— Typically, Tony Franklin is regarded as a friendly, gregarious guy who can fill a reporter’s notebook with the greatest of ease. Trenton’s manager, however, did not wish to fill his player’s ears with anything he might regret saying after an “infurating” 12-6 loss to the Bowie Baysox on Friday night.
After seemingly coming out of a season-long seven-game losing streak with two straight victories, the manner in which they lost tonight did not sit well with their respected bench boss.
“It infuriates me,” he said.
“It totally infuriates me because I thought it was a very lackluster performance, a very uninspired performance on our part. And there’s no sense in it. These are professional athletes two steps from the big leagues, and they’ve got to have better performances than how we played. We were out-pitched, we were out-played, we were out-hustled. We were beaten in every facet of the game, and I’m very disappointed in how things came out tonight.”
72 hours after a players-only meeting in the visiting clubhouse in Reading had seemed to right the ship, and the Waterfront Park home clubhouse was silent on Friday night. Franklin included.
“I haven’t said anything to them yet, sometimes it’s best not to say anything yet. I’ve got to cool off, because I ain’t too happy right now,” he said.
“Sometimes you’ve got to cool off, got to think about it. I might say something out there I might regret, and I don’t want to do that. So I’m going to take my time and I’m going to think about it. I probably won’t sleep tonight, because I’ll be thinking about it. But I’ll convey my message to them in the next 24 hours, that’s for sure.”
— Things went bad from the start for the Thunder. Well, even before the start. At around 6:30, it was announced that Dellin Betances had been scratched from his outing in favor of Francisco Rondon. Rondon was in right field, getting loose with Jose Gil when Betances came jogging out from the dugout, once again annointed as the starter.
Said start did not go well. He’s credited for throwing just four innings, but it’s the fifth that did him in. He faced five batters, retired none and got knocked out of the game on a bases loaded grand slam by Buck Britton. In his last two outings, Betances has allowed 15 runs on 17 hits and eight walks in just eight innings of work. Friday’s outing raised his Double-A ERA to 6.15, which is a slight improvement over the 6.39 mark he pitched to in 74 2/3 Triple-A innings before being demoted in late June.
“I just feel like I’ve been putting myself in early trouble, and I have to work to make some pitches,” Betances said.
“It’s like I don’t have anything left when I go back out. Both times, it’s been the fifth inning, and I haven’t been able to record an out. That’s not good…the last two times, I pitched pretty horrible out there. It’s just frustrating because this has been the worst year for me. At times, I feel like I’m getting stuff together, and then I’ll go out and do what I did today.”
Betances refused to make excuses for his outing, although it seemed he’d have a good one given how the pre-game events unfolded. For what it’s worth, his teammates still believe in him, with Addison Maruszak saying he thinks Betances can pitch in the big leagues. As one of the leaders of the team, Maruszak was asked what kind of role he has in trying to get Betances or any struggling teammate out of a funk.
“I think he just has to have confidence in himself, and if I were to talk to him, that’s what I would tell him,” he said.
“Just be confident in everything you have. But, he might be confident. I don’t know. He could just be struggling right now too. When the team struggles, everyone struggles, that’s just how it is.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com