— Extra innings make for a late trip getting home, so I’m going to try to keep these a little shorter than usual tonight. Based on the amount of comments lately, nobody’s reading anyway, so it’s really not a big loss, I’m sure. The views on the Betances video was low as well, so that’s why there wasn’t anything today.
— Grumpy beat writer musings aside, the topic of conversation from this one will be Manny Banuelos’ rough outing. Rough is likely putting it kindly, but Banuelos knew from the first few warmup pitches he threw that he didn’t have his best stuff tonight, and it showed.
Tony Franklin told us prior to the game that Banuelos was scheduled to throw 75-80 pitches, but he actually ended up lasting for 96 pitches. Franklin told us after the game that his numbers and pitching coach Tommy Phelps numbers in terms of pitch counts can be different, so that explains the confusion there. But 1 pitch…75 pitches…96 pitches…the line at the end of the night wasn’t pretty: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K.
The most important part, however, is that Banuelos just chalked it up to one of those nights, telling myself and Josh Norris after the game that he physically felt fine tonight.
“My body and my arm feels good…it was a bad night,” Banuelos said.
Banuelos seemed to be getting squeezed a little bit by home plate umpire Tom Woodring, but wouldn’t use that as a reason for his bad outing.
“I don’t want to (use the umpire as an) excuse, that was me…no control or anything,” Banuelos said.
Ultimately, Banuelos didn’t factor into the decision — he hasn’t won a game as a starter since July 20, 2009 — due to a ninth inning comeback and eleventh inning walk-off walk.
“That was great,” he said. “We are a team, sometimes we lose and sometimes we win. Tonight, they helped me out a lot.”
— Dan Brewer got the ol’ shaving cream pie smashed in his face after his pinch-hit walk-off walk in the 11th inning. When I asked him after the game if he instead hoped for the chocolate pie treatment that B.J. Upton got, Brewer joked that he didn’t think the pie he got tasted as good as that one would.
Interestingly enough, Brewer was listed in the initial starting lineup, but when the game got underway…he was in the dugout getting a day off. Franklin explained after the game that he’d filled out his lineup for tonight’s game on Wednesday, but that when he realized they had a righty going last night and a lefty tonight, he made a switch and took Brewer out for Austin Krum.
Brewer pinch hit for Cody Johnson, who had a rough night at the plate…going 0-for-4 with four K’s, although it was his sac fly that tied the game at seven in the ninth. He was the only Thunder starter without a hit. Johnson has 41 K’s in 81 AB’s so far this season, and has strikeouts in 20 consecutive games…a K in every game except the first one he played this year. Binghamton’s Rob Stratton holds the Eastern League record with 201 K’s in 2001 with the Binghamton Mets.
— Kei Igawa is very likely to start Sunday. It wasn’t much of a secret given that he was in the stands today helping to chart pitches…bullpen guys don’t do that.
— By virtue of his ninth inning RBI single, Corban Joseph extended his hitting streak to 16 games and on-base streak to 20 games.
— Tim Norton had his first really rough outing of the year. He threw the seventh and eighth innings, and got knocked around for four runs on three hits and a walk. One of those hits, however, was a mammoth home run off the bat of Ryan Lavarnway that traveled quite a distance. Norton had entered the game with the second best baserunners/9 and K/9 ratio in the Eastern League among qualifying pitchers. He did strike out two batters tonight.
— Ray Kruml is very quietly putting himself on the map. His 3-for-5 night raised his average to .269, and his two stolen bases give him a team-high 11.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com