Game 79: Post-Game Notes

— I was actually getting to collect a paycheck today, hooray on Trentonian duty today, so be sure to check out my notebook on Derek Jeter’s impending arrival with quotes from Corban Joseph, Thunder GM Will Smith and Saturday’s starter for the Altoona Curve, Mike Colla.  And my Steve Garrison mini-feature/game story is also available for your perusal.

— Garrison left about 15 tickets for friends and family, and they got to see a bit of a mixed bag from the very personable 24-year-old southpaw.  He did get through five innings with his 80 pitches — 51 for strikes — but got knocked around pretty good, especially early.  The line isn’t pretty: 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 1 WP; but the “W” is, his first in a Thunder uniform at Waterfront Park.

“We got the win, but he was sharper the last time out,” said Thunder manager Tony Franklin.

“He missed his location on a couple pitches.  The home run he gave up to Marte — he’s a very good player — but if he makes location, he probably doesn’t give up that home run.  And that’s what we talk about as far as consistency is concerned, and that’s what separates major leaguers from minor leaguers sometimes.  Stevie hits his location, different ballgame.”

Garrison’s fastball was crossing the plate at around 88 MPH tonight, and when your fastball isn’t blowing people away, you need to be pretty pinpoint with your secondary stuff.  That, in part, is why Garrison told reporters after the game that his outing was “not that good.”

“I got off to a bad start and left a changeup up and gave up that three run home run,” he said.

“But the defense played great behind me.  I just didn’t make the pitches when I needed to.  It wasn’t a good day.”

— While seven of the nine Thunder starters had hits, it was the top three batters in the lineup — Ray Kruml, Corban Joseph and Austin Romine — that collectively made the biggest impact.  They went 8-for-15 with two RBI and seven runs scored, and that’s the kind of impact they’re going to need to make all season long if this team hopes to win a championship.

— Seemed a bit odd to me that Jose Pirela got the day off, considering he’ll likely be riding the pine with Derek Jeter taking over at shortstop two days from now.

— Nice job by the newly added middle relievers tonight, as Chase Whitley and Josh Romanski combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings. 

— Looks like Alan Horne wasn’t kidding when he said he might be the new closer.  Romanski had a chance to close it out, but walked a batter with two outs, and Horne came on to get the save.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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