AA: Trenton Thunder 3, @ Binghamton Mets 0
The BMets’ offense scored just once in the final 18 innings and the last two games of this series. So, yeah, they missed the suspended Cesar Puello.
There was a big mess in the seventh inning that began with Xorge Carillo at second and Danny Muno at first. Muno was called out at second on a Wilfredo Tovar ground ball, and got into it with the Trenton middle infielders, which prompted both benches and bullpens to clear.
2B Jose Pirela
Manager Pedro Lopez
SS Wilfredo Tovar
2B Daniel Muno
Logan Verrett was ok: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
Frank Francisco struck out two batters in the ninth, which is nice.
AA: @ Trenton Thunder (NYY) 2, Binghamton Mets 1
One night after their extra-inning heartbreak, the B-Mets lost game two in which Darin Gorksi pitched well, but the offense managed just two singles. The B-Mets did draw six walks in the game.
Gorski’s line: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB 5 K. After flubbing his first shot at AAA this year (17 H, 11 R, 9 BB in 13.2 IP), Gorski has pitched well enough in the second half in AA (46 H, 1.83 ERA in 78.2 IP) in AA to earn another shot in AAA to begin next year.
The B-Mets’ only hits belonged to SS Wilfredo Tovar (who was 1-for-3 with a walk) and 3B Josh Rodriguez (who homered in the fifth to tie the game at 1-1).
The B-Mets try to avoid elimination Friday night when the series shifts to Binghamton.
By the way, both C Kevin Plawecki and SS Matt Reynolds are traveling with Binghamton, but neither is on the team’s active playoff roster. Both players will only be activated if there is an injury or emergency need at their positions.
AA: @ Trenton Thunder 6, Binghamton Mets 5 (10 innings)
Uh-oh. The Mets used a walk, a single, a bunt and a sacrifice fly from Wilfredo Tovar and an RBI single from Josh Rodriguez to take a 5-3 lead.
The Mets handed the ball to Jeff Walters, who retired the first two batters of the tenth. Then the next five batters went: double, single (run scores), single, single (run scores), single (game winning run scores).
Noah Syndergaard, who has been on a short leash for the last month working just 18 innings in August, allowed two runs in the first and little else: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. According to Baseball Prospectus’ Zach Mort, at times he was working 98-100 with “life”and throwing his hard curve at 78-79 mph with “bite.” There’s little question he’s the Mets’ top pitching prospect at this point.
The Ghost of Frank Francisco handled the seventh inning with a strikeout, while Chasen Bradford worked scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth with three strikeouts.
The middle of the diamond players were productive with the stick: 2B Danny Muno reached base five times at the top of the order, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two walks, SS Wilfredo Tovar added two hits and CF Darrell Ceciliani three.
The good news for the B-Mets? This is a best-of-five series.
The Mets AA affiliate in Binghamton clinched their first playoff berth since 2004 on August 17th and coasted to the division title, their first since 2000, which they wrapped up with a win on August 21st. It was a banner season all around as the B-Mets set a franchise record with 86 wins, had the league MVP in Allan Dykstra, and manager of the year was won by Pedro Lopez. Jeff Walters set the team career saves record with his outstanding season, while Mark Cohoon extended his franchise records for starting pitchers. Player of the week and month awards were too numerous to list.
On May 24th the B-Mets were 26-22 and were in fight for the top of the standings, two games behind Portland with Trenton right there as well. They would win their next three from Portland and not look back from there. They would win 4 of 5 from Trenton in early June, and 3 of 4 from them in late June to move 10.5 games ahead of them, a lead that ended up being insurmountable. A five game in three day set with Portland awaited the B-Mets out of the all star break. They won four of the five and had a comfortable 10+ game lead on everyone in the division. In all they went 60-33 from May 25th on. In an odd note they went 34-11 on weekends.
The regular season series with Trenton went to Binghamton 10-7, with 12 of the games played in Binghamton. Three of the five games in Trenton went to the Mets. Trenton had the best home record of any team in the EL going 43-27.
Offensively Trenton has the lowest OPS and SLG% in the EL, hitting .245/.324/.364 as a team. They struck out the third most and stole the fewest bases. Yankees top prospects C Gary Sanchez and CF Mason Williams have joined the team during August and will likely see regular playing time.
