Six more wins! Over and over again wherever he went and to whomever would listen, that was Pedro Lopez’s catchphrase when he talked about his 2014 Binghamton baseball team. Six more wins!
A point of clarity: when Lopez staked his claim of six more wins he was not referring to the regular season. Lopez understood it would be difficult for his 2014 B-Mets to replicate the franchise record setting 86 regular season wins of the previous season. Instead, Lopez had a laser focus on the post season.
The B-Met skipper was confident his squad could finish in one of the top two slots of the Eastern League’s, Eastern Division. When the postseason kicks in that’s where Lopez’s six more wins comes into play.
Last September, Lopez’s record-setting Binghamton squad was swept in three games by Trenton in the first round of the playoffs. Lopez had time for the sting of those defeats to sit in his craw and fester. When he met with his squad for the very first time in Florida, he was singing a tune called “Six More Wins.”
Lopez sang the same song at the Welcome Back Dinner, in the B-Met program preview, to the Binghamton Press and Sun, to radio play-by-play announcer Tim Hieman, in fact, to just about anyone who would listen. Lopez has beaten that same drum over and over and over again all season long.
The time has arrived. As he predicted, Pedro Lopez’s Binghamton team had another dazzling season, at the current time with 83 wins to their name, good for second place and a spot in the postseason. Wednesday night, Binghamton opens a five game series with the first of two games on their home field at NYSEG Stadium.
To reach his goal, Lopez must find a way to get past Portland, the toughest Eastern League team. Portland won the season series with Binghamton taking 12-of-21 games. The B-Mets had their moments though, at one point before the all-star break sweeping the Sea Dogs in a four-game set at NYSEG Stadium.
Like the B-Mets, the Sea Dogs have had to adapt to heavy roster losses during the season. Five regular starters in the early season Portland lineup were elevated, four now playing at Pawtucket and one, Mookie Betts, now playing for the Boston Red Sox. With Pawtucket poised to take the final playoff spot in the International League, it’s doubtful reinforcements could be sent Portland’s way for the playoffs.
Of course, Lopez, who lost almost his entire infield during the mid-season, is adapting once again with the loss of his slugging second baseman Dilson Herrera to the big team in Flushing.
6 more wins! That was the Pedro Lopez mantra this year whenever he talked Binghamton baseball. 6 more wins! Let’s hope his B-Mets were listening.