MMN Recap: Crismatt, Conlon Dominate in Season Debuts

By Daniel Muras

April 9, 2018 No comments

PJ Conlon/Photo by Ed Delany

El Paso Chihuahuas (3-1) 8, Las Vegas 51s (1-3) 5   Box Score

  •  Ty Kelly 3B: 2-for-5, R, HR, 3 RBI, K, .273/.385/.545
  • Gavin Cecchini 2B: 2-for-3, R, 2 2B, .222/.300/.444
  • Jose Lobaton C: 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, .333/.333/.583

The 51s had ten hits in the loss, but scored all of their runs on home runs by Lobaton and Kelly in the 4th and 7th innings, respectively. The pitcher, P.J. Conlon, reached base twice with a single and a walk.

  •  LHP P.J. Conlon (0-0, 1.50 ERA) 6.0 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 9 K
  • LHP Matt Purke (0-0, 13.50 ERA) 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 K
  • RHP Jamie Callahan (L, 0-1, 13.50 ERA) 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

It was reported in spring training that Conlon would be used out of the bullpen in 2018, but he got the start in the 51s’ fourth game of the season. Conlon was excellent in the hitter’s haven that is Cashman Field, giving up only one run and striking out nine. The bullpen struggled greatly, allowing seven runs to score in the final three innings.

Binghamton Rumble Ponies (3-0) 4, Portland Sea Dogs (0-3) 3  Box Score

  • Peter Alonso 1B: 2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, RBI, .455/.500/1.182
  • Tomas Nido C: 2-for-4, R, .365/.417/.545
  • John Mora CF: 2-for-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, .333/.500/.889

Despite going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, the Rumble Ponies’ offense was able to use a combination of power and small ball to score 4 runs in the final game of this series. Binghamton pushed across their first run of the game in the second inning when a Mora groundout brought home Nido from third base. In the sixth inning, the speedy Champ Stuart, after reaching third on a steal and throwing error by the opposing team’s catcher, scored on a sacrifice fly by Jhoan Urena. Solo home runs by both Mora and Alonso also contributed to the Rumble Ponies’ victory.

Crismatt, who has quietly been very impressive during his rise through the minor league system, was almost unhittable in his 2018 debut. He needed just 84 pitches to get through six shutout innings and his nine strikeouts show that his impressive changeup and very good command will allow him to miss bats in Double-A. After Crismatt left the game, the bullpen struggled, with Zamora giving up two runs in his organizational debut and Smith also allowing a run. However, Smith was able to settle in after coming back out to complete the save, as he struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Bradenton Marauders (3-1) 7, St. Lucie Mets (1-3) 6  Box Score

The Mets scored just once through the first eight innings of this game, with the lone run coming on Gimenez’s first home run of the season. Entering in the ninth inning down 5-1, a series of two walks and three singles plated the four runs needed to tie the game and force extra innings. In the 10th inning, the Mets took full advantage of the new extra inning rules (the hitter who made the last out of the previous inning now starts the inning at second base) by scoring the go ahead run on back to back singles by Cone and Dale Burdick.

Gonzalez, who is returning to St. Lucie after making three starts there at the end of last season, was excellent in this game, tossing six innings while giving up just one unearned run. He was very efficient and pitched to contact, needing just 72 pitches to get through his six innings of work. Palsha struggled in his first appearance of the year, walking three batters and giving up four earned runs in the eighth inning. McIlraith received the loss in this game, but both of his runs were unearned because of a Gimenez error to start the 10th inning. Nogosek came into the game with the bases loaded and two outs in the tenth inning and proceeded to hit the batter on the first pitch to force in the winning run.

Augusta GreenJackets (2-2) 10, Columbia Fireflies (2-2) 5  Box Score

The Fireflies offense had just one extra base hit in this game, but every player in the lineup reached base at least once, with the first three hitters in the lineup reaching base a combined eight times. Tiberi continues to rake in the early stages of the new season and has had at least two hits in three of the first four games. Winaker has reached base at an excellent rate yet again so far in 2018, but still has displayed minimal power, with him recording just a single extra base hit so far in his (albeit short) professional career.

  • LHP Anthony Kay (0-0, 0.00 ERA): 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, BB, 4 K
  • RHP Stephen Villines (L, 0-1, 11.25 ERA): 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, BB, K
  • RHP Conner O’Neil (1-0, 2.25 ERA): 2.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, K

Kay, who needed Tommy John surgery shortly after being drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft, made his much-anticipated professional debut on Sunday afternoon. He looked impressive, allowing two unearned runs and sitting in the low- to mid-90s with his fastball. He will need to work on keeping his pitch count down in future starts as he did throw 82 pitches in only four innings.