Archive for September, 2010

Thunder Lose, 5-0; Go Down 2-1 In Best-Of-Five Championship Series

September 17, 2010

It all unraveled for the Thunder in the fifth inning.  With two outs, Adam Warren issued a free pass to Jim Negrych, which started the ball rolling on a three-run frame that propelled Altoona to a 5-0 win.  They’re now one win away from winning the Eastern League Championship.

Josh Harrison delivered the big blow, driving in two runs on a single to right field to make it a 4-0 game.  Anthony Norman sent a long shot down the right field line off of Wilkins Arias to create the final margin of five.

The Thunder loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth for Damon Sublett…but he struck out.  Luis Nunez did as well.

Stay tuned for post-game reaction from what’s sure to be a somber Thunder clubhouse…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

ELCS Game 3: In-Game Updates

September 17, 2010

Top 1st — Nice start to the game by Adam Warren…a strikeout…a weak flyout…and another strikeout.  0-0, going into B1.

Bottom 1st — Justin Snyder (who was hitting .162 off of lefties this year) hit a double to the left center field gap with one out to start things off, but didn’t advance to third on a Dan Brewer flyout to left.  But he got stranded anyway when Austin Romine grounded out to third.  0-0, heading into T2.

Top 2nd — Andrew Lambo gets the Curve on the board with a solo home run to left center, and Altoona’s on top, 1-0, going into B2.

Bottom 2nd — Marcos Vechionacci singled to left off the inning…but that’s about all they got.  Altoona RF Miles Durham got knocked out of the game when he made a leaping catch in right field to make the third out off the bat of Luis Nunez…the play was out of the view of the press box in the corner, but it appeared he crashed into the unpadded wall.  1-0, going to T3.

Top 3rd — Miles Durham is out of the game, and was replaced by Jose De Los Santos, who led off the 3rd and struck out.  Warren K’d Anthony Norman, got Chase D’Arnaud to line out to first…1-0, Curve, heading to B3.

Bottom 3rd — Justin Snyder hit a two-out single through the middle and Dan Brewer walked…but Austin Romine flew out to right to end the threat.  1-0, Curve, going into T4.

Top 4th — A 1-2-3 inning for Adam Warren, who has 6 K’s through four frames, but trails 1-0, going into B4.

Bottom 4th — Rene Rivera reached third when De Los Santos lost track of a high fly ball out to right…great job by Rivera, who never stopped running.  But his teammates couldn’t capitalize and the Thunder remain behind, 1-0, going into T5.

Top 5th — Adam Warren walked Jim Negrych with two outs, who advanced to second on a passed ball by Romine…De Los Santos tallied an infield single, which was followed by a Norman RBI single and two-run single by Harrison. Just like that…4-0, Curve.

Bottom 5th — Wilson retires the Thunder 1-2-3…

Top 6th — Adam Warren after just five…Wilkins Arias in…he allows one baserunner, but that’s it…4-0, Curve, going into B6.

Bottom 6th — Dan Brewer singled to lead off the inning, but Marcos Vechionacci’s 3-6-3 DP ended it…4-0, Curve, heading into T7.

Top 7th — Norman ends Arias’ night with a long home run down the right field line…Adam Olbrychowski finishes out the inning, and Trenton’s down, 5-0, going into B7.

Bottom 7th — Damon Sublett singles…but Luis Nunez grounds into a double play.  The offense is…brutal right now.  5-0, Curve, going into T8.

Top 8th — Pat Venditte in for the 8th…and he strikes out the first two men, and induces a Jim Negrych flyout to right to get the 1-2-3 inning, all as a lefty.

Bottom 8th — Michael Dubee in the game for Altoona, after seven shutout innings by Justin Wilson.  And Trenton goes down 1-2-3.

Top 9th — Ryan Pope comes into a 5-0 game…not sure about that choice.  Altoona goes down without scoring…5-0, heading into B9.

Bottom 9th — And that’s your ballgame…The Thunder had the bases loaded with one out but Dan Moskos slammed the door on them…5-0, Trenton loses.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

ELCS Game 3: Pre-Game Notes

September 17, 2010

6:05 PM — I did a 10 minute or so spot with Cory Giger, who covers the Altoona Curve and also has an ESPN Radio show from 4-6 PM.  You can, eventually, check that out by going here.

5:55 PM — Andrew Brackman is now official as your Game 5 starter…Rudy Owens would start for Altoona.

