6/30/18

RUMBLE PONIES GAME NOTES: Game #79 - Rumble Ponies (38-40) at Sea Dogs (29-49) - 6:00 PM

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BINGHAMTON RUMBLE PONIES
(38-40), 4th Eastern Division, 8.0 GB
(New York Mets)
PORTLAND SEA DOGS
(29-49), 6th Eastern Division, 17.0 GB
(Boston Red Sox)


Saturday, June 30, 2018  6:00 PM
Hadlock Field  Portland, ME
RHP Scott Copeland (5-2, 4.30) vs. RHP Mike Shawaryn (3-6, 3.97)
Broadcast: NewsRadio 1290 AM WNBF, MiLB.TV

MICKEY SO FINE IN SERIES OPENER: Binghamton made it back-to-back wins by taking a 3-2 final at Hadlock Field Friday against Portland. Mickey Jannis tossed six shutout innings after allowing two unearned runs in the opening inning, whiffing six Sea Dogs without issuing a walk. John Mora was the only Rumble Pony with more than one hit; he also swiped his second bag of the season.

BINGHAMTON STARTER: RHP Scott Copeland readies for his ninth Eastern League start of the season and first against Portland. In his last start, Copeland twirled seven shutout innings in a win against the Thunder. He tied a career-high nine strikeouts  in the winning effort, tossing a season-high 101 pitches.

YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Tim TebowLevi MichaelNabil CrismattDaniel Zamora, and Patrick Mazeika will represent the Rumble Ponies at the All-Star Classic, hosted by the Trenton Thunder on July 10 & 11. It marks the second straight season Binghamton sends five to the All-Star Game. All five Ponies will enjoy their first trip to the Eastern League All-Star Game. Zamora and Mazeika played in the FSL All-Star Game last year.

ONE-RUN FUN: Friday night’s one-run game was just Binghamton’s second since June 5, a loss at Harrisburg. The last time the Rumble Ponies won a one-run game prior to last night was June 2 in game one of a doubleheader against New Hampshire at NYSEG Stadium.

NICE TO BEAT YOU: The Rumble Ponies series-opening win over the Sea Dogs is their first against a team other than Trenton since June 7. That’s also the last time Binghamton put together back-to-back wins (June 6 & 7 Harrisburg). The Ponies last four wins had come against the Thunder.

A LITTLE SOMETHING MORA: John Mora finished 2-for-4 on Friday night, his 18th multi-hit game of the season. He’s tied with Levi Michael for the team lead in two-hit performances with 17.

DANNY BOY: LHP Daniel Zamora has not allowed a run in 17 of his last 21 appearances. His scoreless eighth inning earned him his eighth hold of the season, tied for second in the Eastern League. The 40th-round draft pick is a Mid-Season All Star for the second straight season (Bradenton, 2017).

MICKEY MAKING HIS MARK: On Friday, Mickey Jannis made his 58th career start with Binghamton, fourth most in franchise history. His 16th career win ranks 14th in franchise record books.

CLOSE CALLS: After playing in seven straight games decided by four or more runs, the Rumble Ponies have competed in three straight contests decided by three or fewer runs.
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Reese Kaplan -- Taking the High Road: Sandy Alderson's Positive Mets Accomplishments

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For a great many people looking at the sad state of the New York Mets, it’s easy to point fingers at many of the personnel decisions made that have led them to a struggle with the Miami Marlins to stay out of the cellar.  I was as vocal a critic of Sandy Alderson as anyone.  However, there were some highlights during his Mets career as the GM that suggest all was not bad while he called the shots.

The draft in particular has been the focus of many people claiming no eye for talent.  Upon perusing his selections over the past many years, while there may not be any Aaron Judges or Corey Klubers, there were some highly credible selections during his tenure:



Draft Picks

  • Pete Alonso – Fighting Jeff McNeil and Jarred Kelenic for number one prospect status
  • Matt Bowman – allowed to leave unprotected but has been very solid for St. Louis
  • Trey Cobb – Looking very good in the minors
  • Michael Conforto – Already made his first All-Star appearance
  • Justin Dunn -- Starting to show why he was picked when he was
  • Michael Fulmer – Went onto become Rookie of the Year and the centerpiece of the Yoenis Cespedes trade that secured the 2015 NL championship
  • Robert Gsellman – Lately he’s been in a slump but he was rock solid earlier this year
  • Seth Lugo – A solid major league pitcher
  • Brandon Nimmo – He gambled big and it’s looking like it’s paying off big, too 
  • David Peterson – He looks to have promise
  • Tim Peterson – It took awhile to get here but it looks like he was worth the wait
  • Kevin Plawecki – Injuries and a sinus condition stalled him, but he is a major league player

