You may recall the popular late 80’s-early 90’s television program, “Doogie Howser, M.D.”
In it, Neil Patrick Harris played a teenage doctor, holding the lives of his patients in his hands while still developing his craft.
With their season on the line, the Trenton Thunder are relying on a teenager of their own with their playoff lives as well.
19-year-old Manny Banuelos, who has made a grand total of three Double-A starts, and is still in the early stages of his development, will take the ball for Game 4 at Waterfront Park later today.
“I feel great, I’m not nervous,” Banuelos said.
“We have a little bit of pressure, we’re down 2-1 for (today). I will try to get all my stuff pretty good to get a win. I love this situation. I can do my best.”
Thunder manager Tony Franklin obviously is well aware of what’s at stake for his young starter tonight.
“I don’t see it as a lot of pressure,” he said.
“I know he’s a young guy and is new to this level, but he was pretty good his last time against New Hampshire. When you’re playing this time of year and you’re a pretty talented guy, I don’t think they feel like it’s a lot of pressure, I think they know they have to go out there and pitch a good baseball game.”
The Thunder certainly Wanda…errr…want to win tonight to extend the series to a decisive Game 5 on Sunday at 1:05 PM at Waterfront Park. Banuelos feels he may have an advantage given that the Curve haven’t faced him yet this season.
“They don’t know me. I know their hitters,” Banuelos said.
“I did the game chart a couple days ago and today. I have a little bit of an idea of how I can throw to them.”
And if he doesn’t it’s all hands on deck for Franklin, who’s hoping to win his third championship ring in four seasons as Thunder manager.
“It’s the most important game of the season right now,” he said. “We’ve got to win, there’s no question about it.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com