Binghamton on the other hand was second in the EL in OBP and OPS hitting .253/.340/.393 as a team. While they lead the league in striking out they also walked the most, many games letting pitchers self destruct with patience. They ended up second in the league in runs scored, and third in homers. Allan Dykstra lead the league with a .938 OPS, the only qualifier over .900, lead the league in walks and was in the top ten in homers and RBI. Cesar Puello was also a huge part of the offense, hitting .326/.403/.547 over 91 games, but is suspended for involvement in biogenesis and will not be seen again until next year. Travis Taijeron (14 homers .826 OPS) and Cory Vaughn (10 homers .769 OPS) provided power threats in partial seasons with the team. Danny Muno hits leadoff and put up a walk (92) and doubles (27) heavy .249/.384/.379
Trenton put up a team ERA of 3.63 good for third in the EL, and were third in strikeouts, and allowed a league low 85 home runs. They led the league in walks with over 4 per game leading to the third worst whip at 1.41, and hit 72 more batters. Despite all the shortcomings they performed exactly as run expectancy would predict. They used 19 different starting pitchers thanks mostly to the Yankees constant need for new long relievers at the big league level messing with the AAA and AA rotations. RHP Tommy Kahnle closes for them, with 74 strikeouts and 45 walks in 60 IP. LHP Francisco Rondon has struck out 79 and walked 50 (!) over 74 IP.
Binghamton put together the second best ERA (3.53) and whip (1.27) in the EL, and struck out the most batters while walking the second fewest. The B-Mets led the league in holds with 64, which is a silly stat, but does suggest they had many outstanding years from the relief crew outside of Jeff Walters. LHP Adam Kolarek and RHP Chasen Bradford are the relievers most likely to be seen in pressure situations. LHP Chase Hutchingson is out due to suspension after a solid season in a set up role.
Game One is Wednesday at 7:05
Both the double-A B-Mets and the A-ball Sand Gnats have long-since clinched playoff berths and both came up with just three hits on the season’s final day.
AA: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TOR) 8, @ Binghamton Mets 1
The B-Mets ran into Toronto prospect Marcus Stroman, their 2012 first-round draft pick. Stroman’s had a nice year in AA with 129 strikeouts and just 27 walks in 111.2 innings.
SS Matt Reynolds made his AA debut and was 0-for-3. The Mets’ second round pick in 2012, Reynolds hit a disappointing .226/.302/.337 in 117 games with St. Lucie as a 22-year-old. He and Kevin Plawecki were promoted to AA Binghamton to help out with the B-Mets’ playoff run.
A: Greenville Drive (BOS) 1, Savannah Sand Gnats 0
CF Brandon Nimmo(pictured): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K, SB. The 20-year-old finished the regular season at .273/.397/.359 in 110 games. He’s running better and taking stronger leads. He stole a base in each of the last two games of the season. In the second half, he’s 8-for-12 stealing bases (67%). That’s not special, but in the first half he was 2-for-5 (40%), that’s worse.
2B Dilson Herrera: 1-for-3, BB, K. Herrera’s single was a perfectly placed bunt in the second inning. In the ninth, he drew a two-out walk and went to second on a passed ball only to be stranded there when the game ended. The 19-year-old finished the SAL regular season at .267/.334/.416 with West Virginia and Savannah. As long as we’re on the subject of running, Herrera was 11-for-17 with West Virginia, and is a perfect 3-for-3 in seven games with Savannah. It might not be a meaningful change, or maybe he, like Nimmo, is picking his spots better.
The fact that Nimmo and Herrera can run is a nice ancillary boost to their overall value. They are good prospects because they can hit.
SS Philip Evans: 0-for-3. He finished the regular season at .203/.268/.263 in 106 games.
Halfway through the holiday weekend, lets check in on a few stories in the system.
- Friday night, C Kevin Plawecki left the St. Lucie game after getting hit in the head by a pitch. At the time, Plawecki was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles. At ESPNNY, Adam Rubin reported that the move to remove him from the game was a “precaution.” Sure enough, he’s back in Sunday’s lineup playing first base. The 22-year-old has hit .292/.389/.391 in 59 games in advanced-A.
- Sunday, Jeurys Familia worked a scoreless inning for St. Lucie with a walk, a hit, and a strikeout.
- In AA, Darin Gorski was sharp on Friday (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) in the B-Mets’ 3-0 win over New Hampshire.
- Also in AA Friday, Frank Francisco pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Which is cute, in some way. This is an odd way, one inning at a time, to audition for 2014 work beginning in late August.
AAA: Las Vegas 51s 10, Colorado Springs (COL) 7
Thin air baseball is a different beast indeed.
SS Ruben Tejada hit his first home run of the year at any level in a 3-for-5 night that extended his hitting streak to eight straight games. He’s now hitting .385/.444/.590 in his last 10 games and .295/.347/.379 in 57 games with Las Vegas.
LF Dustin Lawley, in his second game in AAA, was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a homer.
The 51s pitchers: Matt Fox, Sean Henn, D.J. Mitchell and Chris Schwinden (0.1 innings of relief). Ugh. Lets move on.
The 51s are two games ahead of the Sacramento River Cats with four games to play.
AA: @ Bowie Bay Sox (BAL) 13, Binghamton Mets 1
The Bay Sox scored six times in the first inning against Erik Goeddel and three more times in the five-run fifth. Goeddel’s (9-7, 4.37) ugly line: 4.2 IP, 12 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 4 HR.
