Down on the Farm: Las Vegas 51s

Wally Backman called it “the biggest win we’ve had all year”. Today, I went down to Cashman Field, to see our Triple-A club in action. Las Vegas was trailing 1-0 throughout the majority of today’s ballgame, their offense resembled the Mets offense, not swinging at many pitches, hit a lot of high fly balls that didn’t carry, and didn’t have a real threat until the 9th inning. Rainy Lara was not dominant today, he gave up six hits in the first two innings, which looked problematic. Lara stayed in and provided his team with quality innings. When I had the chance to interview Wally Backman, he said “it’s huge, this is a young kid that has come up from Double-A because we needed pitchers ….. he did a nice job settling in today”.

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After Lara, Mets struggling farmhand Cody Satterwhite came in and provided two innings of solid relief. Satterwhite’s ERA is currently residing in the high four’s but he could be a quality September call-up, something I talked about in March. In the bottom of the ninth inning, down to their last out, the 51s manufactured a late rally using small ball, with Brooks Conrad providing a sac-fly. Unfortunately, right after the momentum swung for the 51s, it was taken back as Scott Rice gave up two earned runs, to make the score 3-1 in favor of their opponents, the Sacramento River Cats. In the bottom of the 10th inning, the 51s had a man on and Anthony Recker pinch hitting for Wilfredo Tovar. Recker hit one that would be in the second deck in Citi Field, after that, the River Cats made a few errors, and a double down the line from Brooks Conrad, scored Kirk Nieuwenhuis, to close the game at 4-3, in favor of the 51s. Backman said that “to be able to come back twice in extra innings is great”, and consistently dubbed the game the “best win all year”. He admitted that the quality pitching helped the 51s stay in the game, and that it was a well earned win.

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The very strange thing is how great the 51s record is despite their roster being decimated due to Mets injuries. I asked Wally about that, and he said “it has to do with the chemistry of this team” and “sometimes you lose this one individual… for us it was Ceciliani [ and you have to bounce back].” I think that this is one of the strangest scenarios in baseball, the way this team has been decimated. Wally said “we’ve been able to maintain our veterans that surround our young prospects” and “this is not the norm, I think we have 11 guys on our opening day roster that are in the big leagues right now”. Nevertheless, Backman has kept this team well above waters, their record after today’s win is 45-32, extremely impressive for their situation.

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