The noodle-batted Cyclones season came down to one game against Hudson Valley’s ace? Takers for how this one turned out?
Hudson Valley 2, Brooklyn 0
It’s generally not a good sign when you can look up a score, see your team fell behind 2-0 in the first inning, and call it a game (or a season). However this was not the first time we had been following a Cyclones game, and had seen this movie far too many times. Luis Cessa (6IP, 2R, 4H, 1BB, 3K) gave up an RBI triple in the first, and uncorked a wild pitch – at that point he must have known that he had dug a hole which the offense would have a hard time getting out of. True to form, the Cyclones managed but one hit on the night (a Philip Evans single). Rays prospect Taylor Guererri started for the Renegades and wasn’t sharp – walking five in four innings – but this Brooklyn team simply did not have the wherewithal to make him pay for his lack of control. Their best shot was when the bases were walked loaded in the first with two out, and runners on first and second with two out in the fifth. Other than that, the Cyclones went meekly in every frame. Hudson Valley now has a date with Tri-City in the NYPL Championship Series.
Usually I don’t get too excited about the international pitching prospects on the Cyclones. They tend to be old for the league and fall into the “we-don’t-love-him-but-send-him-to-Brooklyn-against-younger-competition-because-we-always-want-Brooklyn-to-win” category. However, this crop does have some hype around it, and was not as old as previous editions (no one over 22 – the same age as a college senior). One wants to see them move fast from now on, but there is a lot to like from Hansel Robles (league leader in ERA), Rainy Lara (League leader in wins), Luis Mateo (league leader in K’s), Luis Cessa and Gabriel Ynoa. And that’s just the starters. Tyler Vanderheiden (amongst the league leader in saves – if you are into that sort of stat) and Matt Bowman were also very strong out of the pen.
The bats also have some promise to them, despite their weak showing all season. While the team batting average was second to last in the league, the OBP was third. So they are developing the requisite patience to succeed in the future. As for power, it will always be the last thing to develop – for those whom it does develop. Obviously Brandon Nimmo, the Mets top position prospect, is going have get all the attention, and rightly so, as he demonstrated a keen eye at the plate and used that discipline to really increase his production in the second half. Catcher Kevin Plawecki, a first round pick out of Purdue, was fourth in the league with seven home runs (I told you power was the last tool to develop), and played solid defense behind the dish. It will be interesting to see how he fares next year when he doesn’t have to play two seasons (college and pro).
That’s going to do it for LNotF. It’s been an eventful year, a lot of fun, and a pleasure to share with you fine folks all the goings on of the Mets minor league system. I always learn a lot about who is on the rise and could be making an impact in Queens soon – and who is falling off the radar. The feedback in the comments section are always informative and inspiring. Thank all of you for making this a labor of love. Thanks also to Bryan, my partner in crime who shares the heavy lifting. I really could not do it without him.
Finally, yesterday was the anniversary of the Cyclones win over Williamsport in Game One of the 2001 NYPLCS. Amid much excitement and optimism, the series was to shift back to Brooklyn, with the 11th being an off day. It never resumed. Every year the Cyclones are in the postseason, I get amped to see them (finally) win a championship outright, but it is always accompanied by reflections of the attacks all those years ago and the remembrance of the loved ones and protectors we have lost. This is not to mean it sours me on baseball, or makes it any less enjoyable. On the contrary, it reinforces my love of this game, and the lessons it teaches. It can be simple. It can be complicated. Spring and summer may seem but ephemeral, however there is always another season coming around the corner. But if you don’t take a deep breath and savor the details, you’ll never enjoy it. And win or lose, there is nothing like the feeling of being safe at home.