Archive for May 11th, 2012

Game 32: Post-Game Notes

May 11, 2012

– Graham Stoneburner threw 26 pitches on Friday night.  The 22nd may put him on the shelf for quite some time.  The 24-year-old righty re-aggravated a injury to his right groin that kept him out for three weeks on a 2-2 offering to Bryce Brentz in the third inning, and was taken out of the game after facing just one batter in the top of the third.

It was, perhaps, the best I’d seen Stoneburner so far — He was hitting 93 MPH with his fastball and didn’t alllow a baserunner.  Unfortunately, that may very well be because there haven’t been too many opportunities to see him.  He missed three months last season with a neck and shoulder issue, and has already missed time this year as well. 

“It’s extremely frustrating,” he said.  “This year, I’ve been feeling really good.  I thought the groin issue was in the past, and tonight it was feeling really good.  It’s just really frustrating now for it to come back.”

Stoneburner, who was noticably and understandably visibly disapppointed after the game, said that it feels “very similar” to the first time he did it.

“This time, I tried to pitch through it, that’s the only difference,” he said. 

“I couldn’t make it happen.  As I push off to the mound, and try to put effort into a pitch, it kind of grabs and tightens up.  It gives me some tightness in the groin area.  It’s almost to where I don’t want to get full flexibility out of it.”

Stoneburner isn’t the only one frustrated by injuries, with Thunder manager Tony Franklin having dealt with a slew of them on his ballclub this season already.

“The only way it’s frustrating for me, is that it’s frustrating for them,” he explained. 

“I know the reason they’re here is to pitch and to play, and that’s the enjoyment they get out of this game.  When they can’t do it, it’s a bad feeling.  These guys are miserable when they can’t compete.  Stoneburner was hurt earlier in the year, and his season was cut short last year and he was miserable.  This is what they’ve done the majority of their lives, and when they can’t do that, it takes its toll.  It’s probably driving (Stoneburner) nuts.”

Stoneburner, for what it’s worth, did not call for the trainer.  Pitching coach Tommy Phelps noticed Stoneburner wincing on the mound and the trainer was sent to the mound.

– Trenton has played 32 games this season, and been right at .500 after ten of them.  They’ve never been more than one game over all season.  While I still contend they’re outperforming a lot of people’s expectations for them, it still feels eerily reminiscient of the 2009 team that struggled to get over .500 late in the season and ultimately fell short of the postseason after a dramatic regular season-ending series in New Britain.

“We’re looking for a winning streak,” Franklin said.  “We’re right there at .500, it’s just a matter of putting something together.”

– Trenton, as a result of Stoneburner’s departure, used six pitchers in this one.  Ryan Pope, who replaced Stoneburner, took the loss, giving up four runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.  Pope seemed to be the last guy cut from the Triple-A group this spring, but has struggled at times this season, and currently has an ERA that sits at 5.60.  Lee Hyde, Preston Claiborne, Michael Dubee and Francisco Rondon combined for five frames of scoreless relief.

– I will not be at either weekend game.  I will be headed to Madison Square Garden for Game 7 of Capitals-Rangers tomorrow, and will be with my family for Mother’s Day on Sunday.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 32: Pre-Game Notes

May 11, 2012

5:45 PM — Rob Lyerly will miss the rest of the season after having labrum surgery.  Jose Pirela, meanwhile, is heading down to Tampa to get in some at-bats…he’s likely very close to returning after suffering “concussion-like” symptoms several weeks ago.

3:00 PM — After re-doing the post-game notes from last night, I’ve got pre-game notes for you for today.  Basically, just lineups…note that it’s Jose Toussen’s Double-A debut tonight, one night after Shane Brown came in to make his as a defensive replacement for Abe Almonte, who is evidently fine. 

Thunder lineup: Almonte RF, Brewer LF, Murton 1B, Johnson DH, Mesa CF, Mahoney 3B, Gil C, Toussen 2B (debut), Maruszak 3B, Stoneburner P

Sea Dogs lineup: Hazelbaker RF, Vitek 3B, Linares CF, Rodriguez 1B, Tejeda LF, Brentz DH, Butler C, Gibson SS, Meneses 2B, Hernandez P

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 31: Post-Game Notes

May 11, 2012

– Since the dreaded WordPress Monster evidently ate the first version of these notes I did last night, this version is going to be pretty brief…

Some quotes on Brett Marshall’s outing (85/52; 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) last night from both Tony Franklin and Marshall himself…

FRANKLIN

“Marshall pitched a heck of a game, which he’s capable of doing…It’s a long season, nothing’s wrong.  He was cruising, but it was an opportunity to get the other guys in there.  The game was pretty much in hand…but it was an opportunity to get some work for Perez, Dubee and Flannery.  But he probably could have gone (further).  But there’s no need to do it right now.”

“I think he’s a pretty composed pitcher.  He was very good tonight.  He’s got a very slow heartbeat when he’s out there on the mound, and I think that’s one of the attributes that most good pitchers and most good hitters have.  Their heartbeat is slow, they see the total picture and the game slows down for them.  I’m pretty impressed by the way he handles himself on the mound.  It’s easy to see the stuff, the stuff is great.  That’s what most fans see and that’s what you guys see in the press box, but the composure that the guy has out there…like after a bad inning, how he goes out there and collects himself and gets back on track, he does it pretty well.”

“His changeup is tremendous, it’s a heck of a pitch.  It’s got so much depth in it, it looks like a curveball.  What makes it such a good pitch is that is arm slot is the same, and his arm speed is the same on the pitch as his fastball.  He gets a lot of swings and misses on his fastball.  It’s always pretty much down in the strike zone.”

“He comes close to Ian Kennedy for me.  Ian could take a ball and throw it exactly where he wanted it.  I think Marshall pitches in as well as anyone I’ve seen for a young kid.  I think he understands the importance of pitching in on hitters.  I think a couple balls got away from him tonight, but I think for the most part he’s in on guys and he knows he can get in there.  His changeup reminds me quite a bit of Edwar Ramirez’s.  Not as good.  It’s not a power change was Edwar’s was, but it’s got the makings with some pretty good depth there.  He reminds me of those guys, I didn’t say he was as good as those guys.” 

MARSHALL

“I feel like there’s still some things I need to work on, some minor tweaks.  But overall, tonight I felt really good.  I felt like I was mixing (my pitches) pretty well.  The two seamer was working really well tonight.”

“It’s up there (with my best games this season).  I felt like my best game was probably the one where I went 7 2/3 in Erie.  I felt like it was similar to that.  I want to try to get back to that start, I felt like I wasn’t rushing then.  Tonight, I rushed a little bit in the fourth and fifth inning.”

“So far, I feel like my command has been pretty good.  I feel like I was commanding the ball in and out tonight.  You’ve got to mix it up.”

“I was already at 85 pitches, I wanted to go out for one more and I tried to talk him into it, but he was like, ‘No, just take off.'”

“My changeup is really important to me.  I feel like that’s a pitch I need every game.  If I don’t have it, hopefully my fastball and slider is working, but my changeup is my go to pitch.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com


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