The Trip to Coca-Cola Park: IronPigs Series Recap
After a slow start to the series against Lehigh Valley, the Syracuse Mets finish with an 18-run outburst that gives a massive boost to the team before coming home.
- Jacksonville 59-46
- Lehigh Valley 58-47 (1.0 GB)
- Durham 57-48 (2.0 GB)
- Buffalo 54-50 (4.5 GB)
- Scranton/WB 54-50 (4.5 GB)
- Worcester 54-51 (5.0 GB)
- Norfolk 48-56 (10.5 GB)
- Rochester 47-58 (12.0 GB)
- Syracuse 47-58 (12.0 GB)
- Charlotte 40-64 (19.0 GB)
GB = Games Back
Around the Horn: A Series in Review
Results: 2-4 @ Lehigh Valley
August 2nd: L 6-13
August 3rd: L 1-6
August 4th: L 6-7
August 5th: W 6-3
August 6th: L 4-7
August 7th: W 18-2
The biggest issue for Syracuse this past week was the big inning. The IronPigs found a way to strike for a big crooked number in all of their wins. In those game changing innings, the Mets pitching staff struggled to find the zone as walks often came back to bite them. The offense had a productive week and really only struggled in Wednesday’s game. While 2-4 is not the record the team would have liked from their week of work, the way in which they finished the series should carry over into the next.
(Game 1) Mike Montgomery started and went three innings in game one. He gave up two runs which came in the first. He walked two consecutive batters with one out and Johan Camargo doubled to make 1-0. A passed ball got away from catcher Francisco Alvarez which brought in the second run. The game really got away from the Mets when Montgomery came out for Tim Adleman. He gave up five hits and six earned runs while recording just one out. Syracuse did make a final push in the 9th that would have felt more impactful had the IronPigs not put up another four runs in the bottom half of the 8th. Gosuke Katoh stood out at the plate with three hits and 3 RBIs. Danial Palka and Alvarez also provided multi-hit games out of the three-four spots in the lineup. The final in this one was 13-6.
(Game 2) After a rough game one the pitching staff needed a rebound. Trevor Cahill, who was released a few days after this game, got the start and gave up a big first inning. Two nights in a row where Syracuse started the game in a hole. Two walks, three singles and another first inning passed ball put the Mets down 4-0. Those four runs looked even more daunting after seeing the way Michael Plassmeyer was throwing. He was excellent and was pitching a scoreless ballgame until Alvarez homered to left to lead off the 7th. Plassmeyer gave up four hits and one earned run with 11 strikeouts. The Mets collectively struck out 14 times. There were not any multi-hit performances for Syracuse as Alvarez stood out with his home run and Travis Blankenhorn doubled. The final was 6-1 in what was an underwhelming game from the Mets.
(Game 3) For a neutral spectator this would have been the game to watch. Another big first inning for Lehigh Valley was a cause for concern. Two walks and a hit-by-pitch hurt starting pitcher Nate Fisher. The 26-year-old settled in after the first frame and made it through four complete innings without giving up another run. Syracuse scored their first run in the 4th as Gosuke Katoh drove in Nick Plummer. The Mets took control in the middle innings as they were able to steal the lead in the 5th. With the bases loaded Blankenhorn worked a walk to bring in Deven Marrero for the first run. Plummer then singled to center to score Alvarez and Dominic Smith. The Met’s 4-3 lead would hold all the way into the 9th. The lead even grew as Perez hit a solo shot to right. A Hit-by-pitch, walk, double and before another walk. That is how the bottom of the 9th started. The game was then tied by Dalton Guthrie on a force play. Bryce Montes de Oca was able to bear down, however, and struck out two consecutive batters to get out of the inning. Nick Plummer gave the Mets the lead in the 10th inning but the IronPigs met that one run with three hits in a row and a walk-off walk to wrap up the game. It was a hard-fought contest, but it was a game where the Mets seemed in control aside from the 1st and 9th.
(Game 4) The Mets finally broke into the win column behind the arm of Connor Grey. Six complete innings of two-hit baseball was exactly the start his team needed. He did give up three walks, but also managed three strikeouts. Palka started the scoring for Syracuse with an early home run that set the pace. It also gave the Mets a first inning lead for the first time all series. The third inning saw three more runs for the Mets. Plummer doubled to bring in Marrero. Francisco Alvarez added on with a two-run home run of his own to extend the lead to 4-0. The IronPigs made a push with two one-run innings headed by a Jorge Bonifacio homer in the 7th. Blankenhorn and Dini had an answer for Syracuse as each had an RBI single in the top half of the 8th to make it 6-2. Despite bases loaded and a run walked in, the door was closed by Rob Zastryzny and the Mets won. Palka, Blankenhorn and Marrero all had multi-hit games for Syracuse.
