Cyclones' Robles dominates in opener

Mets prospect strikes out 10, hurls first career complete game

By Robert Emrich / Special to | September 7, 2012 7:53 PM ET

Summer may be winding to a close, but Hansel Robles is showing no signs of cooling off.

The Mets prospect tossed a complete-game four-hitter and struck out 10 on Friday night as Brooklyn blanked Hudson Valley, 4-0, in Game 1 of the best-of-3 New York-Penn League semifinals.

Signed as a non-drafted free agent in August 2008, Robles (1-0) did not walk a batter. After yielding a one-out single to Thomas Coyle in the first, he retired the next 12 Renegades.

"My approach was to get the hitters out with the least amount of pitches and go right after hitters," Robles said through trainer Eric Velazquez, who served as translator.

The 22-year-old right-hander did not allow a runner past first base and threw 102 pitches in the first complete game of his four-year career. Robles relished the opportunity to face the team with the league's best record during the regular season.

"I never felt nervous, I felt the opposite -- I wanted to face the best team," Robles said. "They [the coaches] kind of picked me to come into this game and pitch, and I felt pretty good that they had the confidence in me to pitch in Game 1."

The native of the Dominican Republic has not allowed an earned run since July 28, a stretch spanning 45 2/3 innings. He has not lost a game since making his first start of the season on June 21.

"I've been really focusing on working on pitching inside," Robles said. "My pitching coach [Marc Valdes] told me that pitching inside leads to better things. I've been focusing on working on the inside part of the plate. I used my sinking fastball and I'll cut the fastball a little so it cuts in on lefties."

After appearing exclusively out of the bullpen for Rookie-level Kingsport in 2011, pitching a complete game proved a bit indescribable for him.

"It's incredible," he said. "Everyone wants to be able to pitch a complete game, it's an elated feeling. I can't describe it, it feels really good."

Phillip Evans was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Brandon Nimmo, the Mets' No. 5 prospect, reached base twice and scored a run for the Cyclones.

Starter Jesse Hahn (0-1) was charged with four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits over three innings for Hudson Valley, which hosts Game 2 on Saturday.

In other New York-Penn League playoff action:

Tri-City 5, Auburn 4

Austin Elkins' two-out RBI single snapped a seventh-inning tie as the ValleyCats won the opener of the other semifinal series.

M.P. Cokinos drove in a run and Emilio King scored twice for Tri-City. Spencer Kieboom doubled and picked up a pair of RBIs for the Doubledays. Box score

Robert Emrich is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More