Archive for April 21st, 2012

Thunder Struck

April 21, 2012

(PR) (Trenton, NJ) – Morristown, NJ native Chris Rahl hit a two-run triple and a solo home run to lead the Harrisburg Senators past the Thunder, 4-1, Saturday at Waterfront Park. Starter Paul Demny and two relievers combined on an eight-hitter as Harrisburg has taken two of the first three in the four-game series.

Trailing 1-0 entering the seventh, Harrisburg got back-to-back singles from Tim Pahuta and Destin Hood against Trenton starter Shaeffer Hall (2-2). Rahl then delivered the big hit of the game, a two-run triple into the left-field corner to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. Stephen King batted next and drove home Rahl with a sacrifice fly.

Rahl homered to center against Francisco Rondon in the ninth, his second of the series and fourth of the season. He finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored.

Demny (1-1) pitched 6.1 innings and allowed seven hits and one run. Former Thunder hurler Christian Garcia entered with two outs in the eighth and retired all four batters he faced to earn his first save of the season.

Trenton scored its lone run in the fourth when Luke Murton singled home Melky Mesa, who had been hit by a pitch with one out. Hall made that lead hold until allowed three runs on four hits in the seventh.

The series is scheduled to conclude Sunday afternoon at 1:05 pm. Thunder right-hander Brett Marshall (2-1) is expected to pitch against Senators righty Jeff Mandel (1-1). Limited tickets are available by contacting the Thunder box office at 609-394-3300 or online at


Pettitte Confirmed For Wednesday Start In Trenton

April 21, 2012

Just got a text from my buddy, Chad Jennings. It pretty much says it all: “Pettitte. Trenton. Wednesday.”

Reports out of New York are that Andy Pettitte will look to throw 80-85 pitches at Waterfront Park on Wednesday night against Erie.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail dot com

Pettitte Probable For Wednesday

April 21, 2012

Andy Pettitte speaks to reporters after his second rehab start with the Trenton Thunder in Altoona in 2010

The Associated Press is reporting that Andy Pettitte will likely pitch for the Trenton Thunder, with the most likely scenario being him starting at Waterfront Park on Wednesday night.

Neither Thunder manager Tony Franklin nor Yankees minor league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, who was in Trenton on Friday, would confirm the move.

“No one has told me,” Franklin said.  “No one from Tampa has said that he’s going to pitch here.  Nardi is our pitching coordinator, and he hs not told me anything.  I have not gotten a call from Mark Newman, nor Brian Cashman, nor Joe Girardi.  So, I don’t know if he is (coming here).”

I asked Franklin if he ever thought he’d again be sitting in his office, answering questions about whether Pettitte was coming to Trenton, as he did during the 2010 Eastern League postseason.

“I never would have thought that, no,” he said. 

“But, I’m glad for Andy.  Apparently, he felt like there was something left to do.  Apparently, he felt like he could pitch again.  That’s a good thing.  If he’s healthy, I think he can help.  I don’t think he’d do it if he didn’t think he could help, and I don’t think the Yankees would give him an opportunity if they didn’t think he could help.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT

Game 16: Video

April 21, 2012

Game 16: Post-Game Notes

April 21, 2012

— It took 12 innings and a mere three hours and 48 minutes for the Thunder to get past the Harrisburg Senators, 6-5, on Friday night.  Interesting game?  Sure.  Quick?  Not so much.

After Harrisburg put up two runs in the top of the 12th off of lefty Lee Hyde, Trenton came right back in the bottom half of the frame.  Kevin Mahoney, who had himself a nice a game, led off the Thunder half of the inning with a triple, and was promptly singled home by Addison Maruszak to cut the deficit to one run.  Jeff Farnham, one of three Thunder players with three hits on the evening, got his third knock of the night on a single, and that led Senators manager Matt LeCroy to pull Hector Nelo in favor of Pat Lehman.

With two runners on and nobody out, Walter Ibarra’s sac bunt moved the runners over to second and third, and Lehman intentionally walked Abe Almonte to load the bases for Ronnier Mustelier.  Mustelier sent a hard hit ball to second baseman Jeff Kobernus, who made a great play to field it, but he botched the throw, plating Maruszak to tie the game and moving the other runners up a base in the process.

Then, on the second pitch he saw, Melky Mesa hit a fly ball just deep enough to right field to score Farnham and give the Thunder a surprising come-from-behind win in extras.

— That was the first time I’d seen Farnham in person, and I was impressed.  The three hits were nice, but he’s got a real strong arm and quick release behind the plate.  He threw out two of the four runners who attempted to steal on him.

— Abe Almonte and Ronnier Mustelier each had three hits as well, and they had one triple a piece. 

— Nice outing from Craig Heyer, who threw 98 pitches (after using 74 to get through his first outing and 80 his second) in six innings.  He showed a sharp curveball and a fastball that got to 90 MPH, but made one big mistake in the sixth to Tim Pahuta.  My old Little League teammate tied the game, 3-3, with a very, very long home run to right field that unquestionably landed in the river.

— Really no injury updates to speak of, but there sure are a lot of them.  Tony Franklin’s been in baseball for over 40 years, and…

“This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Franklin said before the game.  “I’ve never experienced anything like this before in baseball, with the amount of injuries that we’re sustaining and the periods of time and how quickly they’re coming, it’s unbelievable to me.”

— Zoilo Almonte felt a “twinge” in his hamstring.  But evidently it was serious enough to put him on the DL.  Yadil Mujica came back from Triple-A to take his place.  Almonte was at the ballpark during batting practice, but did not participate in baseball activities.

— Interesting conversation before the game regarding Jose Pirela’s concussion-like symptoms.  Franklin wouldn’t go as far as to say Pirela has a concussion, but he does still have symptoms of one…but really, the conversation was more about what Franklin endured in his own playing career.

He didn’t believe he ever had a concussion now that he’s more educated on the symptoms of them, but he did get hit a few times.

“I can remember getting hit pretty hard,” he said.  “I couldn’t tell you who hit me, but I can remember taking a blow to the helmet that was pretty hard.  It caught the top part of the helmet.”   

— I’ll have a Christian Garcia feature for you at some point in the next few days, as well as a lengthy Q&A with Nardi Contreras.

— I am not covering the game tomorrow.  Come find me in Section 103 of Madison Square Garden instead, cheering on the Rangers. 

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT