Lance Berkman is commuting between Waterfront Park and New York City, and left before the Thunder won the game in the bottom of the tenth inning. Therefore, he was unavailable for comment afte the game. When a guy gives you as much time as you want before the game, however, he certainly gets a well-earned free pass on that.
I did, however, speak to Thunder manager Tony Franklin about his take on Berkman’s first game in a Trenton uniform.
“It’s his first game, and it’s pretty obvious he’s rusty,” Franklin said.
“He said, ‘That wasn’t a very good at-bat I gave you, that last AB.’ But you know what, that’s why he’s down here, to find some timing and get some at-bats before he goes back to New York. But it’s tough to come down here, especially when you don’t know pitchers and what they’re trying to do to you. That first AB was a tough one, the ball got in on him and he fought it off and got a single.”
The five-time Major League All-Star, placed on the disabled list by the Yankees retroactive to August 15 with an ankle sprain, went 2-for-5 with two singles, a run scored and a strikeout on the night. Franklin confirmed that Berkman will be playing tomorrow, but did not know the plan past that, if there is one. Additionally, Franklin was unsure if Berkman will be the designated hitter again tomorrow.
The former long-time Astros first baseman delighted the Waterfront Park faithful, who cheered him before every at-bat. He signed countless autographs down the first base line, and high-fived every Little Leaguer that was waiting by the Thunder dugout.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com