It's a peculiar crowd at Cyclones games. There's a large contingent -- and God love 'em -- of neighborhood hardcores:
And then there are, well, families... It's not that I'm anti-family, but I am anti-strain. For whatever reason, a minor league game feels like a picnic to many people, and at a family picnic one feels weary of rowdies crowding in. Take me out to the crowd, I say; they say, "you're hurting my daughter's ears."
It was different, though, at Medieval Times Night. One felt prepared even to eat with one's fingers. Out came the knights in colorful fabrics and fleurs-de-lise, dubbing Lady Chrissy of Brooklyn and sword-fighting up the first-base line. "It's pre-determined," the fan next to me explained. "I'm going to slay you and next time you'll slay me." Nevertheless, the between inning blood-letting thrilled.
The baseball... sorta. For the first five, right-hander A.J. Pinera let Hudson Valley stroke about one hit an inning, and that worked out fine. It wasn't cool, though, when he let one fly over the outfield wall in the 6th, even if I thought it was foul. A man named Wunderlich was aboard, so the Cyclones were down 2-1. For our part, we had managed a run on a single by "Wild" Cherry and a triple by the left-fielder Holliday. We might have scored another, too, had Wally not waved a man home on one that would have made Razor cringe, even if Holliday tried to pick him up by running over the catcher. (If you're wondering, Wally also called for 2 bunts, with the score 0-0 and 1-0 Brooklyn, respectively.)
Then came 7th inning excitement. Pitching for Hudson Valley was a kid named Steve Hiscock, and Brooklyn had never seen Hiscock before.The Brooklyn 9 went to work nevertheless, handling Hiscock expertly and applying pressure just when it was most needed. This, we all know, is key. With the bases loaded and one out, though, you just knew that Hiscock was used to being put into tight spots. Without giving sure-thing Darrell Ceciliani a chance to bat, the shortstop Sandoval hit a weak little floater that shouldn't have been, but was, a double-play ball. Look out for Hiscock. Hiscock is a rising star.
Oh, the same damn thing happened in the ninth. This time we had first and third two outs, though, and we'd scored a run on a pinch-hit double so just needed one measly hit. Ceciliani of the 1000-something OPS was once again on deck, but Sandoval K'd to send it over to the jousting match, which the Hudson Valley players delayed showering to watch.
It was Ike Davis bobble-legs night too. As Mayor Quimby says, it can be two nights!
Quote of the game:
"Dust thou want an Applebees quesidilla? Then thou must.... scccrreeeaaaammmm!!"
Possible happening between Hudson Valley players:
The Wunderlich-Hiscock Wedding. Burt Reynolds presiding.