Monday was a beautiful day for a walk on Coney Island — too bad that Cyclone pitchers took that literally.
In their only day game of the season, Cyclone wildness set a team record for most consecutive walks in an inning — seven! — en route to an 8–1 loss to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
With the Cyclones holding a 2–1 lead in the fifth, Brooklyn starter Jenrry Mejia, making his Cyclone debut, walked the first Scrappers’ batter, Donnie Webb, and then the next two hitters. Reliever Wendy Rosa came in to walk the lone batter he faced, forcing in a run.
His replacement, the normally reliable Jimmy Johnson, walked three straight batters.
That’s seven in a row if you’re scoring at home.
Johnson was replaced by Roy Merritt, and the left-hander struck out the first batter and got out of the inning without allowing any more walks and only a run on a groundout. In all, five runs scored.
After the game, Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo shook it off.
“It was the first time this year that the bullpen gave it up,” he said. “For some reason, they [the pitchers] were struggling for command, and that was the game.”
It’s been an up and down year for Cyclone pitchers. Yes, the team leads the league in ERA (2.93) and in strikeouts (200), but Brooklyn hurlers also have walked the most batters (91).
Hector Berrios, the Brooklyn pitching coach, is concerned.
“Obviously, we’re a command type of organization and we have the philosophy of attacking the strike zone,” said Berrios. “We have a lot of strikeouts, and luckily we have relied on strikeouts to get us out of trouble, but that is only going to go on so long.”