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Brooklyn Cyclones Game 8-21-06

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Brooklyn Massacre:

Yankees Hawaiian Punch Ruckle, Cyclones


 By Patrick Hickey Jr

Gamero's two RBI's wouldn't be enough tonight

BROOKLYN, NY- Giving up 20 runs and 24 hits on a night where they scored more than five runs for the first time in 12 games, the Brooklyn Cyclones were handed a 21-6 beating from the Staten Island Yankees on Hawaiian Heritage Night at Keyspan Park.


“Everything that they hit fell in,” said Cyclones Manager George Greer. “Every ball we hit hard got caught.”


Looking to end a four-game skid with a victory tonight, the Brooklyn Cyclones would send Jake Ruckle to the mound. Ruckle, who pitched five innings against Batavia on August 12 despite battling the stomach flu, was eager to get back in the swing of things in his first start since the All-Star Break.


Despite not being sick tonight, Ruckle’s first inning gave the fans at Keyspan Park stomach cramps, as the young right hander gave up a run on two hits to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead. Thankfully for the Cyclones, Joe Holden would tie the score in the bottom of the first, hitting his sixth home run of the year, sending a Francisco Castillo fastball over the right field wall.


“If he doesn’t locate he’s not going to be effective,” said Greer of Ruckle. “He told me he was having problems with location.”


Brooklyn would continue to add runs in the inning, getting RBI hits from Ivan Naccarata,

Jesus Gamero and Tim Grogan, giving the Mets Single-A Affiliate a 4-1 lead. Castillo was soon out of the game before the innings end in favor of Edgar Omana.


Ruckle would continue to struggle on the mound in the second, surrendering run scoring hits to Kevin Smith, Chris Kunda and Jairo De La Rosa that would not only tie the score, but would be enough for Greer to give Ruckle the hook in favor of Jonathan Castillo, who would forfeit a run of his own, giving the Yankees their second lead of the night. Brooklyn would battle back in the second however, getting another RBI single from Gamero, tying the score at 5-5.


Just when things seemed to be going the Cyclones way, disaster struck.


Castillo, like Ruckle, would have problems on the mound and the Yankees would reap the benefits, scoring four runs on five hits, putting the Cyclones down 9-5.  Jon Schemmel would attempt to get Brooklyn back in the game, hitting an RBI single with the bases loaded and no outs in the third that would bring the Cyclones within three. However, they wouldn’t be able to add any more runs in the inning, keeping the score 9-6 after three innings.


Grady Hinchman replaced Castillo in the fourth and would try to be the calming presence Brooklyn needed in order to stay in the game. Striking out five Yankees through three scoreless innings, Hinchman dominated Staten Island until he gave up two runs on RBI hits from Wilmer Pino and Francisco Cervelli, putting the Cyclones down 11-6.


“I was feeling really good,” said Hinchman. “With a team like the Yankees, you can’t leave the ball up with counts in your favor. That’s usually the difference between a double and a strikeout and that’s what I did.”


David Koons would then come out of the bullpen to replace Hinchman in the seventh with two outs and like every other Brooklyn pitcher tonight, gave up a run and put them down 12-6.


The ship would unfortunately continue to sink in the eighth for the Cyclones after Kyle Larsen hit a bases-loaded double scoring three runs, putting the game officially away at 15-6. Nevertheless, the Yankees still had some juice left in their bats, adding four more runs before the end of the inning, giving them a 13-run lead.


Things would go even more downhill in the top of the ninth as Cyclones reliever Richard Sparks would give up two runs and would have problems with his control, unintentionally plunking both Larsen and Smith. After Smith was hit with an inside fastball, a bench clearing brawl would almost develop, but after a few shoves, the game would continue.


Sparks only has a few innings under his belt [this season],” said Hinchman. “He was just going out there trying to get some work in and he happened to hit a few guys. He hasn’t pitched in a long time and had a problem finding the strike zone and that’s going to happen; they took it the wrong way and they had an attitude. That’s something you don’t do, especially in a 21-6 game. You just shut your mouth and take your base.”


Nick Peterson would come in to pitch the eighth and ninth inning for Staten Island and would keep Brooklyn scoreless, tying the knot on a 21-6 loss.


With tonight’s loss, the Cyclones are now four games behind the Yankees for first place in the McNamara Division, but still hold a slim one-game lead over the Oneonta Tigers for the wildcard. Stretching their current losing streak to six games, Greer believes the team may be having a problem getting readjusted after the All-Star break and may be battling a confidence problem.


“We haven’t won [in five games], so we might be down a little bit,” said Greer. “All we need is a win to pick us up.”

All Photographs for this article were taken by Conroy Walker

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