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