The Bisons got corralled Thursday afternoon by a score of 7-2 at the hands of the SWB Yankees in Buffalo. A three-run second off Chris Schwinden, and a three-run seventh off Jeff Stevens would provide the Yankees with all the scoring they would need, and they added a solo homer by Steve Pearce off Daniel Herrera in the fifth.
Schwinden who struggled mightily with his command, pitched four innings and took the loss to even his record at 1-1. He surrendered three runs all earned, on three hits and 5 walks with 4 K’s. The offense only managed four hits on the day, and scored both runs in the first inning. Valdespin singled leading off, Satin walked, and Spin stole third before Pascucci walked to load up the bases. Vinny Rottino then hit a sac-fly to score Valdespin, and Zach Lutz singled to drive in Satin.
Herd Rumblings: Valentino Pascucci is tied for the league lead in HR’s with 4. He is also tied for second in the league in RBI’s with 7, and is first in the league with a .905 SLG%. New Buffalo second baseman Bobby Scales is off to a good start hitting .389 in his first six games, good for seventh in the league. Jordany Valdespin stole his first base of the season in the game after getting caught on his first two attempts this year. As a team Buffalo is not faring well in stolen bases this season. So far they are 3/6 as a SB/CS ratio.
The Bisons whose record is now even at 4-4, close out the three game series this afternoon at 1:05 pm with RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-0), on the hill.
Binghamton evened their season record at 3-3 last night with a 5-1 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs. Third-baseman Jefry Marte stepped to the plate with two outs in the top-of-the-first and the bags packed. He promptly lined a base-hit to center to score Juan Lagares and Allan Dykstra for an early 2-0 lead. But Portland centerfielder Juan Carlos Linares would answer back as he led off the bottom of the first against Collin McHugh with a home run to CF to make it 2-1. Despite giving up four hits in the first inning, the Linares dinger was the only run that scored.
The score was the same in the top-of-the-third when the B-Mets started a rally on lead-off singles by Matt den Dekker followed by Juan Lagares. Allan Dykstra then walked to load the bases, and with one out, Marte grounded into a force play which allowed den Dekker to streak home with the third B-Met run.
Recent B-Mets addition 2B Josh Rodriguez then launched a deep fly ball to centerfield that alluded Linares for a double scoring Lagares and Marte. It was Rodriguez’ first extra base-hit and first RBI’s as a B-Met, and made the score 5-1.
Right-hander Collin McHugh (1-1) pitched 6.2 quality innings to pick up the win, giving up 7 hits and one run, with no walks and 6 punch-outs. McHugh was replaced in the seventh by RHP Elvin Ramirez who came on with two on and two out, runners at first and second. Ramirez promptly dispatched the two-hole hitter, striking out SS Derrik Gibson to end the threat.
But Ramirez didn’t stop there. He continued to deal nastiness in the eighth to the heart of the Sea Dogs batting order. First 3B Kolbrin Vitek went down swinging. Then RF Bryce Brentz went down swinging. Then 1B Reynaldo Rodriguez went down looking. Four batters faced for Ramirez, four strikeouts. Not too shabby.
Even though it wasn’t a save situation manager Pedro Lopez summoned his closer to pitch the ninth inning to get him some work. So in came LHP Josh Edgin to get two quick ground-outs before giving up back-to-back singles to DH Jeremy Hazelbaker and 2B Heiker Meneses. He then induced Linares to ground out to end the ball game and perserve the victory.
B-Mets Buzz: Wednesday nights game against the Erie SeaWolves was postponed because it was freakin’ cold and windy in Bingo! They will make it up later in the year. 3B Jefry Marte has exploded out of the gate this season so far with a slash line of: .350/.435/.550 in his first 20 AB’s. He has chipped in 2 doubles, 1 triple, 3 walks, 3 runs scored and 6 RBI’s. Considering he is making the difficult jump from high-A to AA, he looks very poised and relaxed at the plate. LHP Darin Gorski and RHP Greg Peavey were dominant in their first starts of the season, and McHugh has two quality starts under his belt. The bullpen has looked very good so far, especially closer Josh Edgin, RHP Kevin Mulvey, RHP Edgar Ramirez, RHP Armando Rodriguez, and of course Elvin Ramirez.
