Both Yanks and Mets Demolished; Neither have Adequate Pitching

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Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Sunday, May 27.

In New York, Mike Trout showed what he could do to Sonny Gray, somebody the Yankees thought was a stud pitcher.  He certainly hasn’t lived up to his billing up to now.  Gray was presented a 4-1 lead, but He was gone before the end of the 4th inning in a game the Angels won 11–4. This isn’t the first time this week I’ve brought up the Yankees’ pitching. Mike Trout went 5 for 5 with 3 doubles and a two-run home run which sent Gray to the showers. Trout and the Red Sox’ Mookie Betts are tied for the league’s home run lead with 17-and it’s not even Memorial Day yet. Bret Gardner, Aaron Judge and Austin Romine tried to back up Gray by hitting 3 home runs in the first 3 innings but it wasn’t enough. Tommy Khanle returned from the DL and gave up a 4-run 6th inning that wasn’t entirely his fault.  Second baseman Gleyber Torres dropped a basic throw, and that’s all the Angels needed. For what it’s worth, Judge has 70 home runs in 231 career games, making him the fastest man to 70 bombs.  He beat out Ryan Howard, who had a great early career but won’t ever be hearing from Cooperstown.

Meanwhile in Milwaukee the Mets continued to suffer. They lost 17–6 and gave up 19 hits-both of which are season highs.  Jason Vargas, who like Sonny Gray was handed a lot of money to be a reliable starter was pounded again.  He had pitched much better this past Monday night, giving Mets hope.  The Brewers wiped that out on Saturday. Like Gray, Vargas allowed 5 runs in 3 innings after holding the Marlins scoreless 5 days ago. Like the Yankees, the Mets tried to bolster Vargas by giving him leads of 3-0 and 5-3, but it was no use. The loss went to Jacob Rhame, though A.J. Ramos gave up4 runs.  Ramos was a Mets’ acquisition last summer to build up the league’s worst bull pen at that time.  From there, Chris Flexen was called on.  His last start was in AAA Las Vegas on May 14. The Mets had been waiting for a low-pressure game to see what Flexen had learned after a bad career start in 2017.  They found out-he gave up 7 runs.

So it’s the same old problem for the Mets.  They’ve built their team around a starting rotation that has been mostly injured. Matt Harvey is gone, Steven Matz continues to be inconsistent and Jason Vargas has turned out to be a major bust.  Oft-injured Zack Wheeler has a 2-4 record with an ERA well past 5 at this point.  The Mets have been banking on him to return after a couple of lost seasons following Tommy John surgery.  Without Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndegaard the Mets would be closer to  the Marlins instead of having the 25-23 record they now have.

As I see it, Last night’s best minor league game took place in the low class A Midwest League where Lansing defeated Fort Wayne 12-11 in 10 innings. The Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) had 10 runs up in 5 innings, a 10-3 oead after 5 and a half and called it good.  The Lansing LugNuts (Blue Jays) had other ideas. They put a run up in the 8th to make it 10-5, then tied it in the 9th.  Under the new minor league rule, Fort Wayne got a “free runner” on second to start the 10th and brought him home to make it 11-10. But given the same runner on second in their half, the home team put 2 across for the win. Lansing, last night’s winner has a 32-17 record while Fort Wayne are 21-27. The defeated TinCaps made 5 errors against just 1 for the LugNuts. At their level, the key is developing players and (hopefully) teaching the fundamentals of the game.

In the Division 3 baseball World Series, 2 of the 8 teams have now been cut from the field.  This is the last time the series will be played in Wisconsin.  It moves to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the 2019 season. Oswego State, the unlikely winner of the New England regional is going home after 2 losses. The Flying Scots of Wooster are also gone.   The Ohio team could well have been gassed by the massive effort they put out to win the regional in Adrian, Michigan. University of Texas Tyler and Concordia-Chicago are fortunate enough to be unbeaben.  For that reason they can wait through today’s earlier games and face a team under pressure of elimination later. Swarthmore of Pennsylvania and Randolph Macon of Virginia avoided the ignominy of going home without a win.  Swarthmore had never won a Division 3 World Series  game. The games at 11 and 2:15 PM Eastern are both elimination games where the loser goes home. As I write this, Texas Tyler knows they have a game at 5:30 Eastern, and      Concordia Chicago faces a winner of an earlier contest at 8:45.  If Texas Tyler and Concordia-Chicago both win, their opponents will be done and the two undefeated teams can begin a 2 out of 3 series tomorrow.  Whoever wins the earlier games will be hoping to knock off either Texas Tyler or Concordia-Chicago and continue playing.

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