One modest bright spot for the B-Mets: RF Travis Taijeron, who was 2-for-4, with a homerun and a strikeout. Taijeron has in fact seen his strikeouts (75 in 63 games) eat his batting average as he’s down to .241/.320/.500 in 63 games in AA. The 24-year-old has more extra-base hits (30) than singles (24). It’s an all-or-nothing approach that will not play, in its current form, in the big leagues.
AA: Binghamton Mets 3, Bowie Bay Sox (BAL) 2
Hey, two records in one night. First, a three-run second helped the B-Mets to their franchise record 83rd win. Second, Jeff Walters tossed a scoreless ninth for his franchise record 37th save.
SS Wilfredo Tovar (.262/.321/.337 – 129 gms) was 2-for-4 with a double. The recently-turned 22-year-old has 49 strikeouts and 31 walks this season. The slick defender will be off to AAA next year.
Logan Verrett (12-6, 4.28), eh: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.
A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs (TB) 2
C Kevin Plawecki, who left Sunday’s game early with a hand injury, was back in the lineup Tuesday. He was 1-for-3 Tuesday with an RBI. Plawecki has slowed down a bit in August to .253/.352/.342 in 22 games.
A: @ Rome Braves 14, Savannah Sand Gnats 1
Oh, ouch. The Gnats ran into Lucas Sims – one of the better pitching prospects in the SAL – and were outhit 13-5 as the Braves beat up Marcos Camarena and Wanel Mesa. SS Dimas Ponce did toss a scoreless eighth, so this game featured the always fun position player pitching.
CF Brandon Nimmo (.278/.401/.368 – 102 gms): 1-for-4
SS Philip Evans (.202/.271/.263 – 100 gms): 0-for-4, 3 K. Since returning from the DL, on August 18th, Evans is 2-for-23 (.087) with three walks against seven strikeouts.
AA: @ Bowie Bay Sox (BAL) 11, Binghamton Mets 0
In Norse mythology, Thor slays the serpent Jörmungandr, and then ties himself from the snake’s venom. In another story Thor’s hammer Mjollnir is stolen, and eventually Thor tricks the thief using an age-old cross-dressing strategy before killing all who tried to steal his treasured hamer. Lets just say we’re at the point in the story without a hammer.
Noah Syndergaard is alive, but had a bad outing Monday night: 3 IP, 9 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Hey at least he threw 64% of his pitches (55 of 86) for strikes. He was pitching on nine days rest because the Mets are limiting his innings down the stretch. Prior to Monday’s meltdown, since a homerun alllowed on 7/28, Thor had been untouchable: 20.1 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 26 K, .106 OBA, 239 pitches/178 strikes (74%). One bad start does not seem like a big deal. I suspect he will get an extra day or two of rest and then throw in game one or two of the B-Mets’ playoff series next Wednesday or Thursday.
The B-Mets had two hits, singles from 3B Josh Rodriguez and C Xorge Carillo.
A+: @ St. Lucie Mets 5, Charlotte Stone Crabs (TB) 2
Domingo Tapia walked three batters in the first inning and then allowed two unearned runs in the second thanks to an error by 3B Robbie Shields. He settled in nicely after that facing three over the minimum from the third through the seventh innings thanks to two walks and a double. His final line: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 4 K. A night like this counts as a step forward for Tapia.
Dustin Lawley was 2-for-4 with a double. The 24-year-old has hit .260/.313/.512 this year in St. Lucie with 63 extra-base hits and 111 strikeouts in 122 games. He’s also 24.
AA: @ Akron Aeros (CLE) 7, Binghamton Mets 3
A day after clinching the Division Title, the B-Mets put together a performance that looked like a hangover with four hits and four errors leading to five unearned runs which the team’s own official recap called “ugly.”
CF Alonzo Harris had a nice night at the top of the order: 2-for-4, 3B. The 24-year-old has hit .219/.284/.306 overall, weighed down by a .170/.261/.245 line in the last 34 games after the All-Star Break.
A+: @ Palm Beach Cardinals 6, St. Lucie Mets 3
C Kevin Plawecki was 2-for-4 to move his average back over .300 to .302/.402/.397 in 52 games in the FSL as a 22-year-old. Between Savannah and St. Lucie, he has 35 doubles and 8 homeruns in 117 games. And yes, he will start in AA next year.
Also, at 22, SS Matt Reynolds drove in a couple of runs, but has hit just .231/.305/.335 overall in 108 games. I thought there would be a little more average in there for last year’s second round pick.
A: @ Kannapolis Intimidators 1, Savannah Sand Gnats 0
The Gnats finished up their 10-game road trip to Rome, Augusta and Kannapolis at 3-7 while scoring just 25 runs (2.5 runs/game).
CF Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-4, with a strikeout.
RHP Julian Hilario (7-6, 3.67) was very solid, but took a tough loss: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR.