Archive for August 14th, 2009

Thunder Get Much Needed Win In Harrisburg

August 14, 2009

Austin Krum, Eduardo Nunez and Marcos Vechionacci each collected two hits a piece in Trenton’s 4-3 win over the Harrisburg Senators.

Vechionacci’s ninth inning solo home run off of former top prospect Adrian Alaniz proved to be the difference, as Harrisburg would put up a run of their own in the final frame off of Jose Valdez, who recovered for his 10th save of the season.

Ryan Pope managed to put together two good starts in a row for the first time in what seems like a while, spinning five scoreless innings of three-hit ball.  Grant Duff struggled in relief of Pope, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk in one and a third innings of work before Humberto Sanchez came in and righted the ship.

Stay tuned for the press release…

(PR) Trenton Third baseman Marcos Vechionacci hit a home run in the ninth inning, and the Thunder slipped past Harrisburg 4-3 on Friday night from Metro Bank Park.  Trenton won its third consecutive game, and its first at Metro Bank Park on the season.  With the win, Trenton moved back to the .500 mark (59-59). 

Trenton tallied the first run of the game in the top of the first inning. Center fielder Austin Krum walked to start the game against Harrisburg Starting Pitcher Luis Atilano. Second baseman Matt Cusick followed with a sacrifice bunt in front of home plate. Catcher Luke Montz picked up the bunt and made an errant throw down the first base line. The error allowed Krum to score all the way from first base. Trenton increased the lead to 3-0 with two runs in the seventh inning. With two outs, Right fielder Edwar Gonzalez singled off of Atilano. Third baseman Marcos Vechionacci also singled to move Gonzalez to third base. Designated Hitter Justin Snyder drove Gonzalez home with an RBI single to make it 2-0. Krum followed with an RBI single off of Harrisburg Reliever Cory VanAllen, Trenton’s fourth consecutive hit, to score Vechionacci and extend the lead to 3-0.

Harrisburg (55-62) narrowed the margin to 3-2 with two runs in the seventh inning. Center fielder Francisco Plasencia produced an RBI single with two outs to plate Harrisburg’s first run of the night. Later in the inning, Second baseman Leonard Davis connected on an RBI single off of Thunder Reliever Grant Duff. But, Trenton tallied an insurance run in the ninth inning. Vechionacci hit a one-out solo home run off of Harrisburg Reliever Adrian Alaniz to give the Thunder a 4-2 lead. Harrisburg tallied run in the ninth inning on a wild pitch by Thunder Reliever Jose Valdez. But, Valdez stranded the tying run at third base, and winning run at second base, as he struck out Third baseman Joel Guzman to end the game. Valdez picked up his 10th save of the season.

Trenton Starting Pitcher Ryan Pope earned the win. He tossed five shutout innings and allowed only three hits. He struck out five and walked three. He has hurled 13 straight shutout innings in his last two starts (both against Harrisburg). Atilano allowed five hits and three runs (two earned) over 6 2/3 innings to take the loss. Nunez, Krum, and Vechionacci each had two hits in the win for the Thunder.

Trenton continues its three-game series against Harrisburg on Saturday night. RHP Paul Bush (1-1, 2.19) will start for Trenton against Harrisburg LHP Matt Chico (2-3, 4.26). Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.

Game 117: Post-Game Notes

August 14, 2009

— So Zach McAllister was really good tonight.  Most nights, he’s really good. 

But believe it or not, this was his first win since June 5th.  Of course, that’s a period of time that includes about three weeks on the DL with a tired arm.  However, he made seven starts inbetween then and now.  He threw 34.2 innings, going 0-2 with a 3.37 ERA, nine walks and 29 strikeouts.  So it’s not exactly like he wasn’t deserving of coming home with the W during that stretch.

“I was pretty happy with (my start), I felt as the game went on, I got stronger,” said McAllister, who was limited to about 65 pitches tonight.

Being as on his game as he was, McAllister was a  little disappointed to have to leave the game after five scoreless frames.

“I’m on a pitch count coming back from my shoulder, so it’s kind of expected,” he told me.

“But at the same time, it’s kind of one of those where you don’t want to leave the game because you’re feeling good and you’re in a groove.  You kind of want to stay out there as long as you can.”

Not only does the soft spoken 21-year-old feel good after his unexpected time off, it seems he actually feels better than he did earlier in the year.

“My arm feels great, I don’t feel any irritation or anything like that,” McAllister said.

“I feel like my stuff has actually gotten a little bit better with the layoff, so I’m looking forward to the end of the year and having a strong finish.”

— Matt Cusick made his first big contribution in a Thunder uniform, coming up big with a bases clearing double down the right field line in the seventh inning to give the Thunder a 5-1 lead.

Having worked former Philadelphia reliever Mike Zagurski into a favorable 2-0 count, Cusick, playing just his sixth Double-A game, hit a line drive into the right field corner to break open a one-run game.

“2-0 count, with a good lefty on the mound, I’m just looking for a ball to drive and hit hard,” Cusick said.

“The guy threw a fastball middle in, and I got my barrel to it.”

Cusick, who came to the Yankees organization in a 2008 trade that dealt LaTroy Hawkins to the Astros, has impressed Thunder manager Tony Franklin, who also got to manage him a bit this spring as well.

“He’s been good, he’s been very good,” Franklin said.

“I didn’t know much about him in spring, but the more I saw him play, the more I realized he threw out some pretty good at-bats for us.  He’s going to be one of those guys that’s not going to wow you with his flash or his brilliance out there, but he’s going to be a pretty steady guy and he’s going to come up with some big hits like he did tonight.”

— Eduardo Nunez had a rough night at shortstop, making two errors and being spared of a third late on a generous call from the official scorer.  He now has 25 on the season, behind only Bowie’s Miguel Abreu (26) in the…uhhh, race to see who leads the league in errors.

— Ryan Pope starts for the Thunder in Harrisburg tomorrow.  He’ll be followed by Paul Bush and Lance Pendleton.

— People in the comments have asked about both Domonic Brown and Zach McAllister.  I do think Brown is the real deal…he is amazingly quick, and when his power really starts to get to another level, he’s going to be a special player.  Very good hitter as well.

Mac…the guy pounds the strike zone.  Tony’s quote about Cusick could apply to Zach as well…he isn’t going to wow you out there, but he just goes out there and gets the job done.  Throws in the high 80’s to low 90’s, and just is always in the zone.  He’s very “pitch efficient,” as Tony likes to say as well.  Comparisons…I am to comparisons what the Eagles are to making good PR moves, so I won’t even go there.

— Don’t forget about my YouTube videos.  I’ve got some new stuff of Lance Pendleton, Ryan Baker, Matt Cusick and other guys you probably haven’t seen yet.  Check em’ out.  No if’s, and’s or maybe’s. 

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT