Allentown, PA – The Syracuse Mets were rendered nearly silent at the plate on Wednesday night as truly excellent pitching from the Lehigh Valley IronPigs led the way to a 6-1 victory for the home team on a warm Wednesday night at Coca-Cola Park. The IronPigs have now won the first two games of the week-long, six-game series.
Lehigh Valley (56-45) exploded out of the box in the bottom of the first inning, plating four runs on three hits plus two pivotal walks. All four of the tallies came with two outs. Jean Segura and Donny Sands walked earlier in the inning, followed by a Nick Maton single that loaded up the bases with one out, but all three were still stuck on base with two outs in the frame. Then, Justin Williams came to the plate and the fun began in earnest for the IronPigs. The 26-year-old outfielder lined a single into right field, plating Segura and Sands and making it a 2-0 game in a flash. Maton advanced to third base on the play and scored on a passed ball for a 3-0 Lehigh Valley lead. Chris Sharpe then singled into right field and scored Williams from second base for a 4-0 advantage.
The IronPigs scored another pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Johan Camargo walked, and Sands singled to kickstart the inning, followed by a Maton walk to load up the bases with nobody out. Dalton Guthrie then doubled off the wall in left-center field, scoring Camargo and Sands and making it 6-0 IronPigs just like that.
It was plenty of run support for Michael Plassmeyer, who quite frankly didn’t need it. The left-handed starter for Lehigh Valley twirled an absolute gem on Wednesday night, utilizing a wicked breaking ball and a well-placed fastball to befuddle Mets batters. Plassmeyer took a perfect game into the sixth inning, retiring the first 15 batters he faced in order. By the end of his outing, Plassmeyer had allowed just one run in seven brilliant innings on four hits, no walks, and a career-high 11 strikeouts. Plassmeyer had his perfect game broken up in the top of the sixth inning when Travis Blankenhorn led off the inning with a double, but the Mets left him stranded.
Syracuse (45-56) finally got on the board in the seventh inning. Francisco Álvarez, the top prospect in Minor League Baseball, led off and left the crowd at Coca-Cola Park shaking their hands in wonder. On the first pitch of the frame, Álvarez launched a ball over the left-field fence and literally out of the stadium. The 20-year-old phenom now has four home runs in 18 Triple-A games. Álvarez also extended his hitting streak to seven games and his on-base streak to 12 games with his prodigious blast in the top of the seventh.
From there, however, the Mets would not score again as the IronPigs locked up their second straight win to start the series. Syracuse finished the game 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. The Mets are 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series.
Syracuse continues its six-game series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Thursday evening at 7:05 pm Left-hander Nate Fisher is slated to start for the Mets, opposed by left-hander Cristopher Sanchez for the IronPigs.