Tonight the B-Mets continue their series against Portland. RHP Zack Wheeler (0-1) gets the ball for Bingo, game time is 6 pm.
ST. LUCIE METS
The Palm Beach Cardinals defeated the St. Lucie Mets Thursday night by a score of 3-1 snapping the Mets five game winning streak. St. Lucie jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when 2B Danny Muno hit his first homer of the season leading off the game, against Palm Beach starter Richard Castillo. Met starter RHP Gonzalez Germen gave it right back in the bottom of the inning on a single and stolen base by lead-off hitter Mike O’Neill, followed by an RBI single from three-hole hitter Starlin Rodriguez that tied the score at one. Germen then picked Rodriguez off first, which helped to limit further damage.
The game remained tied but the Mets turned up the heat in the top-of-the-fifth inning when C Francisco Pena led off with a double to CF. After being sacrificed to third on a bunt by SS Wilfredo Tovar, Pena tried to score on a fly ball to center, but was nailed at the plate to end the inning.
Germen pitched great, lasting five innings and giving up just the one run, on 7 hits, a walk, and 6 strikeouts. After this effort tonite his ERA stands at 1.64. He was replaced in the sixth by right-hander John Church.
Church (0-1) promptly gave up a run on an RBI double by 3B Patrick Elkins giving the Cardinals the lead 2-1. LHP Hamilton Bennett came on to replace Church and pitch the eighth. Two singles wrapped around an error allowed an unearned run to score making it 3-1, a deficit the Mets were unable to come back from.
Lucie Logistics: Lost in the excitement of Wednesday nights 6-4 victory over the Charlotte Stone Crabs, was one interesting game note. Not the fact that it was the Mets fifth straight win, or that they now have a 1.0 game lead in the Southern Division of the FSL, or the second scintillating start in a row for top prospect RHP Cory Mazzoni, or Wilmer Flores’ 3 RBI’s, or Robbie Shields’ 3-4 night at the plate. The game note that interested me the most was the appearance of a new left-fielder for the game. His night was a fairly quiet one, 1-3 with a double and a walk. But the great thing about it is that this player, who is at St. Lucie now on a minor league rehab, had not played in a game since 2010. In late March 2011 Sean Ratliff was awaiting his turn in the on-deck circle when a line drive off the bat of teammate Zach Lutz struck Ratliff directly in the eye. It has been an unbelievably long road back for Ratliff who had to endure multiple surgeries to re-attach his retina. Many thought that Sean would never play again, but he has beaten the odds and it is that much more rewarding to see him out there once again, and working his way back.
The Mets record is now 5-2 and they play Palm Beach again tonight at 6:35 pm. LHP Chase Huchingson (1-0), will toe the rubber for St. Lucie.
SAVANNAH SAND GNATS
Unfortunately Savannah fell behind early and couldn’t muster any offense all night as they fell to the Augusta Green Jackets by a score of 4-0. Right-hander Rafael Montero (0-1), got the start for Savannah last night, but stumbled a bit coming out of the gate and spotted the Green Jackets two runs in the bottom of the first. A walk to the lead-off hitter, followed by a single, and then error on second-baseman T.J. Rivera which allowed a run to score and put runners on first and second with no outs. Montero then settled in and got out of the inning with just one more run scoring on a ground-out. After one, Augusta 2, Savannah 0.
Two more Green Jacket runs were allowed to score in the third inning thanks to two more Savannah errors and a wild pitch. The 4-0 score would hold up for the rest of the game, as the Sand Gnats could only muster four hits all night and were unable to score any runs.
Gnats Notes: There is one hitter in particular that has been smokin’ hot in the early stages of the season, and that is middle infielder T.J. Rivera, from the Bronx. He is 13 hits for 31 AB’s for a cool .419 batting average. His OBP is .486 and his OPS is .970. There are several pitchers off to hot starts for Savannah. Starting pitchers RHP Logan Verrett, RHP Tyler Pill, and LHP Alex Panteliodis have all pitched terrific in their starts so far. The pen has been doing their part as well with terrific starts to the season by: LHP Jack Leathersich, RHP Marcos Camarena, RHP Tyson Seng, and RHP Jared West.
The loss drops the Gnats season record to 4-4. Game 2 of the 4 game series against Augusta continues tonight at 7:05 pm with LHP Alex Panteliodis (1-0), making his second start of the year.