— Five hours and 38 minutes. 14 innings. 15 extra-base hits. 4 home runs. 7 stolen bases. 30 strikeouts. Two Thunder wins. Fireworks.
Point is, for a single-admission doubleheader, you certainly got your money’s worth. That is, of course, the fan in me writing. The beat writer in me wonders why the hell it took that long. But none of you care about my grumpyness, you care about your team. And it’s a team that, despite all odds, is pretty damn good.
Not a whole lot of prospects on this team…but so what? So freaking what? The Thunder are 42-30 and in first place in their division.
“It’s not always about having the five-star prospects,” outfielder Damon Sublett told me.
“We have a great team, and we have great team chemistry. I’ve been here for three years, and this team really gets along real well. That can take you a long way. It’s very important, it’s the little things. Everybody here just meshes really well, and we’re a pretty happy team.”
As they should be. But given their record in doubleheaders, you knew they would be. Trenton’s wins today pushed them to 8-0 in doubleheader games…but according to manager Tony Franklin, there really isn’t anything to it.
“I don’t have an answer for it, I don’t know why it’s that way,” he said.
“What I do know, is I’ve got a good group of guys that buckle down and stay with the game until it’s over.”
— Make no mistake about it, while it was fun for the fans to watch, it was probably tough for the players to play for that long…and the bullpen’s hurting after a day like that too.
“It really tests your character,” Franklin said.
“We’re going to be tired, no question about it. I think the most important thing is to get your body as much rest as you can get, and then come in here as mentally fresh as you can. You know you’re going to be tired, and here’s where you have to just overcome your fatigue and just go out there and play.”
— The highlight of the first game, other than Shaeffer Hall overcoming an uncharacteristically rough third inning, had to be the four home runs Trenton hit off of Stolmy Pimentel. Pimentel throws really, really hard. But it really, really didn’t matters. All four longballs were off of Pimentel fastballs, including Luke Murton’s, which left Pimentel’s hand at 97 MPH. Jose Gil, Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa hit the others.
— Jon Meloan is still expected to join the team Sunday. No move made for that yet. Could speculate a few different ways. So can you. Let’s wait until it happens. But it sure does help that bullpen.
— Of the two prospects I was excited to see, one was as exciting as I’d hope and the other…not so much.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. was as fun to watch as I thought he’d be. That infield double (no, really) that I posted video of in the second game was a sight to see, and he made a great catch in center field as well, covering a ton of ground. He really showed off the wheels in his first game triple as well, although Zoilo Almonte should probably catch that ball.
On the other hand, Anthony Ranaudo was looking like he was going to dominate early, but after striking out three of the first four guys he faced, he really struggled in his second inning of work and was pulled after only 60 pitches. That was disappointing, especially considering the Belmar native had 50 friends and family members in the stands.
— Want to read about what actually happened in the games? Suuuuuuuuuure you do. My stories in The Trentonian will be here. My Game 1 piece may only be in print, though…that has some good quotes from Hall in there. My feature on Ranaudo should be in there too. I’ll have stuff on both him and Bradley, Jr. on the blog as well.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com