Mets Farm Report: June 26th, 2011 – Harvey Falters in Double-A Debut

Buffalo Bisons 5 – Norfolk Tides 3

This is the Chris Schwinden from earlier in the season that captured the hearts of Mets fans everywhere. Schwinden gave up a three run homer to Jake Fox in the 1st inning and then went on to be perfect from the 2nd inning through the 6th inning. Over those five innings he struckout six men and it was not until the 7th inning that he walked a batter and gave up a single. Five batters on the Tides roster have seen time in the majors, with four of them getting significant playing time, so it is not like he dominated some completely scrub team. He threw 68% strikes. Dale Thayer rebounded from yesterday’s awful performance with a nice inning of work obtaining two strikeouts.

Nick ‘frickin’ Evans. Make that a 16 game hit streak during his time in Triple-A (there was his two week hitless MLB stint in between) with 12 multi-hit games in the process. Over that time he is hitting a pedestrian .492/.557/.754. This was the second consecutive game Evans got on base four times and he was involved in all of the Bisons’s scoring. In the 1st inning he doubled to make it second and third and scored on a Fernando Martinez single. Then in the 7th he singled to set up Val Pascucci’s two-run homer that would be the game winning hit.

Stars of the Game: 1. Nick Evans (2-for-2, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB) (38pts) 2. Chris Schwinden (W, 7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 SO) (10pts) 3. Fernando Martinez (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI)(29pts)

Binghamton Mets 4 – Bowie Baysox 6

Not the Double-A debut many of us were hoping for from Matt Harvey, but he did find himself a nemesis in Big Joe Mahoney, a New York native. Harvey’s night was not very long thanks to the nine hits he let up in 4.2 innings and yet somehow I find it pretty remarkable that he only gave up four runs with the amount of base runners he allowed and how hard he was getting hit (five extra base hits). In the 1st he gave up a triple and sac fly to score the first run against him, a single and double (by that guy Joe Mahoney) scored a run in the 3rd, and then in the 5th two singles, two walks, a double (to Joe Mahoney), and an inherited runner Erik Turgeon allowed to score accounted for all the runs scored against Harvey. Harvey’s command wasn’t at its best today and he left too many pitches up in the zone. Despite that he was still able to strikeout four batters based on his pure stuff. Brad Holt, not much to say just awful yet again. The two runs he gave up were actually the winning runs of the ballgame.

I am not expecting Brahiam Maldonado to be a .300+ hitter, but he is a career .259 hitter and over the last couple of seasons he has hit .282, .273, .238, .310, .281, and .313. It is really just his rookie ball numbers and his 2008 season that has bogged down his career average, so I have to think something is fluky with his .191 average this year. He has routinely put up BABIPs of well over .330 and this year it is a meager .196. Sure his strikeout rate sucks, but he has actually made improvements from last year so I am going to look past his average this year because he keeps having monster games like he did today, with a homer and triple, and view him as a potential power bat that comes off the bench, although that may even be a long shot due to his age. Jordany Valdespin picked up his daily two hits and stolen base. No biggie. Now up to 22 stolen bases in 28 attempts.

Stars of the Game: 1. Brahiam Maldonado (2-for-3, 3B, HR, 3 R, RBI) (35pts) 2. Raul Reyes (2-for-4, 2B, R, 2 K, Outfield assist) (13pts) 3. Jordany Valdespin (2-for-5, SB, CS, K) (41pts)

St. Lucie Mets 3 – Bradenton Marauders 11

When I saw this boxscore and thought it was Darin Gorski‘s start I thought, “Eh not a great start”. But then when fixed the boxscore and it to show it was Scott Moviel‘s start I thought, “Hey this is actually a pretty encouraging start”. I don’t like the four doubles against or two wild pitches he threw, but Moviel actually struckout a  batter per inning (this is the guy with the second lowest K-rate in the FSL) and the seven groundball outs he produced. When you consider how atrocious the bullpen was, it actually makes Moviel look really really good. Brandon Sage gave up back-to-back home runs and Eric Niesen and John Church combined to walk four straight batters in the middle of a six run 8th inning. Niesen’s window gets smaller and smaller with each appearance.

Believe it or not the Mets actually led this until the 7th inning. They scored a run in the 2nd when Cory Vaughn doubled in Stefan Welch following singles from Welch and Wilmer Flores and then two in the 3rd when Jefry Marte doubled in Cesar Puello and Welch hit a sac fly to score Juan Centeno. They had a couple of chances to score runs in the 4th and 7th, but couldn’t get the big two out hit and then the rain intervened as usual and ended the game early. Vaughn has been much better in the three games since the promotion, following his massive slump.

Stars of the Game: 1. Juan Centeno (2-for-4, R) (9pts) 2. Stefan Welch (1-for-2, R, RBI, K) (25pts) 3. Cory Vaughn (1-for-3, 2B, RBI) (4pts)

Savannah Sand Gnats 2 – Augusta GreenJackets 0

A very good performance out of Taylor Whitenton and the Sand Gnats bullpen. Whitenton scattered four singles over six innings of work and struckout three. There was only one batter to reach scoring position the whole game and that was a batter in the 4th who only reached because of a throwing error and was able to get to second. Whitenton picked up his third baseman, Aderlin Rodriguez, and worked out of the minor jam. Gabriel Zavala worked two perfect innings and struckout three while Hamilton Bennett earned the save in an easy 9th.

The offense didn’t give the pitching much to work with, with just two runs on five hits so they are lucky they didn’t need it.