Archive for April, 2011

VIDEO: BANUELOS SPEAKS AFTER SOLID OUTING

April 30, 2011

BANUELOS-BONANZA!!!

April 30, 2011

Fifth Inning — 88 pitches/56 strikes is Banuelos’ final count.

Banuelos: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Addison Maruszak goes yard to left…4-1 Thunder lead through five.

Fourth Inning — 24 pitches/14 strikes.  Banuelos lost his way a little bit there in the fourth…allowed a run to score on a wild pitch, and gave up a hit and a walk.

Totals: 73 pitches/47 strikes.

Brad Suttle with a long home run to right field…Thunder take a 2-1 lead

Third inning — 16 pitches/11 strikes.  One walk, one strikeout. 

Totals: 49 pitches/33 strikes

Second inning — 17 pitches/9 strikes. One hit, but Sierra was caught stealing by Romine…likely helped by the fact that Sierra trotted towards second thinking it was ball four.

Totals: 33 pitches/22 strikes

Corban Joseph RBI single makes it 1-0 Thunder through two innings…

First inning — 16 pitches/13 strikes.  92-94 MPH on the gun.  No hits, one K.

0-0 tie after one inning…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 22: Pre-Game Notes

April 30, 2011

5:45 PM — Lineups…

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Hechavarria, SS
Gose, CF
McDade, 1B
Sierra, RF
Stansberry, 3B
Sobolewski, DH
Tolisano, LF
Gomes, C
Crabbe, 2B

Carreno, P

TRENTON

Krum, LF
Brewer, RF
Romine, C
Suttle, 3B
Mesa, CF
Joseph, 2B
Pirela, SS
Kruml, DH
Maruszak, 1B

Banuelos, P

5:40 PM — Not too much to report out of the pre-game chat with Tony Franklin.  Ryan Baker will remain inactive for the foreseeable future…Addison Maruszak remains the team’s option at backup catcher.

Manny Banuelos will go about 75-80 pitches tonight.

4:55 PM — Just had a GREAT chat, as always, with Nardi Contreras.  Stay tuned for some of that stuff…

Check out my Twitter account at Mashmore98 for some quick nuggets.

3:50 PM — Justin Mashore, who was on the inaugural 1994 Trenton Thunder squad — as well as a brief appearance with the squad in 1999 — is back at Waterfront Park as New Hampshire’s hitting coach…

2:00 PM — Spent a few minutes catching up with all-world good guy Alan Horne.  Horne is throwing increasingly longer bullpens, and will start facing hitters in about two weeks to start building his pitch count, most likely in extended spring training. 

Horne will most likely be used in a starting role when he does return, and says he feels good.  You can choose who you want to root for and root against…but spend a minute with Alan Horne, and if you don’t like him…well, there’s something wrong with you.

1:45 PM — Ryan Baker is here.  He’s wearing #35 and is hitting in the cage with Johnson and Jack Rye.  Baker, as far as I know, was on Scranton’s 7-Day DL.  He is not, as far as I know, active here.

1:25 PM — Julius Matos is on the field chucking balls into a pitching machine…looks like Cody Johnson is getting in some very, very early work.

12:45 PM — Ladies and gentlemen, Greg Lavin saves the day.  I come here and internet isn’t working, Greg gets on the case…BOOM!  Internet. 

The real story as to why I’m here now…as I’m sure many of you know, I write for/faux work for the Trenton Steel, which is a team in the Southern Indoor Football League.  The team came back from their big win in Fayetteville, NC and the bus dropped us off at the hotel around 7:30 AM.  The original itinerary said it would be at 1 PM, which wouldn’t have been a problem…but this?  Well, yeah.  Problem.  So the bus driver was kind enough to drop me off at the ballpark, but obviously no one’s going to be there that early, so I kind of…ummm, hung out in Trenton for a while.  I walked back to the yard around noon, GM Will Smith let me in, and I’m in the press box now to catch up on work and…don’t tell anyone, maybe catch up on a little sleep as well.

Manny Banuelos starts tonight for the Thunder, who host the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.  They’re slated to send Joel Carreno to the hill.

12:20 PM — Don’t ask as to why I’m here so early. Anyway, no news of any sort yet obviously…probably because NOBODY’S HERE THIS EARLY!

Updates could be interesting since internet issues in the press box have finally gotten to me…but I’ll do what I can.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor…

April 30, 2011

Just wanted to shoot a nice welcome to the fine folks over at JUGS Sports for their new sponsorship of Thunder Thoughts.

If you’re interested in batting cages, baseball or softball throwing machines, screens, and all sorts of other equipment, they’re clearly the place to go.