Trades

There have not been nearly as many trades made during Alderson’s tenure as some might have wished, but several stand out in the win column for him:

Carlos Beltran for Zack Wheeler Jon Niese for Neil Walker
Matt den Dekker for Jerry Blevins
R.A. Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas for Noah Syndergaard, John Buck, Travis d’Arnaud and Wuilmer Becerra
Miller Diaz and Matt Koch for Addison Reed
Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa for Yoenis Cespedes
John Gant and Robert Whalen for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson
Casey Meisner for Tyler Clippard
Max Wotell and Dilson Herrera for Jay Bruce




FA Acquisitions



Many will point to the bad deals such as Michael Cuddyer and Frank Francisco as representative of Alderson’s eye for the free agent marketplace, but he’s had some wins in this column as well:


Marlon Byrd

Asdrubal Cabrera
Bartolo Colon
Curtis Granderson
Scott Hairston
LaTroy Hawkins
Carlos Torres

Finally, there are those deals which are in separate categories which indeed show good judgment as a baseball executive:


Other
  • Choosing Lucas Duda over Ike Davis when they had redundant slugging, slow-footed first baseman came as a surprise to many, but Duda relatively flourished while Davis has had to reinvent himself as a pitcher
  • Sean Gilmartin was a Rule V draft selection who in his first year with the Mets delivered a rock solid 3-2 record over 50 games with a 2.67 ERA
  • Taylor Bucholz was a seemingly talented pitcher with a bad shoulder who came to the Mets as a free agent from the Rockies.  He was left on the DL ostensibly to recover but as it turns out he was actually suffering from depression.  Alderson humanely allowed this narrative until Buccholz gave the green light to reveal to the baseball world what was really happening
I certainly don't wish Sandy Alderson any further suffering and have to wonder how much his health impacted his focus on the team, and the corresponding pressure and stress negatively impacted his health.  Yes, it's fair to say that often the bad outweighed the good, but he did have many accomplishments on which he can hold his head high.

Here's hoping the three-headed GM monster can make some productive moves while they pay lip service about searching externally for a GM before handing it over to John Ricco permanently (the figurehead behind the Jeff Wilpon decision making).  
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Las Vegas 51s 8, Salt Lake Bees 0

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Press Release:  


The 51s defeated the Bees, 8-0, in the opener of the brief five-game homestand before a FIREWORKS Night crowd of 3,957 at Cashman Field.

Las Vegas won its fourth straight game and is 9-2 over its last 11 games.

51s right-hander Drew Gagnon recorded the victory with 7 shutout innings. He allowed 4 hits, walked 1 and tied his season-high with 10 strikeouts on 102 pitches (64 strikes). It was Las Vegas’ second shutout of the season

Las Vegas designated hitter Patrick Kivlehan was 2-for-4 with 5 RBI; a grand slam in the fifth inning and a solo homer in the seventh.

Second baseman Jeff McNeil (1-for-3, walk) hit a three-run homer to left field in the third inning.
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Dibrell And O'Neil Shine On Mound Despite Loss

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Press Release:


COLUMBIA, SC – The Fireflies’ rally fell short on Friday night at Spirit Communications Park. Columbia had runners at second and third in the bottom of the 10th, but stranded both and dropped the series finale 5-3 to the Tourists. Asheville claims this three-game set, taking two out of the three over a two-day span.

The two clubs entered extras, 2-2, and Asheville immediately plated three runs in the top of the 10th. The bottom of the 10th inning started with Gio Alfonzo at second base, per MiLB extra inning rules. After Hansel Moreno struck out, Tourists reliever Braxton Lorenzini walked back-to-back batters (Raphael Gladu and Blake Tiberi) and the Fireflies had the bases loaded with one out. Lorenzini’s control continued to haunt him – the righty threw a wild pitch to the net behind home plate and Alfonzo scored. The home team trailed 5-3, but Lorenzini settled down and punched out the final two batters to close the game.

Trailing 2-0 into the eighth, the Fireflies’ offense woke up. Moreno led off the frame with a single. The next batter, Gladu, also knocked a base hit into the outfield and Moreno advanced to third on the play. Matt Winaker put Columbia on the board and drove in Moreno with an RBI groundout. The Fireflies tied the game, 2-2, when Vasquez’s single plated Gladu.

