2002-08-10 / Sports

Brooklyn Cyclones Update

By Elio Velez

Brooklyn Cyclones Update:
Winning Spirit Returns
By Elio Velez

The Cyclones have passed the halfway mark in the short Single A season and have started to turn things around. Mired in mediocrity all season, Manager Howard Johnson’s young players have played better in inching up the standings of the New York Penn League’s McNamara Division.

After two consecutive losses to the Staten Island Yankees in late June, the Cyclones have won the last 8 out of 10 ballgames and their pitching and hitting has started to both hit a good groove. They are in fourth place but are only 2 games back of first place Williamsport.

New starting pitcher Kenny Chenard helped start the turnaround with a 3-2 win over the Stedler Division leading Oneonta Tigers on August 1. Chenard held the Tigers to 2 runs and 5 hits in 5 innings. The most memorable game of the week was held the next night.

On a Friday night at home against Oneonta, the weather forecast had called for huge thunderstorms and in the third inning, the clouds began to look ominous in the skies around the ballpark. The sands from the beach mixed with high winds to create a sandstorm that seeped into the outfield. The ominous weather did not stop Brooklyn from winning the ballgame.

2B Joe Jianetti had an RBI single to rightfield to drive in Jonathan Slack in the third inning with the only run in a 1-0 victory. Jason Scobie was the star of the ballgame as he carried a no-hitter into the top of the 7th inning before it was broken up with 2 outs. It was his first start of the year after relieving in Capital City and Brooklyn.

Howard Johnson gave credit to scobie and the good defense that Brooklyn played that night: "You got to give credit to Scobie because he was throwing strikes, working fast and when you do that, the infield will be on their toes."

Scobie said after the game, "I was getting ahead of the hitters early, mixing up my pitchers and keeping my balance."

The eventual lightning with the heavy rains stopped the game in the top of the 7th. Both dugouts were flooded as well as other parts of the stadium.

Toner is Doing Well

Along with OF Alhaji Turay, John Toner has been one of the most consistent hitters in the lineup. Toner has become a regular starter in the outfield. He has raised his average above .320 and driving in runners. Johnson has been impressed with his play, "He has been our most consistent hitter over the last few weeks and until everyone gets it together, it is big for us."

Toner said about his play of late, "I’m just trying to relax, taking one swing at a time and doing nothing more than that. I know I will help the team offensively but also help the team defensively."

Kazmir Arrives to the Cyclones

One of the few happy notes to come from Shea Stadium last week was the announcement of the signing of 2002 first round pick Scott Kazmir. Signing directly out of high school, the 5’10 lefthander from Austin, Texas has been compared to hard throwing closer Billy Wagner of the Houston Astros. He will work out with the Cyclones for a few weeks until he is allowed to pitch. He will start.

Howard Johnson spoke of Kazmir, "If he’s healthy and in shape, I cant think of a better guy to work with than under Bobby O (Ojeda, Pitching Coach). We want him to do his thing and not work to hard so he can be a big plus for us down the stretch."

Kazmir played football until his sophomore season when he began t concentrate on baseball. His favorite players growing up were Nolan Ryan and Billy Wagner. He has many pitches in his arsenal, "I have a fastball, curve, slider and working on a changeup." Kazmir has been impressed so far with his short time in Brooklyn. "The fans are so unbelievable in how they are so passionate about baseball."

Keyspan Park Banner Day

The Cyclones are bringing back an old Mets tradition with Banner Day. Mets fans have always been very creative when it came to making banners that showed their passions for their team. The Cyclones are inviting our fans to show their feelings for their team by creating a banner and participating in the banner day parade scheduled before the game on August 11th. All fans will be allowed to participate in the parade, even if you do not have a ticket for the game. The Gates open at 3:30 P.M. and the parade will begin immediately. Once participants have completed the parade route, which will be around the infield-warning track, they will exit the field near the home bullpen. Those with tickets can then enter the ballpark through the front and back gates. The winner of the banner contest will be announced in the ballpark and on the website the next day. You must register in advance for the banner parade by e-mailing howie@brooklyncyclones.com.


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