Archive for September 9th, 2010

Thunder Take Controversial Game 2 Win, 1-0

September 9, 2010

Rene Rivera hit a walk-off home run deep to center field off of Trystan Magnuson in the bottom of the 12th inning to end a spectacular game in favor of the Thunder, 1-0.  That’s Rivera’s second home run of the series.

The Fisher Cats appeared to score a run in the top of the 12th…but first base umpire Chris Hamner appeared to blow a call on Darin Mastroianni, who legged out a ground ball that would have driven in a run.  Photographic evidence provided by photographer Kevin Littlefield shows that Mastroianni was in fact safe.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Pettitte Post-Game Information

September 9, 2010

Andy Pettitte spent about 10 minutes addressing reporters after his Game 2 start.  I will have a full transcript when I get home, but the basics are this…

— Pettitte reported no discomfort and said he expects his stuff to get better as things progress. 

— Pettitte is unsure of where his next start will be, saying he will be flying to Texas tomorrow to meet with pitching coach Dave Eiland and determine the course of action from here.

— Pettitte threw a brief bullpen after his four innings were over to get to his 65 pitch count.

Here’s a brief Star Ledger recap I wrote.  I’ll explain that later if I can…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT


September 9, 2010

1st Inning: 7 pitches/5 strikes.  A groundout, a single by Adeiny Hechevarria and a DP grounder by Eric Thames.

2nd Inning: 17 pitches/12 strikes. 24 pitches/17 strikes total. Pettitte struck out Adam Calderon to end the inning.

3rd Inning: 16 pitches/12 strikes.  40 pitches/29 strikes total.   Matt Liuzza singled to right to lead off the inning.  Pettitte got former Orioles pitcher Adam Loewen to strike out looking on three pitches, but Liuzza advanced to third on two Pettitte wild pitches.  With Jonathan Diaz up, and SS Luis Nunez playing in…Nunez speared a hard hit grounder and saved Pettitte from a run.  Darin Mastroianni weakly grounded to first to end the threat.

4th Inning: 11 pitches/8 strikes.   51 pitches/37 strikes total for Pettitte.  He struck out two and had his strongest inning.  He absolutely froze Shawn Bowman on a 3-2 pitch to end the frame.

Final Line: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K






Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

ELDS Game 2: Pre-Game Notes (Cox Suspended, De La Rosa Removed From 40-Man Roster)

September 9, 2010

6:15 PM — Here’s the scene at Waterfront Park right now…hecccccccccccccctic

6:00 PM — I’ll obviously have a Pettitte bonanza up in a bit…but Wilkin De La Rosa has been removed from the 40-man roster.  The Yankees have claimed Padres pitcher Steve Garrison to take his place.

J.B. Cox is suspended for the rest of the season.  Tony Franklin was surprisingly…well, frank about the whole thing.  But the story from here on out is Pettitte, and that’s the focus from here on out.  I’ll have quotes on everything else after the game.

4:25 PM — There could be yet another move coming with the bullpen…

3:20 PM — Lineups…


Darin Mastroianni, CF
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Eric Thames, DH
Shawn Bowman, 3B
David Cooper, 1B
Adam Calderone, LF
Matt Liuzza, C
Adam Loewen, RF
Jonathan Diaz, 2B

Zach Stewart, P


Austin Krum, CF
Justin Snyder, 3B
Daniel Brewer, RF
Austin Romine, C
Marcos Vechionacci, 1B
Rene Rivera, DH
Damon Sublett, LF
Luis Nunez, SS
Matt Cusick, 2B

Andy Pettitte, P

2:05 PM — J.B. Cox will be the story of the day up until approximately 7:05.  The reliever has been suspended as a result of his actions after being removed in the eighth inning of Game 1 last night.

Cox spiked the ball in frustration when he saw manager Tony Franklin come out to get him after he’d allowed two runners to reach with two outs in a two-run game, and proceeded to get chest to chest with Franklin in the dugout.

You can look at this one of two ways…

One way is that you can say this was a fiery pitcher with a strong competitive drive upset that he’d been pulled from a postseason game.  Or, you can look at it the right way…

This was a selfish act by an immature guy who failed to take advantage of the chances the Yankees gave him.  Cox first drew the Yankees ire prior to the 2007 season, injuring his hand in a bar fight, which got his invitation to big league spring training retracted.

After coming back in 2008 and putting together a solid season that topped out at Triple-A Scranton, Cox struggled last season in Triple-A Scranton and was demoted to Trenton.  Following two straight poor outings, he quit on his teammates and went back home.  Nobody knew if he’d retired or if he’d be back or what the situation was.

