Flores, Verrett at Their Best, but Bullpen Blows it in the 8th for 51s | Astromets Mind

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Flores, Verrett at Their Best, but Bullpen Blows it in the 8th for 51s

May 2, 2014


Las Vegas



The Highlights:


Verrett (ND, 4.18 ERA) – 7 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, HR, 85 pitches, 60 strikes (71%), 27 batters faced, 13 groundouts, 4 fly outs

Goeddel – 0.2 IP, 2 SO, 9 pitches, 6 strikes


Flores – 4-5, 3 R, 2 RBI (16), 2 HR (3), SO

Brown – 2-4, SO

∂en Dekker – 2-4, SO

Teagarden – 1-2, 2 BB


            On a cold night in Tacoma, fans bundled up under their blankets and settled in for what was a pitcher’s duel until the 8th inning. Las Vegas 51s starter Logan Verrett bounced back impressively after a rough start against this same Tacoma team this past Sunday, when he need 92 pitches (57 strikes, 62%) to get through 5 IP, giving up five runs (three earned) off seven hits and a walk along the way. Unfortunately for the 51s, Tacoma starter Erasmis Ramirez brought his A-game, striking out eight batters over 5.2 IP on his birthday (his birthday gift was the high strike zone called by the home plate umpire), though he departed trailing 1-0. Fans would finally have something to get out of their seats about in the 8th inning, as both teams would break through for some runs. First, Las Vegas broke open a 1-1 tie with two runs in the top of the inning, and then Tacoma rallied to take their first lead of the game against the combination of Joel Carreno and Zack Thornton, scoring five runs before Erik Goeddel came in to retire the last two hitters swinging at his fastball.
            The biggest positive takeaways for fans of the 51s and Mets: Logan Verrett’s 7 sparkling innings; the two HR’s for Flores, as part of a four hit night while playing shortstop – he did fine on the groundballs but overran a tough pop up in the 8th (see play-by-play for my notes); M∂D now has four multiple hit games in his last six; Andrew Brown has had at least one hit in every game he’s played for the 51s, including seven extra base hits; and Erik Goeddel came in and blew both hitters away with his fastball (not noticing many velocity readings given by these Tacoma announcers). On the negative side: Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Eric Campbell combined for a walk and four strikeouts in their ten plate appearances out of the 1-2 spot, which meant no one was on base for any of Wilmer’s plate appearances, unfortunate for his two HR’s; Joel Carreno was pulled after walking the first two hitters in the 8th on ten pitches; Zack Thornton gave up a double, intentional walk, bases loaded walk, sac fly, single, walk (on a pitch in the dirt), and pop single before being removed with three runs charged against him already and the bases still loaded.
            Logan Verrett worked quickly and down in the strike zone, which is where he needs to live if he wants to be successful. As a result, he got thirteen groundouts in his 7 IP, with only five hits allowed. He was mostly able to limit the hard contact – the Chris Taylor homerun and Gabriel Noriega double were the only mistake pitches that got punished. I wouldn’t call the 51s infield defense all that great yet (Lutz has a solid reputation), but they didn’t do anything to hurt Verrett Friday night, which was all he needed to coast through seven innings on only 85 pitches. The five hits are a season low, besting the seven he allowed last time against Tacoma, after eight a piece in his first five starts. Combined, he’s now 1-1 with a 3 ERA in his last two starts, both against the PCL’s best offense (best AVG and SLG, Las Vegas paces them in OBP). It’s a wonderfully small sample size, but Logan Verrett has only given up 2 earned runs over the first two innings combined across his six starts, and is a strike thrower (65% strikes on the season now). It’s hard to look at that and not wonder what his life as a reliever in the Mets bullpen might be like someday – though he’s probably far down on their depth chart for now. It’s nice to see his stuff generate a start like this, but he still needs to do this consistently moving forward to have a chance as a starter at the next level.
            Looking forward, the 51s will look to bounce back behind Dana Eveland opposite Mark Rogers of the Rainiers Saturday evening starting at 8:05 PM ET. Eveland, coming off his best start of the season, may not have many starts left for the 51s, as John Lannan is due to join the team and be stretched out soon and Eveland was in the 51s pen to start the season.

Play By Play

1st inning
1)   LF Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a high pop out behind 3B. 5/P5D
2)   2B Eric Campbell struck out looking at a nasty curve that buckled his knees.
3)   SS Wilmer Flores crushed one out to LF.
4)   DH Allan Dykstra popped out to about the same place as Kirk. 5/P5D
Totals: 1 R, HR, SO
1)   SS Nick Franklin walked on five pitches.
2)   2B Chris Taylor hit a medium roller at Flores to start a double play. 643/G6
3)   CF James Jones hit a medium chopper at Campbell. 43/G4
Totals: BB, GIDP
2nd inning
1)   RF Andrew Brown struck out swinging at a curveball that dropped out of the strike zone and just outside.
2)   1B Brandon Allen roped a liner into right-center field that got just under a diving Jones in CF, but was backed up by Blash. S9/L89
3)   3B Zach Lutz struck out swinging.
4)   CF Matt ∂en Dekker lined out to the LF warning track. 7/L7D
Totals: H, 2 SO, LOBster
1)   1B Jesus Montero pulled a grounder to Wilmer but they only showed Montero ‘running’ up the line. 63/G6
2)   DH Ty Kelly pulled a grounder down to Allen. 3u/G3
3)   RF Jabari Blash lined a single into LF. S7/L7S
4)   3B Gabriel Noriega flied out to CF – very spacious oufield, 425 to CF. 8/F8
Totals:  H, LOBster
3rd inning
1)   C Taylor Teagarden took fives pitches to walk.
2)   Nieuwenhuis struck out swinging on some heat at the belt.
3)   Campbell hit a slow chopper towards SS that Franklin charged to start a double play – he was able to field it and make a quick throw
Totals: BB, SO, GIDP
1)   C Jesus Sucre hit a weak chopper charged by Campbell. 43/G4
2)   LF Xavier Avery hit a soft liner over the head of Flores. S7/L7S
3)   Franklin pulled a medium chopper to the right of Campbell for a force out at 2B. 46/G4
4)   Taylor hit a chopper in the 2B hole flagged down by Campbell. 43/G34D
Totals: H, LOBster
4th inning
1)   Flores struck out swinging.
2)   Dykstra walked.
3)   Brown hit a hard grounder towards the SS hole that was cut off by the 3B to start a double play. 543/G56
Totals: BB, SO, GIDP
1)   Jones hit a medium grounder up the middle that Flores moved to his left smoothly to get. 63/G6M
2)   Montero flied out to deep LF. 7/F7D
3)   Kelly walked
4)   Blash hit a high fly ball a few steps in front of the warning track in RF. 9/F9D
Totals: BB, LOBster
5th inning  
1)   Allen grounded out weakly to the right of the 1B.
2)   Lutz struck out looking.
3)   ∂en Dekker hit a hard grounder up the middle for a single. S8/G6M
4)   Teagarden walked on a 3-2 fastball that missed inside.
5)   Nieuwenhuis struck out looking at an inside fastball – a call that Kirk did not agree with, throwing his arms up in the air and talking with the ump for a few seconds after the at-bat.
Totals: H, 2 SO, LOBster
1)   Noriega hit a medium grounder towards SS. 63/G6
2)   Sucre hit a hard grounder that deflected off of Lutz for an infield single. S5/G5
3)   Avery flied out to LF. 7/F7
4)   Franklin hit a line drive at Wilmer. 6/L56
Totals: H, LOBster
6th inning
1)   Campbell struck out swinging.
2)   Flores hit a flare out to RF that was misjudged by the RF – he went back initially and was unable to complete a sliding attempt. S9/F9
3)   Dykstra flied out to right-center field. 8/F89
4)   Brown hit a weak chopper up the middle that was fielded by Taylor behind 2B, but he had no play. S4/G4M
(Substitution: Nick Hill pitching for Tacoma)
5)   Allen flared the first pitch behind 3B. Hill is a lefty with a basically sidearm delivery. 5/P5D
Totals: 2 H, SO, 2 LOBsters
1)   Taylor crushed a high fastball over the wall in left-center field.
