— Positives from this game? Well, most of the pictures I took were in focus, so it had that going for it. But really, outside of Jesus Montero’s first Double-A home run, there wasn’t much good that came out of tonight.
So let’s focus on that for a second, shall we?
“It was crushed,” said Thunder manager Tony Franklin.
Saying it was crushed would be an understatement. Montero’s blast was hit to dead center, where the wall stands 407 feet away. It hit more than halfway up the batters eye…and that part of the wall has got to be 30-40 feet tall.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of that from Montero in the future,” Franklin said.
“He’s a very young kid and he’s got less than a month’s time at this level. As times goes by, you’re going to see more of that same type of hitting from Montero.”
— Montero was, as you’d expect from someone who’d just hit the ball into the next county, rather happy to talk about his first Double-A home run.
“It feels great,” Montero said.
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard, you know.”
Montero’s blast earned him the silent treatment from teammates, who stayed at their respective spots in the dugout and on the front railing as he entered before eventually all gathering around him and congratulating him.
“Everybody was saying, ‘Don’t say anything to Montero’ in the dugout,” he joked.
— And now the bad. Outside of a Reegie Corona home run, Montero’s blast, and an RBI single from Marcos Vechionacci off of Carlos Leon’s grill, not too much went right otherwise.
“Their kid pitched a pretty good game against us, he did a pretty good job,” said Franklin of Reading’s starter, Mike Stutes.
“He’s one of those types of pitchers that, at the end of the night, you ask yourself how you went 0-for-4 against this guy. But when you look back at it, the guy didn’t throw very many pitches above the belt, he had a very good breaking ball this evening and he was able to throw that for a strike.”
— The game was essentially broken open in the 6th inning, when Reading’s Michael Taylor hit a mammoth three-run shot off of Jose Valdez over everything in left field. The Thunder’s deficit jumped from one run to four.
“We were in the game for a while there, and that pitch to Taylor kind of hurt us,” Franklin said.
“Valdez is usually pretty good, but he just left a pitch up in the zone, and it hurt us.”
— Noah Hall was apparently removed from the game as a result of some sort of back issue. Franklin said it didn’t seem to be anything severe.
— Spoke to Jeremy Bleich after the game for something you’ll probably see tomorrow. He confirmed that he is scheduled to pitch Tuesday.
“He’s a good pitcher,” said Montero about Bleich.
“He’s got a curveball, changeup and fastball. He’s got great command, throws a lot of strikes. Let’s see what we can do together.”
Bleich has not been officially activated, and a move would need to be made to do so. The obvious move would have been to promote Jason Johnson to Scranton, but with Johnson now starting for the Thunder on Thursday, that’s no longer an option.
Bleich will wear #22.
— It’s amazing what you can learn during a short elevator trip. My company on the way down to the clubhouse was $2.92 million dollars were Kyle Drabek and Joe Savery. Turns out, Savery’s starting tomorrow…which would be three days after he “started” on Friday. That, of course, would be the night of the rainout that so aggrevated Savery that he fired a ball into the stands.
Meanwhile, Trenton’s starter in that game, Zach McAllister, isn’t set to pitch again until Wednesday.
— Also, just to touch on reports of J.B. Cox having retired…it is definitely a fact that he left the team to go home. I’m not sure of what the timeline was regarding his being placed on the disabled list is…did he decide to leave after being placed on the phantom DL? Did he leave and was that why he was placed on the phantom DL? Don’t know that yet.
But I can’t definitively tell you that he’s retired. I had heard that he needed to take some time to figure some things out, but that’s honestly the last I’d heard. Obviously, I’ll pass along any updates.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com