Wow! What a night. After the teams traded solo home runs in the fifth, there were no runs for nine innings. Finally in the bottom of the 15th, Greeneville walked off without the benefit of a hit. Tanner Mathis walked, and was moved to second on a sac bunt by Jack Mayfield. Darwin Rivera then hit a ground ball to first which should have just moved over Mathis to third but the K-Mets first baseman booted the ball. It rolled to the edge of the grass and Josh Bonifay took a risk and sent Mathis home. The throw was slightly up the line and the catcher had to stretch to take Mathis as he zoomed by. The glove appeared to hit Mathis shoulder and the ball dropped free allowing the winning run to score.
Here are my observations from the game.
On The Mound:
A great deal went right here. Just one run allowed in 15 innings with a team record 25 strike outs. Let's take a quick look at each pitcher.
Frederick Tiburcio had a solid start to the game. He fanned seven and gave up just two hits and walked one in five innings. The lone damage given up was a solo home run to left by 17 year old, Ahmed Rosario, whom the Mets signed for 1.7 million in the 2012 international signing period. It was his first professional home run.
Tiburcio threw an unofficial 67 pitches in five innings. To have that low of a pitch count with that many strike outs is impressive.
Tyler Brunnemann pitched the next two frames. This was my first time to see Brunnemann pitch. He has an extreme follow through. When he finishes his pitch his glove hand (left) and his left foot are both touching the ground as he falls toward first base. It is a violent motion that I didn't see him repeating very well. It was effective when repeated as evidenced by the four strike outs in two innings. But he also gave up two walks, both on full counts.
Ryan Connelly pitched the eight inning. The submarine pitcher was the only pitcher of the night not to record a strike out.
Gonzalo Sanudo came in for the next two innings. He pitched out of a jam in the ninth. After a lead off double and a ground ball to 2nd to move the runner over, he was faced with a runner at third and one out. He got Michael Bernal to strike out in a seven pitch at bat for the second out of the inning.
That at bat got circled in my score book as a key out of the game. Bernal had a rough night at the plate. He accounted for 20% of the teams strike outs, going 0-5 with 5 Ks. Sanudo ended the night with three Ks in his two innings.
Gerado Ramirez came in and may have had the outing of his life time. He pitched a career high four innings allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out nine K-Mets.
The final pitcher of the night was Christian Garcia. Garcia pitched the 14th and 15th innings fanning two batters in each inning. In each inning the lead off runner reached but never made it past first base.
At The Plate:
Tanner Mathis reached base in five of his six plate appearances: E1, single, and three walks. This is exactly what you want out of a lead off batter. Also my 13 year old son observed he has the best walk up music this season. He is going old school with some Run DMC - It's Tricky.
Wallace Gonzalez hit a towering home run in the fifth. They had success pitching him away but they left that pitch over the inner half of the plate and he made them pay. Gonzalez appears to be pulling out when he swings so outside pitches are going to be an issue for him. Gonzalez added a single later in the game.
Ariel Ovando and Jack Mayfield also had two hits.
In The Field:
Parker Hipp made a great play snagging a soft liner to start the game. I was sure that ball was going to fall for a hit.
Wallace Gonzalez had a nice outfield assist on a shallow fly ball to left. The runner was moving on the play and Gonzalez throw beat the runner back to first for a double play.
Jack Mayfield made an outstanding diving stop on a ball in the hole at shortstop. He popped up and made a good throw to first that Angel Ibanez made a nice stretch to complete the put out.
The defensive star of the night was Cristian Moronta. He was three for three in throwing out runners stealing second. Two of those were on balls that he blocked and runners broke when he had trouble locating them. Those three outs were huge in a ballgame this tight. One ended an inning and two were to nab the hitter who had reached to start the inning.
Final Thought: After the 25 game strike out performance, the G-Stros now lead the Appy League with 104 strikeouts in just nine games. That puts them 16 Ks above second place Johnson City.