The New York Mets have used Darin Gorski in a variety of roles during his progression through the Minors. After Thursday's strong outing at NYSEG Stadium, it might be prudent to keep him in the rotation permanently.
Gorski allowed one hit -- a second-inning single -- and two walks while striking out four batters over six innings to lead Double-A Binghamton past Portland, 6-0.
"I would probably give this performance a seven [out of 10]," said Gorski, who threw 54 of 87 pitches for strikes. "I felt like there were some at-bats where I fell behind hitters, but there were other times where I executed quality pitches. I didn't always make the pitches I wanted to, but otherwise it was OK.
"I threw a lot of fastballs to get ahead of hitters early in the count and I located my pitches on both sides of the plate. There were a lot of right-handers in their lineup, so that neutralized my breaking ball a little bit."
After a perfect first inning, Gorski hit Reynaldo Rodriguez with two outs in the second and surrendered a single to Ronald Bermudez to put runners on the corners. That was as far as any Sea Dogs baserunner got against Gorski, who proceeded to retire 10 of the next 11 batters he faced.
Derrik Gibson led off the sixth frame with a walk against the Mets' No. 19 prospect, but he was thrown out trying to steal second base. Gorski, who was also used in middle relief, setup roles and save situations in each of his past two seasons in St. Lucie and Savannah, then set down the final two hitters before turning over a 6-0 lead to his bullpen.
"I don't know what they have in mind for me here, but I'm willing to do whatever they have for me," the 24-year-old said.
"I like them all the same. As a starter you have that time before games to prepare, but as a reliever you feel that adrenalin rush and you're able to pick your teammates up. I'll do anything to a get a 'W' for the team."
Thursday's outing marked the second time Gorski (2-0) has dominated at home this season. In his Double-A debut April 7, the Pennsylvania native allowed one hit over six shutout innings in a 2-1 win against Akron.
The similarities were apparent to Gorski. In that outing, he was also staked to an early lead, he threw 57 of 88 pitches for strikes and he walked three batters.
"I got quick outs in that game too," he explained. "I executed pitches when I needed to, but I would have to put tonight's game ahead of that one. I had better fastball command tonight and that allowed me to get ahead of more guys, but otherwise it was fairly similar."
The southpaw now sports a 1.13 ERA in three starts since being promoted from the Florida State League. He has allowed six hits while striking out 16 and walking seven batters over 16 innings.
Last season, Gorski went 11-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 27 appearances, including 21 starts, with St. Lucie.
"The zone is a little bit smaller here, which I anticipated," he said of the transition to Double-A. "Guys are more patient and have better at-bats and they don't chase pitches until you're ahead of them.
"The lineups you face here are full of the hitters who are the No. 3-4 hitters in the Florida State League, but good pitches will get hitters out at any level."
On Thursday, Elvin Ramirez worked around a hit and a walk in two innings of relief, and Armando Rodriguez used a double play to erase a leadoff single in the ninth to complete the B-Mets' second shutout of 2012.
"They did the same thing tonight that our bullpen has been doing all year," he said. "They pounded the zone and kept guys off base. They were aggressive with their fastball and it definitely feels good when you're handing the ball game to them."
Designated hitter Travid Ozga was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI and first baseman Eric Campbell went 2-for-3 with two RBIs out of the cleanup spot.
Portland starter Billy Buckner (0-1) yielded three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five batters over five innings. Juan Carlos Linares reached base safely three times to raise his average to .380.