Game 138: Pre-Game Notes (Now With Tony Franklin Audio)

6:00 PM — Want to know if Zach McAllister can come back on short rest to pitch Monday if needed?  Listen to the audio of my chat with a very gracious Tony Franklin to find out…

5:05 PM — Lineups…

THUNDER

Austin Krum, CF
Matt Cusick, 2B
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Chris Malec, 1B
Richie Robnett, DH
Edwar Gonzalez, RF
P.J. Pilittere, C
Marcos Vechionacci, 3B
James Cooper, LF

Jeremy Bleich, P

ROCK CATS

Brian Dinkelman, LF
Ramon Santana, 3B
Luke Hughes, DH
Wilson Ramos, C
Juan Portes, RF
Steve Singleton, SS
Alejandro Machado, 2B
Whit Robbins, 1B
Yancarlos Ortiz, CF

Deolis Guerra, P

4:45 PM — Not too much going on here, to be honest.  The guys are taking BP in the cage, so there isn’t much to watch either.

I did speak to Chris Malec for a little bit in the visiting dugout — man, that feels weird to say — about a few issues, including what the mindset of the team is coming into this series…

“I think it’s going to be relaxed, let’s have some fun.  Enjoy the last weekend of the regular season,” Malec said.

“This group doesn’t have a whole lot of time together, so it might be the last time this group of guys is together.  So just relax, take it like a playoff series, and have some fun with it.”

Malec, generally considered to be the veteran leader and go-to guy on the team, says that he isn’t afraid of some of his teammates pressing considering the situation.

“I think that’s just kind of an individual thing,” he said.

“I think each of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves, not only from an individual standpoint, but a team standpoint.  You want to pick up your friends and pick up your teammates.  But I think there should be some — not necessarily pressure — but a good amount of nervousness and a good amount of drve.  You can use it to your benefit.”

In speaking to a few members of the team, it seems they’re a somewhat confident group heading into this series, in which they must win three out of the four games.

“We played a couple of really good series against New Britain and Portland, so we’ve battled a couple tough clubs and we know that we have what it takes,” Malec said.

“We can really go after it, the ball’s in our court.  We have a lot of confidence going right now, and with the series last weekend, I think we have a lot of momentum at our back.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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