Mental Miscues Lead to 7-2 Defeat

The mark of a championship team is to stop all mental errors before they develop into bad habits, and that is what the Brooklyn Cyclones coaching staff did Saturday night after their ugly 7-2 loss to Hudson Valley in front of 8,308 at KeySpan Park.

The night was foreshadowed in the first play of the game when the center fielder misjudged a ball hit to him in right center which led to a leadoff triple, and a total of four runs to score in the first inning off starter Jeff Landing, who lasted just 3 1-3 innings giving up 6 hits, 7 runs, 5 in which were earned, to suffer his third loss of the season.

Bryan Zech had an error in the first inning, and Aaron Hathaway had an error in the fourth inning, both allowing runners to score.

The mental lapses by the Cyclones led for the clubhouse to be closed for 30 minutes following the game while the coaching staff held a team meeting with the players. Hitting coach Donovan Mitchell was serving as the manager, with manager Tony Tijerina serving the second game of his three game suspension.

"We came out flat, fell behind 4-0, kicked the ball around, did plays we shouldn't have, and didn't have fielders in the correct spot" said acting manager Donovan Mitchell. "I just think that mentally we were not ready to play this game tonight" Mitchell added.

After a seven game winning streak the Cyclones have now lost two in a row. The loss did not bother the coaching staff as much as the mental mistakes did, and the staff wanted to put an end to the mindset of the team before they fell into a hole.

"This might have been a good thing for us" said Mitchell. "This might have been a wakeup call, and know you can't just throw the bats and gloves on the field, and know you can win a ballgame."

Before going on the eight game winning streak Brooklyn lost two games to the Auburn Doubledays, who had the best record in the NY-Penn league at the time, and still do. Brooklyn then went on to win eight straight games against the Staten Island Yankees, and Williamsport Crosscutters, who are last, and next to last in the McNamara Division, and had a combined record of 20-33 entering play on Saturday.

"I just told them that some of the things we did against the weaker teams, you can't just do them against the better clubs" said Mitchell. "You have to make sure you hit the cutoff man, you have to make sure to block the ball in the dirt, you have to make sure you catch the ball from the cutoff man, and you have to be in the right spot at the right time."

Tijerina was suspended Friday, along with reliever Julio Freitas, by the New York-Penn League for the bean ball incidents that took place in Williamsport Thursday evening. According to the report given by the umpires after Thursday's game to the commissioners office, the umpires felt Tijerina instructed Freitas to throw at Williamsport first baseman Tim Brown, and that led to the suspensions for Tijerina and Freitas.

Edgar Alfonzo was the bright spot in the loss pitching 4 2-3 innings of relief behind Landing, allowing no runs and just 4 hits, while walking 1 and striking out 3.

Alfonzo had not allowed a run in his last 5 appearances giving up just 11 hits in 16 2-3 innings in those 5 appearances.

Carlos Muniz pitched the ninth inning striking out one. Muniz rehab period ends Sunday, and will now join Capital City (A) in the South Atlantic League.

Notes: Will Quaglieri who was scheduled to start Sunday was scratched with a sore shoulder. Scott Hyde, the Mets 7th round pick in this years draft will start, however is not expected to pitch more than 2 innings…Jose Rodriguez will join Brooklyn for a rehab stint of his own with Muniz leaving. Rodriguez was 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 8 2-3 innings of work with Capital City before injuring his shoulder. Rodriguez is expected to join Celso Rondon in the "duel closers role."

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