Archive for July 22nd, 2009

Pope Dominant Against Fisher Cats

July 22, 2009

(PR) (Manchester, NH)- Trenton Starting Pitcher Ryan Pope hurled eight shutout innings to lead Trenton to a 9-4 victory of New Hampshire on Wednesday night from Merchantsauto.com Stadium. Trenton has won two of the first three games in the series, and five of its first seven games since the all-star break. Trenton is now in sole possession of second place in the Northern Division for the first time since June 9th.

Trenton took a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Third baseman Marcos Vechionacci led off the frame with a double against New Hampshire Starting Pitcher Luis Perez (6-8). He scored the first run of the game on an RBI triple by Center fielder Austin Krum. After a walk to Second baseman Reegie Corona, Shortstop Eduardo Nunez drove home Krum with an RBI ground out. The Thunder added to the lead in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Vechionacci.

The Thunder would blow the game open with a four-run seventh inning to increase the lead to 7-0. The Thunder batted around in the seventh inning. Krum led off the inning with a single against New Hampshire Reliever Casey Janssen. After a walk to Corona, Shortstop Eduardo Nunez reached on an infield single. Krum was able to score from second base on the infield hit. Designated Hitter Noah Hall followed by chopping a ball down the first base line. Janssen picked up the ball and made an errant throw down the first base line past New Hampshire First baseman David Cooper. The error allowed Corona and Nunez to score and make it 6-0. Catcher Jesus Montero capped off the scoring in the frame with an RBI single to score Hall. Trenton (48-46) tallied two runs in the eighth inning to extend the lead to 9-0. Montero had an RBI double, and Malec connected on an RBI single in the inning. New Hampshire scored four runs in the ninth inning. New Hampshire Designated Hitter Scott Campbell and Right fielder Nick Gorneault each hit two-run home runs off of Thunder Reliever Humberto Sanchez.

Pope tossed a season-high eight innings and struck out a season-high seven batters. He scattered three hits and walked only one. The eight innings equals the longest outing of the season for a Thunder starting pitcher. Its the first time a Thunder pitcher has pitched eight innings since Ivan Nova tossed eight innings vs. Binghamton on June 12th. The Fisher Cats did not have a runner in the game past first base in the first eight innings. Pope has won two of his last three starts, after going nine straight games (eight starts) without a win. The win puts Trenton two games over .500 (48-46) for the first time since June 28th. Five Thunder players had multi-hit games in the win (Krum, Gonzalez, Malec Montero, Vechionacci).

Trenton wraps up its four-game series with New Hampshire on Thursday afternoon. RHP Jason Stephens (1-0, 3.54) will start for Trenton against New Hampshire RHP Marty McLeary (2-2, 1.38). McLeary pitched for the Thunder from 2000-02. Game time is set for 12:05 p.m.

Brian Cashman’s All-Star Game Interview (Part 2 of 2)

July 22, 2009

Sorry for the slight delay in getting this posted, things have been pretty hectic over the past few days…

“If we keep selecting the right (catchers), hopefully we’ll be smart enough to keep the ones that can make the biggest impact for us here and utilize the ones in trade discussions that can catch us whatever we need on the 25-man roster in New York.  One way or the other, we’re in a good position.”

On sending Cervelli down and keeping Molina up…  “It wasn’t hard at all.  We have a quality backup in Jose Molina and we’re real proud of what Cervelli did, he’s got to be proud of it too.  We feel much stronger in the organization because of what he wound up doing.  We know our future is bright because we have a guy like him ready, and you know he can go and perform and not be afraid of the big city and not be afraid of catching the likes of a CC Sabathia or an A.J. Burnett.  He showed leadership, he showed ability, he showed performance.”

“When Cervelli comes up and does that, if you don’t think that has an impact on a Nunez here…because Cervelli wasn’t hitting here.  So a Nunez for instance, and anybody else that’s performing here can say I was just playing with that guy, and he’s in New York and look what he’s doing.  Look at the hit he just got and the home run he hit in Atlanta and all those different things.  If you’re sitting in this clubhouse right now and you played alongside Cervelli, and you were actually outplaying him, you know that you can do that too.  Because you might be as good or better than that player.  And that is more impactful than anything else too.  We like Cervelli, and we think he’s a big league player, but we think there are other big league players sitting here on this roster and the Scranton roster and the rosters down in Tampa, etc.  But these guys either played with this guy in instructional league or played with him on this particular team, and either played with him or outplayed him and it shows them and gives them confidence that if he can do this, so can I.”

