The mound was not a kind place for the Wilmington Blue Rocks to be on Wednesday, August 10, as they were defeated by the Brooklyn Cyclones 8-1 in game two of their six-game home series against their division rivals.
It only took Brooklyn four innings to rack up all eight of their runs, which would be more than enough to grab the victory.
Starting on the mound for the Blue Rocks was Rodney Theophile, who was looking to get his first quality start of August.
Theophile found himself in trouble quickly in the top of the first when two of the first three batters in the Cyclones lineup reached base. This put men on first and second when Jose Peroza hit a double, driving in Brooklyn’s first run of the night.
Wilmington’s starter worked himself out of the jam though, and kept it a one run ballgame throughout the first two innings.
“The first couple of innings I felt great. After that, I felt like my fastball was cutting a little bit, so I kind of struggled with that,” Theophile said. “[I] start working a little bit of sinkers, but they were staying middle and they were getting hits off of it.”
Another tight situation came Theophile’s way as he loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the third. So when he walked Jaylen Palmer, it brought home another run and expanded Brooklyn’s lead to 2-0.
The worst of it for the Blue Rocks’ pitching came in the fourth inning, which started with Theophile giving up a double to Matt Rudick. This was where the right hander felt he really lost control of the game.
“In the last, the fourth inning, I gave up a hit. I said I was going to start working sinkers cause my fastball was cutting, gave up a hit, after that I didn’t feel like my fastball was that explosive,” Theophile said. “But I tried to battle, I tried to do what I can.”
After allowing the next batter to reach first on balls, Wilmington’s coaching staff decided that was the end of his night and replaced him with Gilberto Chu, one of the Blue Rocks’ most solid long-innings relievers.
While Chu was brought in to prevent any more runs from scoring, he did the exact opposite as he loaded the bases right away and walked in another Cyclones run to make the score 3-0.
A fielding error from shortstop Cole Daily brought home the last run that was charged to Theophile, leaving the bases full of runners Chu put there when Joe Suozzi walked up to the plate. After starting the at-bat with a ball, Chu threw a 1-0 pitch that Suozzi hit right over the right field wall for a grand slam that doubled Wilmington’s deficit.
“They asked me for a pitch and I didn’t make the pitch in the zone where they were asking for it,” Chu said via translator. “And that’s where I gave up the runs.”
Despite the fact that the rest of the night went rather smoothly for Wilmington’s pitchers, with only three hits being allowed through the final five innings, the hole was too much for the Blue Rocks’ to climb out of.
Theophile and Chu ended their nights with a combined total of eight runs off nine hits and five walks, a stat line that would be the detriment of Wilmington’s game.
The Blue Rocks’ pitching staff will have the chance to redeem themselves throughout the rest of the series, their first chance being on Thursday, August 11.
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