Mets' Minor League Notebook for May 22nd

What's it going to take for Neal Musser to win a game with Binghamton? St. Lucie lost their 8th straight game thanks in large part to a frightening relief appearance by Chad Elliott; and Miguel Pinango and Derran Watts are carrying the Capital City Bombers these days. All this and much more in Thursday's edition of the MMLN.

Norfolk Tides: The Norfolk Tides were off Wednesday and start an 8-game home stand on Thursday with a four game series against Syracuse.

Binghamton Mets: What's it going to take for SP Neal Musser to collect his first AA victory for the BMets? Musser (0-2) scattered four hits with only two walks and one unearned run through six innings to pick up his second loss of the season. Are "wins" an overrated statistic for a pitcher or what? Despite a 3-0 record at St. Lucie this season before his call-up to Binghamton, Musser had a 4.67 ERA and batters were hitting .293 against him in the Florida State League. In Binghamton, Musser lowered his ERA 2.37 on Wednesday, and opposing batters are hitting just .267 against him so far. 1B Craig Brazell went 1-4 in the BMets' 2-0 loss to Akron Wednesday, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. 3B Rodney Nye went 2-3 in a losing effort and is now 5 for his last 13 (.385). RP Tim Lavigne allowed one run on one hit and one walk in two innings of relief Wednesday afternoon. Lavigne has not enjoyed too much success in his last five appearances, allowing 5 runs on 9 hits and 6 walks in his last 8 2/3 innings pitched. Ranked #29 in our preseason Top 40 Mets' Prospects list ( after allowing just 29 hits in 35 innings pitched for the BMets in 2002, he's allowed at least one run in three of his last five outings and has given up 21 hits in 22 innings pitched this season….sporting a 1.41 WHIP ratio. Mets' outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, who went 2-5 with a stolen base in his first game of a rehab assignment with Binghamton on Tuesday, went 0-4 with two strikeouts batting third in the Binghamton lineup Wednesday.

St. Lucie Mets: The Mets dropped their 8th straight game Wednesday night in a 4-3 loss to the Sarasota Red Sox. David Cone made a strong rehab start, going 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings allowing no hits, walking one, and striking out two. The Mets took a 1-0 lead into the 7th inning before Chad Elliott, who had pitched a scoreless 5th and 6th was hit up for four runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Elliott (1-1, 6.06 ERA) took the loss and now have given up an ungodly 10 earned runs in his last 10 innings pitched, allowing 15 hits in his last 3 appearances. David Wright returned to the Mets lineup (1 for 4 ) drove in two of the Mets runs with a sacrifice fly and a double (his team leading 14th double). It was Wright's first RBI in nine games and now has a team-leading 32 RBI. The Mets scored their third run on a wild pitch. Wayne Lydon continued his hot hitting of late, adding 2 more hits and a couple of walks. For Lydon, it was his 3rd multi-hit game in his last 5 and he's hitting .421 (8-19) during that stretch. He also stole his 30th base of the season. OF Angel Pagan (who entered Wednesday's game hitting .063 in his last four games) snapped his three-game hitless streak, going 2-5 Wednesday. The Mets fell to 23-26, and remain in 4th place, 5 games behind the Vero Beach Dodgers. The Mets now return home for two against the same Sarasota Red Sox.

Capital City Bombers: Offense? We don't need no stinkin offense. Defense? We don't need no stinkin defense. At least not when Bomber ace Miguel Pinango takes the mound. The team put him to the test Wednesday night giving him as many hits as they did errors (4), but Pinango made it stand and stayed perfect on the season with a 3-1 win over the River Dogs, winning his third straight start. Pinango spread 5 hits out over 6 innings, but whats more impressive is the 8 K's he recorded with only one walk. Pinango has been so good, I'm going to give you his YTD stats. 6 wins, 0 losses in 8 starts. He has pitched 48.2 innings and has only given up 11 earned runs for a stellar 2.03 ERA. He has walked only 8 and struck out 45. In his last three starts, Pinango has scattered 19 hits over 18 innings, allowing just 3 earned runs, walking one batter, and striking out 18 batters. Tim Mcnabb kept his spot in the Bomber closer by commitee pitching a perfect 9th. Six different pitchers have saves for the Bombers this year. As hot as Pinango is on the mound, it seems the only way to cool off Derran Watts is to hose him down. Watts continues to be red hot, contributing to all 3 Cap City Runs on Wednesday. In the second inning, he ran hard and reached first safely on a B.J. Upton error, which allowed Blake Whealy to score the first run. Then in the 4th inning, Watts extended his mini doubles streak to 4 games with a 2 RBI shot down the left field line scoring "A-Rod" and Brandon Wilson. It was his fourth straight game with at least one extra-base hit and is now hitting .462 (6-13) during this four-game stretch with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBI, 4 runs scored, and one stolen base. Shortstop Corey Ragsdale was the defensive goat with 2 errors giving him 12 on the year. Offensively he has also been shaky. In the last 10 days he is batting a miserable .143 with no home runs nor RBI's and only 1 run scored. Just like Ragsdale, three of the more productive hitters for the Bombers earlier in the season are in tailspins right now. OF Bobby Malek went 0-3 at the plate Wednesday and is now 3 for his last 24 (.125) with just two RBI and one run scored in his last seven games. 3B Aaron Baldiris is hitting .172 (5-29) in his last seven games and OF Jonathan Slack is hitting .200 (7-35) in his last eight games.

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