Lara Stong, Dilson's Terrific but Ejected, and the Sea Dogs Walk-Off with a Win | Astromets Mind

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lara Stong, Dilson's Terrific but Ejected, and the Sea Dogs Walk-Off with a Win

Binghamton Mets @ Portland Sea Dogs

July 22, 2014




W: Ruiz (2-0, 1.88 ERA); Velasquez (4-3, 3.22 ERA)

The Highlights:


Rainy Lara (4.75 ERA) – 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, BB, 4 SO, HR, 96 Pitches (62 Strikes), 2 GO: 5 FO


Kyle Johnson – 1-4, 2B, 2 SO
Dilson Herrera – 3-4, R, 3B (20), HR (4), RBI (26)
Travis Taijeron – 2-3, 2 R, HR (12), RBI (47)

Recap with gif highlights:

            The Binghamton Mets lost their second straight game against the Portland Sea Dogs Tuesday night when Jonathan Roof doubled home Blake Swihart from first in the bottom of the 9th. The losing pitcher Jon Velasquez had replaced lefty Chase Huchingson with two outs in the 7th and had a 35-pitch count when the game ended – it happens, Velasquez has been one of the B-Mets most reliable relief pitchers this year. The Mets offense could not get much going all night, as only three players managed hits – though four of six hits were for extra bases – and they combined for nine strikeouts. The loss puts the Mets 5.5 games back of the first place Sea Dogs, although they are still comfortably ahead of the third place Rock Cats (15 games back of Portland), and on pace for a round-1 playoff showdown with Portland.


1st inning – 10 pitches, 8 strikes

            Lara coming out attacking quickly, getting leadoff hitter Derrik Gibson to strikeout swinging at a 1-2 slider in the dirt within a minute. He was similarly aggressive with the second batter Blake Swihart, although it took him an extra pitch before Lara caught Swihart looking at a backdoor slider on the outside corner with a 1-2 count – Swihart fouled off the first 1-2 pitch. The third batter of the inning hit the first pitch right at Dilson for an easy 4-3 putout. Great inning from Lara, who the announcers kept saying looks a lot like Gabreil Ynoa (Monday night’s pitcher). Stuff-wise, Ynoa has a much better fastball, and his secondary pitches seem sharper too.

2nd inning – 20 pitches, 11 strikes

            Lara won a 7-pitch battle with the leadoff hitter when he got him to pop out to Rivera at the edge of the outfield grass – he threw him a 3-2 slider. Michael Almanzar then hit a pop up along the RF line that deflected off of a diving Travis Taijeron – hard to tell if it bounced out of his glove or in front of him, but it was a great effort. Next up was Stefan Welch, who flew out to medium-depth CF on a 3-2 breaking ball. Lara ended the threat when he got Shannon Wilkerson to fly out to RF on a 3-1 fastball. Lara was not in good pitchers counts during the 2nd, finding himself behind 3-2 and 2-1 in 3/4 at bats. All four fly balls had significant airtime and could be considered pop ups, so it was a successful inning in that respect.

3rd inning – 10 pitches, 7 strikes

            Lara fell behind the leadoff batter Peter Hissey 2-0, and then Hissey rocketed a 2-1 fastball to the left-center field-warning track. Fortunately, Nimmo got on his horses and tracked it down without a problem.

Nimmo runs a long way for this catch
            Lara had no problem with the second batter Heiker Meneses, retiring him on a strikeout with three pitches – painted the inside corner, painted the outside corner, threw a slider that started off the plate away and that Meneses had no chance of making contact with. Lara finished the 1-2-3 inning by inducing another pop out, this one to Dilson on the infield. It was like the loud contact from Hissey woke him up, as he suddenly looked as sharp as he had in the 1st inning.

