Game 5: Trenton @ Altoona

Game 5 – Trenton Thunder @ Altoona Curve
April 7, 2008
Blair County Ballpark – Altoona, PA

Pitching Matchup: TRE Jason Jones (NR) vs. ALT Josh Hill (NR)

Starting Lineups:

Trenton (2-2) (2-2 road record, 0-0 vs. Altoona)

1 – Ramiro Pena, SS
2 – Austin Jackson, CF
3 – Jose Tabata, RF
4 – Colin Curtis, LF
5 – Matt Carson, DH
6 – Cody Ehlers, 1B
7 – Joe Muich, C
8 – Marcos Vechionacci, 3B
9 – Reegie Corona, 2B

Altoona (1-3) (1-3 home record, 0-0 vs. Thunder)

1 – Boone
2 – Dorta
3 – Pacheco
4 – Corley
5 – Delaney
6 – Cruz
7 – Webster
8 – Bowers
9 – Perez

Pre-Game Notes: After playing the Curve seven times last year, the Thunder play Altoona 17 times this year.  Hooray, fluctuating Eastern League schedule!  The Thunder were 0-4 at Blair County Ballpark last year, but 3-0 when hosting Altoona.

Dan McCutchen is still listed as the probable starter for Wednesday’s game, but I’m still not buying he goes on three days rest.  Right now, it’s listed as George Kontos getting the nod on Thursday.

For Harrisburg, Shairon Martis is set to oppose whoever the Thunder pitcher will be for the home opener on the 10th, followed by Josh Hall on the 11th and most likely Rutgers standout Bobby Brownlie on the 12th.

Interesting stat out of the game notes — Trenton has spent more days out of first place (4) this season, than they did all last year (1).  The Connecticut Defenders and Portland Sea Dogs have both gotten off to 3-0 starts.

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.

Final Score: 3-2, Thunder

Post-Game Notes: And the Thunder get to above .500 for the first time this year.  Great job out of Jason Jones, who allowed only two unearned runs on five hits through five innings of work.  He may not have the pedigree of some of the bigger prospects in the Yankees system…but I’m telling you, this guy is as solid as anyone else.

Looks like it’s going to be a closer by committee kind of deal, with David Robertson getting the middle eight outs, and Michael Gardner getting the final four for his first save of the year.

The somewhat maligned Cody Ehlers went yard for the first time this year, and Matt Carson finally seemed to cool off, going 0-for-3.  In fact, Ehlers was the only Thunder player with more than one hit, going 3-for-4.

The “Outfield of Dreams” combined to go 1-for-11 with a walk and five K’s.  Jose Tabata got the hit, but he still isn’t hitting my weight — which, if you’ve ever met me, isn’t hard to do at all — with his average stuck at .118.  A-Jax is at .125, but Curtis’ strong start has him leading the pack at .278.

Marcos Vechionacci made his third error of the year (already!), and Ramiro Pena made his first.

In Scranton, things weren’t so good.  Jeff Marquez got absolutely crushed in his Triple-A debut, with Louisville lighting him up to the tune of eight runs in four innings.  Justin Lehr had a perfect game for the Bats through seven innings.

Chad Jennings is reporting that Jon Albaladejo — who was stuck with the locker right next to the door to the hallway in Yankee Stadium — has been activated and Scott Strickland has been sent to Staten Island.  While I’m sure Staten Island is just lovely this time of year, the New York-Penn League doesn’t start play until June.  It’s a paper move, but might a sign of bigger things to come…

I just got Jeff Marquez’s line, and it is ugly.  4 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR.  They’ll give him time to straighten out, but to rule out him returning to Trenton would be ridiculous.  To suggest it after just one start would be too…but he’d seem to be the lowest guy on the totem pole at the moment.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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