On who else stands out to Cashman on the Thunder roster… “Nunez, Corona, Austin Krum has just come up here and he’s done a great job down in Single-A and now he’s showing what he can do here.  Pitching-wise, McAllister…Nova just got shot up to Triple-A and he’s having an outstanding run out there.  He’s a guy who had all the talent, but the performance didn’t follow it in the Florida State League last year.  Now, after a Rule 5 selection and pitching in cold weather for the first time in his career in Double-A and now in Triple-A, this guy’s done well.  We’ve got Dunn…a number of different guys are standing out in performance.  Texeira, the reliever, the guy we got in the Swisher deal, he’s now got his feet on the ground and he’s taking off.  Kevin Whelan’s starting to find his way with his dominant stuff.  We’ve got a number of guys that we’re excited about.  Tony Franklin and this coaching staff have done a phenomenal job.  Whatever players come through here, they get better and that’s a good thing.  I’m sure I’m missing people right now off the top of my head, but we’ve got a lot of prospects here that are going to play in the big leagues.  No doubt in my mind about that.”

“Cody Ransom was out of options and Ramiro Pena had 21 at-bats in the month of June.  His time had yet to come, and we wanted more development, so he’s playing some outfield and some second base.  The other great thing, just like Cervelli, is he’s grown and now knows he can play in New York.  He can play with the big boys and not be dominated or have the pitchers knock the bat out of his hands.  So he goes down knowing that he’s fighting for a roster spot on this big league club to this day, even though he’s playing on the Triple-A club it doesn’t mean he can’t be called back up.”

“If you asked me in the spring if Nova was going to be doing what he’s doing in Triple-A now or if Cervelli would be up at the big league level doing what he did for us or Ramiro Pena or — turning the clock back — when Robbie Cano came on as fast as he did — if you’ve got this type of talent, you go through the motions, you do your work and all of a sudden you have the talent, it can come fast.  If it can all click all of a sudden, you can really take off.  You just don’t know when that’s going to happen.  Nunez is an example this year.  He’s so much better a player now than he was a year ago at this time, and it started at spring training.  Things started clicking more.  Reegie Corona obviously, to be quite honest, he probably doesn’t belong in Double-A.  At some point, we’ve got to move him up to Triple-A too because of his abilities.  Obviously we’ve got a roadblock with Ramiro Pena, but Corona this year at Double-A is not the same player he was at Double-A last year, and he was a hell of a player in the second half last year.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Bleich’s Gem Leads Thunder To Victory

July 22, 2009

(PR) (Manchester, NH)- Trenton Starting Pitcher Jeremy Bleich earned his first Double-A win as Trenton topped New Hampshire 9-2 on Tuesday night from Merchantsauto.com Stadium in Manchester, NH.

Trenton (48-47) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning. Four of the five runs were scored with two outs in the inning, and four of the five runs were unearned. Left fielder James Cooper led off the frame with a triple against New Hampshire Starting Pitcher Shaun Marcum (0-1). After a strikeout by Center fielder Austin Krum, Second baseman Reegie Corona singled to plate Corona and give the Thunder a 1-0 lead. Shortstop Eduardo Nunez lined out to center field for the second out of the inning. But after the second out, Designated Hitter Noah Hall reached on an error by New Hampshire Shortstop Luis Sanchez to extend the inning. Catcher Jesus Montero followed with an RBI single to score Corona and make it 2-0. First baseman Chris Malec then belted a three-run home run over the the right field wall. Trenton added a run in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI double by Krum.

The Thunder tallied three more unearned runs in the ninth inning. With two outs in the ninth inning, the third error of the game by Sanchez extended the inning for the Thunder. Hall had a two-run single to make it 8-2, and Montero capped off the scoring in the game with an RBI double. Montero and Outfielder James Cooper each had three hits in the win. It was Cooper’s first three-hit game of the season.

Bleich tied a Thunder-high with 6 2/3 innings. He scattered five hits and one run. Bleich walked five and struck out two. Marcum, in his second rehabilitation start for the Fisher Cats, allowed five hits and five runs (one earned) in three innings to take the loss. Thunder Reliever Grant Duff came on and retired the tying run at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, and hurled 1 1/3 shutout innings for his first save.

Trenton and New Hampshire will play the third game of their four-game series on Wednesday night. RHP Ryan Pope (3-7, 5.40) will start for Trenton against New Hampshire LHP Luis Perez (6-7, 3.60). Game time is set for 7:05 p.m.