If momentum really is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher, the Binghamton Mets never had a chance with Greg Peavey on the mound.
Any momentum the Mets’ had following Wednesday’s walk-off win was washed away as an ineffective Peavey lasted a mere six outs during Portland’s 7-0 thrashing of Binghamton in Game 2 of the Eastern League Eastern Division series.
The best-of-five first round is tied 1-1.
The series now shifts from Binghamton’s NYSEG Stadium to Portland’s Hadlock Field, which will host Games 3 and 4 on Friday and Saturday, respectively, and Game 5 on Sunday, if needed.
Long Island product Steven Matz, the top lefthander in the Mets’ system, is slated to start Game 3.
If he’s to tilt the series back in Binghamton’s favor, however, Matz will have to avoid the pitfalls that plagued Peavey: the big inning and bad defense.
Portland’s Stefan Welch led off the top of the second on Thursday with a home run against Peavey to give the Sea Dogs a 1-0 lead. But the blast initially seemed like just a blip for Peavey and the Mets. The righthander got Jonathan Roof to ground out and, after Peavey allowed a single to Keiker Meneses, catcher Xorge Carillo caught Meneses stealing for the second out of the inning.
Then the wheels fell off.
Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar’s fielding error allowed Michael Brenly to reach, and Shannon Wilkerson followed with a two-run triple. Brian Burgamy’s throwing error allowed one of the runs to score, extending the Sea Dogs’ lead to 3-0. After Mike Miller singled, Sean Coyle homered to give Portland a 5-0 lead. Keury De La Cruz followed with yet another Sea Dogs hit before Peavey finally recorded the third out of the inning.
Welch, who hit just eight home runs in 105 regular season contests and hadn't produced a multi-homer game since July 1, 2012, led off the third inning with his second home run of the night, and Peavey was pulled. Peavy had allowed more than one home run just twice during the regular season, and not since July 5.
Though Portland scored six runs during Peavey’s two-plus innings of work, Peavey was only charged with two earned runs due to the pair of errors. Peavey, a 26-year-old selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, allowed four runs or more 10 times during his 24 regular season starts. Thursday was the fourth time he faced Portland this year. Peavey had allowed 15 hits, six walks and nine earned runs in 18.1 innings during his prior three starts, which all came during a consecutive stretch from April 14 to May 2.
Recently promoted righthander Matt Koch took over for Peavey, and Koch, Jon Velasquez, Adam Kolarek and Randy Fontanez combined to allow three hits, one walk and one run (earned) in seven innings of relief.
The stellar bullpen performance was for naught, however, as the Binghamton offense looked nothing like the dynamic unit that crushed Portland's pitching on Wednesday.
Forget getting shut out, the Mets didn’t even advance a runner beyond second base on Thursday.
Binghamton managed only eight hits, just one for extra-bases, and a lone walk. T.J. Rivera, Wednesday night’s walk-off hero, was 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Brandon Nimmo went 1-for-4, recording his first hit of the playoffs.
Darrell Ceciliani, 2-for-4 with a double, and Travis Taijeron, 1-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch, were the only Binghamton players to reach base more than once.
Catcher Cam Maron and shortstop Gavin Cecchini, prospects that both played the majority of the regular season with Single-A Advanced St. Lucie, were called up to Binghamton shortly before the playoffs began. Both players pinch-hit on Thursday. Maron, a Hicksville native, was 0-for-1 and Cecchini went 1-for-1.