4:00 PM — Lineups…

ALTOONA

Chase D’Arnaud, 2B
Josh Harrison, 3B
Jordy Mercer, SS
Matt Hague, 1B
Andrew Lambo, LF
Hector Gimenez, C
Jim Negrych, DH
Miles Durham, RF
Anthony Norman, CF

Justin Wilson, P

TRENTON

Austin Krum, CF
Justin Snyder, 3B
Dan Brewer, RF
Austin Romine, C
Marcos Vechionacci, 1B
Rene Rivera, DH
Damon Sublett, LF
Luis Nunez, SS
Matt Cusick, 2B

Adam Warren, P

3:10 PM — Not a whole lot going on here.  No lineups yet, but I’d presume they’ll be the exact same as what they were yesterday…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Brackman Likely To Start Game 5; Arbiso To The Bullpen

September 16, 2010

The big start will go to the big man.

Andrew Brackman was told to shut it down after Game 1, that he was done for the rest of the season.  The phone call he got today provided some different information.

“I was told to come up here and throw a bullpen, just in case they need me for Game 5,” said Brackman before the rainout.  “I’ll be ready if that happens.”

It would seem that’s the plan, as Thunder manager Tony Franklin said prior to the game being postponed that Brackman was “more in play now if the game were not to be played than he was yesterday.”  The other option, of course, would be Cory Arbiso, which Franklin said he was “totally fine with.”

The most likely scenario, however, is Arbiso heading to the bullpen.

“Cory’s been able to go just about everywhere for us this year,” Franklin said.

“If there was something that were to happen to Brackman in the game, if he pitches, I could see (Arbiso backing him up).”

For Brackman, it’s a difficult position to be in as well.  He’s preparing for what would be the biggest game of his pro career, but is hoping that it never gets that far.

“I want to be there for Game 5, and I’m glad I have the opportunity to be, but I hope my teammates can come through and we can all just win a championship,” he said.

The 6-foot-10 righty has been in bigger games than this before, he says.  Pitching for NC State in the ACC Tournament was one thing, but getting to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Basketball Tournament was something else…

“The Sweet 16 (against Wisconsin) was probably the biggest, I played in front of more people and everything,” he said.

“The game before that, we played UConn, and that was a really big game, too.  The UConn game, I did very good.  The Sweet 16 game, I think I fouled out with no points and probably one rebound, that’s all.”

As for guys who stick to one sport, Arbiso has not pitched since September 5, but says throwing on the side since then has helped him stay sharp.

“You work on stuff (in side sessions), and I think most likely, I’ll be ready.  (I can probably throw) 95-100 pitches,” he said.

Arbiso has been in limbo ever since the start of the playoffs, seemingly pushed out of the rotation by the two rehab starts made by Andy Pettitte.

“I didn’t know where I was going to be,” he said.

“Yesterday, I was in the bullpen.  He said if I don’t throw out of the bullpen, I have a side just to be ready for Game 5.”

Arbiso is in the middle of his longest gap between outings since a 13-day gap in the middle of the season when both he and Josh Schmidt couldn’t buy an inning.  One possible concern about a possible Game 5 appearance is that the last time he had such a layoff, he didn’t feel his best.

“Some days, you’re going to have 80 percent,” he said.

“But what I say to myself is to use 100 percent of that 80 percent, and you get it done.  That’s what I did.  That doesn’t concern me at all, that’s just the part of baseball.  It’s the mentality.  Yeah, it’s physical too, but you just have to be ready in that moment.  I think I am.”

Game 5, if necessary, would be played at Waterfront Park on Sunday.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

New Thunder Playoff Schedule

September 16, 2010

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – Thursday evening’s Eastern League Championship Series Game at Waterfront Park between the Trenton Thunder (NY Yankees) and Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh Pirates)  has been postponed due to rain.  The best-of-five game series is tied at one game apiece. 

Trenton Home Playoff Game # 4 (ELCS Game 3) will now be played on Friday, September 17 and all other games will be pushed back one day.  

Tickets that have “Home Playoff Game #4″ printed on them will be honored for the game on Friday, September 17.  Tickets that read “Home Playoff Game #5″ will be honored on Saturday, September 18.  Finally, tickets that read “Home Playoff Game #6″ will be honored on Sunday, September 19 (if the game is necessary).  All game times will remain 7:05 PM. 

Here is the revised ELCS schedule:

Home Playoff Game #4 (ELCS Game 3)
Friday,  September 17, 7:05 PM

Home Playoff Game #5 (ELCS Game 4)
Saturday, September 18, 7:05 PM

Home Playoff Game #6 (ELCS Game 5, if necessary)
Sunday, September 19, 1:05 PM


Fans with questions are encouraged to contact the Thunder ticket office at 609-394-3300 ext 101.

