Cyclones fall to last place at the All Star break
“We’ve reached a new low for the season,” stated Manager Tom Gamboa, finishing up a 0-6 home stand before the All Star break that has dropped the 25-30 Cyclones into last place in the McNamara Division, three and a half games behind the first place 28-26 Staten Island Yankees. The slide into last place marks the first time that the team has dropped to last place in franchise history.
After an extra inning 3-2 loss to the Hudson Valley Renegades for their sixth consecutive loss, the two days off for the All Star Game couldn’t come at a better time if the Cyclones are to re-group this season for playoff contention.
“The team is learning a painful lesson that, when you don’t hit in situational baseball, the game can embarrass you in a hurry,” said Gamboa. Going into the break, the Cyclones still rank last in the league with a team batting average of .217.
The Cyclone skipper went on to explain, “Our number one flaw is our inability to hit the baseball with runners on second and third or with bases loaded with less than two out. We’re setting records for ineptitude on offense. We’re ranked 158 out of 160 professional [minor league] teams on offense. We were just shut out two night in a row.”
On a positive note, the New York Penn League All Star Game gives three high performing Cyclones an opportunity to be recognized for their work thus far that has carried the team for the first two-thirds of the season. “The league got it right with the selection of our three players,” stated Tom Gamboa.
First, starting pitcher Gaby Almonte (6-4) leads the Cyclones with six wins and has been among the strikeout leaders in the league with 45 punch-outs. Second, Alex Palsha — who leads the league with 11 saves and 23 strikeouts over 19.2 innings — is among the league’s top relief pitchers. And lastly, second base baseman Vinny Siena has carried the team with a .300-plus batting average for the first two months of the season.
On his nomination to the All Star Game to be played in Aberdeen, Maryland, Siena stated, “It’s an honor to be named to the All Star Game. It just reinforces the hard work that I’ve put in and getting rewarded for it.”
For reliever Palsha, who enjoys being an “impact player” in the late innings, he states that he’s ready to deliver for the All Star Game and beyond for the rest of season.
As for Almonte, who leads the Cyclones with six wins, the team’s best starting pitcher is looking forward to a strong season finish along with some offense help.
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