— 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 gmail.com