Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin took a lot away from the team’s seven game road trip to start the season.
He took back four wins.
He took back some confidence in his pitching staff.
But he also came back with the realization that tonight’s game might have been a sign of things to come for his ballclub.
“We’re going to be in a lot of ballgames like this,” Franklin said.
“That was pretty evident from the first seven games. It’s kind of reminiscient of last year, where we pitched well and didn’t put a lot of runs on the board.”
However, Franklin did say that he had “some reservations” about making such a remark this early in the year.
“I think we’ve got some good hitters, I think we’re going to mount a better offensive attack than what we saw tonight,” he said.
A pitchers duel through the first five innings, it was Harrisburg’s Shairon Martis who came out on top, allowing just one run on four hits and two walks in five and one third innings of solid work.
“Today felt very good,” Martis told me.
“My first start was a little wild, but today I did a good job. I was keeping the ball down in the strike zone.”
Even Franklin walked away impressed from the somewhat unknown Nationals pitching prospect.
“That kid who was pitching against us did a pretty nice job tonight, I’ve got to tip my hat to him,” Franklin said.
“He was changing speeds, got ahead. He did a nice job.”
But for a while, it seemed like McCutchen was going to come out on the winning end of things, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning. But that’s when the wheels came off, with the Yankee prospect allowing four hits and a walk to give Harrisburg a 2-0 lead.
“I think maybe even in the sixth was a little better than it had been,” McCutchen said.
“Couple hits up the middle, a comebacker…I don’t know if you could call it a comebacker, but it was a ball that I didn’t quite handle. And you just tip your hat to the ball that guy hit to center, it just kept going. I thought it was routine, but I saw Jackson kept going back. I had a lot of balls early that were hit pretty good that were caught, so that’s just how it works out. But I felt good all the way through.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com