But the Yankees gave Cox another chance and allowed him to come back this season.  With an oft-abrasive personality, it was no surprise that he’d already been reprimanded by the team several weeks ago for writing an obscenity on his spikes that was spotted by a fan.  This latest incident isn’t surprising, but is still disappointing.

It also, when you think about it from a baseball standpoint, makes no sense.  Cox faced four guys, and put two of them on in the eighth inning of a two-run playoff game.  He got pulled so they could bring in Pat Venditte to pitch from the left side and face a lefty.  Tell me what was wrong about what was done there. 

Regardless, Cox puts an already short-handed bullpen even further in the hole.  Hopefully, righty reliever Ben Watkins will actually appreciate the opportunity he’s been given.  The 23-year-old went 3-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 35 games with Low-A Charleston this year.  Drafted in the 40th round last season, he’ll be thrown into the fire of the Double-A playoffs a few years earlier than he likely should be…all because a veteran wasted what’s likely to be his last opportunity to wear Yankee pinstripes.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Grote And Segedin Light On Experience, Heavy On Talent

September 9, 2010

The two newest additions to the Trenton Thunder roster have a grand total of one Double-A at-bat between them.  But for infielder Rob Segedin and outfielder Taylor Grote, well…they’re just happy to be here, even if it is ahead of schedule.

“Our season was over in Staten Island, and I was thinking I’d get a week off and go to instructs,” said Segedin.

“But I got the call and I was really excited to come down here and help the Trenton Thunder in the playoffs.  My coach, Josh Paul, called me and said I was going to Double-A, and I literally had to ask him five times, I thought he was joking around.  He said, ‘No, seriously.  You’re going to Connecticut tonight, pack your stuff.'”

Segedin who was drafted in the third round by the Yankees just this year –which unquestionably gives him the distinction of being the quickest to reach Trenton after being drafted — joined the club in New Britain for the final day of the season, but was not activated for the playoffs.

Grote, on the other hand, was activated for the final two games of the season and got one at-bat during the last game of the season.  Compared to Segedin, he’s a Double-A veteran.  But he too had only topped out at Charleston this year, so the call to come north was quite a surprise.

“I was just coming off an injury, so I was only back playing for ten games.  I didn’t even think I’d be back playing at all this year,” Grote said.

The third-year outfielder fractured the navicular bone on the top of his foot and was on crutches for 9 1/2 weeks, forcing him to miss a good chunk of the season.

“I don’t know how I did it,” he said.

“It was kind of a lingering deal.  I had some problems with it…I did some things to it in August of last year and it just started to bother me at the beginning of the year.  I finally got it checked out, and it was a fractured bone.”

Segedin, a New Jersey native, had never before watched a game at Waterfront Park until last night.  With Trenton’s lineup pretty much set, he’s well aware that he’s more or less going to be watching from here on out, but holds out hope he might get a chance.

“I’m willing to do whatever my role is here and I’m excited for it,” he said.

“Whether it’s coming off the bench or starting a game, I’m ready for it.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Franklin Not Bothered By Big League Impact On Double-A Playoffs

September 9, 2010

Before the game, I asked Thunder manager Tony Franklin if — given that his team had played all season to get to this point — it bothered him that all the attention seemed to be focused on Andy Pettitte…

“Nothing bothers me when it comes to this stuff,” he said.

“It’s part of the baseball season, it’s happened before.  It’s new to the Trenton Thunder, this is the first time it’s happened (with Franklin as manager).  We’ve had rehabs before, but not this time of year.  Let me say this to you, I heard the television announcers talking about Andy coming down and what he said, and Andy’s coming down with the intention of helping us win a baseball game, and that’s the way it should be.  Last year or a couple years ago, Travis Hafner was over in Akron and he was there to help them win a playoff game.  That’s the way it should be.  If it’s like that and they come with attitude, they’ll pitch well and get their work done, hopefully we’ll play well behind them and get our work done and it’ll be a well played contest.”

The Trentonian’s Josh Norris followed up with a question about if Franklin were on the other side of the coin, if he’d be upset about having to face Pettitte…

“They’re going to have to face him sooner or later, you know,” he said.

“Good baseball players will meet the challenge, whether they be Double-A, Triple-A or major leaguers.  They’re going to meet the challenge.  This is an opportunity for their guys to experience a playoff atmosphere against a well-seasoned World Series winner.  Why not begin now?  Look at it as an opportunity, don’t look at it as something that you can’t overcome.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT