Tonight is a big night for the 51s, the B-Mets, and the Savannah Sand Gnats!
Wally Backman and the Las Vegas 51s finished the season with an 81-62 record, good for second-best in all of the Pacific Coast League. The 51s are heading to the postseason for the first time since 2002, and considering the type of roster changes Backman had to deal with this season, it’s amazing he’s been able to keep his team focused and successful. They’ll first be facing off against the Salt Lake Bees to see who moves on to the next round. Matt Fox gets the festivities started in Utah tonight for Vegas.
In the Eastern League, Pedro Lopez and his Binghamton Mets finished the season with an 86-55 record, by far the best in the league, and the best in B-Mets history. To get their playoffs off on the right foot, they will be sending Noah Syndergaard to the mound to face the Trenton Thunder. He hasn’t pitched since allowed nine earned runs and nine hits against Bowie on August 26th, but I have a feeling he will be ready to rock once the first pitch is thrown tonight in Trenton.
The Savannah Sand Gnats struggled to a 34-35 second half record, but are also prepping for the postseason since they captured the first half championship. They put together a 43-26 record prior to the SAL All-Star break, and are 77-61 overall in 2013. They’ll be facing the Augusta Green Jackets, the SAL Southern Division second half champs, on the road in Augusta. The Gnats will also have their ace on the mound for Game 1, running out Gabriel Ynoa to the mound, the SAL pitcher of the year.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited for the rest of our minor league affiliates to get their respective postseasons underway. With the big league team heading toward their fifth-straight losing season and not being in any type of playoff race since 2008, I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to get some extra baseball after the regular season is done. The four minor league squads making the playoffs doesn’t mean the Mets will be doing the same in Flushing any time soon, but it’s gratifying to follow these teams so closely all season and watch them get rewarded for their solid play with a chance at a championship.
I think there is a legitimate chance we see more than one minor league team come away with a championship trophy. Who do you think comes away victorious over the next couple weeks (if any)?
Thoughts From Satish R.
Well, unfortunately, we saw Kingsport get eliminated in heart-breaking fashion last night, and you can read about that here. So those of you that follow me on Mets Minors know that I have a man-crush on Gabriel Ynoa and I think he’s one of the gems of our farm system. I think he’ll be quite the successful pitcher some day, so I’m glad to see him taking the mound for Savannah tonight.
The B-Mets probably have the best shot of winning a championship, as they have the most balanced team attack going into the EL playoffs. Syndergaard may be limited, but remember that before his last start, he was on a shutout streak. He should get the B-Mets started off on the right foot tonight.
Lastly, I wouldn’t underestimate the 51s at all. Wally Backman has done wonders with what he has had to work with, and a championship should skyrocket him to the Mets ’14 coaching staff. This should be the beginning of a fun couple weeks for us…