Tony Dibrell and Conner O’Neil were impressive on the mound for the Fireflies. Dibrell, who made his 13th start of the season, struck out seven batters in six innings. The righty stranded two runners on base in three of his six frames. Meanwhile, O’Neil logged two scoreless innings and registered four strikeouts out of the bullpen. The 23-year-old has not allowed a run in his previous five outings.

Columbia had a couple of chances earlier in the game to score. A fifth-inning spark was halted when Quinn Brodey tried to stretch a double into a triple. Brodey was thrown out at third base on a questionable call for the first out of that frame. Winaker and Vasquez each singled with two outs in the sixth, but both were stranded on the base paths.
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Jannis Jabs Sea Dogs, Ponies Hang On in Portland

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Press Release:

PORTLAND, ME – Binghamton starter Mickey Jannis tossed seven strong innings to guide the Rumble Ponies past the Portland Sea Dogs, 3-2, on Friday night at Hadlock Field. Jannis kept Portland off the board in his final six frames, while Corey Taylor stranded two in the ninth to secure Binghamton’s second consecutive victory.

The Sea Dogs scratched out two runs against Jannis in the first inning on three hits and an error, but could not solve the Rumble Ponies knuckleballer after their early flourish. Starting with an inning-ending groundout in the first, Jannis retired 18 of the next 20 batters he faced, pushing into the seventh inning. Jantzen Witte’s double in the third and Tate Matheny’s two-bagger in the sixth were the only blemishes on Jannis’ tab during the stretch.

Portland’s last threat against the righty came in the seventh. Nick Lovullo poked a two-out single to left and stole second. With the potential game-tying run in scoring position, Jannis retired Johnny Bladel on a groundout to cap his night.

Binghamton’s offensive support was not flashy, but was enough. Kevin Taylor brought in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the first. Joey Wong added a run-producing groundout in the second. In the fifth, Taylor broke a 2-2 tie by pulling a run-scoring double play to second, plating Levi Michael with the eventual game-winning run.

The Rumble Ponies bullpen carried Jannis’ momentum to the finish line. Daniel Zamora entered in the eighth and set down the heart of Portland’s lineup in order. In the ninth, Corey Taylor allowed three singles, but kept the Sea Dogs off the board to claim his second save.

Jannis (5-2) allowed two unearned runs on six hits over seven innings to collect his first win since May 25. He did not issue a walk and struck out six.

POSTGAME NOTES: Binghamton won back-to-back games for the first time since June 6 & 7…Mickey Jannis made his 58thcareer start with Binghamton (4th in franchise history)…Jannis earned his 16th career win, putting him tied for 14th in franchise history in career victories
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Mets hang on 5-3 in opener at Clearwater

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (June 29, 2018) – The St. Lucie Mets raced out to a five-run lead and held on to beat the Clearwater Threshers 5-3 on Friday at Spectrum Field.

Andres Gimenez opened the scoring in the first inning with a solo home run. Luis Carpio belted a two-run homer with two outs in the second to make it 3-0. Both players tied Mike Paez for the team lead with five home runs.

Dash Winningham scored on a throwing error and Gene Cone hit a RBI sac fly in the fourth to put the Mets up 5-0.

That was enough run support for starter David Peterson. The big lefty navigated the first five innings scoreless despite walking four batters. Finally in the sixth inning the Threshers scored when Jose Pujols launched a two-run homer.

Peterson retired the next two batters before giving way to the bullpen. He allowed two runs and three hits over 5.2 innings to earn the win. He walked five batters.

Matt Pobereyko pitched 1.1 perfect innings of relief to get carry the 5-2 lead to the eighth inning.

Austin McGeorge escaped a jam in the eighth by stranding runners at the corners. He struck out Pujols then induced an inning-ending double play from Edgar Cabral.

The Threshers put together a major threat in the ninth against Stephen Villines. The first three batters singled to load the bases. However, Villines settled in and retired the next three batters in order to finish off the game. The only run he surrendered came on a sac fly.

Paez and Anthony Dimino had two hits apiece.

Clearwater starter Mauricio Llovera took the loss. He gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings.

The Mets won back-to-back games for the first time since May 31-June 1.
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6/29/18

Tom Brennan - METS' HELP THROUGH THE DRAFT

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Tom Brennan - METS' HELP THROUGH THE DRAFT

Psalm 121  begins: I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lordthe Maker of heaven and earth.

This is not (contrary to appearance) a religious article, but the concept applies here...we have experienced the Mets going 21-45 (.318) after their miraculous 11-1 season start. 

