— Well, that wasn’t pretty. A small crowd — announced at 3,419 — took in a small offensive performance by the Thunder in a 5-1 loss to the Akron Aeros on Tuesday night. T.J. House was virtually unhittable all night, allowing just two baserunners through six innings while striking out nine in the process.
Meanwhile, the other starter, Zach Nuding, lasted just four innings after his defense let him down on two seperate occasions: A throwing error by Rob Segedin, in which Kyle Roller didn’t do him many favors at first base, and a missed catch in short center field by Ramon Flores.
In all, Akron pitchers struck out 15 Thunder batters, but it was the defensive issues that were the subject of post-game conversation.
“It was a bad game for us tonight defensively, we didn’t make plays,” said Thunder manager Tony Franklin.
“When you don’t make plays when you should make, it’s going to give them several more opportunities. We always stress there’s 27 outs in a game, let’s not give them more than 27. Consequently, we did tonight with errors.”
Nuding now sits at 0-2, but his ERA is a remarkably spiffy 1.98, helped in part by three of the five runs he allowed tonight going down as unearned. While House pitched very well, it isn’t as though Nuding cost Trenton the game by any means.
“I thought I threw a pretty decent game,” he said. “I thought I gave my team a pretty decent chance to stay in there. Some balls didn’t land where we wanted them to, some went to where we didn’t have guys at. I thought I pitched a decent enough game where I was competing and I still gave our team a chance to either get a victory or keep it contained until I was done pitching.”
To his credit, Nuding spoke about how he needs to retain his focus when things go badly behind him, as it appeared things snowballed a bit once errors were made.
“Some guys, they let it get to them a little easier,” Nuding said.
“I fully understand that my team is there for me. Errors are errors, mistakes are mistakes. I make them just as much as they do. Mine are seen as a hit on a pitch that shouldn’t be in a certain location, and theirs are seen on the field as an error. This is still the minor leagues, and guys are still developing. I fully understand that, because I’m still developing. When I see someone struggle, I know there’s nothing personal or anything like that behind it. Those guys are out there fighting for me, and if it doesn’t go my way, that’s baseball.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com