Friday, August 24, 2012

Game 62: Kingsport Mets at Bluefield Blue Jays

Listen live right here and check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

METS (22-39)

1 Yeixon Ruiz 3B
2 Gavin Cecchini DH
3 Jorge Rivero RF
4 Tomas Nido C
5 Maikis De La Cruz CF
6 Anthony Chavez SS
7 Jeyckol De Leon 1B
8 Jon Leroux LF
9 Brandon Kaupe 2B

RHP Andrew Massie (0-2, 5.68)

BLUE JAYS (26-35)

1 DJ Davis CF
2 Emilio Guerrero SS
3 Jorge Vega-Rosado2B
4 Seth ConnerC
5 Nico Taylor LF
6 Jacob Anderson RF
7 Eric Arce DH
8 Matt Dean 3B
9 Jordan Leyland 1B

LHP Griffin Murphy (1-2, 1.05)


BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays Pregame at 2:50. You can catch the game on local radio as well on WHIS 1440 AM.

WEATHER: It is absolutely perfect outside now...a little bit of rain might come through during the game.

UMPIRES: PLATE: Travis Godec  FIELD: Chase Eade

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: The Kingsport Mets have struggled mightily this season, but they beat the Bluefield Blue Jays again. Miller Diaz allowed two infield singles in six shutout innings and Gavin Cecchini had three hits and two runs batted in in the Mets’ 7-1 win at Bowen Field on Thursday. The Mets are 19-38 against the rest of the league but have won three of four against Bluefield. A burst of early offense gave the Mets a big lead quickly against Jays starter Justin James (L, 2-3). Yeixon Ruiz led off the game with a single and Cecchini followed with a double to plate the game’s first run. James made an error before Maikis De La Cruz’s sacrifice fly made it 2-0. Kingsport brought home three more runs on consecutive plate appearances in the second as their lead ballooned to five. Diaz made quick work of the Baby Jays in his six-inning start. He allowed an infield single to D.J. Davis to start the game but immediately erased him on a double play. Nico Taylor was the only other Bluefield hitter to reach base against the righty, hitting another infield single in the second inning. Diaz (W, 2-1) retired the last 13 batters he faced and 17 of 18 after Davis’ opening hit. He struck out six before handing the ball off to Akeel Morris. Morris (S, 2) blew away the Jays, striking out six in a row at one point. With one out in the ninth inning, Davis homered to break up the strikeout streak and snap the shutout. It was his first home run since his call-up from the Gulf Coast League last week. Les Williams was a bright spot for Bluefield out of the bullpen. He set down nine of 11 in three and one-third innings of scoreless two-hit relief. Denny Valdez allowed two runs, one earned, after Williams left and Brandon Kaye finished the game with an impressive four-out stint.

VS. THE METS: The Mets have struggled mightily in 2012, but they lead the season series three games to one after winning a set in Kingsport June 28-30 and taking last night’s opener. Bluefield was held hitless by John Gant for five innings in the first game. The Jays rallied for three runs in the sixth to take the lead, but the Mets came back to win. The Jays evened the series with a 12-3 rout behind Dwight Smith Jr.’s first pro homer. Kingsport made six errors in the rubber game, but still won 13-9. The Blue Jays dominated the Mets in 2011, especially at Bowen Field. Bluefield won five of six meetings, including a three-game home sweep from July 15-17 by a combined score of 17-3. Two weeks later in Kingsport, the Jays won two out of three.

LHP GRIFFIN MURPHY: After 13 relief appearances to open the season, lights-out southpaw Griffin Murphy made his first start of the season on Sunday in Danville and kept up his stellar pitching. In a doubleheader finale, he pitched four and one-third innings, allowing an unearned run on only one hit. He struck out seven and walked three and although he did not qualify for the win, the Jays locked down the win. The Highland, CA native and 2010 second-round pick has been sensational for the Jays, riding a streak of 25 innings without allowing an earned run. The streak dates back to July 11 and covers his last ten outings, during which he’s lowered his ERA to 1.05, the lowest in the league among pitchers with 30 IP. His only win of the season came in Kingsport on June 29 when he held the Mets to one run in three innings of relief. Among those with 30 IP under their belt, Murphy ranks third in opponent batting average (.172), fourth in WHIP (0.99) and fourth in K % (28.3%).

RHP ANDREW MASSIE: 19-year-old right-hander Andrew Massie starts the middle game of the series for the Mets. After five relief outings to begin his professional career, the 2012 24th-round draft pick moved into the Kingsport rotation. He was blasted for seven runs in four innings in his first start, but the last two have been much better. He allowed one earned run in four innings against Johnson City on August 14 and on Sunday in Elizabethton, he shut down the league’s best offense. In a season-high five innings, he allowed one run on four hits, walking two and striking out four. The Dyersburg, TN native won a 2009 state title at Dyer County HS in 2009 and became the Choctaws player from that school to get drafted.

APPY LEAGUE HONOR: Bluefield right-hander Jeremy Gabryszwski was named to the 2012 Appalachian League All-Star Team, which was voted on by opposing managers, executives and media and announced today. The honor is more impressive considering there are only three pitchers on the squad. The 19-year-old was the league’s choice for right-handed starter and Princeton’s Blake Snell was the team’s lefty starter. Jeremy is 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA in 11 games (nine starts). He’s only allowed 44 hits in 46 innings of work. ”Gabby” is two innings short of the league qualifier, but his 2.35 ERA would rank second in the league and is fourth among Appy Leaguers with at least 45 IP. The Crosby, Texas native has the second-lowest WHIP (1.04) despite striking out only 4.3 batters per nine innings (second-lowest among 40 IP pitchers). That success is due to his ability to pound the strike zone, as he’s only walked four batters in 46 innings (0.78 BB/9). That includes a streak from July 14 to August 12 in which he went 24.2 innings without issuing a free pass.

LES IS MORE: Righty reliever Les Williams had another great outing last night. He tossed three and one-third innings of two-hit ball with three strikeouts and no walks. Over his last four games, the Toronto native has allowed two runs in nine and two-thirds innings (1.86 ERA), striking out eight and walking only one batter.

MOVE ON UP: Three Bluefield Blue Jays were promoted to the Short Season-A Vancouver Canadians on Tuesday. Catcher Santiago Nessy was one of the top backstops in the Appy League, slugging .456 and leading the Jays with eight homers. With a homer every 20 plate appearances, he had the fifth-highest HR rate. He got it done on the other side as well, throwing out 33.3 percent of would-be base stealers. Second baseman Christian Lopes came into the season rated as the 29th-best prospect in the Toronto system and he backed it up in Bluefield. He homered in his first professional at bat on Opening Day and ranked second in the league in triples (five), third in doubles (16) and fourth in extra base hits (25). Nessy homered in his first Vancouver at bat and Lopes is 5-for-9 with a stolen base in his first two Northwest League games. The fourth-rated prospect on the Jays’ farm, Daniel Norris, struggled in Bluefield to the tune of a 7.97 ERA, but he struck out 38 in 35 innings of work and posted a Fielding Independent Pitching of 3.80. The four-run difference between his ERA and FIP is the second-highest in the league and his Batting Average on Balls In Play is .367 (third-highest in the league), signifying some bad luck. Norris will make his Vancouver debut on Saturday. The trio should helpe energize the Canadians in their push for a second straight Northwest League crown.

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 8-24

Check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

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