Check out JUGSSports.com for more information.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com // Sponsored post

CoJo Takes Thunder To Victory

April 29, 2011

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder (9-12) picked-up another Waterfront Park win Friday night, beating the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (11-8) 6-2 in front of 5,421 fans. Austin Romine smacked four hits in four at bats, and Corban Joseph drove home two runs for the Thunder, who improve to 6-2 at home.Trying to give starter Dellin Betances some early run support, the Thunder were up to the task in the bottom of the first. With one out, Romine would drive his fifth double of the season to right-centerfield, advancing Austin Krum to third. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Joseph singled to New Hampshire shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, scoring Krum for his eighth run batted in of the season. One batter later, Jose Pirela walked to bring home Romine, and the Thunder led 2-0.

A three-run seventh inning for the Thunder would provide ample insurance runs for a pitching staff that only allowed two runs all night. After Ray Kruml scored from third on an error by John Tolisano, Dan Brewer scored Krum from second to grab his third run batted in of the season on his stand-up triple to deep right-centerfield. Then, Romine would single to center for his fourth hit to extend the Trenton lead to 6-1.    The Thunder will continue their seven-game homestand with another contest against New Hampshire Saturday night at 7:05 PM. Trenton will send LHP Manny Banuelos (0-0, 1.42) to the mound to face New Hampshire’s RHP Joel Carreno (0-2, 7.05 PM). The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Jay Burnham and Hank Fuerst begins at 6:45 PM. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on trentonthunder.com.

Saturday night will certainly live-up to the Thunder slogan “Fun Happens Here.” Not only are there post-game fireworks, but there will be a Thunder Dance Team performance, an NJEA Most Improved Student ceremony and the first Mrs. G’s washer/ dryer raffle. Call the Thunder Box Office at 609-394-3300 or log on to trentonthunder.com to reserve your seats today.

Betances Activated For Tonight; Leslie Released

April 29, 2011

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – The Trenton Thunder, Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees, announce that RHP Dellin Betances has been activated from the Disabled List.  In a corresponding move, the Yankees have released Myron Leslie from the organization. 
 
Betances’ only start came on April 10 when he took the loss on the road against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.  The New York City native allowed five hits and one earned run in four and two thirds innings pitched.  Entering the 2011 season, Betances was ranked as the #2 prospect and the top overall pitcher in the New York Yankees Minor League system according to
Baseball America.  The right-hander will make his Waterfront Park debut Friday at 7:05 PM against the Fisher Cats.
 
Leslie, who was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, appeared in three games with the Thunder this season and picked-up three hits in nine at bats.    
 
The Thunder begin a seven-game homestand Friday night at 7:05 PM when they host the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays).  All the Thunder action can be heard on the new flagship station for Trenton Thunder baseball, 91.3 WTSR, or online at trentonthunder.com.

Rye Home Run Not Enough

April 28, 2011

(PR) (Richmond, VA) – The Trenton Thunder (8-12) fell 7-2 to the Richmond Flying Squirrels (10-10) on Wednesday in the finale of a four-game set from The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia. Jack Rye hit his first home run of the season and Dan Brewer knocked-in a run in the losing effort.

After allowing two runs in the first, the Thunder would cut the Richmond lead in half in the top of the third inning. Austin Krum reached on an error and stole second base, and Dan Brewer drove home Krum for his second RBI of the season on a single to centerfield, making the score 2-1.

Trailing 6-1 entering the top of the sixth inning, Jack Rye led the frame off with his first homerun of the season, a solo shot to right field off of Squirrel reliever Justin Dowdy. That would be it for the Thunder offense, which has only scored two runs in the last twenty-two innings of play.

The Thunder will begin a seven-game homestand Friday night at Waterfront Park when they send Dellin Betances (0-1, 1.93) to the mound. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will be in town for a three-game set, and they will give the ball to B.J. LaMura (1-0, 1.20) in game one Friday night. First pitch is at 7:05 PM with the SBLI Pre-Game Show with Jay Burnham and Hank Fuerst beginning at 6:45 PM. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on trentonthunder.com.

Friday night is a Robinson Cano Bobblehead giveaway for the first 1,500 fans six and older thanks to Snyder’s of Hanover. Call the Thunder Box Office at
(Richmond, VA) – The Trenton Thunder (8-12) fell 7-2 to the Richmond Flying Squirrels (10-10) on Wednesday in the finale of a four-game set from The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia. Jack Rye hit his first home run of the season and Dan Brewer knocked-in a run in the losing effort.

After allowing two runs in the first, the Thunder would cut the Richmond lead in half in the top of the third inning. Austin Krum reached on an error and stole second base, and Dan Brewer drove home Krum for his second RBI of the season on a single to centerfield, making the score 2-1.

