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Mets Daily Farm Report, 8/11/2014: Why does Domingo Tapia toy with us so?

Catch up on all of yesterday’s minor league action from around the Mets farm system!

Wuilmer Becerra
Wuilmer Becerra
Bryan Green

*All results from games played on Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Triple-A - Las Vegas 51's (69-54)_______________________________________


Logan Verrett walked Mike Baxter to start the game, and followed that up by giving up a Joc Pederson single. As has been his MO all season, Verrett had a hard time with runners on the base paths- hitters were hitting .342 against him when men are on base coming into the game- and allowed both Baxter and Pederson to score. Fortunately, the Texas right-hander was able to put the shaky inning behind him, and throw quality innings for the rest of his start. He scattered two more hits, walked another two, and threw a wild pitch over the next six innings.

Despite being extremely shaky, the 51s were not able to get much going against Isotopes starter Matt Magill. The Dodgers prospect- who is not enjoying a good year- did not allow a hit in his three innings of work, but he walked five batters. In the 1st, Magill walked Allan Dykstra and Andrew Brown, but eventually stranded them on third and second, respectively. In the 2nd, he walked Taylor Teagarden and Anthony Seratelli, stranding them at second and first, respectively. In the 3rd, he walked Dykstra once again, but was able to navigate out of the inning. By that point, however, he was at 63 pitches, only 29 of them for strikes. Manager Damon Berryhill pulled the plug on him after three innings, replacing the beleaguer righty with Bruce Billings. Billings had no problems in the 5th- he even hit a bloop single when he came up to bat in the bottom of the inning- but things fell apart for him in the 6th. The 51s put up a six spot in the that inning, batting around. All in all, Las Vegas notched seven hits in the inning alone, three singles (Danny Muno, Matt Reynolds, and Seratelli), three doubles (Dykstra, Brown, and Cory Vaughn), and a home run (Teagarden). For good measure, the 51s scored one more run, an RBI single off the bat of Teagarden in the bottom of the 7th that scored Matt Reynolds.

While that extra run wasn't exactly needed, it was welcome, as the bullpen was something of an adventure. Jack Leathersich and Miguel Socolovich combined to pitch the 8th, the latter allowing a hit that was charged to the former, but was unearned because of an Allan Dykstra fielding error. Zack Thornton started the 9th, and had issues. He induced a routine ground ball to start the inning off, but was unable to record another out, allowing a pair of singles, walking a pair, and uncorking a wild pitch. Chase Bradford came in to finish things off, notching those two last outs at the expense of a single run, charged to Thornton.

Double-A - Binghamton Mets (72-48)_____________________________________


Steven Matz was fairly effective without having his best stuff, much like his last start. His biggest issue on the afternoon was the pitch count, once again mirroring what happened the last time he toed the rubber. He ran the count full more than a few times, and the Senators were hitting a lot of foul balls- Quincy Latimore alone worked out an eleven pitch at-bat in the 1st, and followed that up with a seven pitch at-bat in the 3rd. Still, because he was able to limit Harrisburg to only four hits, and because the defense helped him out by turning three double plays, Matz was able to pitch into the 7th.

James Simmons, the Harrisburg starter, also turned in a fairly strong start. In the 3rd, he gave up an RBI triple to Brandon Nimmo, and in the 4th, T.J. Rivera and Wilfredo Tovar both drove in a run apiece, making it a 3-0 ballgame. Though he settled back down and did not allow any more runs to score, the damage was already done. His team was unable to get anything going against Matz, or Randy Fontanez in the last two innings, and as a result, he got handed his third AA loss of the year.

Advanced-A - St. Lucie Mets (24-22 / 64-51)_____________________________________


Luis Cessa was scheduled to start this game, but he was feeling under the weather and scratched, so Domingo Tapia got the start instead. The enigmatic Dominican had been pitching fairly well as of late- in four starts in July (23 innings), he posted a 2.35 ERA, with roughly a 2:1 K:BB ratio, holding opponents to a .244 average- but yesterday afternoon was the best that he's looked in a long time. While his stat line for the day was fairly pedestrian, he looked good on the mound. His fastball was sitting around 94-95 MPH, and it had a lot of sink. He induced 14 groundballs, which is what you want to see from Tapia.

In the bottom of the 6th, Jeff McNeil started the inning off with a triple, and Gavin Cecchini followed that up with a sac fly, breaking the 0-0 stalemate. With the way Tapia was pitching, it looked like that could've been the difference in the ballgame, but in the top of the 7th, his historic walk issues came back to bite him. After giving up a one out Max Moroff double, Tapia walked the next two batters to load up the bases. T.J. Chism was brought in to end the threat, but picked up where Tapia left off, walking catcher Jin-De Jhang to force in a run and allowing a single to third baseman Ashley Ponce before inducing that inning-ending double play. A pair of runs scored- both inherited runners charged to Tapia- giving Bradenton the lead. St. Lucie threatened, getting men in scoring position in the bottom of the 7th and bottom of the 9th, but they were unable to cash in either time, and dropped the second game of the three-game series.

