B-Mets Lose Grip on First Place

With first place on the line the B-Mets struggles continued as they opened up a three game home stand with their fourth loss in as many nights to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. After losing three straight one run games in New Hampshire over the weekend the Mets looked to rebound at NYSEG stadium where they had not lost a game since July 24. However, New Hampshire behind a stellar performance from their ace Gustavo Chacin, shutout the B-Mets 4-0 and the two teams are now tied for first place.

The Mets had seen Chacin before. He hooked up with Kazmir in a classic pitcher's duel last month, a game in which neither team had a runner on until the fifth inning. In that game neither pitcher got the decision. This time Chacin secured his league leading 15th victory. His 15-2 record is one of the primary reasons for New Hampshire's success.

Howard Johnson, the B-Mets hitting coach, was well aware of how difficult Chacin could be. "He's got real good command of the strike zone", Johnson said before the game. "I told the guys that they better not miss their pitch." Johnson's game plan was simple: swing early in the count because Chacin is frequently around the plate. "If we get our pitch we're going to swing at it. There's no sense in getting behind in the count." The B-Mets did swing early and swing often in tonight's game. Unfortunately the plan seemed to backfire. In seven innings of work Chacin struck out eight men, seven of them swinging. "He's real tough" said Chase Lambin who went 0-3 on the night. "Nobody hit him last time either. He doesn't beat around that bush. He has that cutter and he goes right after you."

Mike Meyers, who was 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA coming into tonight's game, struggled yet again for Binghamton. He allowed two runs in the first and one in the second which would be more than enough for Chacin. Meyers never looked comfortable on the mound a he struggled with his command throughout the night. He lasted only 4 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits.

The Mets had their best chance to score in the fourth when Lydon led off with a single. Angel Pagan then walked and the Mets had first and second with no one out. However, the heart of the Mets order could not produce and were 0-11 in the game.

The one bright spot in the game for the B-Mets was the performance of Micah Mangrum. He pitched 4 innings giving up just one hit. He struck out seven on the night and he struck out the side in both the fifth and the sixth. Because Norwich has lost 3 of its last 4 games they have not been able to gain any ground on the slumping Mets. The Mets now have a 6 game lead over 3rd place Norwich. With the playoffs less than a month away the B-Mets might very well be able to back in to second place in their division. If that were to happen the Mets would open the "second season" in New Hampshire. Despite the loss, the B-Mets are still confident that they will win their division. There are now low spirits in their clubhouse as the battle for first place rages on.

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