— Before the game even started, the buzz in the ballpark was all about the premium pitching matchup: Binghamton’s Rafael Montero vs. Trenton’s Jose Ramirez. And after the game? Well, it didn’t exactly change, but there was more to the Thunder’s 5-1 victory over the Mets than just two of the top arms in the area.
Slade Heathcott, who has struggled for the majority of his first month in Double-A, drove in two runs with a clean single through the right side off of Montero in the seventh inning, putting Trenton ahead and knocking Binghamton’s ace out of the game. It appears things are slowly turning around for the Yankees No. 2-ranked prospect (according to Baseball America), as Heathcott has pieced together some solid games of late.
“I don’t know if I’ve felt any different, it’s just trying to stick with the approach,” he said. “Just let the big man up top take care of the things that He controls. We play this game every day for a reason. We struggle. There are ups and downs, but it’s our responsibility and our job to handle it as professionals. For me, it’s controlling things I can control; how hard I play and how locked in I am.”
But, for the first six innings, it was Montero who was locked in. He allowed just one hit through that time (a two-out fourth inning single off the bat of Kyle Roller, who was thrown out at second base trying to stretch it to a double) and issued just one walk. But the wheels started to fall off a bit in the seventh inning. By the time the Thunder were done, they put up a four spot in the fateful frame, and Josh Romanski and Danny Burawa pitched five scoreless innings in relief of Ramirez to close the game out.
“The first inning, you always feel stronger,” said Montero through translator and battery mate Francisco Pena.
“But when it got longer in the game, in the seventh inning, you’re not going to be the same. You’re going to be more tired and more fatigued. But I felt strong still and I was throwing the ball pretty well. I have to work hard (to improve later in the game). Whatever innings the Lord gives me, I’m going to throw. Nobody knows that, though. The only one that knows that is God.”
— Caleb Cotham was promoted to Triple-A Scranton after the game, and is expected to start on Thursday. Mikey O’Brien will take his place on the roster and in the rotation.
— According to The Trentonian’s Josh Norris, who was in the Thunder clubhouse while I was in Binghamton’s, Rob Segedin has the same hip injury as Alex Rodriguez, and it’s unclear whether rehab or surgery is the next step. Segedin was saying his goodbyes to his teammates in the clubhouse after the game, so neither process will be a short-term one.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com