66 brutal, downward-spiraling games, causing that 11-1 to slip to 32-46 thru June 28. 

So: where does a Mets fan's help come from? 

One obvious place is: THE ANNUAL BASEBALL DRAFT.

It is amazing to think that after the 11-1 start, when the Metsies had baseball's best record and were in the 30th and final draft slot, the club from Queens has "rallied" to where the Mets are now in the 5th slot, and still haven't reached the end of June! 

Only Baltimore, Kansas City, the White Sox, and Miami have worse records (and higher draft slots) than the Mets. 

I think the Mets could easily slip to 4th considering that they have coughed up most of their lead over the Marlins over the past 2 1/2 months, and the Mets remain only 2 games ahead of the Marlins.  Logic would say the Mets would outplay the rebuilding Marlins the rest of the way, but logic would also have told you the Mets couldn't go 21-45 after going 11-1.

Can the Mets climb over any of the other 3 teams? 

It would have to be 3 more incredibly miserable months of Mets losing to do it - because those other 3 teams are playing putrid baseball - the Mets record is 10 games better than Baltimore, 8 games ahead of the Royals, and 5 games ahead of the White Sox.

Baltimore is 23-57 (.288), the Royals 25-55 (.313), and the White Sox are 28-52 (.350).  And none of those 3 are showing any signs whatsoever of getting hot.  In the last two weeks, the O's are 4-9, the Royals are 3-9, and the White Sox are 4-9. 

Anything is possible, but I am guessing the # 3 slot is the best the Mets will be able to do, short of playing a whole lot worse than they have played in their last 66 game stretch of UGLY.  I can see the Mets having a worse record than the White Sox and Marlins, but not the O's and Royals.

But excellent draft picks can help a winner - for instance, it's super-early in his new career, but Mets 2018 first rounder Jarred Kelenic not only looks like a real, athletic player, but is 8 for 13 in his first 3 games.

So if the Mets are not going to rebound, then:

LOSE, BABY, LOSE!

GET A GREAT PICK, AND WIN WITH REAL TALENT.

STANDINGS AS OF JUNE 28:
  • American League




      • Eastern Division

        W-L

        PCT

        GB

        L10

        STRK

        1






        55-27

        .671

        0

        7-3

        W4

        2






        52-26

        .667

        1

        6-4

        L1

        3






        39-41

        .488

        15

        7-3

        L1

        4






        37-43

        .463

        17

        5-5

        L2

        5






        23-57

        .288

        31

        3-7

        L5

        Western Division

        W-L

        PCT

        GB

        L10

        STRK

        1






        55-28

        .663

        0

        7-3

        W3

        2






        51-31

        .622

        3.5

        5-5

        W4

        3






        44-38

        .537

        10.5

        8-2

        W4

        4






        41-41

        .500

        13.5

        3-7

        L6

        5






        36-46

        .439

        18.5

        8-2

        W1

        Central Division

        W-L

        PCT

        GB

        L10

        STRK

        1






        44-35

        .557

        0

        8-2

        W1

        2






        35-42

        .455

        8

        4-6

        W1

        3






        36-46

        .439

        9.5

        1-9

        L9

        4






        28-52

        .350

        16.5

        4-6

        L1

        5






        25-55

        .313

        19.5

        3-7

        W1





    National League





    Central Division

    W-L

    PCT

    GB

    L10

    STRK

    1



    47-33

    .588

    0

    5-5

    W1

    2



    44-35

    .557

    2.5

    4-6

    W1

    3



    42-37

    .532

    4.5

    5-5

    L1

    4



    38-42

    .475

    9

    3-7

    W1

    5



    34-47

    .420

    13.5

    8-2

    L1

    Western Division

    W-L

    PCT

    GB

    L10

    STRK

    1



    47-34

    .580

    0

    8-2

    W3

    2



    43-37

    .538

    3.5

    6-4

    L1

    3



    42-40

    .512

    5.5

    7-3

    L1

    4



    39-42

    .481

    8

    5-5

    W1

    5



    36-47

    .434

    12

    2-8

    L1

    Eastern Division

    W-L

    PCT

    GB

    L10

    STRK

    1



    45-34

    .570

    0

    5-5

    L2

    2



    43-36

    .544

    2

    6-4

    W2

    3



    41-38

    .519

    4

    3-7

    L3

    4



    32-46

    .410

    12.5

    2-8

    L1

    5



    32-50

    .390

    14.5

    4-6

    L3

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