Although the Las Vegas 51s failed to complete a four game sweep of the Tacoma Rainiers Sunday afternoon, they still improved their league leading record over the weekend to an impressive 18-6 mark.
The 51s are additionally beginning to create a noticeable separation between them and the competition. They ended the weekend owning a 4.5 game lead in the PCL’s Pacific Southern Division over the Albuquerque Isotopes, and overall, the Iowa Cubs own the PCL’s 2nd best record behind the 51s with a 13-9 mark.
Las Vegas gave Verrett an early 3-0 lead in the opening frame. Cesar Puello, Matt den Dekker, and Wilmer Flores led things off with consecutive singles, which produced the game’s opening run. Andrew Brown then reached safely on an E-5, which also allowed Matt den Dekker to score the 51s second run. Wilmer Flores then scored on Allan Dykstra‘s sac fly.
Tacoma promptly struck in their next at-bat. Three hits, and a throwing error by Wilmer Flores playing shortstop contributed to a pair of unearned runs, making it a 3-2 game.
Iwakuma was limited to 80 pitches, and was removed from the game. With Mark Rogers pitching in relief, Las Vegas closed the gap in the bottom of the 5th. Daniel Muno singled with two outs, and scored on Andrew Brown‘s double to make it a 5-4 game. But, that would ultimately be the game’s final score.
Logan Verrett’s afternoon was over as well. He pitched five full, allowed 5 runs (only 3 earned), walked 1 batter, struck out 4, and left the game on the losing side. His record dropped to 1-2 on the young season.
Las Vegas mounted a threat in the bottom of the 7th, when Matt den Dekker and Daniel Muno reached to set up first and third, with one out. Andrew Brown then stepped in against reliever Mark Rogers, and struck out swinging. The hot hitting Dykstra followed, but stranded the tying run at third base, as he was called out on a close play, 5 to 3, for the third out.
On Allan Dykstra:
Allan Dykstra entered Sunday’s game wielding a .411 batting average, but was tamed at the plate so to say, to just 5 for 15 during the weekend series. He now ranks third in the Pacific Coast league with a .397 batting average. In fact, Dykstra has found his first 20 games, and 58 at-bats at the Triple-A level very much to his liking. His .520 OBP, and 1.244 OPS lead the Pacific Coast League. His 10 doubles rank second. In addition to his batting average, his 22 RBI and 42 total bases rank third, and lastly, his .724 slugging ranks fourth in the circuit.
This follows a quadruple slash of .274/.436/.503/.938 he posted last season in 372 at-bats with Binghamton. His strikeouts have been a point of contention. He fanned 123 times in Binghamton last season, but walked 102 times. He maintains a similar pattern this season with 14 strikeouts, but has also drawn 16 bases on balls.
Allan Dykstra is a first baseman by trade, and will turn 27-years old in May. Now that Ike Davis has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the first base dilemma in New York has subsided. Lucas Duda has been handed the job, but there are no guarantees he will keep the job. Only his productivity will determine that. In the mean time, Allan Dykstra is continuing to progress very well. While this season perhaps offers him a remote chance of playing first base in Queens, a poor 2014 season by Lucas Duda could very well open the door for Allan Dykstra next spring.
Of course, many eyes within the organization, and Mets fans alike, have their sights on Dominic Smith as their first baseman of the future. But, the Mets #1 pick (11th overall) of the 2013 draft is only in his second season of professional ball. Dominic is presently playing with Savannah, and only has 286 plate appearances to his name, which is to say he is still several years away from playing in the big leagues.
Allan Dykstra can potentially help the Mets this season, next season for sure, and perhaps for a few seasons until Dominic Smith is indeed ready to take over first base. For the moment, Lucas Duda will have final say on this subject.
Still, should Lucas Duda seize the moment, Allan Dykstra at least warrants our continued attention.