Series in Preview - Thunder vs. Portland
Tomorrow: RHP David Phelps (3-0, 2.40) vs. RHP Robert Coello (4-1, 3.21)
Thursday: RHP Cory Arbiso (0-0, 2.00) vs. RHP Ryne Miller (2-3, 4.53)
How they stand: The Thunder are 29-21, two games back of first-place New Hampshire and 2.5 games better than the third-place Sea Dogs. If they were in the EL West, the Thunder would be in second place, for what it's worth.
Who's hot: Surprise, surprise, Brandon Laird and Austin Romine are on fire. Not only is Romine riding a 12-game hitting streak, but half of those games have been multi-hit efforts. Since the streak started on May 15, Romine has notched a pair of three-hit contests. One of those games came against Portland. As for Laird, well, I detailed his month of May earlier on the blog, but to reiterate, he beasted it. He hit .339/.374/.965 with six home runs and 33 RBIs.
Who to look for: Against Portland this season, Romine and Laird are respectively hitting .361 and .349. Four of Laird's team-leading 10 bombs and 12 of his 50 RBIs have come against the Sea Dogs. Justin Christian is 6-for-14 against Portland pitching. Luis Nunez has also connected on two longballs against Portland.
Who to watch out for: Jose Iglesias and Yamaico Navarro have done the bulk of the Sea Dogs' damage against the Thunder, hitting .308 and .300, respectively. Good news for the Thunder pitchers: Five of the 11 home runs the Sea Dogs have hit against them have come from Lars (Lahhhs) Anderson and Mike Cameron, neither of whom are still with the team. Ryan Kalish has driven in five runs and drawn 10 walks against Trenton.
Note: Mike Ashmore will be covering the opening two games of this set for The Trentonian while I am on vacation.