4th inning – 33 pitches, 22 strikes

            Lara retired the leadoff hitter Swihart, although he made solid contact on a line drive right at Dilson. Next up was Ryan Lavarnway, and Lara got ahead 0-1 and 1-2 on some close calls in his favor – he was clearly nibbling. He lost his advantage by missing with consecutive sliders that Lavarnway was unimpressed with. Lara came back with a 3-2 fastball and Lavarnway crushed it to right-center field as if it were a bullpen fastball – game tied at 1. Sean Coyle would follow with a single grounded up the middle after fouling off four straight pitches – Rivera was playing him to pull, so he had no chance at the groundball. Lara fell behind the next batter Michael Almanzar 2-0, but Almanzar would flare out to shallow RF on a 2-2 slider. Lara then got ahead of Stefan Welch 0-2 before Welch lined a 1-2 fastball into RF and this happened.

Taijeron's throw beat Almanzar to 3B, but Lawley couldn't handle it cleanly
            Welch would end up at 2B on the dropped catch by Lawley. Shannon Wilkerson followed by looping an RBI single into LF. The throw came home afer the hit, but Lara cut it off and the Mets had Wilkerson caught between 1B and 2B when this happened.

The Mets dropped potential outs on consecutive plays

Despite getting ahead of the final batter of the inning Hissey 1-2, the count would go full before Hissey flied out to Nimmo about fifteen feet in front of the track.

5th inning – 16 pitches, 10 strikes

            Lara got a weak pop out in foul territory by Meneses to start the inning. He wasn’t getting Sea Dogs hitters to chase out of the zone throughout the night, and Gibson had no problem watching all five pitches as he drew a one-out walk. He was ahead of Swihart 0-2, but Swihart looped a single that fell in front of Nimmo to the right of center field – Gibson would go to 3B without a throw. Fortunately, Lara did not challenge Lavarnway with another fastball, instead getting him to hit an offspeed pitch at T.J. Rivera to start this 6-4-3 double play.

Dilson's throw is high but Burgamy recovers to make a tag

6th inning – 6 pitches, 4 strikes

            Lara would ‘retire’ both batters he faced in the 6th in short order, but was then removed with one out so that the southpaw Chase Huchingson could face the lefty-hitting Welch – that’s not a typo, let me explain. After getting the first batter to pop out to Lawley in foul territory, Lara ended his day by striking out Almanzar on three pitches – a slider in the dirt for a swinging strike, a fastball fouled back, and then a high fastball up and in that Almanzar swung at. Unfortunately, Kai could not reach up high enough to cleanly catch the fastball, and Almanzar would reach 1B safely.

Rest of the Game

            Kyle Johnson very nearly gave the Mets a 1-0 lead on the second pitch of the night, as he crushed one off the top of the monster in left-center field. Unfortunately, he would be stranded at 2B.

Johnson just missed a homerun here
Who puts a 30 foot wall in left field?
            Travis Taijeron led off the 3rd with this single lined into LF.

First hit of the night for Taijeron
            After the next two Mets were retired, Dilson would line this single into RF for his first hit of the night.

Herrera hits everything

            Burgamy would follow with a walk to load the bases and the Mets took a 1-0 lead when a wild pitch allowed Taijeron to score from 3B. After the Sea Dogs took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the 4th, Taijeron led off the 5th with a solo blast to deep center field.

This ball was hit so deep the cameras never picked it up
            Not to be outdone, Dilson would tie the game up with a solo blast of his own in the 5th. After swinging way to early on a 0-1 change-up, Dilson turned on the 0-2 change-up and hit it off the net above the mini monster in LF.

Dilson does everything
            Dilson was not done for the night though, as he’d hit this one-out triple in the 8th.

Just out of the reach of Hissey, who appears to come down awkwardly on his ankle

After Brian Burgamy was intentionally walked, Lawley would strike out swinging on a pitch in the dirt. The strikeout pitch got away from the catcher, so Dilson broke for home, but he was called out, although he clearly did not like the call.

It's a close, dangerous play at home
This reaction is auto-eject worthy though
This part makes me laugh
This 3-part picture strongly suggests that he was out, sorry Dilson

            The game ended on this walkoff double off the wall in LF – the ball bounced so far from Johnson that there could be no play anywhere. Experienced Portland/Boston centerfielders know to be in a position to backup their left fielders on plays off the big LF walls in their home parks, but Nimmo did not provide that backup on this play – not placing blame on him, just making a note.

Johnson misses the catch against the wall and it bounces a long way back towards the infield

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