This is how these things are going to work when I’m at the ballpark. I’m going to do a live, open game thread. I will update it during the day and throughout the game.
When I’m not at the ballpark — which will be the case for 99 percent of the road games (our paper does not travel with the team) and some home games, I’ll do something similar…there just won’t be any quotes, etc.
Game X – Scranton Yankees @ Trenton Thunder
April 1, 2008
Waterfront Park – Trenton, NJ
Pitching Matchup: SWB starter TBA (NR) vs. TRE Phil Coke (NR)
Starting Lineups: Marquez IS NOT starting.
1 – Gardner, CF
2 – Christian, LF
3 – Porter, RF
4 – Ransom, 3B
5 – Miranda, 1B
6 – Gonzalez, SS
7 – Duncan, DH
8 – Moeller, C
9 – Castro, 2B
1 – Pena, 2B
2 – Jackson, CF
3 – Tabata, RF
4 – Curtis, LF
5 – Carson, DH
6 – Ehlers, 1B
7 – Pilittere, C
8 – Vechionacci, 3B
9 – Corona, SS
Pre-Game Notes: The tarp IS NOT on the field, and it is not raining as of 4:45. The SWB Yankees are currently getting stretched out in left field. Hope to have a few interviews with those guys, then some stuff with Trenton players as well…
It was made official before the game that Chase Wright would receive his second consecutive Opening Day start. The Texas native will take the ball on April 3rd for the Thunder in Binghamton.
Jeff Marquez WILL NOT be starting. He’s fine, but he was never supposed to start and told me he hadn’t been informed he’d be starting. Instead, it will be a bullpen game…no idea who’s getting the ball just yet.
Tony Franklin told me that Phil Coke will get 4-5 innings tonight.
According to Franklin, the rotation is, in order: Chase Wright, Daniel McCutchen, George Kontos, Phil Coke and Jason Jones
SCOTT PATTERSON – “This is great. I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to get it in, but I’m glad we can. This feels like home.”
“I was (disappointed), to be honest with you. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. I really didn’t sleep for anything more than an hour that night. It wasn’t performance, but it was like what did they want, what did they want me to do. It was nothing with performance. But I’ve got to move on. But I told them, the final words I said were: wherever you guys put me, I’m going to get guys out. It’s just a matter of getting the guys out, and getting up there.”
“They said I’d be the first call-up, but other than that, we’ll see. If it’s something starter wise, I wouldn’t go up. My guess is if a lefty goes down, or they need another lefty, that’s the only case that I wouldn’t go first.”
“(Getting the call) could happen any day. The first thing that happens, I could be up there. I wanted to be there, it was a good taste. It makes you work harder, because it was such a good taste of being up there. It’s so close to what you want to accomplish.”
“Playing in Venezuela, you get used to (playing with star players). I was more star-struck in Venezuela with all those big league guys, but you get used to it. And once I got to spring training, that helped out, because I wasn’t star struck and I could focus on just knowing what I want and trying to make the team and not worrying about those guys. It was great being with them, but I just stuck to my routine down there and it worked out well.”
“I talked to a couple of the Lancaster guys that came down and saw me, and I thought about it, and just two years ago I was in Lancaster, in ’06. That first month, I was there. The no-hitter, that was the day that I signed. There’s only one more step to go.”
JEFF MARQUEZ – “(Being on this side), it’s a little different. I’m just looking forward to getting the season going. Everything was real good, I got a chance to be up in big league camp for the first time.”
“It was awesome, you’ve got (Jeter and A-Rod), Mariano’s there, Johnny Damon, Giambi, all those guys. It was pretty cool to be a part of that.”
“Last year was fun. I got off on the right foot, I started off pitching real well and I tried to continue that throughout the season. I had a good group of guys that were around me to help me. We had a good staff, I trusted them. All the guys just kind of fed off of each other. We had good defense, good offense, it was a tight-knit team. It was an honor to be invited the last week to go up (to Yankee Stadium). I had fun the three days I was there.”
“Talking to Mo about how hard work will get you where you want to go and will get you places. Just talking to him, it was a one on one conversation. The advice that he gave me was pretty special.”
ZACH KROENKE – “(Being the only lefty in the pen) I don’t think it puts any more pressure on me. I just have to go out there and do the same job as everyone else. Throw strikes and get outs.”
“Coming back, I’ve already been here once, so I’ve got a better idea of what I’m going to be throwing against. Starting off here, everyone’s going to be in early season form, and the bats are going to be a little bit slower, and I’ll have a little bit more time to get used to it.”
“Mistakes get hit a lot more (up here), a lot harder.”
TONY FRANKLIN – “I’m very pleased about where (some of last year’s Thunder players) are. I have no reservations about guys playing here and leaving and playing in Scranton. I get to see them tonight, and hope they go to the Major Leagues and never have to come back to the minor leagues. I’m very pleased to see guys like Miranda and Gonzalez and some of the other guys over there. Hopefully they have a great year there.”
MICHAEL GARDNER – “I went out (with San Diego) for spring training, and it was a good experience definitely. It was my first big league camp. They’re a great organization, I have nothing bad to say about them. I thought I threw all right, I guess it just didn’t work out in their eyes, as they foresaw it. They let me know I guess with about a week to go in spring training that I wasn’t going to make the club, and that the Yankees wanted me back. It was good. I had some time to get back to Tampa and get situated with the Yankees. It was a little disappointing too, but I definitely learned a lot being around guys like Peavy and Maddux and the whole staff there. Overall, it was a good experience.”
“It feels like…not getting traded, but I was just all over the map this spring. Two completely different climates, too. Pitching out west and pitching down in Florida, and then pitching up here. I’m just getting a taste of everything, I don’t know. But it was kind of inconvenient at the same time. Can’t do anything about it now.”
