We have all lost the will to win
Last year, the second Cyclones night game in Lowell was rained out. This year looked like it could be a repeat with the tarp on the field and thunderstorms rolling through at the scheduled game time of 7:05pm. First pitch was delayed by more than an hour, but this game would take place. This sloppy mess of a game that went on for more than three hours with six errors and countless more misplays that might as well have been called errors. Nobody particularly dominated but the Spinners lost control in the 6th to hand the Cyclones an 8-5 victory in front of a crowd of dozens.
Alberto Baldonado took the mound on Monday, sandwiched in the rotation between Marcos Molina and Casey Meisner. While he’s not as big a name as the other two, Baldonado did an admirable job under the circumstances and held the Spinners to two runs over five innings. While the box score only shows one error by the Cyclones over that span, the defense was much worse than that. Amed Rosario missed on throws to first twice in the 5th inning alone, continuing his defensive woes in Lowell.
The Spinners took control of the basepaths early with leadoff batter Danny Mars stealing second and third after walking in the 1st. Mars would go on to score in that inning, but he pushed his luck a base too far his next time up, opting to test right fielder Michael Bernal’s arm on a base hit and getting tagged out at second. Mars would steal again in the 8th, but he would finish the game as the only Spinner with multiple steals; Mauricio Dubon tried to steal second and third in the 6th but was called out at third to end the inning.
Michael Bernal had already rubbed the Spinners the wrong way before throwing out Mars in the 3rd. He entered the game after going 4-for-4 with 4 RBI in the series opener and made those all into 5s on the series in the 2nd with a solo home run to tie the game. In the process, he did something to draw the ire of Spinners catcher David Sopilka, who he exchanged words with as he crossed home plate. The umpires issued warnings after the incident and Bernal seemed to lengthen his backswing on subsequent at-bats, going hitless with two strikeouts his next four times up.
Little else of note happened until the 6th inning, now three hours past the original start time. Amed Rosario set the tone for the inning with a ground ball under the first baseman’s glove for a leadoff double. One out later, Michael Conforto failed to extend his hitting streak by walking. A wild pitch and a Bernal strikeout brought up Will Fulmer, who drove in a run when the Cyclones were trailing on Sunday. He did one better on Monday with a pop up to shallow center field that somehow made it past three Spinners fielders to drop in for a 2-RBI double that gave the Cyclones a 3-2 lead. Tomas Nido sent one to the same spot to drive in Fulmer, then Tucker Tharp and Anthony Chavez followed with hits on their own. Chavez would advance to third on an error, setting up the most bizarre play of the inning. Adrian Abreu popped up to just in front of the pitcher’s mound and, with four Spinners players in close proximity, the ball fell to the ground unimpeded. Chavez, expecting to jog into the dugout after the third out, was unprepared and scrambled home, not that anyone was there to field a throw. The Cyclones had scored six runs on a comedy of errors.
After the Cyclones got out of a jam in the bottom half on a questionable out call at third base, it was back to business as usual in the top of the 7th. With one out, Michael Conforto extended his hitting streak to 10 games, Michael Bernal reached and advanced to second on an error, and Will Fulmer walked to load the bases. That brought up Joe Tuschak, pinch hitting for the designated hitter (how does that phrase make any sort of logical sense?). Tuschak, whether designated or pinch, did not do any hitting. Instead, he was hit by a pitch, driving in Conforto from third.
The Spinners would answer back with three runs off Josh Prevost to cut the Cyclones’ lead to three runs going into the bottom of the 9th. Shane Bay came in for the save and, after giving up two hits, finished things off with a double play and a fly ball to center. With the stadium so empty that player chatter could be heard clearly from the stands and with game 3 due to start in less than 12 hours, this game was finally over.
Final Score: Brooklyn 8, Lowell 5