Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Rock Cats Blog // New Britain 6, Binghamton 1 [Game 22]
Box Score: http://www.milb.com/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_08_14_binaax_nbraax_1&mode=gameday
Following the series with the Trenton Thunder- the only time that the Rock Cats played the Thunder at home this season- the Rock Cats went into their final three games against the Binghamton Mets, which is kind of a sad occasion for me and perhaps even sadder than the fact that this is all coming to an end soon simply because seeing the B-Mets play here is just one of those special occasions for me growing up as a Mets fan. It was decided some time in advance that we would be doing all three games in this series despite other activities taking place on this same weekend. This also made these last three B-Mets games rather interesting because I was the only one in my party to attend all three. On this first night, Friday night, my Dad and I went together as just the two of us.
My Dad picked me up and when we got to New Britain Stadium there was quite a line of traffic waiting to get in and park, so by the time that we actually did get into the game it was nearly time for the umpires to go onto the field and there were quite a few people waiting for autographs near the dug out so I decided not to go down there. I had a sheet printed out with the different B-Mets players on it, but unlike the Trenton Thunder I had one for their pitchers and one for the other position players because I just like the B-Mets that much more than not only the Trenton Thunder but every team really (except for maybe the Rock Cats). When I asked Quentin beforehand if he'd be upset if I got autographs without him he said "No, I'd be happy", but I still didn't want to do it and the time we arrived was perfect for me to not really have to worry about it and just watch the game.
One of the most interesting aspects of this game for me is that one of my two favorite Rock Cats pitchers- Ryan Carpenter- was starting. Now, as I remember it, Ryan Carpenter has pitched against the B-Mets at least twice this season, though the Rock Cats might have had an earlier series with them in Binghamton as well that I just don't remember. But I know that of recent memory, Ryan Carpenter pitched the last game in the series the last time that the B-Mets were here (Which must be strange, right, since he was the starter last time and this time, almost as if the game is continuing into one large game that never ended somehow) and that was a loss but when they went to Binghamton a short time later Ryan Carpenter pitched the first game on a Monday and won. So for me at least, since I wasn't paying too much attention prior to all that, this was the rubber match between Ryan Carpenter and the B-Mets. And boy did he take them to school.
The best part about watching Ryan Carpenter pitch is that when he is on his game he is unstoppable. Not only did he have some easy 1-2-3 innings with hitters flying out and all that, he did so in a manner where he would throw one pitch and it would be hit out to center for the easy out. Oh yeah, and he also had eleven strikeouts. Some of them were argued by the B-Mets players as you could see their frustration beginning to grow. And why not because the B-Mets and Trenton Thunder are battling for second place (Though Trenton has fallen behind a few more games than Binghamton) and the B-Mets don't want to lose that lead. The Rock Cats had the chance to play spoiler to that but in all fairness the Rock Cats did have the chance and did do the same thing to the Trenton Thunder just a few days prior, winning that series 2-1.
What was amazing about this game also is that the only hit Ryan Carpenter gave up was a solo home run by T.J. Rivera. One run and one hit, all wrapped up together, and that was the only thing Ryan Carpenter allowed to breathe on this night. If Ryan Carpenter can pitch like this every game he is going to be the superstar I know he is capable of becoming. But one fact which also comes into play a lot is the run support of the Rock Cats. The B-Mets did score one run, so can you imagine if Ryan Carpenter lost this game because the Rock Cats didn't score? A pitcher giving up one run isn't that big of a deal to me because your team should have the runs to back it up and give you the lead. In this game, the Rock Cats were on their offensive game and got the rallies going to put them on the board and help keep them on top. It was like watching Shane Carle pitch where the great pitching brings about the great hitting.
For whatever reason they took Ryan Carpenter out after eight though I felt he should have gotten the complete game nod and Carlos Estevez came in to strike out the side and end the game. Gabriel Ynoa pitched for the B-Mets and he's still got the potential to be something great but this just wasn't his night. This was Ryan Carpenter's night and it was just so much fun watching this game, seeing the pitching fall into place the way that it should and Ryan Carpenter being the pitcher he was meant to be. I told someone later and he agreed with me that when you look at the record of Ryan Carpenter (he moved up to 7-12 with this win) that he is a much better pitcher than his record reflects. I still stand by that notion and this game is a perfect example of that to me.