The Binghamton Mets 20th home-opener at NYSEG Stadium was exciting and featured good pitching and timely hitting on both sides. But in the end, it was the New Hampshire Fisher Cats who came out on the winning end of a 3-2 score.
Binghamton’s bullpen troubles continued as they have four blown saves in seven games.
Ricky Brooks was the latest B-Mets reliever to struggle. He gave up a two-run double to Fisher Cats leftfielder John Tolisano, to turn a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit.
“You wanna see somebody step up and do the job,” said Binghamton Manager Wally Backman. “But everyone at the back-end of the bullpen has had a pretty rough outing now.”
Brooks' struggles wasted a great game from starter Mark Cohoon, who didn’t give up a hit through the first three innings. Mike McDade finally got to Cohoon when he hit a hard grounder to third, that third baseman Eric Campbell did not make a play on.
“In reality the first hit off Cohoon should have been an error,” said Backman. “It’s a one-hopper hit to the third baseman. Really he threw a no-hitter through five innings.”
Binghamton (2-5) struck first in the bottom of that fifth inning. Raul Reyes led off with a walk and went to second on a fielders’ choice. He scored on a Michael Fisher double to right, giving Binghamton a 1-0 lead.
The one run that New Hampshire scored prior to the ninth was an unearned run in the sixth inning. With two outs, Adeiny Hechavarria singled and Cohoon tried to pick him off a couple pitches later, but threw wide of Fisher at first. The error was the fifth for the B-Mets in the last two games and allowed Hechavarria to go all the way to third. Anthony Gose singled him home to tie the game.
“Cohoon pitched a great game,” said Backman. “It’s a shame when a guy pitches as well as he did and you don’t come up with a win for him.”
The seven innings turned in by Cohoon on Thursday was a season high for the B-Mets pitching staff.
Binghamton tallied in the bottom of the seventh. Reyes got things started again with a single. Brahiam Maldonado struck out on a pitch that looked to hit the corner. It was called a strike by home plate umpire Jon Saphire, but Maldonado did not agree. He argued the call, said a couple magic words and was booted from the proceedings.
“Maldy’s a level-headed guy, just in the heat of the battle, some things bother guys,” Backman said. “Maldy seemed to think it was way of the plate and I am not behind the plate, so I don’t know.”
Reyes got things back on track with a steal of second and went to third on a single by Fisher. He later scored on a wild pitch, giving Binghamton a 2-1 lead.
Brooks entered the game in the eighth inning and got out of a jam with runners at the corners. In the ninth, he wasn’t so lucky. A single by Mike McDade started the inning and he went to second on a balk. One out later, Craig Stansberry and after the next batter was retired, Tolisano got the job done with a rocket over the head of centerfielder Jesus Feliciano.
“The batter went down and got a pretty good pitch,” said Backman. “The ball was down and I don’t know if it was in the middle of the plate or not, but it wasn’t a bad pitch.”
The manager did not let the offense off the hook on this night either.
“We are taking way too many fastballs. We get runners in scoring position and take a fastball right down the middle,” said Backman. I watched it happen twice tonight. Those things are unacceptable. You gotta be hitting off the fastball.”
Game notes: With the B-Mets celebrating the 20thanniversary season, Alan Crabb who sang the first ever national anthem at NYSEG Stadium did so again Thursday night. Pete Walker, who pitched for Binghamton in that inaugural season of 1992, was in the opposing bullpen Thursday night. He is the Fisher Cats pitching coach.
Binghamton has now lost three straight and will look to rebound tonight against the Fisher Cats at 7:05 PM. Brad Holt (0-0, 0.00).