Brooklyn held first place in the McNamara Division for roughly the first month of the season. Hudson Valley took their turn being lead team towards the end of July. The Renegades never did relinquish first. Saturday evening, they finally clinched the division title. So for Brooklyn, the Wild Card became the only race left. At one point, the Cyclones established a seven game cushion over the State College Spikes, and an even greater lead over the Batavia Muckdogs.
The Muckdogs started the season as Pickney Division afterthoughts behind the Auburn Doubledays. Midway through the summer, they leapfrogged the State College Spikes into second place of the Pickney Division as well as the Wild Card race. During the month of August, Batavia became the hottest team in all the New York Penn League. Game by game, the ‘Dogs overcame the Spikes, and continued chipping away at Brooklyn’s Wild Card lead. By Sunday evening, the Cyclones lead was gone.
On this Labor Day, Batavia’s march on Brooklyn has brought them to the gates of Coney Island. With a mere three games remaining in the regular season, the two teams are tied. In fact, there is a three way tie for the Wild Card now. The ‘Dogs and Auburn Doubledays have become knotted for the Pickney Division lead as well.
This much is guaranteed. The next three games will indeed be Wild. Brooklyn finishes their schedule hosting the Lowell Spinners. The Dog’s have one more game against Auburn with which to address the division flag. They will end their season with a home and home against the Jamestown Jammers.
With Sunday evening’s victory over the Auburn Doubledays, the ‘Dogs are winners of their last nine in a row. The Cyclones on the other hand, have obviously sputtered down the stretch. Including Sunday’s loss to the Staten Island Yankees, the Brooks are 6-4 over their last ten games.
Staten Island salvaged the final game of the series by outlasting Brooklyn’s pitching with a superlative group effort from their own hurlers. Four Yankees pitchers combined to shutout the Cyclones and limit them to four hits all game. Rainy Lara was Brooklyn’s hard luck loser. His record dropped to an 8-3 mark. He pitched seven full innings, allowed four hits, and only walked one. Rainy struck out eight batters, but left on the losing side of a 1-0 duel. In the fourth inning, Yankees catcher, Peter O’Brien, connected on his tenth home run of the season, in what turned out to be the only run of the game.
Brooklyn however won the season series against their rivals eight games to six. Until the Umpire calls Play Ball! on Tuesday evening’s game, Cyclones fans will have to take temporary solice in the fact the 2012 Battle of the Boroughs is won.