Justin Dunn Loses Pitchers Duel As St. Lucie Mets fall 1-0

By Ernest Dove

June 13, 2017 No comments

Photo By Ernest Dove

Not much offense on display tonight as the St. Lucie Mets lost to the Jupiter Hammerheads 1-0. The game featured and showcased pitching the entire night starting with Jupiter’s Jeff Brigham and Mets 2016 first round pick Justin Dunn.

Dunn was impressive on the night from start to finish, with radar clocking him consistently in the 93-94 MPH range while also hitting 95 and topping out at 96.  From the first inning Dunn put an emphasis on keeping the ball down, with this fastball, as well as his slider which ranged from 84-87. Justin also showed an 81 MPH changeup and also sprinkled in but did not often go to his upper 70s curveball.  Dunn was able to maintain his velocity throughout the night, including his 85th and final pitch showing 94 mph.

I was impressed with Dunn’s ability to keep the ball down, mix in his off speed stuff in every at bat and dial up the fastball to 95 to get the outs.  I observed a good number of swings and misses off Dunn tonight, who finished with a line of: 5 innings, 4 hits,  1 earned run,  3 walks and 3 strikeouts. His only run allowed in the game was in the second inning, which included a Peter Alonso fielding error in the frame that did not help the situation.  But Justin had life on his fastball and was not afraid to mix in his slider to each batter. Here is video of one of Dunn’s K’s on the night.

There were concerns to start the year with Dunn, but tonight appears to be another good sign that the top pitching prospect is putting it together. The ability to use an assortment of four pitches and maintain velocity is a good sign that does have the stuff to stick as a starter.

There was simply not a lot to go on offensively to talk about with the Mets on the night. Perhaps the hardest hit ball on the night by the Mets was an out in the scorecards. Peter Alonso lined one to right center field for an out.  Alonso did finish 0-2 but also had two walks along with a stolen based in the 7th inning.

However, this is a possible ongoing concern defensively, where Alonso committed his 6th error on the year, and also was unable to scoop up what would have been an inning ending double play ball thrown to him as well in the game.  He did make a couple of solid plays defensively in other parts of the game but the failed scoop and allowing the chopper hit right at him to go by was not a good sign.

After Craig Missigman relieved Dunn and went two solid innings, Johnny Magliozzi followed with a scoreless 8th and then Tyler Bashlor pitched the 9th.

Tyler was extremely impressive, hitting 94 mph on his fastball to get ahead of counts early, and then going to a low 80s breaking pitch and then dialing it up to 97 and one pitch of 98 MPH in a strikeout. Here’s video of one of his strikeouts. Bashlor now has 42 strikeouts in just 23.2 innings this season.

The only hits on the night for the Lucie Mets were a 6th inning single by Patrick Mazeika and an Enmanuel Zabala single in the 7th. The hitters were unable to catch up to the 96-98 MPH FB of the opposing pitcher Brigham who took a no-hitter into the 6th helped also by some wonderful defensive plays by his fielders.

Jhoan Urena was able to make consistent contact all night but finished 0-3 with a walk and also hit into a double play.  Urena also stole his 9th base on the year.

Wuilmer Becerra also made contact every AB but finished 0-3 and is still not showing any power. Becerra did again play in the field out in left field tonight.