Archive for August 8th, 2009

Game 113: Harrisburg @ Trenton

August 8, 2009

Game 113 – Harrisburg Senators @ Trenton Thunder
August 8, 2009
Waterfront Park – Trenton, NJ

Pitching Matchup: HAR Luis Atilano vs. TRE Jason Stephens

Starting Lineups:

HARRISBURG

Mike Daniel, CF
Freddie Bynum, SS
Leonard Davis, DH
Joel Guzman, 3B
Bill “The Anvil” Rhinehart, LF
Matt Whitney, 1B
Francisco Plasencia, RF
Sean Rooney, C
Greg Veloz, 2B

TRENTON

Eduardo Nunez, SS
Matt Cusick, 2B
Chris Malec, 1B
Richie Robnett, CF
Edwar Gonzalez, RF
James Cooper, LF
Marcos Vechionacci, 3B
Ryan Baker, C
Justin Snyder, DH

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):

Mike Daniel with a leadoff, first pitch home run just over the right field wall off of Jason Stephens. A bit of an inauspicious start here. 1-0, Senators, T1.

And Marcos Vechionacci breaks up the no-hitter in the 5th…

Daniel saves a run as well, with an amazing diving catch off the bat of Justin Snyder with a runner on third in the fifth…1-0, Harrisburg, heading into T6.

Grant Duff in to pitch the 6th…Stephens threw 63 pitches, 43 for strikes.

Atilano walked Baker with two outs, and has been yanked for Clint Everts…

In-Game Photos:

In-Game YouTube Videos: Check out my YouTube account for videos updated throughout the game…

Final Score: 1-0, Senators

Thunder Thoughts:

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 112: Harrisburg @ Trenton

August 8, 2009

Game 112 – Harrisburg Senators @ Trenton Thunder
August 8, 2009
Waterfront Park – Trenton, NJ

Pitching Matchup: HAR Matt Chico vs. TRE Zach McAllister

Starting Lineups:

HARRISBURG

Freddie Bynum, SS
Mike Daniel, CF
Leonard Davis, RF
Joel Guzman, 3B
Bill Rhinehart, LF
Matt Whitney, 1B
Marvin Lowrance, DH
Luke Montz, C
Greg Veloz, 2B

TRENTON

Austin Krum, CF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Chris Malec, 1B
P.J. Pilittere, C
Richie Robnett, DH
Edwar Gonzalez, RF
James Cooper, LF
Marcos Vechionacci, 3B
Justin Snyder, 2B

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): Mike Daniel drives home Freddie Bynum early in the first inning…it’s already 1-0, Harrisburg.  Tony Franklin was hoping for five innings from Mac tonight…might be tough to expect five outs now.

17 pitches/14 strikes for McAllister through one.  Not as bad as I thought, actually.

29 pitches/23 strikes through two.  He’s doing what he does…pound the zone.

Austin Krum with a single to left that scores James Cooper in the 2nd…1-1, B2.

39 pitches/31 strikes for Z-Mac through three.  The next inning is likely his last if the pitch count before the game is assumed to be a hard one.

McAllister gets through four with 52 pitches under his belt, 40 of them strikes.  With Kanekoa Texeira getting loose, that’s likely it for Mac.  1-1, heading into T5.

A routine pop-up in foul territory by Justin Snyder turned into a wacky play out of right fielder Leonard Davis…he couldn’t catch up to the ball and ended up doing a somersault over the bullpen railing, which drew some “ooohs” and ahhs” from the crowd.  Alas, he was fine.

10 outs, 83 pitches and 7 walks was all John Stearns could stand out of Matt Chico…

Tex in to start the 5th for the Thunder.

Freddie Bynum drives one through the middle for an RBI single, then reaches second on a throw by Austin Krum that landed a solid 20 feet behind the plate.  He’s had a rough night tonight, misjudging a line drive that bounced off his arm on the fly for an error.  2-1, Harrisburg, T5.

James Cooper with a little flare to short right field that scores a run and ties this game at 2.

Wilkins Arias in to pitch the 8th…it was a seven inning game.  STELLAR!  2-2.

Another day, another walk-off win for Chris Malec.  He wins it with a bases loaded, no out single through the middle.  Afterwards, he tried real hard to avoid getting mobbed by his teammates…but he just wasn’t fast enough outrun them.  A nice moment for the Thunder, who are back at .500 (56-56).

