BROOKLYN, NY- Trying to clinch a playoff birth with a
win tonight, the Brooklyn Cyclones would go into extra innings for the third time in four games before eventually coming up
victorious 4-3, clinching a playoff birth in the process.
Not bad for a team that started the 2006 season 0-7.
have a lot of heart,” said Cyclones manager George Greer. “I’m very proud of the way they came back from
the beginning of the year. It does an old heart good to see all these youngsters perform well.”
Getting his second
start of the season for the Mets Single-A Affiliate tonight was Greg Mullens, looking to bring the success he had in Kingsport,
racking up a 7-2 record with a 3.06 ERA in 12 starts, Coney Island bound. After twirling three scoreless
frames to start the game, Mullens would give up a run in the fourth, as a Francisco Guzman fielders choice would score Michael
Daniel, giving the Lock Monsters an early 1-0 lead.
would continue into the fifth, giving up a run courtesy of a flubbed play on defense by Ivan Naccarata that wouldn’t
be scored an error, but nevertheless would still allow another Lake Monster run to cross plate, giving Vermont a 2-0 lead.
“I thought he
was yanking his curveball a little too much,” said Greer regarding Mullens’s performance tonight. “His fastball
was flying. He’s a groundball pitcher and he was leaving the ball up. He was a little too fresh for a groundball pitcher
To make matters worse
for the Mets Single-A Affiliate, a combination of Glenn Gibson, Cole Kimball and Jacobo Meque would keep the Cyclones offense
in check through the game’s first six innings, limiting Brooklyn to just four hits during that
did have a golden opportunity to break the game open in the seventh, getting a Naccarata single and D.J. Wabick walk with
no outs. Elvis Cruz would then bring Naccarata home on a sacrifice bunt and would eventually reach second base on a throwing
error, putting the Cyclones down one run with no outs.
Jesus Gamero was then
called on to pinch-hit for Joe Holden in the seventh and would continue to be the team’s hottest hitter, adding an RBI
single that tied the game at 2-2. Emmanuel Garcia would then give the Cyclones the lead, hitting into a double play that would
allow Jeremy Hambrice to score, giving Brooklyn their first lead of the night at 3-2.
Jeremy Mizell would
come out of the Cyclone bullpen in the sixth, keeping the game at 2-0 through the seventh. Jose De La Torre was then summoned
to pitch and wouldn’t be able to shut down the Lake Monster
offense in the eighth and ninth, giving up a RBI double off the bat of Jonathan Martinez that would send the game into extra
in the game through the 11th inning, De La Torre pitched effectively, but was assisted mightily by outstanding
defensive plays by Tim Grogan and Dustin Martin. Grady “Bulldog” Hinchman replaced De La Torre in the 12th
and would continue to keep the Lake Monsters
scoreless, waiting for the Cyclones offense to come through for him.
Thankfully, they would
do just that.
singles by Emmanuel Garcia and Martin, who went 5 for 6 tonight, pinch hitter Dan Murphy would reach on an error, allowing
Garcia to score, giving Brooklyn their third walk-off victory in three days, defeating the Lake Monsters 4-3.
“One of the
greatest moments of my life,” said Garcia. “We’re ready to play the Yankees and take them seriously now.”
“I came into
the clubhouse in the eleventh inning after we found out Lowell won and I saw all
the stuff,” said Martin referring to the cases of bottled apple cider the team drank and dowsed each other with after
the win. “Right then and there I knew we had to win.”
loss and the Cyclones win tonight, the Mets Single-A Affiliate have somehow managed to make the playoffs, despite tremendous
offensive struggles and battles with consistency.
Martin, however feels
the team has really matured over the course of the season and is ready to battle the Yankees in the playoffs on Saturday.
the wild-card champions” said Martin. “If we keep rolling, we could win this whole thing.”