The Binghamton Mets will look to win the Eastern League title for the second straight season with their run starting tonight at NYSEG Stadium against the Reading Fightin Phils. Last year the B’Mets ended their 20-year championship drought when they swept the Richmond Flying Squirrels that ended on a walk-off pinch-hit RBI double by Jayce Boyd. Steven Matz took a no-hitter into the 8th inning and struck out 11 over 7.1 innings.
Binghamton finished the regular season going 77-64 in second place behind Reading who was 80-71 with the Phils going 4-3 against the Mets this year. Reading’s roster is loaded with talent including the EL MVP Brock Stassi (.863 OPS, 90 RBI), Manager of the Year Dusty Wathan, and three of the Phils top prospects SS J.P. Crawford, OF Nick Williams and pitcher Jake Thompson. The Phils led the league with 101 homeruns, RBI, doubles, hits, runs and OPS at .744 for the year.
- Game 1 today in Binghamton at 6:35 PM
- Game 2 in Binghamton on September 10 at 6:35 PM
- Game 3 at Reading on September 11 at 7:05 PM
- Game 4 at Reading on September 12 at 6:35 PM (if necessary)
- Game 5 at Reading on September 13 at 6:05 PM (if necessary)
The game one pitching matchup in the best-of-five series has Tyler Pill (6-0, 2.08 w/Binghamton) facing Reading starter Zach Eflin (8-6, 3.69 w/Phils). The B’Mets will be without Eastern League Rookie of the Year Gavin Cecchini who is out for the rest of the season with his hip impingement injury. Mets shortstop prospect Amed Rosario was called up on Sunday to take his roster spot.
Utility guy Josh Rodriguez has been sent back down to Binghamton today to help with the playoff run, he was second in EL with 19 homeruns and 76 RBI. The B’Mets are anchored by a great bullpen led by closer Paul Sewald who has dominated this year with a 1.75 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 24 saves. Also have Jon Velasquez (18 saves, 0.76 WHIP), Josh Smoker (3.00 ERA, 26 K’s in 21 innings) and Akeel Morris (1.09 WHIP, 35 K’s in 29.1 IP).
The Savannah Sand Gnats won the South Atlantic League Southern division titles in the first and second half finishing 84-53 for the year. Savannah has been the Mets A-ball affiliate since 2007 and played their last season at Grayson Stadium before they move to Columbia, South Carolina next year. They will face the defending champion Asheville Tourists who swept Savannah out of the playoffs last year in the first round. However, Savannah took the season series this year 13-7 over the Tourists.
- Game 1 today at Asheville at 7:05 PM
- Game 2 home on September 11 at 7:05 PM
- Game 3 home on September 12 at 6:05 PM
The 2013 SAL champion Savannah Sand Gnats finished the season going 27-5-1 in their last 33 games including a 18-game winning streak in August. They have been carried by their pitching staff that had a league best 3.12 ERA, 9 complete games, 14 shutouts, and gave up a league low 342 walks.
Shortstop and Most Valuable Player Luis Guillorme drove the Sand Gnats offense finishing second in the league with his .318 average. 142 hits and fourth with his .391 OBP. Postseason All-Star Wuilmer Becerra finished the season hitting .290/.342/.423 with 27 doubles, three triples, nine homeruns, 63 RBI, 67 runs and 16 stolen bases.
Corey Oswalt led the team in wins going 11-5 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 23 starts for Savannah. Ricky Knapp (8-3, 2.60), Casey Delgado (8-4, 3.17), Josh Prevost (6-4, 3.75), Chris Flexen (4-0, 1.87) and Martires Arias (7-5, 2.43) round out the rest of the Sand Gnats rotation. Arias will get the game one start against Rockies prospect Jesus Tinoco (7-6, 2.97) tonight.