In-Game Photos:

chico

Matt Chico

mactonight

Z-Mac

In-Game YouTube Videos: Check out my YouTube account for videos updated throughout the game…

Final Score:

Thunder Thoughts: Justin Snyder coming out to some Skee-Lo.  Not sure if he got punked or if he requested it…likely he got punked.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 112: Pre-Game Notes

August 8, 2009

5:15 PM — It’s lemur time!  Or baseball time.  Either way.

Noah Hall is day-to-day with a leg issue…seems it’s possible he may go on the DL.  He was limping around pretty noticeably in the clubhouse.

Humberto Sanchez’s wife had a healthy baby girl.  He’ll be re-joining the team on Sunday, and since players placed on the TIA need to be inactive for three days, he won’t re-join the roster until Tuesday.

Zach McAllister will be limited to 50 pitches tonight…although Tony Franklin said they might re-evaluate things after 50.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 111: Post-Game Notes (Montero Update)

August 8, 2009

– The main story here is that Ryan Pope pitched his butt off tonight.  Eight innings, two hits, no runs, no walks and 11 strikeouts.

Pitched.  His.  Butt.  Off.

It turns out, a simple adjustment suggested by Thunder pitching coach Tommy Phelps made all the difference tonight for the struggling righty, who knocked his ERA down to 5.06 thanks to his stellar performance.

“I just sped up my tempo,” said Pope, when asked what the adjustment was.

“Speed up the tempo, speed up the game.  It worked.”

Thanks to a nearly equally solid outing by Senators starter Jeff Mandel, the game ended in a crisp 1:58, just six minutes away from tying a club record for fastest nine-inning game played.

Thunder manager Tony Franklin agreed that Pope’s change in tempo made all the difference.

“Phelpsy told me before the game, ‘Tell me if you notice anything different,'” Franklin said.

“And it didn’t take but two batters into the game that I saw his tempo was much quicker.  He got the ball, got on the mound and wasted no time.  The fingers were down, and boom, he made the pitch.  Consequently, what happened was hitters get a little anxious.”

Franklin was nothing but complimentary after the game, comparing Pope’s outing to the one future Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez spun against the Thunder in Reading on Wednesday.

“That’s exactly the way Pedro pitched,” he said.

“Good tempo, up tempo, fastballs in, get you thinking, changeup, change of speeds, get you swinging.  It was great.  He did an outstanding job tonight.”

This outing gave Pope some confidence that his remaining few starts this season could go like this one did.

“If I keep working and not think too much and just throw the ball, hopefully I can keep repeating performances like this,” he said.

– Chris Malec sent everyone home happy with a walk-off win in the ninth, driving home Austin Krum with a one-out single up the middle.

After the game, I asked Malec what his approach was in a situation like that.

“To me, basically I’m just looking to stay in the middle of the field right there,” he said.

“If I start to go to either side of the field, I’ll either get late or get early.  So I want to stay in the middle and kind of elevate it.  Basically, my approach is look for something up and elevated in the zone that I can hit hard through the middle of the field and then just kind of react and adjust from there.  If he goes in, I’m going to trust my hands.  So I just want to get started early and trust my hands and let them do their thing.”

– Jesus Montero was, to my surprise, in attendance.  I’d have thought he’d gone home by now.  He showed up with his entire left arm in a sling, which sure seemed a bit extreme for a broken finger. 

Turns out, Montero’s finger required surgery, so it wasn’t just something that could heal on its own.  Franklin said after the game that Montero has a doctor’s appointment coming up, and that he is expected to remain with the team through the week.  If that’s the case, I’ll try to speak with Montero and see exactly what happened and how badly broken the finger was.

– Zach McAllister will pitch Game 1 for the Thunder, Jason Stephens will pitch Game 2.  Harrisburg sends Matt Chico — who I’ve been dying to see — out for Game 1, and Luis Atilano for Game 2.  McAllister told me before the game that he didn’t feel like he was going to be limited in any way, but I’d be willing to bet his outing is pretty short…the Yankees take it nice and slow with their prospects, especially such a prized arm like Mac’s.

– Congratulations to Thunder trainer Tim Lentych, who was named the 2009 Eastern League Trainer of the Year.  Depending on his schedule, I may try to do a feature on him…the trainer position is somewhat high profile, I suppose…but I kind of think most people view them as behind the scenes sorts, so I’d be curious to talk to him and maybe a few of the guys about what kind of job he does and what his job entails.  Like…what makes a trainer a good trainer?  I don’t know, just stuff I don’t think a lot of people put much thought into.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com


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