Archive for June 16th, 2011

Harrisburg Comes From Behind To Beat Trenton

June 16, 2011

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – The Harrisburg Senators (36-28) used a seventh inning, two- run double from Josh Johnson to take the lead and eventually the game and series in their 3-2 victory over the Trenton Thunder (39-27) on Thursday night at Waterfront Park. Thunder starting pitcher Craig Heyer hurled six brilliant innings, but the Thunder bats did not score another run after a two-run first innings. The loss marks the first time in 2011 that the Thunder have lost back-to-back home games.

After Harrisburg lit-up the Waterfront Park scoreboard in the top of the first inning with one run, Trenton answered back with two runs in bottom half of the frame. Ray Kruml singled to lead off the inning, and Bradley Suttle doubled to the left field corner, scoring Kruml and tying the score at 1-1. Cody Johnson then lined a ball off the glove of Harrisburg pitcher Tanner Roark that scampered away on the infield grass and scored Suttle to give Trenton a 2-1 advantage.

That’s where the score stood until the Senators scored two runs on a double from Josh Johnson to grab a 3-2 edge in the top of the seventh inning against Thunder reliever Pat Venditte. Thunder starting pitcher Craig Heyer left after six frames, giving up just one run on five hits with a season-high six strikeouts.

With the six-game homestand behind them, the Thunder will embark on the season’s longest road trip with three-game stops in Binghamton, NY, Portland, ME, and New Britain, CT. Game one in Binghamton begins Friday night at 7:05 PM when LHP Manny Banuelos (2-0, 2.88) gets the nod for Trenton and LHP Robert Carson (1-7, 4.08) starts for the B-Mets. Tune-in to the game on 91.3 WTSR-FM and on trentonthunder.com. The SBLI Pre-Game Show with Hank Fuerst begins at 6:50 PM.

Game 66: Pre-Game Notes

June 16, 2011

5:45 PM — Had an exclusive chat with Austin Romine…here are the highlights:

“I did some work with my core, and eliptical and running for 20 minutes.  Then I sprinted for 10 minutes; 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off.  It’s just coming along.  I still haven’t picked up a bat or anything like that, we’ve just got to make sure I’m in shape before I get back to playing.  I can’t just jump right into it.  I know it’s going to be time consuming, I’ve been around, so I know how long it’s going to take to get back.  I’m just going with what they say.”

“I feel fine, I feel really good.  I was a little surprised (I had a concussion), like I said, I never had a concussion so I had no idea what it felt like.  I just knew something was wrong, I felt off.  It got worse and a little worse and a little worse, and I went and saw some people and I had the symptoms of a concussion.  They were like ‘you’ve got a concussion,’ and I was like, ‘Well, all right.’  I thought something was up because I didn’t feel like right.”

“I had the fog and stuff like that and I felt dizzy and my center of balance was off.  I just didn’t feel right.  You know, when you wake up and everything just slowed down and stuff like that, you know something’s wrong.  I’ve been through injuries and things like that before.  I’ve taken foul balls off the face and been dizzy and it’s gone away, and I’d been able to get through all that.  But this was something I couldn’t get through.  I needed some time.  But I woke up a couple days ago and I felt great, I had energy.  All the fog was gone, the dizzyness was gone.  I just felt good.”

“(Coming back) It’s really when MLB and the Yankees decide I can play.  I know that I’ve been cleared by doctors here, and I saw Dr. Fares and got cleared and went to a neurologist at St. Francis and got cleared by him.  I took the impact tests from MLB and I passed.  Now I’ve just got to get MLB.  I’m not in a rush, whatever they say is what’s going to happen and I can’t change that.  I’m just going to go with what they say.”

4:20 PM — Igawa is actually here.  Follow your dreams and follow the blue glove.

3:50 PM — Lineups…

SENATORS

Lombardozzi 2B
Johnson SS
Rahl RF
Moore DH
Norris C
Rhinehart LF
Pahuta 1B
King 3B
Tucker CF

Roark P

THUNDER

Kruml CF
Joseph 2B
Suttle 3B
Johnson DH
Gil C
Mack LF
Pirela SS
Place RF
Maruszak 1B

Heyer P

3:15 PM — Sounds like Kei Igawa is coming back to the Thunder.  Please plan alternate routes driving to Trenton today, as I’m sure there will be a ticker tape parade to welcome him back.

