MMLN - Bannister Finally Falters

In our latest edition of the MMLN, Jeff Keppinger is on pace to shatter his career-high in hits, Brian Bannister finally takes one on the chin, Vincent Cordova is the latest "hard luck" loser, and stop the presses, Mike Carp goes deep again. All this and much more in the Mets Minor League Notebook. (Free Preview of Premium Content)

Norfolk Tides: The Tides lost the opener of a four-game series in Louisville Monday, falling to the Bats 3-2. RHP Jae Seo, despite his good performances at the Major League level, hadn't had much success in the minor this year until Monday's start. Seo allowed just two earned runs on four hits and two walks in six strong innings in a no-decision. Prior to Monday, Seo had not given up few than three earned runs any of his previous three minor league starts, including the eight earned runs he gave up his 4 1/3 innings in his last start for the Tides against, ironically, the Louisville Bats on April 18th. RHP Tim Lavigne got touched for one earned run on two hits in two innings of work Monday, snapping his streak of seven straight scoreless appearances for the Tides. Opposing International League batters are still only hitting .119 against him as he has yet to give up a hit with runners on base.

2B Jeff Keppinger continues to hit at an extremely high rate this season, going 2-4 with an RBI for his 15th multi-hit game of the season in 31 games played. He's on pace for 206 hits this season which would shatter his career-high of 132 hits in his debut season with the Hickory Crawdads in 2002. Things are finally starting to click for CF Angel Pagan. Pagan went 1-3 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI in the loss Monday. He has four extra-base hits in his last eight games after getting just four extra-base hits in his first 21 games. 3B Rodney Nye went 1-4 with a double and a run scored and he has now hit safely in five of his last six games.

Binghamton Mets: Apparently this is the week for many of the top pitchers in the Mets' system to finally falter. RHP Brian Bannister, seemingly infallable in his first six starts, had his worst outing of the season Monday. He allowed five earned runs on six hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings, picking up a no-decision. It was the third time in 15 AA starts that he has allowed five or more earned runs, dating back to last season. LHP Tim Hamulack gave up one run (unearned) on three hits and one walk in 2 2/3 innings, striking out four batters. He has given up just one earned run in his last 12 appearances and he entered Monday's relief appearance holding opposing Eastern League batters to a .183 average this season.

1B Jay Caligiuri, who entered Monday's game with just one RBI in his previous seven games, went 2-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI in the loss. He has hit safely in just five of his last nine games, but he has collected multi-hit games in four of those contests. SS Anderson Garcia was one of five Binghamton batters to collect a multi-hit game Monday, going 3-4 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. He has a nine-game hit streak going and his double Monday was his first extra-base hit since hitting a home run on April 29th. CF Wayne Lydon also hasn't shown much power this season. He went 2-5 with a triple and two RBI, giving him his first extra-base hit since his triple against New Hampshire way back on April 22nd, a stretch of 12 straight games. 1B Mike Jacobs went 2-5 with a double for his second straight multi-hit game and he's now hitting .444 in his last four games. 3B Chase Lambin went 0-4 in the loss, snapping his seven-game hit streak. It was just his fourth hitless games of the season.

St. Lucie Mets: St. Lucie's rally fell a couple of runs short Monday as they dropped a 5-3 decision to the Lakeland Tigers and extend their losing streak to 10 games. RHP Vincent Cordova, who was the losing pitcher Monday, allowed three runs (just one earned) on five hits and no walks in six innings, striking out ten batters. He's just 1-2 in his last four starts despite sporting a nifty 1.23 ERA during that time. After striking out just 12 batters in his first 21 innings pitched this season, Cordova has rebounded to strike 23 batters in his last 17 innings. Finally, the mighty have fallen! RHP Chuck Smith, who hadn't allowed an earned run in his first 17 innings pitched this season in two stops between Hagerstown and St. Lucie, gave up one earned run on two hits in one inning of work Monday. LHP Eddie Camacho, who gave up his first run of the season in his last outing, threw his 10th scoreless appearance Monday. He limited Lakeland to just one hit in one inning.

SS Corey Ragsdale went 1-5 and hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Mets a brief moment of hope at a comeback. Despite homering twice in his last three games and scoring one run in each of his last four games, the bottom line is Ragsdale is struggling as of late. He's hitting just .135 in his last nine games, striking out at least once in each of those games. LF Alhaji Turay went 2-5 with a double and an RBI Monday, ending a streak of six straight games without an extra-base hit or an RBI. With his average at .195 on the year, Turay is inching closer to getting it above the dreaded "Mendoza" line, a plateau it hasn't reached all season! CF Lastings Milledge, who was hitting just .071 in his previous seven games, went 2-3 at the plate, doubling his hit total from his last seven games. 3B Shawn Bowman ended his five-game drought without a hit by going 1-4 in the loss.

Hagerstown Suns: The Suns opened up their four-game series in Hickory Monday with a 10-5 victory over the Crawdads in 10 innings. 1B Mike Carp continues to show amazing power for Hagerstown this season, going 3-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI. Carp's solo home run in the sixth inning was his 10th home run of the season and for all of his power, Monday was just the second time this season he's had more than one extra-base hit in a game. He has now scored at least one run in 7 of his last 8 games. 2B Ryan Coultas went 2-5 with three runs scored and two solo home run in the victory Monday to extend his hit streak to a season-high four games. Coultas, who has now scored a run in three straight games, had his first multiple extra-base hit game of the year and his first since raking a double and a triple against Hudson Valley in the NY-Penn League on July 17th. LF Dante Brinkley had a "so-so" night at the plate (for him lately) Monday, going 2-5 with a stolen base. He has now collected extra-base hits in five straight games while stealing at least one base in four games in a row.

RHP Gaby Hernandez made his 7th start of the season Monday and did not fare all too well. Hernandez allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in just 5 1/3 innings in a no-decision. He walked one batter and struck out three. For all of his good control, Monday was just his third start this season where he's walked less than two batters. Hernandez entered Monday's start allowing just a .160 average to South Atlantic League batters. RHP Matt Miramontes kept the Suns in the game by allowing just one earned run on one hit and one walk in 4 2/3 innings to pick up his second win of the season. It was the first time this season he had pitched more than three innings and he has a 1.69 over his last six appearances...which if you recall is not a number he ever came close to in his time in the South Atlantic League in 2004 (his lowest ERA with the Bombers last season at any point was 3.86).

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