“It’s good to be back here, and get a chance to do it again. We’ve got a good team here, a lot of the same guys are back from last year, there are some new faces, but I’m looking forward to it, definitely.”
“I’m probably going to be doing about the same, maybe more middle relief, maybe some more long outings, more than just one inning more frequently, the might stretch me out to two or three innings. I’ll do whatever, I’ve done it all…closed, started, long relief, short relief. I’m ready for whatever they ask.”
MATT CARSON – “It’s not too tough (coming back). There, I would have been the fifth outfielder, here I’m the fourth outfielder. I have a chance to DH down here. With the three outfielders that they have, they’re all young guys and they’re going to want them to play every day. My chances of playing in the outfield, that remains to be seen. When those guys need a day off or something, I’ll fill in there. I’m looking to do a lot of DH, so at least I’ll get some at-bats.”
“(The Yankees) didn’t really necessarily talk about (my role), they basically just pulled me aside and said we don’t really see a lot of at-bats for you in Scranton, and we want you to get at-bats, so we’re going to send you to Trenton. That’s where they left it.”
“I had an OK spring, it wasn’t anything special. But I feel good, my body feels good. I feel strong, I feel healthy. My swing, it’s gonna be there. It was a nice ending last year, but it’s almost one of those things where you don’t wanna keep thinking about last year. You kinda want to be thinking about next year, you don’t wanna be thinking I can sit on there all year, because guys get in trouble doing that. But I think this going to be a good, productive year.”
CHASE WRIGHT – “I’m excited. We’ve got a great team, we’ve got some old guys and we’ve got some young guys. I think it’s going to be a great year all the way around.”
“I still get a paycheck playing baseball, I can’t complain wherever I’m at. I actually didn’t find out about (the Opening Day start) until today. I thought my last start in spring training was my best. I’m hoping to bring that into the opener.”
“(The cold weather)’s fine. When it’s that cold, the hitters seem to be a little hesitant to swing at those inside pitches. So that’s an advantage.”
“(The Yankees) told me that Igawa and Rasner have spots up in Scranton, and that I was going to start up in Double-A. That’s really about it. As far as going into the season and saying I want to be here at a certain time, I’m really just here to have fun and hopefully have a healthy season. Just enjoy it wherever I end up.”
“I got a little bit (of a taste of the big leagues) and I wanna get back up there for sure. It’s a lot of hard work, and the chances are few and far between. You just gotta keep on grinding, and hopefully I’ll get another opportunity.”
COMPLETE PHOTO GALLERY COMING TOMORROW
Radio Links: Click here for information on how to listen to future games live. For this game, it does not appear that MILB.com has a radio feed from either team.
Live Box Score: MILB.com will not be tracking this game since it is an exhibition.
Fearless Prediction: 9-4, Scranton.
In-Game Updates: THIS WILL BE A SEVEN INNING GAME
Edwar Ramirez got the start tonight. He’s not looking so hot. Just gave up a run-scoring single to Colin Curtis in the bottom of the 1st to make it 1-0 Thunder.
2-0 Thunder after 1. Curtis was thrown out at the plate by Justin Christian or it would have been 3-0. Not a great inning for Edwar.
2-1 Thunder after top of the 2nd. Miranda singled, Gonzalez doubled…Duncan with the RBI groundout. Ramirez is out, Dan Giese is in.
Edwar Ramirez’s line: 1 ip, 3 h, 2 er, 2r, 1 bb, 2 k
Kevin Russo is in for Corona in the 2nd…
2-1 Trenton after the top of the 3rd. The lineups are kind of a mess at this point. Veras is in for Scranton. Seems like the batting order has 11 guys.
2-1 in the bottom of the 4th. Chris Britton is in the game now.
Nice diving stop by Juan Miranda at first to end the 4th.
Coke is out after 4 solid innings. He allowed one run on two hits — three K’s, one walk. Jason Jones now in the game.
Heath Phillips in the game now for Scranton. Matt Carson just welcomed him with a bomb to left. 1-0 changeup. 3-1 Trenton.
Steven Jackson in for Trenton in the top of the 6th.
Scott Patterson in for Scranton in the bottom of the 6th. Still 3-1 Trenton.
1-2-3 inning for Scotty P. Two pop-ups and a K of Joe Muich. He looked real sharp.
Michael Gardner now pitching for Trenton.
Passed ball by Muich scores Brett Gardner and makes the game 3-2 with two outs in the top of the 7th. Christian to third. Gardner looking a little shaky late in the inning.
Even though Trenton is up 3-2 going into the bottom of the 7th, it appears they are going to play the final half of the inning.
Looks like Josh Schmidt is getting the inning for Scranton. He’s on the Thunder roster, but they wanted to give him a look, apparently. He’ll start the year here, though.
WE WERE TOLD THIS WAS GOING TO BE A SEVEN INNING GAME. IT ISN’T. GOING INTO THE EIGHTH NOW.
Schmidt looked good. Lot of movement on his breaking ball. Kroenke in the game now for Trenton in the top of the 8th.
Final Score: 3-2. Final, eight innings. Game was two hours, six minutes. Coke gets credited with the win, Ramirez gets the loss.
Post-Game Notes: Nobody’s really been able to keep an accurate box score with the way the managers are utilizing the lineups, so I’m not sure what I’ll be able to do in the way of stats.
Going down to the clubhouse now…hope to have some quotes for you in a separate post. Will have them later tonight or early tomorrow.
Multimedia: Downloadable audio, video and a photo gallery will be posted early in the morning on April 2nd.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com