MMLN - Early Start, Slow Day for B-Mets

Lucas Duda had a very sound day at the plate

NORWICH, CT - The B-Mets got a very early start to their series finale with the Connecticut Defenders with a first pitch at 10:35 AM. They fell behind early before scratching across a few runs, but the B-Mets ultimately lost 7-3 in the final game of a quick three-game road trip. Look inside for details about Thursday's action.

Eric Brown was shaky during his second start of the season. He breezed through the first two innings, retiring the side in order in each frame throwing 14 total pitches. But he ran into trouble starting in the third inning when lost command of his slider—which was very sharp in the first two innings and drew the admiration of scouts—and hitters starting sitting on his fastball.

Brown threw a high number of strikes and did not walk anyone, but inconsistent command of his third and fourth pitches made it very difficult for him to put hitters away. He wasn't hit overly hard throughout the start. He surrendered four doubles but all of them were bounding balls that squeaked by the outstretched gloves of the corner infielders.

However, his fastball topped out at 87 MPH with his slider sitting 80-83 MPH and his changeup 77-79 MPH. Simply, he does not have the differentiation in his velocity to really mix up hitters. That caused him to pitch on the edge in the middle innings though he escaped a real jam in the third inning when he had two on and one out, but was later knocked out in the sixth.

Stephen Clyne came in to relieve Brown. It was Clyne's fourth outing since coming up to Binghamton. Clyne's fastball sat 86-88 MPH, though he did dial one up to 93 MPH, with his slider in the low-80s and a changeup in the high-70s.

The loss in velocity from his rookie season can be directly attributed to an inconsistent arm slot. He can still flash it like the single 93 MPH heater he threw when he gets his arm in the right slot, but he has fallen into a pattern of dropping his elbow which is not allowing him to drive through his delivery. That is sapping the velocity out of his fastball, down from 92-94 MPH where he was during his rookie season.

Adam Bostick was very solid in his two innings of work, throwing a 90-92 MPH fastball with his curveball 79-82 MPH. Bostick threw 17 of his 23 pitches for strikes.

Lucas Duda's effectiveness, or lack thereof, against left-handed pitching has been well documented (.158, 6-for-38 this season). But today he was able to stay back on an inside changeup and drive it to straight-away left field for a run-scoring double off the wall.

He also singled when he redirected an outside fastball into right field. He added a sacrifice fly on a changeup down and away which he drove to right field—both against right-handers.

Defensively, Duda showed improved mobility and quicker feet going to both sides. Last season, he struggled going to his backhand, but he made two diving plays today that demonstrated better reactions and softer hands which led to solid playmaking.

Josh Thole pinch hit for Bostick in the ninth and singled when he drove an outside fastball to left field. That approach and execution on an outside pitch is indicative in the promising skills he possesses as a contact hitter. Thole has very good balance in the box and does a good job of keeping his hands through the hitting zone which allows him to stay back and drive the outside and/or off-speed pitch.

D.J. Wabick showed a very good up the middle approach all afternoon, twice taking fastballs below the knees right back through the box for crisp singles. One of his outs was a hard line drive to straightaway center.

With Jose Coronado back in Binghamton, Ruben Tejada figures to spend the bulk of his playing time at second base.

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