Trenton Thunder tickets are available online at trentonthunder.com or by calling 609-394-3300.

Game 3 Postponed

September 16, 2010

The game has been postponed.  Game 3 will take place tomorrow at 7:05 PM.  I’ll have more when I know it about the rest of the schedule…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

ELCS Game 3: Pre-Game Notes

September 16, 2010

7:00 PM — Tentative start time at 7:45 PM…

6:35 PM — Not a ton going on here with the tarp being on the field…

If this game gets rained out — playoff games CANNOT be suspended — Andrew Brackman is very likely to throw Game 5.  Cory Arbiso would likely get moved to the bullpen…he was in the bullpen yesterday and threw a light side today.  There are some quotes I’ll post after the game/rainout from Tony Franklin, Brackman and Arbiso.

4:35 PM — The Thunder beat writer contingent has safely arrived back from Altoona.  Lineups await us…

ALTOONA

Chase D’Arnaud, 2B
Josh Harrison, 3B
Jordy Mercer, SS
Matt Hague, 1B
Andrew Lambo, LF
Hector Gimenez, C
Jim Negrych, DH
Miles Durham, RF
Anthony Norman, CF

Justin Wilson, P

TRENTON

Austin Krum, CF
Justin Snyder, 3B
Dan Brewer, RF
Austin Romine, C
Marcos Vechionacci, 1B
Rene Rivera, DH
Damon Sublett, LF
Luis Nunez, SS
Matt Cusick, 2B

Adam Warren, P

ELCS Game 2: Post-Game Quotes

September 15, 2010

I might throw up a few notes afterwards, but here’s what Dellin Betances and Tony Franklin had to say after tonight’s 6-4 loss…

DELLIN BETANCES

“I was falling behind too many guys.  I was down 2-0, and the next thing you know, I walked three leadoff guys.  I had too many walks.  I don’t know, my stuff just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.”

“I was just opening up too much, but it’s no excuse.  I just wanted to have a good game.  I wish I could have given the team a chance to win.  I just fell behind too many guys.  Too many walks.  There was a wild pitch.  I hurt myself.  It was just a bad game overall.”

“I don’t know what’s going on right now (with my fielding).  I’m going to go to instructs to work on some stuff.  I need to make those plays, and that’s probably one of the reasons that we lost this game.”

“It’s just a thing now (the fielding).  I don’t know why I’m not throwing good to bases.  But I’ve got to fix it.  I’m going to go to instructs and work hard on that.”

“My changeup’s been working all year.  Today, I felt like my changeup was (expletive deleted).  I just felt like I walked too many guys.  At these levels, you can’t fall behind too many guys.  If you throw fastballs, they’re going to attack it.  That’s what happened, I gave up two home runs.  That’s a thing I have to take on next year.”

“Both (home runs) were on fastballs that caught too much of the plate.  I fell behind on the first guy, and it caught to much of the plate.  Second guy, I fell behind and gave him a fastball, and that’s what guys do on this level.  It was just a bad game overall.  I didn’t have my changeup…I just couldn’t get it for a strike, so they were laying off of it.”

“I felt like being healthy is key.  I stayed healthy throughout the year and I feel good.  This was just one of those days.  I wish I could have got a win for the team, but we’ve got Warren and Banuelos, so hopefully we’ll end it in four.”

TONY FRANKLIN

“He had some trouble throwing to the base, that’s about it.  The one bad inning, it hurt him.  It hurt us.  Other than that, we were pretty good.  We tried to bounce back offensively and did a great job after that; pitching and getting ourselves out of some jams.  But yeah, it was that one bad inning.  It was an errant throw that did it.  You look back at that, you say that’s the ballgame right there.”

“We are a PFP practicing team and organization, and we think it’s a major part of the game for the pitchers.  If we executed it…which we have done pretty much all year, we’ve been in good shape with that, but we didn’t do it tonight.”

“Everyone needs to get better at PFP.  There are some guys that field their position extremely well; D.J. Mitchell comes to mind.  You’ve really got to lock in some things.  Get your feet set, make some throws, and understand how quick you have to be to make those plays.  They’re not easy plays to make, but they’re important plays to make, and if you don’t, the outcome of the game is generally changed.”

“He needs to be better, I will acknowledge that.  If you make a couple of errant throws, balls that get away…you’ve got to be better at that.”

“We got a win here.  We had an opportunity for two, we just didn’t pull it off here.  We didn’t play well enough to get the second one.  But we’ve got a three-game series at home, at our place.  I feel OK about that.”

