DeGrom Rocked In A Home Run Derby Loss For Binghamton
Akron 7, Binghamton 5
A promising pitching duel turned into a home run derby at Binghamton’s NYSEG Stadium, as Akron flexed more muscle than the B-Mets in a 7-5 Aeros victory.
B-Met starter Jacob deGrom and Paolo Espino traded zeroes through three scoreless inning to start the contest. DeGrom cruised in the early going allowing only a lead-off single to Jesus Aguilar in the second. The lanky B-Met starter pounded the strike zone throwing 72 percent of his 39 pitches for strikes during the opening three frames.
Espino too, was impressive, changing speeds effectively and allowing only a one out base-on-balls to Cory Vaughn through the first two innings. Vaughn continues to show patience in the batter’s box as Akron pitchers tempt the B-Met slugger with pitches off the plate. The walk was one of two for Vaughn in the game and his fifth base-on-balls in the last two contests.
Careless baserunning cost the B-Mets a chance to score in the third. Danny Muro led off with a hard double grounded inches inside the left field line and running into the corner. B-Met skipper Pedro Lopez asked Wilfredo Tovar to bunt. The bunt attempt hit home plate an appeared to this casual observer to glance off Tovar’s elbow falling in front of home plate. In any case, the umpire never called “Foul Ball” and Tovar never took off out of the box. Muro who had a good jump and would easily have had third, saw Tovar standing motionless and stopped. Aeros catcher Roberto Perez quickly pounced on the ball and fired to third where Jesus Aguilar tagged Muno out then rifled a throw to first to double up Tovar. Alonso Harris then worked a base-on-balls but was picked off first by Espino. Ouch!
DeGrom’s changeup got him into trouble in the fourth. Tyler Holt drilled an 80 mph change on the eighth pitch of the at bat for a single. Chun-Hsiu Chen lined another 80 mph change down the left field line in the next at bat. Darrell Ceciliani played the ball in the corner but his throw to second skipped past Tovar and Muno was not backing up allowing Holt to race home. A Carlos Moncrief sacrifice fly to Harris in centerfield plated Akron’s second run.
The B-Mets got one back in the bottom of the fifth when Cesar Puello raked a sharp line drive single to center. Danny Muno followed with a sizzling shot into the right field corner for the B-Mets first tally.
The wheels came off the bus for deGrom in the sixth. Once again, his off-speed pitch was the culprit. Tyler Holt led-off the inning stroking a change into left field for a hit. One out later, Jesus Aguilar blasted another change for a two-run shot. Carlos Moncrief smashed the next pitch for a back-to-back four bagger. DeGrom called it a day one batter later after walking Quincy Latimore.
The B-Mets matched Akron’s longball heroics with two blasts of their own in the bottom of the sixth. Darrell Ceciliani opened the inning with a double followed by Josh Rodriquez’s second home run of the year. The pattern repeated when Alan Dykstra doubled and Corey Vaughn followed suit with a two-run blast, his fourth of the year, to tie the score at 5-5.
The B-Mets squandered a chance to take the lead after Vaughn’s dinger. With one out, Puello singled, stole his 6th base of the year and advanced to third when the catcher’s throw went into centerfield. Akron reliever Kyle Landis then struck out Muno and Tovar to end the inning.
Longballs would continue to fly but only off Akron bats. Adam Kolarek, who replaced deGrom in the sixth, surrendered the game winner to Jose Ramirez with one out in the seventh. Quincy Latimore added a topper to the home run parade lacing a four-bagger against Shawn Teufel in the eighth.
The B-Mets made an attempt to get back the runs in the eighth when Vaughn drew a one out walk. Blake Forsythe followed with a hard single to left. After Puello went down swinging, Muro worked a base-on-balls to load the bases. Tovar brought the B-Met faithful to their feet when he ripped a hard drive to the warning track in left field that Latimore hauled down in full stride.
Akron reliever Bryce Stowell pitched his eighth inning in relief without allowing a run to earn his first save. Stowell mixed his pitches well with a mid 90′s fast ball and a curve touched the mid 70′s.
Alonzo Harris: 0-for-4, 1 BB (ended ten-game hitting streak)
Josh Rodriguez: 1-for-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R
Cory Vaughn: 1-for-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2 BB
Cesar Puello: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 SB
Daniel Muno: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Jacob deGrom: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 HR, 1 BB, 5 ER, 2 K
Adam Kolarek: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 ER
Shawn Teufel: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 ER, 1 K
About the Author: John Bernhardt
John Bernhardt is a retired public school teacher and administrator, who still coaches high school baseball. Growing up in a Yankees household, Bernhardt was an ardent Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra fan. When the Yankees fired Yogi in his first season as the Bomber manager, curiosity turned to passion when the Mets signed Berra as a player/coach and he has pulled for the Mets ever since. In retirement, John writes the sports for a local weekly, The Catskill Mountain News and hosts Tip-Off, a Friday morning sports hour, from 8:00-9:00 on WIOX, 91.3 F.M.
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