Archive for July 5th, 2009

Game 81: Post-Game Notes (Molina Quotes)

July 5, 2009

— Thunder fans, you can re-live Molina Mania tomorrow.  Tentatively, Molina is scheduled to catch seven innings again Monday night before he’s expected to re-join the big league club on Tuesday.  Get those tickets now.

— Jose Molina Quotes…

“Everything feels good.  It was a good test today; blocking, throwing, running.  Everything was good, it feels good.  Tomorrow, I’ll catch seven more and see where we’re going.”

When asked if he feels there’s anything else he needs to work on before returning to the big leagues (and yes, I dusted off two of my greatest rehab hits tonight)… 

“Not really.  Blocking, I was good.  Throwing, I was good.  I just need to get in there and get used to the big league pitchers again.”

“I don’t need that (many at-bats), because I’m a backup guy and we don’t get that many.  I just need to get back up there and catch guys.  That’s what they have me here for, and that’s what I’ve got to do.”

When asked about the situation in the big leagues with Francisco Cervelli having established himself…

“That’s not really my decision to do anything.  The only thing I can do is go out there and perform the way I know I can.  Things that I can’t control, it’s not my decision.  It’s their decision.  If they want to keep me or not, that’s still their decision.  Right now, I’m almost there and I’m almost ready.  We’ll see tomorrow what their decision is.”

“The good thing about (playing in Trenton and not Scranton) is everything is close here.  I was in New Jersey in my apartment there, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I like it here.  It’s a shorter distance, too.  But it’s one of those situations where I need to play, no matter where it’s at, so it doesn’t really matter to me.

About brother Yadier being named an All-Star starter…

“It’s awesome.  He called me earlier today and gave me the news.  I was really excited for him and the family.”

— Tony Franklin Quotes…

“I thought he did very well.  He moved well and had to block a few pitches, which is the test and what you like to see.  He said he felt fine, he didn’t experience any pain or trouble with his leg.  He’s on his way back, I think it was a good outing for him.”

“I think you can pencil him in tentatively (for tomorrow).  It could change.  But I think he’ll be back here.  Scranton’s not playing, so where is he going to play other than New York.”

“When you haven’t played in a while, it affects your timing and getting your timing back.  I think he can get that back.  I think he knows his real value lies in his ability to handle a pitching staff, and he’s down here to find out if his leg’s going to hold up on him.”

— Jeremy Bleich made his first start at Waterfront Park, and got smacked around pretty good in front of the home fans.

He gave up five runs (three earned) on nine hits and two walks in six innings, and didn’t seem to have his best stuff tonight.  Well, at least I thought so.  He didn’t necessarily agree.

“I don’t think it was a terrible start by any means,” Bleich said.

“They had a couple hits here and there, and a couple pitches that were a couple inches one way or the other.  I thought my stuff was good.  I’m still learning, and I’m still adjusting to Double-A.  There were positives.  There were certainly negatives, but it comes with the territory.”

— Jason Stephens has apparently been placed on the disabled list with an injury to his side.  Could be an oblique, could be he’s grown several new ribs.  That’s about as specific of an injury report as you get these days.  “Side.”  Anyway, no corresponding move has been made, although it seems that either James Cooper or Noah Hall will likely be activated to take his place.

— This was what the players refer to as a “show and go.”  Basically, the team was given a late report time.  No BP, just show up, put your uniform on and go play.  Seemed more like a “go.”  There were a lot of no-shows out there.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Jose Molina Audio

July 5, 2009

Here’s an audio cut…I’ll have full quotes when I get home.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Jose Molina Updates (With At-Bat Videos)

July 5, 2009

Bottom first — Molina struck out swinging on a 1-2 breaking ball…

Bottom third — Molina struck out swinging on a 2-2 breaking ball…it was essentially the same pitch as the first K. A riveting performance so far, ladies and gentlemen.

Bottom sixth — Molina grounded out to short on the first pitch.

Top eighth — Molina is, as expected, out of the game after catching seven innings.  Kyle Anson is now in.