Trailing 6-1 entering the top of the sixth inning, Jack Rye led the frame off with his first homerun of the season, a solo shot to right field off of Squirrel reliever Justin Dowdy. That would be it for the Thunder offense, which has only scored two runs in the last twenty-two innings of play.

The Thunder will begin a seven-game homestand Friday night at Waterfront Park when they send Dellin Betances (0-1, 1.93) to the mound. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will be in town for a three-game set, and they will give the ball to B.J. LaMura (1-0, 1.20) in game one Friday night. First pitch is at 7:05 PM with the SBLI Pre-Game Show with Jay Burnham and Hank Fuerst beginning at 6:45 PM. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on trentonthunder.com.

Friday night is a Robinson Cano Bobblehead giveaway for the first 1,500 fans six and older thanks to Snyder’s of Hanover. Call the Thunder Box Office at
609-394-3300 or log on to trentonthunder.com to reserve your seats today.

Extra Inning Defeat At The Nut House

April 27, 2011

(PR) (Richmond, VA) – The Richmond Flying Squirrels (9-10) edged the Trenton Thunder (8-11) 1-0 in 11 innings Wednesday night at The Diamond in Richmond, VA. With one out and two on in the bottom of the eleventh, former Thunder outfielder Justin Christian knocked a single to deep left-center field off of Thunder pitcher Fernando Hernandez, scoring Roger Kieschnick from third and giving the Squirrels the walk-off victory.

The Thunder had only one hit with runners in scoring position in nine tries the entire night, but it was Richmond that squandered a golden opportunity in the bottom of the ninth. The Squirrels loaded the bases with one out against Thunder reliever Brian Anderson, and Christian came to the plate. Christian worked the count to 3-0 before Anderson bounced back with two straight strikes. It was a 3-2 pitch that Christian flied to right field, allowing Thunder outfielder Ray Kruml to make the catch. Kruml fired home and threw-out Juan Perez, who was trying to tag from third, completing the improbable 9-2 double play to end the inning.

Austin Krum, Ray Kruml, Addison Maruszak and Corban Joseph all had multi-hit nights, but the Thunder were never able to take advantage of the opportunities on base.

Craig Heyer was able to put together his best performance of the season as he made his third start. The righty hurled five scoreless innings and only surrendered three hits. The Thunder offense continued to struggle with Heyer on the mound. In his three starts, his offensive mates have only mustered two runs.

The Thunder will wrap-up their seven-game road trip Thursday when they take-on the Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants) at 10:35 AM from The Diamond in Richmond, VA. Thunder LHP Steve Garrison (0-2, 6.19) will get the nod on the mound in the finale and will face Squirrel RHP Justin Fitzgerald (2-0, 1.88). Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on trentonthunder.com. The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst begins at 10:20 AM on the Trenton Thunder Radio Network.

After Thursday’s finale in Richmond, the Thunder return home to begin a seven-game homestand. Friday night’s first pitch is 7:05 PM, and the first 1,500 fans six and older will receive Robinson Cano Bobbleheads thanks to Snyder’s of Hanover. Call the Thunder Box Office at
609-394-3300 or log on to trentonthunder.com to reserve your seats today.

Romine Heating Up In Double-A Do-Over

April 27, 2011

Austin Romine's hitting .267/.353/.483 in 15 games this season (Photo: Mike Ashmore/2010)

 He’s back.  But for how long?

Austin Romine made a somewhat unexpected return to Trenton to begin his 2011 season.  You noticed he’s there.  Romine certainly noticed he’s back.  But when asked about the progression Romine’s made since first joining the Thunder last season, manager Tony Franklin hasn’t noticed Romine at all.  In a good way, of course.

“I don’t even know he’s back there anymore, and that’s a compliment,” Franklin said.

“It says a lot. He’s handling the pitching staff extremely well. He seems to be pretty strong throughout the games he’s caught so far. I was watching Kevin (Millwood) when he pitched to see how many times he was going to shake, and he shook him a very minimal amount of times.”

Romine has come a long way since making his Double-A debut on Opening Day last season, but that’s not to say he wasn’t advanced when he arrived.  Ask the personable 22-year-old Lake Forest, CA native to compare where he’s at now compared to this time last season, and it’s maturity and not skill that he focuses on.

“I’m a lot more mature in all aspects of the game, just being more patient at the plate and gamecalling,” he said.

“I’ve been around the block a few times now. I have more of a general knowledge of what needs to be done and what you need to do to succeed at this game. It’s just being a lot more comfortable, I guess that’s the easiest way to put it.”

Both comfort and confidence seem to be at a high point now for Romine, who made quite the impression with his ability behind the plate in Major League spring training.  As for the frustration of having to return to Trenton, Romine has tried to stay positive, which is easier now that he knows he’s ready for the bright lights of the Big Apple.

