Familia shines, but Cyclones drop 11th straight
Losing Ways Continue Despite Scoreless Frame by Mets All-Star Closer
Jeurys Familia’s path back toward the Majors continued Tuesday night at Coney Island’s MCU Park, as did the Cyclones’ road to making history of the worst kind.
The Mets’ rehabbing All-Star closer pitched an inning of scoreless relief, needing just 11 pitches to get through his third minor league appearance while recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot near his right shoulder back in May.
“I feel great, 100 percent,” Familia said after topping out at 95 miles-per-hour on the radar gun during his abbreviated stint, which was scheduled to be followed by another one-inning outing Wednesday night.
“We’ll see how I feel tomorrow after the back-to-back.”
The back-to-backs keep piling up for the Baby Bums as well.
Familia’s inspiring effort made little difference in Brooklyn’s 3-0 loss to red-hot Hudson Valley, sending the Cyclones to their franchise-record 11th consecutive defeat in front of 3,557 fans.
Brooklyn bungled its way to within two defeats of the longest New York-Penn League skid since Mahoning Valley dropped 13 in a row from July 3-14, 2013, the longest losing streak recorded in the league over the past decade.
The Cyclones committed three costly errors, two of which led to a pair of unearned runs for starter Jake Simon (1-4), who yielded three hits and a walk with four strikeouts over four solid frames, only to absorb the loss.
Familia followed by getting a fly out, a groundout and pop out, hardly breaking a sweat during his first appearance on the Brooklyn mound since 2013, when he also tossed a scoreless inning or relief while recovering from injury.
The hulking right-hander could rejoin the parent club Mets this weekend during their trip to Washington, D.C. to take on the National League East-leading Nationals.
But first, he would like to cap off his fourth rehab outing with another smooth performance.
“I think my arm and my body feel good,” he told the Daily News shortly after Tuesday’s game. “I have to take it day-to-day, depending how my arm responds, but right now I feel really good.”
Earlier this month, Familia tossed a pair of scoreless frames for Class A Advanced St. Lucie of the Florida State League. His consecutive appearances in Brooklyn follow former Mets ace Matt Harvey’s rehab starts with the Cyclones last week, when he tossed one inning at Hudson Valley and three scoreless back here on Coney Island last Wednesday night.
The league-worst Brooklyn offense couldn’t take advantage of its most recent big-league contribution on the mound.
Catcher Carlos Sanchez had two of the Cyclones’ five hits on the night, but Brooklyn went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position en route to its franchise record-tying 44th loss of the year, with 17 games remaining on the slate.
The Renegades, who are going in the opposite direction, having won 11 in a row, took advantage of the Cyclones’ porous defense in the opening frame, scoring their first unearned run via Sanchez’s passed ball. Shortstop Dylan Snypes’ throwing error in the third gave the Renegades a 2-0 lead.
Marcel Renteria and Conner O’Neill followed Familia with a combined three scoreless innings out of the Brooklyn bullpen, but the Cyclones’ bats never delivered anything resembling a rally after putting two on with none out in the opening frame.
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The Nets trade that keeps on giving — to other teams, that is — did so again Tuesday night when the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers orchestrated a blockbuster deal that included one of those coveted first-round picks former general manager Billy King gave away in the summer of 2013.
The Celtics acquired Cleveland superstar Kyrie Irving from the defending Eastern Conference champions for point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first-round pick.
That selection, one of the handful King infamously surrendered to Boston on the night of the 2013 NBA Draft at Barclays Center for past-their-prime future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, should be a lottery selection unless the Nets somehow go from a league-worst 20-62 to playoff contenders in 2017-18.
To be somewhat fair to King, who was trying to deliver nothing short of an NBA Finals appearance to billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov at the time, the Nets got Pierce and Garnett to add championship mettle to a team that already possessed All-Stars Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson.
But the Nets gave away their first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, plus the right to swap first-rounders in 2017 for what turned out to be a star-studded, over-priced roster that won just one playoff series.
It’s no surprise that Brooklyn has gone a combined 41-123 over the past two campaigns as the franchise has been bereft of anything resembling a difference-making pick in the draft.
General manager Sean Marks has begun a massive rebuilding project by swapping for other teams’ picks and exploring the foreign and free-agent market.
Come June of 2019, the Nets will finally be back on the clock with control of their very own first-rounder.