Fisher Cats welcome EL leaders
The Mets are having a great season and we're not talking about the team in New York City.
The Binghamton Mets, owners of the best record in the Eastern League, invade the Queen City for a five-game series against the Fisher Cats beginning Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Binghamton, entering Tuesday's doubleheader against Altoona, owned a 50-29 record and a commanding nine-game lead against second-place Portland (41-38). New Hampshire (39-43) was 12½ games back before its game Tuesday night against New Britain.
Binghamton is also eight games ahead in the loss column against Harrisburg (44-38), which leads the Western Division by only 1½ games against Erie.
Since May 25, the Mets are 24-7 and just completed the month of June with a 19-5 record. During June, the Mets outscored their opponents 126-75 in 19 games. They have a better road record (25-13) than at home (25-16).
Binghamton owns the third-best team batting average (.262) and the second-best ERA (3.71).
While the Fisher Cats plan on having their own fireworks show after each of the first three games (all 7:05 starts) through Saturday as part of the Fourth of July weekend, the Mets have enough lethal weapons in their offense to light up the scoreboard.
Outfielder Cesar Puello (.336, 15 homers, 55 RBIs), first baseman Allan Dykstra (.317, 12 homers, 52 RBIs) and third baseman Josh Rodriguez (.304) were ranked second, fourth and eighth in batting average in the Eastern League before Tuesday's action.
Dykstra, who is not related to former Mets and Phillies star Lenny Dykstra, was actually selected in the 34th round of the 2005 draft by the Boston Red Sox. But he didn't sign with Boston, opting instead to play for Wake Forest University.
All three players will also represent the Eastern Division in the Eastern League All-Star Game set for July 10 in New Britain, Conn. Also on the all-star roster for the Mets are righthanded pitchers Logan Verrett (8-4, 4.06 ERA) and reliever Jeff Walters, who has a league-best 20 saves.
New Hampshire outfielder Brad Glenn was just named the Eastern League's player of the week. Glenn batted .400 (10 for 25), hit two home runs, and had seven RBIs in seven games. He also scored a league week-high eight runs and drew three walks. He entered Tuesday's action in New Britain on a 10-game hitting streak (.410, 16-for-39).
Glenn is representing the Fisher Cats in the All-Star game along with shortstop Kevin Nolan, a Nashua native who is batting .253 on the season and, pitcher Sean Nolin. The lefty owns a 4-2 record and 3.00 ERA in 9 starts with the Fisher Cats.
New Hampshire announced its pitching probables through Saturday. Marcus Walden (5-8, 3.18) will get the start Thursday, Deck McGuire (4-7, 5.52) gets the nod on Friday and Ryan Tepera (6-5, 4.25) toes the hill Saturday. Sunday's game start is 5:05 p.m. and Monday's finale will begin on 12:05 p.m.