Worcester, MA – The Syracuse Mets got ahead by a comfortable margin and then utilized tremendous bullpen work to nab a 7-2 win over the Worcester Red Sox on a sunny Saturday at Polar Park. The Mets have now taken three out of the first five games at Worcester this
Worcester, MA – The Syracuse Mets got ahead by a comfortable margin and then utilized tremendous bullpen work to nab a 7-2 win over the Worcester Red Sox on a sunny Saturday at Polar Park. The Mets have now taken three out of the first five games at Worcester this week in their final road trip of the 2023 season.
Syracuse (25-40, 58-81) gave their starting pitcher, Justin Jarvis, a little early run support with two runs in the top of the third to grab a 2-0 lead. First, with nobody on base and one out, Matt O’Neill smacked a solo home run over the 22-foot-high Worcester wall in right field to make it a 1-0 game in a flash. It was the first Triple-A homer for O’Neill, who was called up from Double-A Binghamton earlier this week. Then, the Mets tacked on when Danny Mendick singled, moved to second on a Brandon McIlwain walk and scored on a Daniel Palka RBI single. Mendick finished the game with three hits – he has at least two hits in each of the three games that he has played in so far this week. Palka also now owns a four-game hitting streak.
Jarvis kept Worcester (37-30, 76-66) off balance for much of his start, striking out six batters in four innings to begin his outing. However, in the fifth, the WooSox managed to force Jarvis out of the game and tie it up in the process. Christian Koss doubled with one out and then promptly moved to third on a David Hamilton groundout. That was followed by a Nick Sogard infield single that plated Koss, made it a 2-1 game and kept the inning alive. Sogard soon came home to tie the game when an Emanuel Valdez single moved him to third and a wild pitch allowed him to prance home the final 90 feet with the game’s tying run.
Jarvis was pulled shortly thereafter, with Anthony Kay getting the final out of the fifth to ensure it would remain a 2-2 game. The final line for Jarvis was four and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Saturday’s start marked new highs in innings pitched and strikeouts for Jarvis since he joined the New York Mets organization via trade in early August.
In the sixth and seventh, the Mets put the game away with two runs in the sixth and three runs in the seventh. In the sixth, Jaylen Palmer slugged a two-run homer to put the Mets in front for good. Palmer has now homered in three straight games and has five homers in 14 Triple-A games since being called up from Binghamton. The seventh was the fateful frame for Syracuse, as they scored three runs on three hits plus two walks while sending eight men to the plate. Abraham Almonte, Joe Suozzi and Jose Peroza all contributed RBI singles in the three-run seventh for Syracuse that made it a 7-2 game.
It was a balanced attack all evening long for the Mets, as each member of their starting lineup reached base at least once. Eight of the nine batters had at least one hit, and even the one man who didn’t have a hit had a productive night. Brandon McIlwain walked three times, stole a base and scored a run.
While the offense put the Mets in front, their bullpen finished the job in scintillating fashion. Three men (Anthony Kay, Nate Lavender and William Woods) combined to throw four and one-thirds scoreless innings on just two hits while walking only one batter and striking out nine. That continues an impressive trend of bullpen work from Friday night, when three more pitchers (Hunter Parsons, Eric Orze and Tyler Jay) tossed a combined five and two-thirds hitless and scoreless innings.
Nate Lavender once again starred on the mound on Saturday night, working two scoreless and hitless innings on just one walk with five strikeouts. Lavender may be the best reliever all season long for Syracuse. The lefthander from Illinois has now racked up 62 strikeouts in 42 total innings of work.
Syracuse plays one final game in Worcester, Massachusetts before heading home for the final homestand of the season. The sixth game of the final road series of the season at the Worcester Red Sox is slated for a 1:05 start on Sunday afternoon. Denyi Reyes is scheduled to take the mound for the Mets against Shane Drohan for the WooSox.