Game 82: Portland @ Trenton

BREAKING NEWS: P Jose Valdez called up from Single-A Tampa, Michael Gardner activated from DL.  Marcos Vechionacci hurt AGAIN.

Game 82 – Portland Sea Dogs @ Trenton Thunder
June 30, 2008
Waterfront Park – Trenton, NJ

Pitching Matchup: TRE Eric Hacker (2-1, 1.97) vs. POR Dave Gassner (0-3, 6.86)

Starting Lineups:

Portland

1 – Bell
2 – Granadillo
3 – Corsaletti
4 – Madera
5 – Daeges
6 – Bates
7 – Otness
8 – Jimenez
9 – Suarez

Trenton

1 – Pena
2 – Jackson
3 – Malec
4 – Gonzalez
5 – Pilittere
6 – Tabata
7 – Ehlers
8 – Mendoza
9 – Corona

Pre-Game Notes: Reliever Jose Valdez has been called up from Tampa, and is in the ballpark today.  Valdez was 6-2 with a 2.75 ERA and three saves in 27 appearances.  32 K’s and nine walks in 36 innings.

Kevin Whelan is in the ballpark as well.  I will hopefully be able to ask him again to clarify his injury…many people have reported it to be an elbow injury, but I specifically asked him the last time we spoke, and he said it was a forearm injury.

Michael Gardner has been activated off the DL.

Gassner, a former big leaguer with the Twins, was picked up out of the independent Atlantic League, where he was pitching with the York Revolution.

George Kontos will pitch tomorrow against Portland’s Kris Johnson.  No word on Wednesday’s starter yet, but he’ll face Kyle Jackson.  Chase Wright would tentatively be slated for Thursday, and he’ll square off against a yet to be named starter.  It was to be Matt Goodson, but he was just placed on the DL.

Daniel Bard, one of Boston’s two first rounders in 2006, is on the Sea Dogs roster as a reliever.  I’m planning on chatting with him at some point during the series.  Portland’s media notes say he was clocked at 100 MPH on the radar gun earlier this month.  I hope Thunder batters aren’t lactose intolerant, because he’s clearly bringing the cheese.

Boston recently released Portland 3B Andrew Pinckney in order to promote Jorge Jimenez, and Pinckney was none too pleased about it.  Expecting a call-up to Triple-A, he told the Portland Press Herald “It’s really insulting, I’ve never been more (ticked) off in my life.”

Toronto quickly snapped up Pinckney, and assigned him to New Hampshire.

NO BP for Trenton today, plus a late report time.  Sure am glad I got here at 3:45 PM.

Did talk to Tony Franklin for about 15 minutes…still no idea on the starter for Wednesday.  A bullpen start is a possibility, sending someone down is a possibility, calling someone up is a possibility. 

The biggest news of the day was that Marcos Vechionacci has once again re-injured himself and was once again shut down.  Tony wasn’t very specific, but I’m told it’s a re-aggrevation of the same leg injury.

I asked around about Valdez a little bit.  Apparently, he locates pretty well and has a good split-finger.  He’s likely to throw tonight, so hopefully I’ll be able to see for myself…

Radio Links: Click here for the links to each team’s broadcast.

Live Box Score: The MILB.com direct link is here.

Around the Eastern League: For scores from around the EL, go here.

In-Game Updates (LIVE from the ballpark): 1-0, Thunder in the bottom of the 1st.  Austin Jackson hit what looked like a routine fly ball to center field that just kept carrying…and carrying…and carrying…and eventually over the wall for his eighth home run of the year.

Malec’s RBI single makes it 2-1, B3.

Mendoza doubles to left to score another.  3-1, B4.  Sac fly by Reegie Corona.  4-1, B4.

CORONA HOMERS!  Finally I got to see something neat like that.  His second of the year, and just the ninth of his career.  It just got over the left field wall, but a homer’s a homer.

6-1, Thunder.  Bottom 7.  I’d imagine that’s it for Eric Hacker.  Another solid, yet unspectacular performance.  One run on six hits.  Jason Jones-esque.

Tabata busted his tail down the line to break up a possible inning-ending double play on a ball he hit to the left side of the infield.  Wow on many counts, right there…

Michael Gardner in for the eighth.  Talked to him briefly before the game, and he seemed rather happy about finally being able to get back out there again…

Jose Valdez making his Double-A debut to start the 9th.

Final Score: 6-1, Thunder.

Post-Game Notes: Not much excitement here…

Thunder Thoughts: I expect to skip tomorrow’s game, but will be covering the games on the 2nd and 3rd.

Eric Hacker has now made five starts at home. I’ve seen all five. It would appear as though I’m on the Hacker plan…he’s pitched in five of the last nine Thunder games I’ve covered. Consequently, I haven’t seen Phil Coke since May 2nd, or George Kontos since May 17th.

Doing the “Thunder Insider” before the game with Steve Rudenstein was an interesting experience.  It would appear I have absolutely no future in TV.

Pay attention to the game, or work on a story I really, really need to get done and watch Marie Digby videos in the process…the battle rages on in my head.

T.J. Large got into the game for Portland.  The obvious question, of course, is if he’s also in charge.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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2 Responses to “Game 82: Portland @ Trenton”

  1. Kate Says:

    Gardner groundout 3 unassisted in his first at bat. But an incredible hustle down the line, 1B beat him to the bag only by a half a step.

  2. Taz Says:

    eric hacker is going to develop into a fine starter and i think its for the best that he gets called upto the majors for a couple of starts and see how he does he might be the next nolan ryan who noes i saw his numbers in double there great good luck being called up

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