Ramblings From Henry and Fayette Streets
The Week That Was: May 28th – June 3rd
As May came to a close, and June opened up, the B-Mets found themselves in exactly the same spot in the standings as they have been most of the season, that being fourth place looking up at the Rock Cats, Thunder, and Phillies. Their record over the past week read three wins, two losses, and two games altered because of Mother Nature (one postponed game in Reading to be made up in August, and one suspended game on Sunday at home which will be continued today). Collin McHugh started off the week on a positive note by defeating the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at home on Memorial Day. McHugh went eight innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, striking out eight Fisher Cats batters. Darin Gorski brought his 2012 record to .500 with a win on Saturday night over the Akron Aeros. In 6 1/3, Gorski gave up three runs on four hits and struck out three Aeros batters. By far, the performance of the week has to go to B-Mets starter Zack Wheeler who dominated the R-Phils on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading. In seven innings pitched, he allowed only one earned run on three hits while striking out eight. Eric Campbell leads the team in batting average (.306) and on base percentage (.424) at weeks end. Matt den Dekker holds the top spot in home runs (8) and slugging percentage (.526), and is tied with Josh Rodriguez for the lead in RBI’s with 25. Zack Wheeler leads the team in ERA (1.88), WHIP (0.97), and strikeouts (60). Wheeler and Collin McHugh are tied at the top with five wins each.
Coach Profile – Glenn Abbott
Glenn Abbott’s career in professional baseball has spanned 41 years, setting down in Binghamton this season as his first with the B-Mets. Zack Wheeler, the New York Mets top pitching prospect, is the latest in a long line of successful pitchers whose careers have been honed by Abbott. His resume includes the likes of Barry Zito, Jeremy Bonderman, Joe Blanton, Todd Van Poppel, and even a short stint with a one R.A. Dickey.
Abbott was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. He graduated from North Little Rock High School, and attended the University of Central Arkansas. Abbott was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round of the 1969 MLB Draft (175th overall). He would become the first player from the University of Central Arkansas to make it to the big leagues when he debuted for the A’s on September 7, 1973 in a game against the Texas Rangers.
Abbott would go on to pitch the next three seasons with the A’s. He was a member of the 1974 team that won the World Series, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 1, although Abbott didn’t see any play time in the series. In 1975, the A’s returned to the post season and faced the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Abbott pitched in the eighth inning of game one, allowing no runs on no hits. The A’s fell to the Red Sox in the series 3 games to none.
In November of 1976, Abbott would be picked up by the Seattle Mariners in the expansion draft held that year. He spent the next five seasons as a member of the Mariners, where he twice won a career high twelve games (1977 & 1980). He was named the opening day starter for the Mariners three times, in ’78, ’79, and ‘81. For his start in 1978 he became the first Seattle Mariners pitcher to win on opening day.
Then came 1982. Abbott had surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow during Spring Training that year. Then, while rehabbing with the Mariners AAA club in Salt Lake City he was diagnosed with viral meningitis. He missed the remained of the ’82 season recovering from the illness, and didn’t pitch again until June of 1983 for the Mariners. On June 12th of that season, he faced the Kansas City Royals at the Kingdome in Seattle. Abbott pitched a complete game in his return, giving up only one run on five hits while striking out five Royals.
On August 23rd of the ’83 season, Abbott was purchased by the Detroit Tigers from the Seattle Mariners. He played the ’83 and ’84 season with the Tigers, and was released by Detroit in August of the 1984 season.
After being released by the Tigers, Abbott retired as a player. His final Major League numbers read: 248 games played in, 206 started; 62 wins, 83 losses, and a 4.39 ERA; in 1286 innings pitched he allowed 707 runs on 1405 hits, struck out 484 and walked 352.
His coaching career has taken him to all levels of organized ball, from Tacoma, Portland, and Oklahoma in AAA to Spokane, Savannah, and Modesto in Single A. He has also spent time at the Double A level, beyond Binghamton this season, in Huntsville, Midland, Mobile, and San Antonio. In 2011, Abbott returned to the organization where he first coached, the Mets, as the pitching coach for the Savannah Sand Gnats. In 1985, his first stint was coaching the Little Falls Mets who played in the New-York Penn League. Abbott was promoted to the Binghamton Mets just prior to the 2012 season, and has continued to develop the young arms in the Mets system with Wheeler and Collin McHugh being two of the top pitchers in the Eastern League, and reliever Robert Carson earning a call up to the big club multiple times this year.
Weekly Stat Snapshot
Where the B-Mets stack up against the rest of the Eastern League:
Matt den Dekker – 1st in runs (38); T-3rd in hits (63); T-1st in doubles (17); T-4th in triples (3)
Pedro Zapata – 3rd in triples (4)
Eric Campbell – 2nd in on base percentage (.424)
Zack Wheeler – 4th in ERA (1.88); T-1st in strikeouts (60); 3rd in WHIP (0.97)
Collin McHugh – 5th in ERA (2.17); T-3rd in strikeouts (53); 5th in WHIP (1.09)
Did You Know?
Current B-Mets pitching coach Glenn Abbott was part of a no-hitter? On September 28, 1975, as a member of the Oakland Athletics, Abbott relieved starter Vida Blue in the sixth inning of a game against the California Angels. Abbott retired Ike Hampton, Jerry Remy, and Dave Chalk in order to keep the no-hit bid alive. He was replaced in the seventh by Paul Lindblad, and Rollie Fingers finished out the game pitching the eighth and ninth. At that time, it was the first combined four pitcher no-hitter in Major League history.