*All results from games played on Friday, September 12th, 2014
Triple-A - Las Vegas 51s (81-63; 1-3)_____________________________________
Double-A - Binghamton Mets (83-59; 3-2; 3-0)_________________________________
BINGHAMTON 2, RICHMOND 1 (Box)
The Binghamton Mets are champions of the Eastern League for the first time since 1994 thanks to some late-game heroics by pinch hitter Jayce Boyd and the finest pitching performance of Steven Matz's career to date.
The young left-hander held the Richmond Flying Squirrels hitless for seven and third innings and fanned eleven (eight swinging) in process. After freezing Angel Villalona with a called strike three to start the eighth, Matz surrendered consecutive safeties to Richmond's seventh and eighth place hitters. Those softly struck singles to right ended Matz's night, though upon leaving he did receive a well-deserved standing ovation from the nearly 6,000 B-Mets boosters who packed into the stands at NYSEG Stadium.
Of the 106 pitches Matz threw, 72 went for strikes and according to Lynn Worthy's recap, his fastball topped out at an easy 94 miles per hour. For the season, the lefty made 24 starts, split evenly between St. Lucie and Binghamton, and rang up nearly identical stat lines at both levels. Given that the only real difference between Matz's Single-A and Double-A performance is that he cut his walk rate by a third, there's a chance last night's near no-hitter could wind up being his last start in a B-Mets uniform.
As for the rest of the game, manager Pedro Lopez called upon Hansel Robles to protect Binghamton's 1-0 lead and the recently-converted reliever responded by fanning the first batter he faced. He came within a strike of pinning both inherited runners to their respective bases, but Richmond's leadoff hitter Daniel Carbonell poked a grounder through the right side of the infield to bring in the game's tying run.
Jumping ahead to the bottom of the ninth, series MVP Xorge Carrillo led off the frame with a single, moved to second on Wilfredo Tovar's base knock, then found himself pulled for pinch runner Gavin Cecchini. That extra bit of speed on the base paths didn't matter much, however, as pinch hitter Jayce Boyd drove a Steven Okert delivery deep to straightaway center field and well over the head of the aforementioned Daniel Carbonell for a series-ending double.
As mentioned at the top, this is the first league title for Binghamton since 1994. That championship team included several future Mets, including an infield anchored by Edgardo Alfonzo and Rey Ordonez, plus a pitching staff fronted by Jason Isringhausen and Bill Pulsipher. All told, 15 of the 34 players on the '94 squad wound up playing in the majors, some longer than others (apologies, Charlie Greene). Since two 2014 Binghamton alums, Dario Alvarez and Dilson Herrera, have already accrued service time for the Mets this September and the three former first round picks (Gavin Cecchini, Michael Fulmer, and Brandon Nimmo) suited up for the B-Mets at least once during the season, this title team might eventually be able to boast about a similarly impressive graduation rate.
- LF Kyle Johnson: 1-3, BB
- 2B T. J. Rivera: 1-3, K
- 1B Brian Burgamy: 1-3, BB
- RF Travis Taijeron: 1-4, R
- 3B Dustin Lawley: 0-4, 4 K
- CF Brandon Nimmo: 1-4, 3 K
- C Xorge Carrillo: 1-3, RBI, K
- PR Gavin Cecchini: 0-0
- SS Wilfredo Tovar: 1-4
- PH Darrell Ceciliani: 0-0, BB
- PH Jayce Boyd: 1-1, 2B, RBI
- LHP Steven Matz: 7.1 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 11 K
- RHP Hansel Robles: 0.2 IP, H, K
- RHP Cody Satterwhite: 1 IP, H, K
High-A - St. Lucie Mets (36-33 / 76-62)_____________________________________
Low-A - Savannah Sand Gnats (40-29 / 84-51; 0-2)_______________________________
Short Season-A - Brooklyn Cyclones (42-34)_________________________________
Rookie - Kingsport Mets (34-34)_______________________________________
Rookie - Gulf Coast Mets (33-27)_______________________________________
Star of the Night
Goat of the Night
None on account of Binghamton winning the championship!