It’s been quite a while since the Cyclones have had a winning record this season as they have flirted with .500 by bouncing over and under that mark recently. But after winning their last five games, the Cyclones have finally posted a third place 29-25 record that has Cyclone Manager Tom Gamboa optimistically looking ahead for the last third of the season.
“It’s nice to win five in a row and I hope we can feed off this win to be in the race with 22 games left to go,” said Gamboa. Similar to the Mets 1986 championship team, the Cyclones have had a reliable pitching staff as the hurlers continue to carry the club with 398 strikeouts thus far this season. However, unlike that 1986 powerhouse team, the Cyclones rank next to last in team batting at .218, which has been the team’s Achilles heel.
With the recent 14-7 win over the West Virginia Black Bears, the team finally displayed some of that latent 1986 Met power with an eight-run seventh inning. Contributing a huge amount of offense to the big win was centerfielder Desmond Lindsay, who joined the team near the mid-season mark after nursing a hamstring. Carrying a recent .469 on-base percentage, last season’s 2015 Mets second round draft pick lit up the scoreboard hitting a three-run homer, while also tying Brandon Brosher’s seven RBI record for the most runs batted in for a single game.
Gamboa has limited the recently hot-hitting Lindsay, still nursing his hamstring, to only two consecutive games with a day off in between. “Being relaxed at the plate,” was the key to his recent success said Lindsay, who also stated that now a special pre-game stretching regimen is also vital to his performance.
Besides enjoying a five-game winning streak, Gamboa also enjoyed the opportunity to reunite with former New York Met pitcher Jesse Orosco after scouting him in Southern California nearly 40 years ago. “When I saw him pitching 95 miles per hour in the 1986 World Series, I couldn’t believe that this was the same skinny kid that I first saw pitching for Santa Barbara City College,” said Gamboa.
While working for Major League Baseball’s Scouting Bureau from 1976 to 1978, Gamboa first spotted Orosco and approached his family about their son’s potential for professional baseball. Subsequently, Orosco was signed by Minnesota scout Jesse Flores and became “a minor league throw-in” for the 1978 deal that sent Met Jerry Koosman to the Twins. Pitching for the Mets from 1979 to 1987, Orosco then emerged as the Mets’ lefty specialist out of the bullpen, and went on to set the Major League record for 1,252 pitching appearances over his 24-year career that included stints with nine clubs.
For Met fans, Orosco will always be best remembered for his iconic pose of dropping to his knees with his hands raised in victory at the 1986 World Series after striking out Boston’s Marty Barrett in last inning of Game 7.