After suffering an eight-game losing streak in July, the Cyclones have made a dramatic turnabout in August to finish up with a 35-28 record for first place in the Wild Card race just before the New York Penn League All Star break (August 19-20).
Coming off a five-game winning streak, the Cyclones completed a three-game sweep in Burlington, Vermont to gain a slim one-game lead in the Wild Card standings over the 34-29 Connecticut Tigers.
In the first game of the Vermont Lake Monsters sweep, All Star pitcher Marcos Molina threw a seven-inning shutout for the 7-0 Cyclone win while striking out a season-high 12 batters. For the second game, Alberto Baldondo pitched well enough (seven strikeouts over five innings) for the Cyclones to squeak by for a 2-1 win. In the series finale, Casey Meisner (3-3) threw his best game of the season, striking out a personal best 10 batters over six innings for the 7-3 Brooklyn win.
With the pitching carrying the team, the Cyclones hitting has finally produced the pop it was missing during the first half of the season with the addition of Mets’ 2014 first round draft pick Michael Conforto and leadoff hitter John Mora.
Conforto and Mora compliment All Stars Jhoan Urena, Amed Rosario and Michael Bernal who have carried the offense for the first half of the season. As long has the pitching remains constant and the hitting remains timely, Cyclone Manager Tom Gamboa sees his team improving each week playing “meaningful games” to get to the post season as the season winds down.
With Brooklyn hosting the All Star Game at MCU Park, players from the team include Cyclone standout pitcher Marcos Molina, just 19 years old, with a record of 6-2 and a 1.58 ERA along with a league-leading 73 strikeouts.
Other pitchers on the Penn League South All Star roster include Corey Oswalt (6-1; 2.26), the Cyclones’ second best starting pitcher, and closer Shane Bay with 13 saves over 18 innings. Among the Penn League’s top pitchers, Molina and Oswalt are rated at number two and three respectively.
Shoring up the left side of Brooklyn’s infield have been the steady performers Jhoan Urena (.296, 5 HRs, 36 RBIs) at third base and one of the Mets top 10 prospects, Amed Rosario (.286, 34 runs) at shortstop. Right fielder Michael Bernal rounds out the rest of the All Star position players hitting just .241, along with 5 home runs and 32 RBIs.