PHOTOS POSTED IN THE GAME THREAD, CHECK THE YOUTUBE ACCOUNT FOR OTHER VIDEOS

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 81: New Britain @ Trenton

July 5, 2009

Game 81 – New Britain Rock Cats @ Trenton Thunder
July 5, 2009
Waterfront Park – Trenton, NJ

Pitching Matchup: NB Ryan Mullins vs. TRE Jeremy Bleich

Starting Lineups:

ROCK CATS

Rene Tosoni, CF
Toby Gardenhire, 3B
Brian Dinkleman, 2B
Juan Portes, RF
Whit Robbins, 1B
Danny Berg, LF
Erik Lis, DH
Yancarlos Ortiz, SS
Danny Lehmann, C

THUNDER

Reegie Corona, 2B
Jose Molina, C
Eduardo Nunez, SS
The Jorge Vazquez Experience, 1B
Jesus Montero, DH
Chris Malec, 3B
Edwar Gonzalez, RF
Richie Robnett, LF
Austin Krum, CF

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.

In-Game Updates (LIVE from the ballpark): Trenton trails, 3-0, heading into the bottom of the 3rd. It would have been 4-0, but Austin Krum made a strong throw from center field and the Rock Cats runner was nailed on a play at the plate, which is the absolute last thing anyone from the Yankees wants to see considering Molina is back there.

Kyle Anson will catch the 8th and 9th innings, by the way…

Lost in the shuffle of Molina Mania is the fact that this is Jeremy Bleich’s home debut. However, it would appear he is not in possession of “it” tonight. Pitchers occasionally talk about how sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t. “It” is not with him this evening. He’s allowed four runs on seven hits in 3+ IP so far…

Bleich is out after six innings…Mike Dunn in to start the 7th. Would be willing to bet they’re hoping he finishes this one out efficiently.

Bleich: 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 HBP

We’re through the top of the seventh…assuming that will be all for a Mister Molina. We’re supposed to go down into the clubhouse during the game and talk to him. I’ll have quotes for you later…

Jose Valdez in the game for the 9th…

In-Game Photos:

3musketeers

Jose Molina, Kyle Anson and Jesus Montero

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Jeremy Bleich

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Bleich

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Bleich

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Bleich

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Bleich

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Bleich

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Reegie Corona

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Jose Molina

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Molina

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Molina

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Molina during the national anthem

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Molina and Bleich

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Molina and Montero

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Ryan Mullins

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Derby & Justin Snyder

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Vic Valencia

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Jorge Vazquez

In-Game YouTube Videos: Check out my YouTube account for videos updated throughout the game…

Final Score: 5-0, Rock Cats.

Thunder Thoughts:

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.co

Game 81: Pre-Game Notes

July 5, 2009

4:45 PM — I attempted to talk to Molina before the game.  He said he wasn’t talking until later, so there won’t be any quotes or anything until after he comes out of the game, which is likely to be the 7th inning.

Lineups are posted…

ROCK CATS

Rene Tosoni, CF
Toby Gardenhire, 3B
Brian Dinkleman, 2B
Juan Portes, RF
Whit Robbins, 1B
Danny Berg, LF
Erik Lis, DH
Yancarlos Ortiz, SS
Danny Lehmann, C

Ryan Mullins, P

THUNDER

Reegie Corona, 2B
Jose Molina, C
Eduardo Nunez, SS
The Jorge Vazquez Experience, 1B
Jesus Montero, DH
Chris Malec, 3B
Edwar Gonzalez, RF
Richie Robnett, LF
Austin Krum, CF

Jeremy Bleich, P

4:35 PM — Molina is here and is in the coaches office with Vic Valencia and Jesus Montero. He’s hitting 2nd and is tentatively scheduled to play tomorrow as well.

Kanekoa Texeira will start on Tuesday.

2:30 PM — Jose Molina is expected to arrive in Trenton in around an hour or so. The tentative plan entails him catching tonight and tomorrow.

I just can’t wait to dust off all my rehab questions after the game. I’ll break out such classics as: “So, how did you feel,” “Is there anything you feel like you need to work on before you go back to the big leagues,” and “How frustrating has this (insert type of injury here) been for you?”

