Stretch Run Report: FSL Playoffs – St. Lucie Mets
Congratulations St. Lucie Mets!
As the first-half, Southern Division winner of the Florida State League in 2011, the St. Lucie Mets are in the playoffs, and will be trying for their first league championship since 2006, and the 6th title in their 24 year history as a franchise. The Mets close out their regular season Sunday, with an early day game against Palm Beach.
St. Lucie and Bradenton have already clinched a playoff appearance against one another in the first round. By virtue of the Mets being first-half division champs with a record of 38-32 (their second-half record is 34-36), while Bradenton has clinched the second-half title, with a record of 44-23 (their first-half record was 30-40).
While the Mets have been playing .500 ball of late, the Pirates have been on fire, having won 27 of their last 34 games (going back to July 29th), and their last 7 in a row. The two teams square off in the post-season with the first game of the best-of-three divisional series scheduled for Tuesday, in Bradenton.
The St. Lucie pitching staff is led by 2011 Florida State League Pitcher of the Year, Darin Gorski. The 6’4″ southpaw has a dazzling record of: 11-3 with a 2.08 ERA (1st in the league), and a 140/29 K/BB ratio in 139 IP this year (he is 3rd in the league in strikeouts). The FSL is hitting .212 against Gorski, and he is first in the league in WHIP, with a 1.00.
The Mets offense is driven by top prospects: SS Wilmer Flores (81 RBI’s – 5th in the league), 3B Jefry Marte, and OF Cesar Puello. Australian first-baseman Stefan Welch leads the club with 16 dingers (tied for 12th in the league). LF Pedro Zapata has scored 62 runs, stolen 36 bases (2nd in the league), and is hitting .292.
In 2011 the St. Lucie Mets, managed by Pedro Lopez, set a new attendance record, breaking last years’ mark, with three more home games remaining.
Let’s Go Mets!
About the Author: Peter Shapiro
The first time I went to Shea was not for a Mets game, it was for the Beatles concert there in August of '66. My first Met game was '67, a guy named Salty Parker was the interim-manager then. My first pennant race was 1969. As a 12 year-old that summer and fall, I managed to get to the park for 3 games. The first was the beginning of the Miracle which actually started on Tuesday July 8, 1969 with a day game against the Cubs. I was there a lot in '73. I saw games 3 & 5 of the 1973 NL Playoffs against the "Big Red Machine", from the upper deck behind home plate. It was from there that I witnessed the fight between Bud Harrelson and Pete Rose, and the mayhem that ensued. And that sweet victory in game 5! I saw a couple of WS games at Shea that year against that legendary Oakland A's club. I was there in 1985 for every single game Dr. K pitched including his two 16 strikeout performances, and the day he one-hit the Cubs on an infield single and the Mets won 1-0. I loved being a Met fan in those days. Hopefully we are once again preparing to emerge from the darkness.
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