“Two home runs gets us back in it, I was starting to feel pretty good about it.  But it’s a testament to the guys in there.  They don’t quit, they battle.  We did it tonight, but we just fell short.  When Hankins came in, I gave no thought to the fact that we may have been hitting him well all year.  But as it turns out, we did and we continued to do so.  Sometimes, you have success against a particular pitcher or pitchers and it works out in your favor.  We did a decent enough job to get back in it.”

“Absolutely, it’s pretty much a no-brainer (that you have to get to the Curve before Moskos comes in).  Moskos is tough.  He’s not going to give you a heck of a lot to hit, and he didn’t tonight.  I’ve always said there’s no surprises, you know what you’re going to get, and it’s going to be pretty good from Moskos.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Mercer’s Two Home Runs Lead Curve Past Thunder, 6-4; Series Tied 1-1

September 15, 2010

Boosted by two Jordy Mercer home runs, the Altoona Curve defeated the Trenton Thunder, 6-4, and evened the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series at one game a piece.

Dellin Betances started for the Thunder and struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings.  Back-to-back eighth inning home runs by Dan Brewer and Austin Romine off of Curve reliever Derek Hankins brought the Thunder to within one, but Mercer’s second longball of the night off of Trenton’s Josh Schmidt gave the Curve a much-needed insurance tally.

Game 3 will take place tomorrow night at Waterfront Park at 7:05 PM.  Stay tuned for post-game reaction here on the blog…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

ELCS Game 2: In-Game Updates

September 15, 2010

Top 1st — Jeff Locke retired Austin Krum and Justin Snyder in order, but Dan Brewer singled and stole second to put a runner in scoring position for Austin Romine.  But Locke struck Romine out…0-0, going into B1.

Bottom 1st — Dellin Betances gave up a solo, one-out home run to Josh Harrison to give Altoona a 1-0 lead heading into T2…

Top 2nd — 1-2-3- inning for Locke…1-0, Curve, going into B2

Bottom 2nd — Betances walked Andrew Lambo to lead off, but retired Hector Gimenez and got Jim Negrych to ground into an inning-ending double play…1-0, Curve, going into T3.

Top 3rd — Luis Nunez leads off the inning with a double, and Austin Krum drives him home on a double of his own…it’s a 1-1 game going into B3.

Bottom 3rd — Well, that went bad quickly…Dellin Betances got kind of lost this inning.  He fielded a bunt and promptly threw the ball away past first base, allowing a run to score.  Another scored on a wild pitch, and then Jordy Mercer crushed a Betances offering over some fencing they’ve set up in left center field to make it a 5-1 game…

Top 4th — Locke strikes out the side..he’s dealing right now.  5-1, Curve, heading into B4.

Bottom 4th — Betances recovers and strikes out the side as well…but Trenton still trails, 5-1.

Top 5th — The Thunder couldn’t capitalize on a huge opportunity.  Justin Snyder’s RBI single was all they got, and they trail, 5-2.  Dan Brewer walked on four pitches to load the bases with two outs, but Austin Romine grounded out to end the threat.

Bottom 5th — Outstanding play by Matt Cusick…saves Betances from giving up a run.  Altoona had a runner on third with nobody out, but he stayed there…Cusick made a great diving stop on a two-out ground ball and fired to first just in time to make the play.  5-2, Curve, going into T6.

Top 6th — Marcos Vechionacci singled to lead off the sixth, but Locke retired the next three batters in order to keep this a 5-2 game.

Bottom 6th — Betances is out after 5 2/3…Arias in…and he struck out the only man he faced.

Top 7th — 1-2-3 inning for Locke.  Again.  He’s got the Thunder on…Locke-down.  5-2, Curve ahead.

Bottom 7th — Josh Schmidt in for the seventh…and he K’s the side.  5-2 game, Curve ahead, going into T8.

Top 8th — Derek Hankins came in for Altoona, and Dan Brewer and Austin Romine quickly took him out.  Two first pitch home runs cuts the lead to 5-4…Daniel Moskos in to attempt a four-out save…and he strikes out Matt Cusick for out #1 of 4…

Bottom 8th — Jordy Mercer takes Schmidt deep to left with one out…6-4, Curve…Trenton’s got one last shot.

Top 9th — Austin Krum led off with a single and stole second…but Justin Snyder and Dan Brewer flew out.  Austin Romine came up and struck out to end the game.  6-4, Altoona win.

Photos:

Dellin Betances

Betances

Betances

Dan Brewer

Austin Romine

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com


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