Low-A - Savannah Sand Gnats (31-19 / 75-41)__________________________________

SAVANNAH 6, AUGUSTA 4 / 7  (Box)

Yeixon Ruiz led off the ballgame with a single, and eventually came around to score on a fielding error, giving the Sand Gnats a quick 1-0 lead and previewing what would be a down-and-dirty, messy game thanks to passing showers in the area. Savannah added on two more runs- two legitimate runs- in the top of the 3rd, but what goes around comes around. In the bottom of the inning, Ruiz bobbled a routine grounder, allowing three unearned runs to score. Alex Panteliodis gave up a more legitimate earned run right before the lanky shortstop made his 21st error, so four Augusta runs scored in total in the 3rd, giving the GreenJackets a slim 4-3 lead over the Sand Gnats. Savannah surged late, rallying for two runs in the 6th and one more in the 7th. After Ty Ross struck out in the bottom of the 7th- prompting Augusta manager Mike Goff to argue and get ejected from the ballgame- the game was put on hold as the rain got heavier. Eventually, the decision was made to just call things, giving Savannah a rain-shortened win.

Short-A - Brooklyn Cyclones (30-26)__________________________________


With 397, the Batavia Muckdogs have the 6th least strikeouts in the NY-Penn League this season, behind the Jammers (339), Spikes (361), Tigers (364), ValleyCats (375), and Scrappers (378). With the way Marcos Molina carved them up on Saturday, and how Alberto Baldonado performed yesterday afternoon, you'd never know that. The left-handed Panamanian struck out seven over five innings, scattering six hits. Five of his strikeouts were swinging, while the remaining two were looking. He ran into a little trouble in the 2nd and the 3rd, luckily getting out of both innings stranding runners in scoring position, but wasn't able to navigate out of the bottom of the 4th without being bitten. A pair of throwing errors Tomas Nido and Amed Rosario opened the door for two runs to score, both unearned. The Cyclones were able to recoup one of those runs almost immediately, scoring a run in the top of the 5th, and two innings later, scored another to tie the game back up.

In the 9th, Batavia replaced Alex Carreras with left-hander James Buckelew. After walking his first two batters, Tucker Tharp laid down his second consecutive sacrifice bunt to move the recently promoted Pedro Perez to third and Tyler Moore to second- the same exact scenario played itself out in the 7th, when Brooklyn scored. Amed Rosario blasted a groundball through the infield into left for a double, scoring the two runners and giving Brooklyn a 4-2 lead. Michael Conforto followed that up with a walk- he went hitless once again, but did walk twice- and Jhoan Urena hit a line drive into center to load the bases. Adrian Abreu plated one run with a sac fly, but Michael Bernal lined out to prevent any further runs from scoring. A three run lead was more than enough, however. Cyclones closer Shane Bay gave up a leadoff double, but otherwise had things under control, inducing a ground ball and getting two strikeouts to end the game.

Rookie - Kingsport Mets (24-25)__________________________________


Persio Reyes was able to wiggle out of trouble in the 2nd, but he couldn't repeat his Houdini performance, and got tagged for two runs in the 3rd and one run in the 4th. DH Casey Grayson doubled into center in the 3rd to score both Cardinals runs that inning, while Jesus Ustariz scored on would have been a routine ground out had Branden Kaupe not booted the ball in the 4th. As was the case in the Savannah game above, the baseball gods giveth and the baseball gods taketh away. In the top of the 5th, Kaupe reached thanks to a fielding error, allowing Jean Rodriguez to drive in two instead of one with his third home run of the season. Johnson City stretched out their lead in the bottom of the 6th thanks to a Chris Rivera sac fly, making it a 4-2 ballgame, but Kingsport quickly answered that run with one of their own, and then a little extra. In the top of the 7th, Oswald Caraballo laced an RBI double into right to make it a 4-3 game. In the 8th, Zach Mathieu tied the game with a groundball into left, and took the lead when Luis Ortega scored on a routine Kaupe grounder. In the 9th, back-to-back singles by Mathieu and Ivan Wilson gave Kingsport a few more insurance runs, making it a 7-4 game. Johnson City failed to score in the bottom of the inning, bringing the Kingsport Mets back to .500 for the season.

Rookie - GCL Mets (23-21)__________________________________


Star of the Night

A bit tough, since nobody particularly went above and beyond. Based on his late-inning hit, Amed Rosario is most deserving of SotN.

Goat of the Night

Not too many candidates, which is good, so we'll go with T.J. Chism