2)   Jones pulled a medium grounder to Campbell. 43/G4
3)   Montero hit a medium grounder at Flores. 63/G6
4)   Kelly struck out swinging.
Totals: R, H, HR, SO
7th inning
1)   Lutz flied out to RF on the first pitch.
2)   ∂en Dekker pulled a grounder into the 2B hole for a single. S9/G34D
3)   Teagarden roped a single into LF. S7/L7S
4)   Nieuwenhuis walked.
(Substitution: Jonathan Arias pitching for Tacoma)
5)   Campbell hit a medium chopper at the 3B, who was playing on the edge of the infield grass, and threw home to start a double play. 523/G5S
Totals: 2 H, BB, GIDP, 2 LOBsters
1)   Blash struck out swinging on a breaking ball down and away.
2)   Noriega hit a fly ball to the warning track in CF, just out of the reach of a retreating M∂D, who was going for the Willie Mays style catch. 2B8/F8D
3)   Sucre hit a weak chopper up the middle. 43/G4MS
4)   Avery hit a medium grounder towards the 2B hole. 43/G34
Totals: H, 2B, SO, LOBster
8th inning
1)   Flores looped a single into shallow LF. S7/L7S
2)   Dykstra hit a hard liner down the RF line for an RBI double. 2B9/L9L
(Substitution: Anthony Seratelli running for Dykstra)
3)   Brown lined a single that one-hopped the LF. S7/L7
4)   Allen hit a soft grounder up the middle that Franklin fielded and threw home for a fielder’s choice. The throw beat Seratelli, but he was ruled to have slid under the tag of the catcher. FC62/G6MS
*Before the next pitch, the home plate umpire ejected Sucre from the game for still arguing the last call. Manager Roy Howell came out to argue and was ejected as well.
(Substitution: Humberto Quintero catching for Tacoma)
5)   Lutz was behind 0-2 for several pitches before taking a breaking ball for strike three.
*Wild pitch allowed the runners to advance
6)   ∂en Dekker struck out swinging at a breaking ball in the dirt.
7)   Teagarden hit a grounder slowly to 3B. 53/G5S
Totals: 2 R, 3 H, 2 SO, 2 LOBsters
Bottom (Substitution: Joel Carreno pitching for Las Vegas)
1)   Franklin walked on five pitches.
2)   Taylor walked on five pitches.
(Substitution: Zack Thornton pitching for Las Vegas)
3)   Jones hit a low line drive into RF that nearly rolled to the wall for an RBI double. 2B9/L9LS
4)   Montero was walked intentionally. Bases loaded.
5)   Kelly walked to score Taylor from 3B.
6)   Blash hit a fly ball to deep left-center field (edge of the track) for a sac fly. Montero advanced to 3B. SF8/F78D
7)   Noriega lined an RBI single to CF. Kelly advanced to 3B. S8/L8S
8)   Quintero walked on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt. Bases loaded
9)   Avery hit a pop up behind the SS hole with the infield drawn in that Flores had a long way to run on and actually overran by a step, allowing it to fall in for an RBI single. I’ve seen the infield fly rule called on balls hit deeper into the OF, so the umpires must have judged this a difficult play based on where the infield was. S6/P56D
(Substitution: Erik Goeddel pitching for Las Vegas)
10)         Franklin struck out swinging on a fastball.
11)         Taylor struck out swinging on a fastball.
Totals: 5 R, 3 H, 2B, 5 BB (1 IBB), SF, 2 SO, 3 LOBsters
9th inning
Top  (Substitution: Logan Bawcom pitching, Leury Bonilla playing 3B and batting 7th for Tacoma)
1)   Nieuwenhuis popped out behind the SS. 6/P6MD
2)   Campbell flared an out to CF. 8/F8
3)   Flores pulled a HR into the LF corner.
4)   DH Seratelli struck out looking at a high fastball on the outside corner.
Totals: R, H, HR, SO, Save (3)
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