The New York Mets have struggled to cash in with bases loaded all year long. Perhaps the Mets could steal a page from Binghamton third baseman Brian Burgamy to learn how it’s done. With two out and B-Mets dancing off every base in the bottom of the sixth inning, Burgamy greeted Richmond reliever Josh Osich, by sending the big left-hander’s first pitch 400 feet over the left field wall for a grand slam.
To say Burgamy has been red-hot in the current home stand would be an understatement. Here is his sizzling batting summary during that span:
- Game 1: 2-for-3 with a double
- Game 2: 3-for-3 with a home run and a double
- Game 3: 3-for-4 with a double
- Game 4: 2-for-3 with a home run and a double
Burgamy got things going in the Binghamton first, doubling with one out, advancing to third when Matt Reynolds took an outside fastball to right field for a single, then eventually scoring on a Kevin Plawecki sac-fly. He would have another chance to capitalize with bases loaded in the second inning, but would come up short flying out to right field.
Matt Bowman received some breathing room in the sixth with Burgamy’s grand slam. Bowman had a brilliant outing on the mound throwing six shutout innings, while allowing only three hits with four strikeouts. Bowman was ahead of the count all night long. He threw 86 pitches with 55 strikes. Of the 23 batters he faced, he delivered first pitch strikes 78% of the time.
Working with catcher Plawecki, Bowman used a healty pitch mix. He depended primarily on fastball the first time through the order ranging in speed from 88 to 94 MPH, staying mostly in the low 90’s. Of his 38 pitches the first time through the order, Bowman fired heat 31 times, complimenting his fastball with four sliders and three change-ups.
The pitch mix changed the second time through the order. This time, the B-Mets aced used only 16 fastballs out of his 34 pitches. He threw six slider, five change-ups and seven curve balls.
Bowman and Plawecki kept the Flying Squirrels on their heels and guessing all night long.
The only trouble Bowman found himself in was during his last inning of work. The crafty B-Met pitcher got the first two batter out on the inning, before Kelby Tomlinson put a perfect bunt down the first base line. Bowman elected to allow the ball to roll hoping it would go foul, but it stayed inside the lines for a single.
The next play had an element of a baseball’s version of the Keystone Cops with Burgamy the potential defensive foil. Matt Duffy ripped a Bowman pitch down the third base line. Burgamy attempted to make a backhand stab, but the ball caromed off the heel of his glove towards the shortstop.
Spinning quickly, Burgamy was in hot pursuit stabbing the ball out of the air. The third baseman realized he had no play and failed to put on the breaks allowing his momentum to carry him a good distance from the third base bag.
A heads-up Tomlinson bolted from second towards third catching the B-Met infield napping. By the time the short stop Reynolds realized what was unfolding, Tomlinson was a step ahead in the race for third. Ryan Sandoval joined Reynolds in his desperate race to out hustle Tomlinson to third.
No dice, and in doing so, Sandoval abandoned second with Duffy catching on before Binghamton’s Jayce Boyd did, which allowed him to move into scoring position. It was a bizarre sequence that was difficult to score. The box credited Duffy with a rare infield double.
Chase Hutchinson and Ryan Frasier, each pitched perfect inning in relief in the seventh and eighth innigns. Jack Leathersitch surrendered the only run of the night for the Mets pitching staff.
The game ended with another unusual play. With runners at first and second with one out, Tyler LaTorre laced a hard grounder to first baseman Jayce Boyd who executed a sweep tag of the runner advancing to second, and completed the play outracing the runner to first for the double play.
Matt Reynolds continues to rake at the plate going 2-for-4, including reaching base on an error. His average is now .356 which is leading the Eastern League.
The Top Ten finalists of the 2014 American Idol were in the house signing autographs, singing the national anthem, and throwing out the first pitch.