It was another hot night in south Florida but the bats were cold as the St. Lucie Mets fell to the Jupiter Hammerheads 1-0. The star of the night was Mets pitcher Harol Gonzalez who takes the loss despite going the full nine innings in this one.
From the beginning, it seemed as though the Mets bats were anxious, often swinging at the first pitch,causing short rest periods for Harol. Harol succeeded anyway with a barrage of mostly curveballs mixed in with a changeup and an occasional slider to go with his fastball that sat 90-91 MPH and topped out at 92.
The top of the first was the only inning of minor struggle for Harol on the night, giving up a leadoff double to start things off. After a groundout, the next batter lined a single on an 0-2 pitch to score the first and ultimately only run of the game. Gonzalez then recorded a strikeout on a 75 MPH curveball followed by a groundout to end the inning.
The top of the second is when Harol found his groove and never let go of it. Maintaining his 90-91 fastball with a curveball reaching as low as 73 mph, Harol induced a groundout the shortstop, a sharp comebacker right at him for the second out and a strikeout on an 84 MPH slider to end the inning.
In the bottom of the second Desmond Lindsay flew out to right field, Dash Winningham grounded out to first before Wuilmer Becerra recorded the first hit of the night for the Mets on a lined single into center field. Here is video of the hit.
Harol Gonzalez continued to breeze through in the top of the third inducing a line out to second base, a strikeout on a 76 MPH curveball and fly out to right field on a 91 MPH fastball.
In the bottom of the third, Luis Carpio reached on an error but then Gene Cone flied out deep to left field and Andres Gimenez grounded into a double play.
In the top of the fourth, Gonzalez gave up a looped single to left field again on an 0-2 pitch (an Achilles heal for him early in the game and in some of his past outings), but then the attempted base stealer was gunned down by a strong accurate throw from Dan Rizzie. Gonzalez struck out the next two batters both on off speed pitches.
The bottom of the fourth started with a Michael Paez strikeout and Desmond Lindsay groundout to shortstop before Dash Winningham hit a sharp liner into right field. Becerra followed with his second hit in consecutive at bats driving one again into center field. However, Anthony Dimino hit a hard luck liner snagged by the second baseman to end the inning.
Gonzalez made quick work of the fifth inning inducing 3 fly outs in a row. But in the bottom of the fifth more of the same from the Mets as Rizzie grounded out to the pitcher, Carpio lined out to left field and Cone flied out to left field.
Harol started the sixth inning giving up a only a groundout followed by another strikeout before allowing a double. Luckily, Gonzalez ended that mild threat by picking off the runner at second to end the inning.
Still no luck for Mets on the offensive end bottom of the sixth as Gimenez flew out to right field, Paez flew out to the same spot and Lindsay grounded out to shortstop, again noticing theme of the hitters swinging early in the count and not seeing enough pitches on the night.
Gonzalez remained strong top of the seventh allowing all groundouts in another perfect inning, one to third base (nice game defensively by Michael Paez) and the others to second baseman Luis Carpio who continues showing sure hands over there.
Bottom of the seventh still wasn’t a positive one for Mets as Dash struck out looking, Becerra lined his third single of the night but then Dimino grounded out to second and Rizzie flew out to center.
Another perfect inning for Harol in the eighth as he induced a fly out, made the play himself on an attempted bunt for a hit and a groundout to first baseman Dash Winningham.
Mets then themselves once again went quietly in the bottom of the eighth as Carpio and Cone struck out swinging and Gimenez grounded out to shortstop off an opposing pitcher who came into the game for the eight topping 96 MPH with a wicked slider.
Harold Gonzalez completed his gem of a night by taking the mound again for the ninth. After a popout to the catcher Harol walked the next batter. With a reliever now warming in the pen Gonzalez threw another 12-6 curveball for a strikeout and after a wild pitch then induced a groundout to end the inning.
Still not luck in the end for Mets as Paez flew out to start the bottom of the ninth, Lindsay struck out and then Dash Winningham hit a hard sounded shot deep to left field but there was no wind blowing at all tonight and the ball just died in the hot air and game was over.
The team continues to see more success from the pitching than the hitting as of late as the weather continues to heat up down here in the Florida State League.
Andres Gimenez 0 for 4 now hitting .264
Desmond Lindsay 0 for 4 now hitting .220
Dash Winningham 1 for 4 now hitting .249
Wuilmer Becerra 3 for 3 now hitting .333
Star of the night:
Harol Gonzalez 9 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K ERA now at 2.81 record now 0-6
Video of one of Harol 7 Ks on the night
As always thank you for checking out my recaps on games I attend down here.