(Game 5) This was the slowest start to a game all series. Both teams were scoreless for the first three innings. Tim Adleman got the start for the Mets and his counterpart was Kent Emanuel. Despite the impressive first three innings from both, each starter was restricted by a short leash. Lehigh Valley struck first in the bottom of the 4th with a Donny Sands RBI double to center. The Mets had a quick answer in the next half inning where Tzu-Wei Lin brought home JT Riddle with an RBI single. Lin would score in the same inning on a balk giving Syracuse a 2-1 lead. The IronPigs tied things up in the bottom of the 5th after a Michael Perez throwing error. Syracuse got the lead right back in the 7th after Ofreidy Gomez threw a wild pitch. Plummer crossed the plate after Nick Dini lifted the ball softly to left. Sands doubled to right in the bottom half of the 7th and cut the score back down to 4-3. Lehigh Valley sealed the game in the 8th with 4 runs. Again, the big inning came back to bite the Mets. Locke St. John, who would receive the loss, came in for that inning and started it out with a hit by pitch. Justin Williams then singled before pinch hitter Rafael Marchan was also hit. The bases were then loaded with one out. Scott Kingery was given a free pass on four pitches after a mound visit that tied the game at four. Yairo Munoz sealed the deal for the IronPigs with a three-run double. Bubby Rossman got the win and Tyler Cyr recorded the save for Lehigh Valley.
(Game 6) This is the game that really turned the feel of this series around. The Mets were taking on a top team in the league and started out 0-3. They entered the day with 1-4 record and needed to flip the script. That final game on the road turned into a statement. What is this Syracuse team capable of? 18 Runs and 18 hits is one place to start. Trey Cobb came in relief to deliver three innings of one hit baseball before the rest of the bullpen continued to shut the door. Clay, Montes de Oca and Alvarez each took an inning out of the pen, all of which were scoreless. With credit to the pitching staff out of the way, the offense really did steal the show. Four Syracuse hitters had three hits, four of batters had multiple RBIs and collectively the team only struck out five times over the course of the game. There were three big innings for the Mets offense. The first came in the 2nd where Syracuse scored four runs. Deven Marrero tripled to drive in the first three runs before Nick Plummer doubled to right to bring home Marrero. A two-run homer from Chris Sharpe made it 4-2 but the offense would get that back and more in the 4th. A bases loaded walk to Plummer, a passed ball and an RBI single from Dominic Smith extended the lead to 7-2. Then a wild pitch from Colton Eastman brought in Plummer before three consecutive hits for the Mets. Blankenhorn scored one with a single, Katoh did the same with a double, and the scoring in the 4th finally ended after a two-run single to right from Marrero. With a 12-2 lead in the 6th the Mets were not done. Khalil Lee doubled to center to score two more ahead of a JT Riddle double that brought home Lee. Blankenhorn made it 16 runs with a 7th inning groundout to first. The final two came in the 9th as a fielding error and a Blankenhorn single put the finishing touches on a much-needed offensive outburst.
Upcoming Series Schedule: Home Vs. Buffalo (Promotion for the game)
Tuesday: 6:35 pm EDT (Taco Tuesday)
Wednesday: 6:35 pm EDT (All-You-Can-Eat Wednesday)
Thursday: 6:35 pm EDT (Dollar Thursday)
Friday: 6:35 pm EDT (Craft Beer & Fireworks Friday)
Saturday: 6:35 pm EDT (Salt City Saturday)
Sunday: 1:05 pm EDT (Post-game Kids Run the Bases)
Series Standouts: Pitcher of the Week: #39 Connor Grey- W, 6 IP, 2 hits, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 Ks
Position Player of the Week: #21 Nick Plummer- 24 ABs, 8 hits (3 XB), 5 runs, 7 RBI, 5 BB
What to Watch this Week: Two things are true for the Bison. They finished with a series loss to Scranton W/B 3-2 after Sunday’s game was suspended. Buffalo also to take on the 2nd place Lehigh Valley IronPigs after this series with Syracuse. In a normal circumstance they might overlook Syracuse. That would be the case if the Mets hadn’t score 18 runs on 18 hits Sunday night. I expect this one to be a battle all week. This series could help to establish Buffalo as a serious threat, or it could put the Mets back in the playoff conversation depending on who comes out on top. Ultimately Syracuse needs to try to win most, if not all, their remaining series. They need to make up the majority of the 12.0 games they currently trail Jacksonville by to have a shot. Francisco Alvarez will be the player to watch for this series. His two homers and some timely hitting against the IronPigs give the feeling that he could explode for even more now that the club is back home. Also look out for Jose Butto and Brett Baty to make a splash this series after their promotion to AAA. Two productive prospects that have earned the chance to prove themselves at the next level.
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