The Cyclones this season are nothing if not a team of streaks, some good, some bad, some great, and some just awful. Like it or not, this what the Cyclones are. Streaks come and go in all sports. Streaks can be exciting and they can be frustrating. No team is exempt from these peaks and valleys, and it is the great team that survives them to see the post-season.
The Mini-Mets had one of the team’s worst losing streaks in franchise history in July. Starting on July 10, the Cyclones lost eight games in a row as the team’s bats fell asleep. During the downturn, the Clones scored just 23 runs and were shut out twice.
Not only was the team not putting the ball in play, but they were striking out more than any other club in the New York–Penn League, and doing so at a rate that shocked me, fans, and — most importantly — manager Tom Gamboa.
When a team is in a long losing streak, it seems like anything that can go wrong will, and Gamboa saw that happening with his young lineup, especially after a 15-inning loss on July 18, the final bludgeoning in the streak.
“When you’re losing eight in a row, when the other team would make an error, it seemed like our next guy would hit into a double play,” he said. “It seems like everything bites you when you’re going bad.”
Streaks like that often effect a team’s confidence, but after that 15-inning game, things turned around. Cyclones bats woke up and confidence rose as the team won three in a row.
Individuals have had streaks of their own, too. Third baseman Jhoan Urena has had two separate and equally impressive hit streaks this season. His first was a 13-game streak that started on June 20.This gave him the longest active hit streak in the New York–Penn League. Urena was also the first teenager to achieve this feat. His second, which ended on July 28, also lasted 13 games. He is only the second Cyclone to have two separate hit streaks lasting more than 10 games — the last being Angel Pagan, who played for the Clones during the team’s inaugural season in 2001.
Hot streaks like that are exciting for fans to watch, because they are to waiting for his next at bat to see what else he can do, and they get the attention of management.
“To think that he’s 19 years old, and hitting a solid .300, is a credit to the ability level,” Gamboa said of the third baseman.
Streaks will come and go, and that is the nature of the sport, but it is exciting to see young players experience the good ones, and, as much as it hurts, it is also engaging to watch for how the Cyclones will power through the bad ones.
And make the post-season.