Archive for July 9th, 2009

Jody Reed 1-For-1 As Thunder Skipper

July 9, 2009

(PR) (Trenton, NJ)- Trenton Left fielder Noah Hall had four hits to help lift the Thunder to a 7-3 win over New Hampshire on Thursday afternoon from Waterfront Park. With two wins in a row, Trenton won the series over New Hampshire, and improved to 5-2 in the season-series against the Fisher Cats. The series win for Trenton was its first since 6/19-6/21 at Binghamton.

Trenton (42-43) broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the sixth inning. Hall led off the bottom of the frame with an infield single. He advanced to second base on a single by First Baseman Jorge Vazquez. After a pop-out by Designated Hitter Jesus Montero, Third baseman Chris Malec doubled down the right-field line to plate Hall and break the tie. Later in the inning, Second baseman Justin Snyder walked with the bases loaded off of New Hampshire Reliever Edgar Estanga to increase the lead to 5-3. Center fielder Austin Krum capped off the scoring with a two-run single. Trenton batted around in the inning.

The teams exchanged the lead early on. Trenton took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI triple by Hall. Hall had his first four-hit game of the season, and went 4 x 4 in the game with two runs scored. New Hampshire scored two runs in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. Second baseman Brad Emaus doubled to start the inning, and then scored on an RBI double by Center fielder Darin Mastrioanni. Mastrioanni would score later in the inning on a fielder’s choice RBI by Catcher Al Quintana. Trenton scored two runs in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Malec, and a sacrifice fly RBI by Right fielder Edwar Gonzalez.

Trenton Starting Pitcher Ryan Pope (3-6) scattered five hits and three runs in six innings to pick up the win. He struck out four and walked one. He picked up his first victory since May 13th. Trenton’s bullpen combined to toss three shutout innings. New Hampshire Starting Pitcher Kenny Rodriguez (1-1) allowed seven hits and seven run over 5 2/3 innings to take the loss. He struck out three and walked two.

Trenton starts a four-game series against the Connecticut Defenders (Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) on Friday night. LHP Jeremy Bleich (0-2, 6.35) will start for Trenton against Connecticut RHP Daryl Maday (3-3, 4.09). Game time is set for 6:35 p.m. To hear the radio highlights of today’s game, check out the Thunder Cast at http://thunderpodcast.wordpress.com/

Duff Wins In Double-A Debut

July 9, 2009

duffhsOne Double-A appearance, one win.

They won’t all go like this for Grant Duff.

The 26-year-old righty made his long awaited Trenton Thunder debut tonight with the game on the line, pitching the 10th and 11th innings against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

He didn’t allow a hit, walked three batters and struck out four on the way to his first win of the season at any level.

 He was 0-1 with a 3.82 ERA in 24 appearances at Single-A Tampa before getting called up yesterday, a call-up that he said surprised him.

“There are guys down there throwing just as well as me,” Duff said.

“Some of those guys have got great stuff, but I just got the lucky call-up.  I’m definitely happy to be up here, and hopefully it sticks.”

In his fifth professional season, Duff spent the first three working exclusively as a starter.  But after making the adjustment to the bullpen over the past season and a half, he’s really started to settle into his new role as a middle reliever.

“Initially, I loved starting and that’s all I wanted to do,” Duff said.

“That’s all I did through college.  They told me I was going to be a reliever, and I was kind of opposed to it at first.  Last season, they had me do both; relieve and start.  As a starter, I didn’t do well, and as a reliever I’d done well, so I was kind of leaning more towards being a reliever.”

Duff, whose role this season has evolved from being a long reliever to someone who throws one or two innings, has an arsenal of a fastball, slider and newly added split-finger fastball.

“It’s good when it’s good and it’s bad when it’s bad,” Duff said.

“It’s just like anyone else.  Sometimes when I leave it up, it gets hit.  Other times, it’s a good swing and miss pitch for me.  My slider’s always been one of my stronger pitches, but I’ve struggled a little bit with it this year.  And I’ve always had a pretty decent fastball, so hopefully it’s still there.”

Tonight, it was.

Duff was hitting 93 MPH on the radar gun with that fastball.  Here’s a look at his first Double-A pitch…

And a shot of him on the mound…

duffaction

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com