Igawa, all kidding aside, has been quite good this season.  He earned his second call-up to Scranton last week and turned in a fairly solid start in Triple-A, his second such outing this season.  All in all, between Trenton and Scranton, Igawa has posted a 2-2 record with a 3.25 ERA with a save in 13 games.

There would not need to be a corresponding move, as the Thunder roster is currently at 22 players, minus Igawa.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Game 65: Post-Game Notes

June 16, 2011

— I’m pretty sure that any and all footage of that game will be burned.  Then the ashes will be burned, and the ashes of the ashes will be burned.  The point, for those who it somehow escaped, is that this was not pretty baseball.  The teams combined for seven total errors, and three of them belonged to Trenton…which is coincidentally how many hits they had.

Corban Joseph had a double and a triple in his first two at-bats.  Jose Pirela, before…ummm, contributing his 18th error of the season  — and what a gem that was — had the Thunder’s only other hit.

— Dellin Betances, as he usually is when he pitches, is your story tonight.  I wouldn’t necessarily say this in a bad way, but he can be frustrating to watch.  You see flashes of what he can do…his curveball is pretty nasty when it’s working, and his fastball tops out at around 95 MPH.  In five innings, he struck out eight.  Good, right?  Sure.  But he lasted just five innings.  Good, right?  No.  And he knows it.

“Hopefully next time, I’m able to go more than five,” Betances said.

“I can’t throw five innings.  I have to be able to pitch longer in the games.  I’ve just got to throw more strikes early and stop falling behind and just try to put guys away when I’m ahead 0-2 or 1-2 instead of taking them 3-2 and end up striking them out or walking them.”

Thunder manager Tony Franklin was pretty succinct in responding to a question about how Betances can improve and really put together a start where he can go deep into a game: “Be more efficient.”

“You continue to work at it.  It’s repitition of it, like you learn most things,” he said.

“Confidence…just being able to have the ability to go out there and do those things.  There’s no magic to it, there’s no secret formula to it.  You go out, you talk about what you’re going to do, and you go over the gameplan and see if you can execute that gameplan.  That’s where the efficiency comes in.”

95 pitches in five innings?

“That’s not pitch efficiency,” Franklin said.  “That’s not what we’re looking for, but I think in time we’re going to be able to get to that.”

Franklin did not think it was a lack of confidence for Betances, moreso a lack of consistency…

“I think he’s confident in his ability to get hitters out, but having high pitch counts and being behind in the count quite often doesn’t allow him to do that as well as he can.  And I think that’s what we’re striving for, getting ahead of hitters more and being able to put them away.”

Betances certainly did not pitch badly.  Not at all.  Although, just four pitches into his outing, it looked like it might go that way after Josh Johnson deposited a Betances offering over some fencing they’d set up about 400 feet away in the outfield.

“That first inning, I left a pitch up to the second guy.  He hit it pretty good…the first inning was pretty much the game though, to be honest,” Betances said.

— The Thunder are still 13 games over .500.  Hard to believe given the lineup they’re throwing out there sometimes, but Franklin will of course tell you — and believe it — that what he has is enough.  Granted, he doesn’t have enough players — the team is two short of the maximum 24 — but he did admit that tonight wasn’t his team’s “finest hour.”

“We’ve played well for a long time, but I don’t think we were thinking very well out there tonight,” Franklin said.

“I told them that generally when you have games like that, your thinking is pretty clouded…that kind of magnifies your physical performance out there.  We weren’t very good out there…as a matter of fact, we played pretty poorly.”

— Austin Romine was still in the clubhouse, playing cards with a teammate.  He has done some physical activity, but nothing baseball related.  Melky Mesa, meanwhile, was running stadium steps before the game today.  There is no timetable on a return for either.

— Of tonight’s bullpen trio of Brad Halsey, Fernando Hernandez and Grant Duff, only Hernandez had a sharp outing.  Halsey gave up two runs on two hits and two walks in his first multi-inning outing of the season (1 2/3) and Duff gave up a no doubter of a home run off the bat of Bill Rhinehart.  Hernandez, who has been shaky at best for most of the season, struck out three in a spotless 1 1/3 frames of work.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com