Archive for September 17th, 2010

ELCS Game 3: Post-Game Notes

September 17, 2010

— Confidence.  There would be no reason for the Thunder not to have had it against Altoona Curve starter Justin Wilson.  The 23-year-old lefty made just one appearance against Trenton this season, and they lit him up to the tune of three runs on six walks and three hits in a 2 1/3 inning outing that was his shortest of the year.

He may very well have turned in his best outing of the year tonight.

“I felt good out there, I got ahead of guys,” Wilson told me.

“I had awesome defense behind me with Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Miles Durham with that huge catch.  A lot of those guys played outstanding tonight.”

The Anaheim, CA native said that July 23 disaster against Trenton never so much as crossed his mind.

“That was a long time ago,” he said.  “I didn’t even think about it, truthfully.”

There is no “glass half-full” situation when talking about how Trenton did against Wilson tonight.  He either buried them, or they buried themselves — Trenton left eight men on base during the course of the game — but either way, he shut them down.

According to Thunder manager Tony Franklin, he did not feel the team was overconfident against Wilson given what they’d done against him their last time out.

“You can’t be overconfident.  Not when you’re in a short series like we are right now,” he said.

“You’ve got to be ready to play and do what you normally do to win ballgames.  That didn’t happen for us tonight.  That kid pitched a pretty good ballgame against us, he shut us down pretty good.”

— Adam Warren gave up one hard hit-ball all night.  Andrew Lambo’s second inning shot — which actually turned out to be all the offense Altoona needed — accounted for that.  Things really unraveled for him in the fifth inning though, where he issued a two-out walk to Jim Negrych, which was followed up by Negrych advancing a few pitches later on a passed ball.  Three runs later, and Warren’s night was essentially over.

“Generally, when you lose the strike zone there, bad things happen,” Franklin said.

“The result was the three runs.  When you make pitches and you get the outs you need, things work out OK.  If you walk Negrych, and the ball gets past Romine and he ends up at second base and miss a play on De Los Santos, before you know it, you’ve got three runs.”

For Warren, a good kid who put together a real good year, it’s a tough way for him to go out.

“I’m not going to dwell on it too heavily.  I felt like I had good stuff,” he said.

“It’ll hurt for a day or two, but in the long run, I feel like I’ve grown so much this year as a pitcher that I can’t really let one outing define this year.”

— I questioned why Ryan Pope came in to pitch the ninth inning tonight.  The back seat manager that I am, I’d have saved him for a potential save situation in Game 4 so that he didn’t have to go back-to-back days.  So I asked Franklin about it after the game.

“He needed some work,” Franklin said.  “He hadn’t pitched in a while.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Thunder Lose, 5-0; Go Down 2-1 In Best-Of-Five Championship Series

September 17, 2010

It all unraveled for the Thunder in the fifth inning.  With two outs, Adam Warren issued a free pass to Jim Negrych, which started the ball rolling on a three-run frame that propelled Altoona to a 5-0 win.  They’re now one win away from winning the Eastern League Championship.

Josh Harrison delivered the big blow, driving in two runs on a single to right field to make it a 4-0 game.  Anthony Norman sent a long shot down the right field line off of Wilkins Arias to create the final margin of five.

The Thunder loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth for Damon Sublett…but he struck out.  Luis Nunez did as well.

Stay tuned for post-game reaction from what’s sure to be a somber Thunder clubhouse…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

ELCS Game 3: In-Game Updates

September 17, 2010

Top 1st — Nice start to the game by Adam Warren…a strikeout…a weak flyout…and another strikeout.  0-0, going into B1.

Bottom 1st — Justin Snyder (who was hitting .162 off of lefties this year) hit a double to the left center field gap with one out to start things off, but didn’t advance to third on a Dan Brewer flyout to left.  But he got stranded anyway when Austin Romine grounded out to third.  0-0, heading into T2.

Top 2nd — Andrew Lambo gets the Curve on the board with a solo home run to left center, and Altoona’s on top, 1-0, going into B2.

Bottom 2nd — Marcos Vechionacci singled to left off the inning…but that’s about all they got.  Altoona RF Miles Durham got knocked out of the game when he made a leaping catch in right field to make the third out off the bat of Luis Nunez…the play was out of the view of the press box in the corner, but it appeared he crashed into the unpadded wall.  1-0, going to T3.

Top 3rd — Miles Durham is out of the game, and was replaced by Jose De Los Santos, who led off the 3rd and struck out.  Warren K’d Anthony Norman, got Chase D’Arnaud to line out to first…1-0, Curve, heading to B3.

Bottom 3rd — Justin Snyder hit a two-out single through the middle and Dan Brewer walked…but Austin Romine flew out to right to end the threat.  1-0, Curve, going into T4.

Top 4th — A 1-2-3 inning for Adam Warren, who has 6 K’s through four frames, but trails 1-0, going into B4.

Bottom 4th — Rene Rivera reached third when De Los Santos lost track of a high fly ball out to right…great job by Rivera, who never stopped running.  But his teammates couldn’t capitalize and the Thunder remain behind, 1-0, going into T5.

Top 5th — Adam Warren walked Jim Negrych with two outs, who advanced to second on a passed ball by Romine…De Los Santos tallied an infield single, which was followed by a Norman RBI single and two-run single by Harrison. Just like that…4-0, Curve.

Bottom 5th — Wilson retires the Thunder 1-2-3…

Top 6th — Adam Warren after just five…Wilkins Arias in…he allows one baserunner, but that’s it…4-0, Curve, going into B6.

Bottom 6th — Dan Brewer singled to lead off the inning, but Marcos Vechionacci’s 3-6-3 DP ended it…4-0, Curve, heading into T7.

Top 7th — Norman ends Arias’ night with a long home run down the right field line…Adam Olbrychowski finishes out the inning, and Trenton’s down, 5-0, going into B7.

Bottom 7th — Damon Sublett singles…but Luis Nunez grounds into a double play.  The offense is…brutal right now.  5-0, Curve, going into T8.

Top 8th — Pat Venditte in for the 8th…and he strikes out the first two men, and induces a Jim Negrych flyout to right to get the 1-2-3 inning, all as a lefty.

Bottom 8th — Michael Dubee in the game for Altoona, after seven shutout innings by Justin Wilson.  And Trenton goes down 1-2-3.

Top 9th — Ryan Pope comes into a 5-0 game…not sure about that choice.  Altoona goes down without scoring…5-0, heading into B9.

Bottom 9th — And that’s your ballgame…The Thunder had the bases loaded with one out but Dan Moskos slammed the door on them…5-0, Trenton loses.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

ELCS Game 3: Pre-Game Notes

September 17, 2010

6:05 PM — I did a 10 minute or so spot with Cory Giger, who covers the Altoona Curve and also has an ESPN Radio show from 4-6 PM.  You can, eventually, check that out by going here.

5:55 PM — Andrew Brackman is now official as your Game 5 starter…Rudy Owens would start for Altoona.

4:00 PM — Lineups…


Chase D’Arnaud, 2B
Josh Harrison, 3B
Jordy Mercer, SS
Matt Hague, 1B
Andrew Lambo, LF
Hector Gimenez, C
Jim Negrych, DH
Miles Durham, RF
Anthony Norman, CF

Justin Wilson, P


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

Adam Warren, P

3:10 PM — Not a whole lot going on here.  No lineups yet, but I’d presume they’ll be the exact same as what they were yesterday…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT