— Well, that was an interesting day. Portland and Trenton were scheduled to play two games and fourteen innings. They played one game…in eleven innings…in over four hours. Mercifully, the second game was postponed due to rain and the doubleheader will now take place starting at 6 PM tomorrow.
As for the first game, Trenton won it 6-3, but it seemed that it could have happened in the standard seven innings and not an extra four.
If the playoffs started today — and trust me, I realize the impossible level of stupidity of that statement — it’s very likely that Vidal Nuno would be your Game 1 starter. Staked to a 3-0 lead thanks to a Melky Mesa home run to left field (that would have been a deep F-7 in Trenton, mind you), Nuno was at just 74 pitches when he was pulled from the game after giving up two hits, giving him a total of four allowed on the day. With a spent and lately ineffective bullpen, it seemed like a poor choice to make at the time and it played out that way for a while. Kelvin Perez allowed both inherited runners to score, and then gave up a game-tying sacrifice fly in the seventh to knot the game at 3-3.
“It’s a seven inning game, and the bullpen has to get some work too,” said Nuno, who told me wasn’t surprised to get pulled.
“I felt good today. I felt confident that the bullpen would hold the lead…it’s part of the game. It’s just been a stretch of a couple weeks (for the bullpen, but) no one’s perfect. People do give up leads and runs, but guys have the confidence that they’ll keep doing great work.”
Tony Franklin (above) said after the game that Nuno pitched well, but Perez has done well for them (which he has) and that “we had just as good of a chance to close the game out with Kelvin as we did with Nuno.”
— Thankfully, it seems as though Ricky Orta will escape relatively unscathed after clutching his surgical repaired right elbow after throwing a pitch in the ninth inning. Orta missed all of 2010 and most of 2011 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but told me after the game he was told by a Portland doctor that it was most likely scar tissue breaking up.
“I felt something crack, something pop,” Orta said. “I still have to go get an MRI, but it’s awesome news. It’s the best worst-case scenario for me. But I’ve probably got to get shut down for a couple weeks, and I want to pitch. I haven’t pitched for two years, but I guess it’s part of the process.”
Orta said the elbow had been a little tender, but the doctor told him that the harder you throw, the more scar tissue will break up.
— Danny Farquhar (left) has had a crazy few weeks. But for now, let’s focus on his crazy few days. After getting designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics, he was claimed by the New York Yankees, meaning he’d be placed on the 40-man roster. He was assigned to Trenton, but got DFA’d for Chris Schwinden, meaning he was not allowed to be with the Thunder until he was to clear waivers today at 1 PM. So he went back home to Manchester, New Hampshire (where he was pitching while with Toronto before they DFA’d him earlier this season) and waited…
“Today, I was in Manchester and I was picking up my car,” Farquhar said. “I was hanging out at the hotel, and I got the call that I cleared waivers. I got in my car and came over here to pitch in the second game of a doubleheader.”
And there was Farquhar, wearing #41, throwing in left field with catcher Jeff Farnham between games…well, before the game was called before it could start, anyway.
“It’s been a pretty crazy month,” said Farquhar, who understated that just a bit…
“It started with Toronto and getting designated. They sat on me for eight or nine days, and then Oakland picked me up. Me and my wife and daughter flew across the country and met the Sacramento RiverCats, their Triple-A team, in Fresno. We played there, went back to Sacramento and played there, then took a trip to Vegas with them. The first day, I got designated. My wife was there with me, so I had a little three day vacation in Vegas. At the end of that, the Yankees picked me up and I came over here, so I left my wife in California. And then I got designated my second day here, went back to Manchester where my car was, because I started there with the Fisher Cats this year, and then…well, today.”
Farquhar pitched in three big league games for Toronto last season, but now finds himself off any team’s 40-man roster. At least, however, he’ll be in one spot for a while. Well, maybe.
“As a minor league baseball player, you never know where you’re going to be,” he said. “The 40-man roster really doesn’t mean as much as people think. If you’re playing well, they’ll make a spot for you. But I could get traded at any time, get moved up, get moved down. There’s always instability.”
— Luke Murton is fine after absolutely trucking Portland catcher Dan Butler on a play at the plate…he said he nicked up his face a bit, but is OK. It was quite a play, he made a football style tackle sort of move on Butler in trying to jar the ball loose…but he didn’t, and give credit to Butler for that, Murton is a big boy.
— Brett Marshall will start Game 1, Ryan Pope starts Game 2.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com