It was a very promising night for all of the Mets minor-league affiliates, as three of the four teams won their first game of the season and even the 51s’ loss featured some impressive performances.
El Paso Chihuahuas (1-0) 4, Las Vegas 51s (0-1) 2 Box Score
Smith was technically on Major League rehab, after recording only one at-bat in Spring Training due to injury. He came out of the game in the seventh inning, as had been pre-determined. In the second inning, Guillorme doubled in his first career Triple-A at-bat, and Lobaton immediately singled him in, which temporarily tied the game at one.
In the fourth inning, Thompson doubled for his first Triple-A hit, and with two outs, Mazzilli pinch-hit for the pitcher and doubled him in to bring the 51s within a run. After that, the offense was pretty much silent for the rest of the game, collecting only five hits total.
RHP Corey Oswalt : 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, BB, 5 K
LHP Kyle Regnault: 2.0 IP, H, R, 0 BB, 3 K
RHP Tim Peterson: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K
LHP David Roseboom: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
RHP Kevin McGowan: 1.0 IP, H, 0 R, K
After winning the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year last year for Binghamton, Oswalt made his Triple-A debut and was not quite as effective as he’d like, throwing 80 pitches in four innings. Still, he got through it striking out five while only walking one, and the only real damage came on a Franmil Reyes two-run double in the third.
Regnault came in and threw two solid innings, aside from a Javy Guerra solo home run in the sixth. It was nice to see him throw strikes since his control has really been one of his only main weaknesses. In the seventh, Peterson came in and gave up two singles and a walk to load the bases with nobody out, but then got three consecutive strikeouts to escape with no runs. Roseboom and McGowan each threw a quick, easy inning to keep the 51s in the game. The pitching staff struck out an impressive 14 as a whole. But ultimately, the offense could not muster anything together and they lost 4-2.
Binghamton Rumble Ponies (1-0) 6 vs Portland Sea Dogs (0-1) 0 Box Score
Note: This game drew the second-largest crowd in Binghamton baseball history.
Despite only having four hits, the Rumble Ponies made those hits count. After Peter Alonso went deep in the first inning, Tim Tebow duplicated him, smashing a home run in his first at-bat of the year, again. This marks the second consecutive season Tebow has homered in his first at-bat. Jeff McNeil finished off the scoring with a solo shot in the second inning.
Coming into the season, Binghamton’s bullpen was its strength of the team and they proved that today. After Drew Gagnon pitched six effective innings, the trio of McGeorge, Uceta, and Bautista struck out six out of the last nine remaining batters. Despite showing iffy command in the final inning, Bautista was still able to successfully close out the game.
St. Lucie Mets (1-0) 4 vs Bradenton Marauders (0-1) 1 Box Score
Dash Winningham broke apart the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning with a bomb of a home run. In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets finally broke through against Bradenton’s pen, scoring two insurance runs against Jess Amedee. Lindsay excelled in the second half last year and his strong first game could hopefully show that he may be finally reaching his full potential.
In his first start, the Mets 2016 first rounder shut down the Marauders for five dominant innings. Many were worried that Dunn’s awful 2017 campaign would need to push him to the bullpen, but his first start is a huge step in the right direction. Ryder Ryan pitched two hitless innings and now has 11 no-hit innings dating back to last season. Stephen Nogosek allowed a run in the top of ninth, but recorded his first save.
Note: MMN’s Ernest Dove attended the game and provided video of Dunn pitching in the first inning.
Columbia Fireflies (1-0) 4 vs Augusta GreenJackets (0-1) 2 Box Score
The Fireflies were able to get off to a quick start thanks to a Quinn Brodey RBI single. They later doubled that lead on an Edgardo Fermin RBI triple in the fourth inning. After he struggled in his first two professional seasons and eventually needed Tommy John Surgery, Mets 2016 third-rounder Blake Tiberi went deep in the seventh inning to extend the Fireflies lead to 3-1.
Similar to Justin Dunn, Tony Dibrell also had an awful 2017 campaign and many people were wondering if he could rebound from it. Like Dunn, his first start definitely impressed a lot of people and he’ll look to continue that success throughout the 2018 season. Last night, Dibrell’s change-up worked very well in tandem with his fastball and curve as he only permitted one hit in four innings.
A trio of relievers finished off the last six innings. O’Neil received his first win while the submariner Villines recorded his first hold. Despite running into some trouble in the ninth inning, Trey Cobb shut down the GreenJackets in the ninth to preserve the win.