“It’s anger, but it’s anger that drives me,” said Romine when asked about if it was difficult to not be frustrated with a return.

“The Yankees know where I should be, and I trust them. They’ve given me everything that I have up until this point. They told me when I left spring training that I could get called up at any time now because of what I did, I proved that I can catch and can handle catching in the big leagues. It’s not so much anger, but I guess you could say if I feel angry towards the fact, it’s not in a bad way. I use it to do better on the field.”

As far as that big league spring training stint goes, it wasn’t Romine’s first.  But it was the first one he participated in where he felt he had a legitimate chance to crack the big league roster.  And, given that he stayed up there until the last day of camp, he certainly wasn’t wrong in thinking that.  But just don’t think he approached things any differently given the different set of circumstances he was facing this time around.

“Actually being considered for a spot, it made me a little bit more excited, but I didn’t really change anything from what I’d done in the past,” Romine said.

“Any time I get a chance to play, I’m going to play as hard as I can. Having a chance at a spot or not having a chance at a spot, it’s not going to change the fact that I go out there every day and do the best that I can every single day. Personally, I think it went well. My goal was to prove that I can catch in the big leagues and handle a Major League staff, and for them to know that if they put me back there, I can do it. I think I proved that.”

Of the knocks on Romine, and there are admittedly some, the bat had until recently been one of them.  But a recent four-game stretch in which he 8-for-17 with three home runs and ten RBI silenced those particular critics, albeit only temporarily.  Both Franklin and Romine are aware that more consistency is needed in the batter’s box, but neither seem too concerned about it.

“I’m not interested in what he does with the bat, because I think the bat is always the last to come with a young player,’ Franklin said.

“I think he’s going to hit, and you’ve seen examples of his ability to hit last year, he just didn’t do it as consistently as we think he’s going to. But he’s going to hit. I wouldn’t get too down on him because he isn’t pounding balls out of the ballpark right now. He’s still a young guy. I think the thing that everyone is concerned with is how he’s going to handle a pitching staff on an everyday basis as a young catcher. He got his chance to do it last year for the first time, and did OK. And so far, he’s been great this year. I think he’s only going to get better. I wouldn’t get too down on him on his batting average right now, he knows how to hit, but he’ll learn how to be a lot more consistent with his hitting.”

Added Romine: “It’s just all about the bat now. I’ve proven I can catch, but I keep doing my catching drills every single day, so I’m confident that wont go away. I always want to be better every day, catching-wise. It’s just the bat and if I can hold it together for a whole season. I had a month or two in the middle of the season where I lost my swing for a little bit, but it came back at the end a little bit. If I can hold it together and just be consistent for the whole year, I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t do well.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Hall Stops Road Trip Skid

April 27, 2011

(PR) (Richmond, VA) – The Trenton Thunder (8-10) won for the first time on this current seven-game road trip, beating the Richmond Flying Squirrels (8-10) 3-2 Tuesday night from The Diamond in Richmond, VA. Shaeffer Hall had another dominant outing for Thunder and Dan Brewer had an RBI in his 2011 team debut.

Trenton would use the top of the fifth inning to strike first in the ball game and take a 3-0 lead. After a Corban Joseph walk and Jose Pirela single, Ray Kruml singled to second base to drive home his fourth run of the series. One batter later, Addison Maruszak singled to center to bring-in another run. Dan Brewer, making his 2011 Thunder debut, also knocked-in a run in the inning via a sacrifice fly to left with one out.

That’s all of the offense the Thunder would need tonight as left-handed starter Shaeffer Hall was dominant. The Missouri native hurled seven and one-third innings of impressive baseball. The only blemish Hall would allow would be to the last batter he faced, which was a two-run, wind-aided home run to left off of the bat of Johnny Monell. Hall would finish his second consecutive quality start, giving up just those two runs on five hits with three strikeouts.

The Thunder will continue their seven-game road trip Wednesday with a 6:35 PM contest with the Richmond Flying Squirrels at The Diamond in Richmond, VA, in game two of the four game series. Thunder RHP Craig Heyer (1-0, 2.70) will oppose Flying Squirrel LHP Eric Surkamp (0-2, 3.38). Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on trentonthunder.com. The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst begins at 6:20 PM on the Trenton Thunder Radio Network.

After Wednesday and Thursday games in Richmond, the Thunder return home to begin a seven-game homestand. Friday night’s first pitch is 7:05 PM, and the first 1,500 fans six and older will receive Robinson Cano Bobbleheads thanks to Snyder’s of Hanover. Call the Thunder Box Office at 609-394-3300 or log on to trentonthunder.com to reserve your seats today.


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