AA-Eastern League Championship Series Preview: Binghamton Mets vs. Richmond Flying Squirrels


Welcome back.

It has been 20 years since the Binghamton Mets last participated in the Eastern League Championship Series.  They won titles in 1992 and 1994, but were defeated in the first round in each of 5 attempts since then – until this season that is.  With a come-back 3-2 series victory over the Portland Sea Dogs, the BMets advanced to play the Richmond Flying Squirrels (S.F. Giants).

Jul 4, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; MLB baseballs and a glove sit on the field prior to the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Despite an 83-59 record, the Binghamton Mets finished 6 games out of first place behind Portland.  The Portland Sea Dogs were the only team to play .600+ baseball.

With a 79-63 record, the Richmond Flying Squirrels clinched the Western Division by 6 games over the Akron Rubber Ducks.

Akron and Binghamton qualified for the post-season as runner-ups.

As noted, Binghamton defeated Portland 3 games to 2 in the first round, and Richmond defeated Akron 3 games to 1.

The Connecticut Defenders became the Richmond Flying Squirrels beginning with the 2010 season.  They return to the finals after a mere 2 year absence.  Richmond bowed to New Hampshire in the 2011 championship series.

This is Binghamton’s third trip to the finals.

Game One Pitching Matchup:

(BM) Tyler Pill @ (RFS) Clayton Blackburn

  • Southpaw Tyler Pill pitched Game 1 (Round 1) against the Portland Sea Dogs.  His 5.2 inning effort resulted in a no-decision.  He allowed 5 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, and struck out 4 batters.  During the regular season, Tyler made 22 appearances/21 starts for Binghamton (and 1 start for the Las Vegas 51s).  In 124.2 innings, he posted a 9-5 record, allowed 115 hits and walked 29 for a 1.16 WHiP.  He struck out 120 and posted a 3.83 ERA.
  • Clayton Blackburn did not make a start in the first round, as the Richmond Flying Squirrels dispatched the Akron Rubber Ducks in 4 games.  However, Clayton’s last start came on 9/1 against Binghamton.  He earned the victory for a 6 inning effort, in which he allowed 2 earned runs on just 3 hits.  He walked none and fanned 6 BMets.  During the regular season, Clayton started 18 games, and posted a 5-6 record with a 3.29 ERA.  In 93 innings, he allowed 94 hits and walked 20 for a 1.23 WHiP, and struck out 138 batters.

Possible Series Match-Ups:

9/10 Game Two – (BM) Greg Peavey @ (RFS) Adelberto Mejia.  (This match-up has been posted)

  • Greg Peavey pitched Game 2 against Portland.  He only lasted 2 innings, allowed 6 runs/2 earned on 8 hits and 1 walk.  He fanned a pair.  In the regular season, Peavey was 11-3, with a 2.50 ERA in 18 starts for Binghamton.
  • Adelberto Mejia earned a no-decision in his Game 1 start against Akron.  He pitched 6.2 innings, allowed just 1 earned run on 2 hits and 2 walks.  He struck out 7 batters.  He last faced the BMets on 8/29 and earned a 6 inning victory, allowing 1 earned run on 6 hits, with 3 strikeouts.  During the season he posted a 7-9 record with a 4.67 ERA over 108 innings.

9/12 Game Three – (RFS) Jack Snodgrass @ (BM) Steven Matz.  (Presently, only Jack Snodgrass is posted)

  • Southpaw Steven Matz pitched 5 innings in Game 3 against Portland.  He allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks.  He fanned 5 and earned a no-decision.  After his promotion from St. Lucie, he posted a 6-5 record and a 2.27 ERA in 12 regular season starts with the BMets.
  • Lefty Jack Snodgrass is the leader of the staff.  He pitched Game 2 against Akron, and suffered Richmond’s only first round loss.  He threw 4.2 innings, allowed 5 earned runs on 9 hits and 3 walks, with 3 strikeouts.  He posted an 11-6 season record with a 3.56 ERA, with 86 strikeouts in 131.1 innings.

