Down to their last out, the Greenville Astros came from behind to beat the K-Mets in the decisive third game of the Appalachian League semi-finals eliminating Kingsport from the playoffs before the other three playoff-bound Mets affiliates even played a single game.
The K-Mets built a 2-0 lead behind Rob Whalen, who shutout Greeneville through six innings. However, Whalen could not escape the seventh, giving up a double and an RBI single to make it a one-run game. Reliever Luis Rangel walked one and hit one to load the bases. The Mets brought in hard-throwing Ricky Jacquez with the bases loaded and one out, and after walking in the tying run, he picked up a strikeout and a fly ball to get out of the inning with the game tied. Whalen’s final line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Whalen was 88-89, touching 90 when I saw him in July.
The K-Mets then scored a run in the bottom of the eighth on a walk, a two-base throwing error and a sacrifice fly to take a 3-2 lead going to the ninth.
In the ninth, one out from the Appalachian League Championship Series, Jacquez fell one swing short. With a runner at second and two outs, he gave up a game-tying double. With the game tied, the KMets turned to Robert Coles, who issued an intentional walk and then two singles and a double to account for four runs and a 7-3 KMets deficit.
Jacquez ended up throwing 2.1 innings, his longest outing since June 28 when he threw three innings in his only outing this year longer than 2.1 innings. He had gone two innings just once in his last 14 outings. The Mets were extending him beyond his standard usage pattern to try to get him through the ninth. It was quite reasonable to do so; he has the best arm in the Kingsport bullpen. I saw Jacquez at 92-94 in July. The arm is legit. He should start 2014 in Savannah.