Upper Minors: Wheeler Struggles, Montero Dominates In Double-A Debut

An article by posted on April 5, 2013

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Las Vegas 51s 10, Sacramento River Cats 5

The 51s had a rougher start to their season behind a shaky first outing for their star pitcher. Zack Wheeler got the opening day nod for Las Vegas and came out of the gate erratic but still exhibiting the mid-90′s fastball and hard curveball. Wheeler went three and one-third innings, throwing 86 pitches, allowing two runs on three hits, walking and striking out three each. Wheeler never seemed to find his comfort zone, and even when he settled in was leaving his fastball up in the zone. Gonzalez Germen came in to relieve Wheeler, and pitched a clean inning and one-third, striking out one. Greg Peavey came on in relief of Germen, and gave up two hits, a walk and struck out one in his inning and two-thirds of work. Justin Hampson came out for one-third and retired his batter with a strikeout. Armando Rodriguez pitched an inning, allowing three runs on four hits, walking three and striking out one. Robert Carson came out to clean-up for Rodriguez and went one clean inning, inducing a double play to end the game.

The 51s bats set the tone for the game, putting across two runs in the first inning on a Wilmer Flores RBI single and an Andrew Brown sacrifice fly. Andrew Brown came back in the third inning with a two-RBI double. However, the biggest output in one inning was in the fifth when Travis d’Arnaud had an RBI double, Wilmer Flores had a sacrifice fly, Zach Lutz had an RBI double and a wild pitch scored Andrew Brown. Brown would hit another sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Omar Quintanilla hit a triple and scored on a throwing error in the eighth.

Key Stats

  • Wilmer Flores – 3 for 3, two RBI, one walk, sacrifice fly. 
  • Travis d’Arnaud – 2 for 3, four runs, two walks, one RBI, one strikeout
  • Andrew Brown – 1 for 2, four RBI, one strikeout
  • Zack Wheeler – 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Robert Carson – 1 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB 0 K

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Binghamton Mets 2, Akron Aeros 1

The Binghamton Mets begun their season with a pitching exhibition that bodes well for the future of the B.Mets staff. Rafael Montero began the season with the same fury he exhibited in spring training keeping the Aeros hitters off-balance the entire game, going five and two-third innings, giving up two hits with no walks and striking out eight while allowing an earned run. Montero was consistently getting swinging strikes with a fastball that had good rising movement into righties and tailing away from lefties. The only run Montero allowed came at the expense of Adam Kolarek allowing an inherited runner to score. Montero struck out four Aeros in a row at one point. Kolarek himself was no pushover, going one and one-third innings, giving up one hit. Jeffrey Walters finished off the game with a two-inning save, giving up two hits and striking out two including the last batter he faced. The Binghamton bullpen looks like it will have some power arms and the rotation is solid one through five.

Offensively the B.Mets didn’t score much, but put Montero in the lead and kept it that way. SS Wilfredo Tovar had an RBI groundout on a botched double-play ball, scoring 2B Danny Muno. 3B Josh Rodriguez would send an absolute blast to the batters eye in center field in the sixth inning to make the score 2-0. Binghamton would work the count and draw a few walks but despite nine baserunners only managed two runs.

Key Stats

  • Josh Rodriguez – 1 for 4 – Solo home run, three strikeouts.
  • Cesar Puello – 1 for 3 – one walk, one stolen base
  • Alonzo Harris – 1 for 4 – double
  • Rafael Montero – 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
  • Jefrrey Walters – 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

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