Brooklyn’s Hansel Robles was the league’s ERA king this past season posting a circuit low 1.11 mark. Back on Friday, August 10th, the Cyclones hurler took a no hitter/perfect game into the eighth inning against the Lowell Spinners. He ended the regular season completing a streak of thirty-six scoreless innings pitched. If you include Friday night’s post-season game, that streak is now up to forty-five. In Game One of the New York Penn League semi-final round against the Hudson Valley Renegades, Hansel Robles pitched perhaps his finest game of the season.
In a word, Hansel Robles was – masterful. Against the McNamara Division champs, who incidentally led the league with fifty-two victories this past season, the Cyclones hurler pitched a four hit, complete game shutout. Hansel kept pounding Hudson Valley batters with first pitch strikes, and stayed ahead of hitters all night long. As a result, he struck out ten batters. Hudson Valley also showed no willingness to work the count against, arguably, the League’s top pitcher. They drew no walks against Robles. Instead, the Renegades free swinging approach helped suppress Hansel Robles’ pitch count as the game progressed.
In their twelve seasons of existence, this was only Brooklyn’s third ever complete game shutout, and their first ever in post-season competition. As a spectator, this was one of the finest pitching performances I ever witnessed in Coney Island; if not the best. Since June through the present time, Hansel Robles seemed to be getting stronger as the 2012 season continued along. And in the opening game of the NYPL playoffs, The Cyclone pitcher took his game to the next level. As evidence he gets stronger the longer he goes, Hansel struck out the last two batters of the game swinging.
In support of their pitcher, the Cyclones scored a run in the first inning. One run wound up being all Hansel Robles would need. Brooklyn scored three more times in the second inning for good measure, and won by a 4-0 final.
The series now shifts to Dutchess Stadium up in Fishkill, New York, where the Cyclones will have two chances to win one game, and advance to the championship round.
There’s plenty of time between now and Game Two to catch up with Rising Apple’s series preview.