The Cyclones’ quest to bring a championship to Brooklyn ended in ignominy with a two-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
After leading the New York–Penn League’s McNamara Division for most of the season, the Mini Amazin’s slumped into the post-season as the wild card — and looked as flat and frustrated as the big league Mets in the best-of-three playoff series against the league-leading Scrappers, mustering only seven hits and making four errors.
The offense was so weak, Brooklyn practically needed no-hitters from its starters, but it got a pair of less-than-perfect performances. Righty fireballer Mark Cohoon — 9–2 with a 2.15 ERA in the regular season — gave up three runs over seven innings to lose the first game. And in the series clincher, Brandon Moore, who threw a no-hitter on Aug. 23, gave up three runs and only lasted five innings.
On the other side of the field, Scrapper pitchers kept throwing zeroes.
“You have to give them credit,” said Lopez. “You’re facing the best of the best.”
Alas, Brooklyn’s best didn’t come through. Dock Doyle, Luis Rivera and fellow all-star Sam Honeck managed just one hit in 22 at-bats in the series.
“That’s been the thing this year, especially late. We didn’t hit enough,” said Lopez.
That’s for sure — the Clones hit just .222 as they lost eight of their last 10 games, including the playoffs, and blew a division lead that was as big as eight-and-a-half games to the hated Staten Island Yankees.
Here’s how the series — and the Cyclones — went down:
Tuesday, Sept. 8 at Keyspan Park
The punchless Brooklyn nine lost in front of an announced crowd of just 2,649 (but there were at least a thousand fewer fans actually in the seats).
The Cyclones managed just four hits, including a solo homer by Nick Santomauro, and threw the ball around like the minor leaguers they are.
The first costly error came in the third, when a leadoff double was followed by a bunt (yes, a third-inning bunt) that all-star catcher Doyle threw into right for a run.
Misplays in the seventh led to another Scrapper run. First, Rivera tried to make an ill-advised diving catch in right field, leading to a double.
Then, first-baseman Honeck mishandled a bunt, putting runners on the corners with no outs. An infield hit brought in a run.
Wednesday, Sept. 9 at Mahoning Valley
The Clones were two-hit in this humiliating defeat.
Mahoning Valley started the scoring in the second, with two singles and an error by centerfielder John Servidio.
Two more runs came in during the home third on Jason Kipnis’s second homer of the series.
The Clones got their lone run on a Servidio double.