The regular season is pretty much over. The Lucies begin the playoffs with a loooong rain delayed game, and the Cyclones played their second to last game, but the playoff intensity is ratcheting up to ‘eleven’ for both these squads right now. Let’s take a look.
Jupiter 2, St. Lucie 1
The Lucies dropped Game One of this best of three semi-final. Since the next game(s) are in St. Lucie, this is the one the Hammerheads badly needed. Of course, it now puts the Lucies’ collective backs to the wall. Logan Verrett was strong on the mound (5IP, 1R, 3H, 0BB, 4K). Then the rains came. For the next two hours and fifty eight minutes. After that it was a battle of the bullpens. Jack Leathersitch went two scoreless, but Adrian Rosario came on in the eighth and faced three batters, allowing two hits and a walk, with two of those runners coming around to score. Just to add to the fun, MILB.com had Aderlin Rodriguez (who is a 3B) as coming in to pitch instead of Rosario. Eventually they corrected the error. And I mean eventually. Danny Muno went 2 for 4 with an RBI and Cesar Puello was 1 for 3, scoring the lone Lucie run.
Lowell 9, Brooklyn 1
Well, here we are folks. All season the Cyclones won on the backs of their starting pitching while the hitting – perhaps under a guise of drilling selectivity and working counts into the batters’ heads – did the bare minimum to win. All that time, the thought crept into my mind: “what if the pitching is off? Then what?” The answer was usually they lose. However, it got to the point where the pitching didn’t even need to be off for Brooklyn to fritter away a win – it just had to not be able to carry the team on that particular night. There were enough of those for the Cyclones lead in the McNamara Division to whittle away, then leave them helpless as Hudson Valley took the division crown, then watch Batavia catch fire down the stretch, each day gouging a little more out of the Brooklyn Wild Card lead (oddly enough I can’t find any rules on what happens if the teams are tied at the end of the night. One game playoff?). And here we are. Last day of the season. Cyclones lead Batavia by half a game. The Muckdogs have a twin bill. The Cyclones hold their destiny in their hands, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that they are setting themselves up to be swept in the first round. We’ll know in about twelve hours…