. In the seventh they made it 3-0 when Adrian Abreu scored on a groundout.
Meisner tossed five shutout innings and only allowed three hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Brad Wieck pitched two perfect innings and Kelly Secrest allowed a run on two hits in the eighth to make it 3-1. That run didn’t matter as Shane Bay pitched a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts for the save.
All of that was ruined by the Tigers, though, as they scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning for a come-from-behind victory against the Lowell Spinners.
THE WRAP UP: It was quite an incredible season for the Cyclones this year. They looked very bad early on as they could pitch, but their hitting was terrible and they could’t field anyway. After a nine-game losing streak in July they looked done, but the Mets organization promoted first-round pick Michael Conforto and some other players that went a long way toward fixing the offense. Combined with some great pitching and they really turned their season around.
A big problem remained though and that was the defense. They finished with the most errors in the NYPL and at times it seemed like they needed to bring in high school teams like Berkeley Carroll or Xaverian to help them with pointers. It was that bad and their defense alone cost them a handful of games.
So in the end, Cyclone fans didn’t get to see playoffs, but their run in August was exciting to watch and Conforto might have been the best prospect to come through Brooklyn in years.