9/13 Game Four – (RFS) Ty Blach @ (BM) Rainy Lara   (if necessary)

  • Ty Blach gives Richmond a formidable one-two punch.  He was excellent against Akron in Game 3.  He pitched 6.1 innings, blanked the Storm Chasers on just 2 hits and 2 walks.  He struck out 5 in earning the victory.  In just his 2nd minor league season, he posted an 8-8 record with a 3.13 ERA in 141 innings.  He allowed 141 hits, walked 39 and fanned 91.
  • Rainy Lara earned the series tying victory in Game 4 against Portland.  He pitched 6 innings, allowed 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, with a pair of strikeouts.  During the season he posted a 6-4 record for Binghamton, with a 4.31 ERA.  He allowed 123 hits in 108.2 innings, with 26 walks, and 71 strikeouts.

9/14 Game Five – (RFS) Chris Stratton @ (BM) Gabriel Ynoa   (if necessary)

  • Chris Stratton pitched a gem in Richmond’s clincher over Akron.  He threw 6 innings, allowed no runs and a mere 2 hits.  He did walk 4 however, and fanned 6 batters for the victory.  He spent most of his season with (A+) San Jose where he posted a 7-8 record and 5.07 ERA in 99.1 innings.  He only started 5 games for Richmond, and posted a 3.52 ERA in 23 innings.
  • Gabriel Ynoa earned the victory in Binghamton’s clincher over Portland.  In 5.2 innings, he allowed 5 earned runs on 9 hits.  He walked 1 and struck out 8 batters.  Promoted after 14 starts at St. Lucie, Gabriel made 11 starts for Binghamton, and posted a 3-2 record with 4.21 ERA.  In 66.1 innings he only walked 12 for a 1.6 W/9 average.


  • Richmond’s top closer, Derek Law, succumbed to an elbow injury in June that ended his season.  He still led the team with 13 saves.  Cody Hall presently serves as the team closer.  In 51.2 innings, he struck out 57, posted 11 saves, and a 3.14 ERA.  He blew a save opportunity in Game 1 against Akron, and successfully closed out Game 4.  Steven Okert registered a save in Game 3.
  • Cody Satterwhite led the Binghamton Mets with 15 saves.  He posted a 2.33 ERA in 48 games and 58 innings.  His 63 strikeouts equated to a 9.8 K/9 average.  Chase Bradford was second on the team with 11 saves.  In 26.2 innings, he posted a 2.02 ERA, with 25 strikeouts, for an 8.4 K/9 average.

Offensive Comparison:

First baseman Mario Lisson led the Richmond Flying Squirrels with 18 home runs and 76 RBI.  Brian Burgamy led Binghamton with 23 home runs (2nd in the Eastern League) and matched Mario Lisson’s 76 RBI, which ties them for 3rd in the circuit.

Richmond has played minus the services of infielder Matt Duffy, who was summoned to the San Francisco Giants in August.  Duffy nonetheless qualified to win the Eastern League batting title with a .332 mark.  He still finished 2nd on the team in RBI as well.  Their next best hitter was Jarrett Parker, who hit .275 in 100 games for Richmond, but he was promoted to AAA-Fresno.  That presently leaves shortstop Kelby Tomlinson as Richmond’s top hitter with a .269 regular season average.  Tomlinson also led the Flying Squirrels with 63 runs scored, and his 49 stolen bases topped the circuit.

For Binghamton, Jayce Boyce qualified for 10th in the league with a .293 batting average.  With only 201 at-bats third baseman T.J. Rivera did not qualify, but finished with a .358 mark.  Brian Burgamy finished 4th in the league with 80 runs scored, and finished 3rd with 32 doubles.  Darrell Ceciliani led the BMets with only 16 stolen bases.  Jayce Boyde ranked 6th in the league with a .382 OBP, and Burgamy followed in 7th with a .376 mark.  Brian Burgamy was also the only player on either team to slug above .500, with a .504 average – good for 6th in the league.

Mario Lisson placed 9th in the Eaastern League with an .837 OPS, and Jarrett Parker followed in 11th place with an .833 mark.  For Binghamton, Brian Burgamy again ranked 4th with an .880 OPS.  Travis Taijeron‘s .832 OPS ranked 13th.

Binghamton topped the league with a .278 batting average.  The Richmond Flying Squirrels ranked 8th with a .256 team average.  The BMets also led the league with 718 runs scored – the only team above 700.  Richmond was 9th with 586 runs.

The Mets were 2nd with 122 home runs, while Richmond finished last with 74 round trippers.  Naturally, Binghamton led the league with a .423 slugging average.  Richmond was last with a .363 mark.  Richmond was also middle of the road with a .329 OBP, while the Mets once again led the league with a .353 mark.


May the better team win.