Archive for September 3rd, 2010

Pat Venditte’s First Double-A Pitches, Strikeout

September 3, 2010

First Double-A batter faced, strikeout…

Pitch during third AB…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 138: Post-Game Notes

September 3, 2010

Pat Venditte made his long-awaited Double-A debut last night. Although he warmed up from both sides, he threw only from the left side during the game.

Finally.  Pat Venditte finally made his Double-A debut last night.  One perfect inning later, and he yet again proved he’s more than just a novelty act.

Venditte faced the heart of the Akron order, and allowed no hits and got one strikeout against the Aeros 2-3-4 hitters in the top of the eighth.  He left with the Thunder trailing, 2-1.  In the bottom half of the inning, however, Justin Christian continued his insane run of production with yet another solo home run to tie the game at two.  An Austin Krum double and Dan Brewer single later, and the Thunder were on top, 3-2., and Venditte was in line for the win.

“He was very good, I was impressed,” said Thunder manager Tony Franklin.

“He threw some pretty decent sliders from the left side.  I was watching him warm up from the bullpen, and I know we’ve got lefty-lefty-lefty-lefty coming, and he’s warming up in the bullpen and he’s throwing right-handed.  And I’m thinking, ‘What’s he doing?’”

Well…

“I have to do that,” Venditte said.

“If I wouldn’t have got that cleanup hitter out, the next five guys; there were four righties and a switch hitter mixed in there.  I had to have that right hand ready to go.”

– Trenton’s win combined with New Hampshire’s keeps the Thunder at 1 1/2 games over the Fisher Cats for the division lead with four games to play.  Venditte has already taken notice of the playoff-like atmosphere in the clubhouse and around the team in Trenton.

“It’s a great atmosphere out there, there are great fans here,” Venditte said.  “We just want to finish the season on a strong note and get some momentum going into the playoffs.”

– The first three pitchers in the postseason rotation, according to Franklin before the game, are Dellin Betances, Adam Warren and Andrew Brackman.  Franklin said none of those plans are contingent on a possible Andy Pettitte appearance.  However, there is a logistical problem with them.

Andrew Brackman pitches the regular season finale on the 6th.  Game 3 would be set for the 10th.  Logic would say that if the Thunder have anything clinched, Brackman will skip that final start.

– Manny Banuelos…I feel like I’ve repeated myself a few times this year, but a Thunder starter wasn’t very efficient tonight.  It was Banuelos, who topped out at 95 MPH tonight, but also only lasted 4 2/3 innings.  He was sharp when he was in, but used way too many pitches early on.

– Ryan Baker took home the Samuel J. Plumeri Community Service Award and Josh Schmidt won the Pitcher of the Year award during pre-game ceremonies.

Here’s some proof of that…

But the story is in the award that wasn’t handed out.  For the first time in the 17-year history of the franchise, the Hamilton Jewelers Fan Favorite Award wasn’t presented.  Regardless of sponsorship issues — which apparently led to the disconinuation of the honors — it still should have been given out.

I very, very rarely am critical of the Thunder front office, but if you ask me…they could have done a better job with that.

– Special thanks to the fan who brought me one of those neat Venditte baseball cards I was talking about yesterday.  The card, made by Tri-Star, depicts Venditte in a Charleston RiverDogs uniform (I believe there’s a Tampa version as well) is horizontal in layout, and shows him throwing from both sides.  It was the inspiration for the photos you see above…which would have come out better in better light, of course. 

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com


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