Brooklyn (SSA – New York Penn League)
Brooklyn Cyclones 5, @ Staten Island Yankees 3 (13 innings)
With two on and one out in the 13th inning, Brooklyn centerfielder Sean Ratliff (pictured) sliced a double down the left field line to drive in the go-ahead run. The left-handed hitting Ratliff admitted that “it wasn’t what I was trying to do with the ball, but it ended up working out well.” Staten Island reliever Daniel Kapala had missed out of the strike zone on the previous seven pitches, so Ratliff “was looking for a four-seam fastball or something just to get one over. He threw one with a little bit of sink, it was down in the zone. … he actually kinda beat me with it off the end of the bat.” However, Ratliff explained in greater detail why it worked, “I was thinking it was gonna be a four-seamer and stay a little straight. I was just trying to barrel it up drive it back up the middle. It ended up tailing a little off the end and the way my swing stayed, [it] kinda flipped it out there.” Ratliff was 3-5 with a walk and 2 RBI.
Brad Holt recovered from his worst start of his career last Tuesday, to fire off six good innings Sunday. Holt walked seven in 3.1 innings Tuesday, in an outing he described as “one of those days…. My mechanics were bad and I was flying open.” However, by Sunday, “everything looked in sync and on time,” he said. When his mechanics are proper, “it allows me to get out in front and it’s easy to keep the ball down to both sides of the plate,” he explained. Holt gave up two runs, one earned on four hits in six innings, striking out five.
Holt sat 93-94 mph with his fastball, and touched 96. His hard curveball was 79-81. His manager, Edgar Alfonzo liked the way Holt threw, “he was outstanding,” Alfonzo said, “I thought he only made one mistake.” That one mistake was an elevated fastball on a 2-2 count that Yankees’ rightfielder Jeff Rye turned into a solo homer. Holt held his velocity all night long. His 93rd and final pitch registered 95 on the scouts’ guns. Holt did not use his changeup more than once.
Holt walked just one batter, Rye leading of the seventh, under heavy rain in Staten Island. The hurler had not quite adjusted to the mound conditions at that point, “when the rain started coming down, [the dirt] started getting caked up on both cleats. I couldn’t feel the rubber under my right foot and when I was landing, my left foot was sliding all over the place.” Just as he called time to resolve the issue, he was removed from the game. In a related development, moments later, a gorgeous rainbow appeared beyond the rightfield corner.
Each team scored in the ninth. Cyclones’ LF Eric Campbell launched a long homer to left to put his team out front. Stephen Clyne gave up the tying run in the bottom of the inning, in his second inning of work, but cruised through an easy 10th. Clyne’s sinking fastball started at 92, 93 mph to go along with his 84 mph nasty slider. By his third inning of work, he was 90, 91.
Injury notes: Ike Davis played for the first time in a week since injuring his right ankle. He admitted it still felt weak after the game, but was pain-free.
RHP Stephen Clyne left the game in the 11th inning with tightness in his upper back.
RHP Yury Santana left the game with fatigue in his biceps.