Saturday evening, pitcher Rafael Montero continued his stellar start to the 2013 regular season. He contributed six shutout innings, as the Binghamton Mets completed a 3-0 white-washing of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Montero limited New Hampshire to four hits, and struck out six batters. He issued no walks in achieving his third victory of the season.Feb 21, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Rafael Montero (74) poses for a picture during photo day at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Rafael Montero has now made four starts without a loss, and sports a 1.59 ERA after 22.2 innings pitched. He has limited opponents to fifteen hits, and most impressive about his season so far, is issuing only one walk, which came in his second start. His 0.710 WHiP ranks second in the Eastern League, while his ERA rates sixth. Montero’s twenty-seven strikeouts are number one in the circuit, and he is currently one of only three Eastern League pitchers with three victories.
Montero is not only is picking up where he left off last season, he has improved his rate of strikeouts since pitching A-ball. He split the 2012 season between Savannah and Port St. Lucie and posted an 11-5 record with a combined 2.36 ERA in 122 innings pitched. He struck out 110 batters while only walking nineteen. He averaged 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings. This year, he is up to an 11.3 rate of strikeouts per nine innings. Additionally, his current rate of walks issued is his new career low mark. Montero is now walking one 1/2-batter per nine innings pitched.
As for the rest of the team, the B-Mets now lead their four game weekend series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, two games to one.
In game three, the outfield supplied all the offense the B-Mets would need in support of the pitching efforts of Rafael Montero, and Jack Leathersich and Jeffrey Walters in relief. Darrell Ceciliani gave the B’s a 1-0 lead in the fifth with a two out RBI single. In the eighth inning, with Darrell Ceciliani on base, Cory Vaughn gave the Mets a 3-0 lead via his third home run of the season – again coming with two outs. The Mets had ten hits on the night. Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar hit two doubles. Binghamton batted 3/11 with runners in scoring position. In pitching a scoreless ninth inning, Jeffrey Walters earned his fifth save of the season.
Game four is Sunday.