“What do you think of K-Rod” is unlikely to be taken off the shelf, however…

Obviously, it’ll be Molina Mania here on the blog…stay tuned for complete coverage. Game time is 6 PM.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 80: Post-Game Notes

July 5, 2009

— Jose Molina is likely to be behind the plate later tonight at Waterfront Park.

“Tentatively, Molina is supposed to be here,” Thunder manager Tony Franklin told all three reporters who stuck around for the conclusion of the game.

“It could change.  I understand the field (in Scranton) is in pretty bad condition, and he’s doing his rehab, so it’s only a couple hours down the road, and this is probably the most logical place for him to be.  But that’s a tentative schedule for him (today).  But he’ll be here if I don’t hear anything.”

— Tuesday’s starter remains TBD.  In all probability, it will be a bullpen start.  On the off chance they can save Jason Stephens until then, he’s likely to be the guy.

— Jesus Montero left the game because he was ejected.  Nobody in the press box seemed to see the umpire’s motion that would have ejected Montero…either way, it was odd to see him in street clothes sitting with the pitchers during the late innings of the game.

He was tossed for arguing a controversial check swing call.  Franklin didn’t like the way the umpire treated his top prospect.

“I kind of think the umpire baited him,” Franklin told us.

“I felt that he was watching him all the way.  He’s a 19-year-old kid who is pretty emotional, and I’m a 100-year-old man who is pretty emotional, and I get baited sometimes as well.  I told the umpire I think he baited him, and he  was just waiting for him to do something so he could toss him.”

— Noah Hall and James Cooper were both running the bases before game time, and are close to returning.  Hall is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday, and likely would be available at that time if the team needed him.

— The Thunder didn’t have much business winning this game tonight.  Down to their final strike in the tenth, Eduardo Nunez hit a miraculous blast to left field to send the game into the 11th inning, and then Justin Snyder sent everybody home happy with a walk-off double four long innings later.

“For as miserable as were for about seven innings, I thought we played a heck of a game after a while,” Franklin said. 

For Snyder, this was his second game-ending hit at Waterfront Park, as he hit a walk-off home run here earlier in the season.

“I was looking for a pitch over the plate,” Snyder told me.

“They were playing deep, so I was just trying to put it in the gap somewhere.  It was a fastball away, I went with it, and Richie (Robnett) ran really fast.”

Had the ball been fielded cleanly in the outfield, there was a pretty strong chance that Robnett would be out at the plate. 

“I think even if the guy caught it cleanly, it would have been a close play,” Snyder said.

“But I think Richie’s fast enough where he can score from first on a double in the left center gap.  So it worked out.”

— Ryan Pope was pretty horrendous his last time out.  He’d be the first one to tell you that.  So, while allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings of work isn’t the best outing in the world, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

“I felt pretty good, I feel like the boxscore doesn’t tell how the game actually went,” Pope said.

“They didn’t really hit the ball too hard.  Couple hits here, couple hits there, and some timely hitting and they get some runs.  But I felt really good.”

The 23-year-old said his confidence wasn’t affected by his last outing.

“(Stuff) is going to happen during some point in your career,” Pope said.

“You’ve just got to shake it off and go about your business the next week and do better.  I think that’s what happened this week.”

Pope credited some work with pitching coach Tommy Phelps for the improvement as well, saying they focused on Pope staying in with his front foot inbetween his last start and this one.

— The win got the Thunder back up to the .500 mark, as they’re now 40-40.  Franklin thinks that this kind of win could be one that could turn things around for his ballclub.

“I think it could do us tremendous good,” he said.

“We’re playing one of the two teams we’re chasing, and these are guys we have to beat.  You talk about big series, this can be classified as a big series.  It looked like we were out of it in the ninth inning, and Nunez gets the big blow, that certainly has to deflate them.  I certainly hope this propels us to play well.”

— The game lasted four hours and 39 minutes.  With that said, happy July 5th!

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Molina “Tentatively” Scheduled To Rehab With Trenton Tonight

July 5, 2009

It’s 1:25 AM, and I just got home…I’ll have a full post-game notes rundown and so on.  But Trenton Thunder manager Tony Franklin told me after the game that Yankees catcher Jose Molina is tentatively scheduled to catch for the Thunder tomorrow and play seven innings.  More in a bit…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com