Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thunder's arms can't match their bats

BOWIE, Md. – On the one hand, the Thunder put together 16 hits and seven runs, more than they’d tallied in latter category than in the previous two games combined. They even managed to accomplish this without Brandon Laird, their dynamic cleanup hitter, in the lineup.

On the other hand, Wilkin De La Rosa and George Kontos weren’t able to hold the fort, and Trenton was toppled 9-7 by the Bowie Baysox last night at Prince George’s Stadium.

With Bowie ahead 5-3 in the fifth, Justin Christian, freshly back with Trenton thanks to the Yankees signing of Chad Tracy, connected on a two-run triple into the right-field corner that brought home Edwar Gonzalez and Justin Snyder with the tying tallies.

With the score evened, De La Rosa was off the hook for the loss. The left-hander, who was recently re-inserted into the starting rotation on a permanent basis, continued his string of poor performance.

Yesterday, De La Rosa let in five earned runs on eight hits and two walks over just three innings. Over his last 11 outings, covering 35 2/3 innings, he’s permitted 41 hits and issued 23 free passes.

The stats are particularly alarming when one considers that De La Rosa is on the 40-man roster and was absolutely lights-out to start the year.

Through his first five appearances – spanning 9 1/3 innings – opponents scored just once off of him. Then came a string of games in late April where he got progressively worse, letting in a run, then two, and finally three on April 28.

Four times since then, De La Rosa has allowed more than four runs in an outing. The low point came on May 27, when the SeaWolves reached him for eight earned runs on 10 hits – including two home runs – in just 2 2/3 innings.

After Wilkins Arias wiggled out of a jam in the fourth, Kontos entered in the fifth and didn’t exactly provide relief.

The Northwestern-educated right-hander got two quick outs before Brandon Waring rocketed a ground-rule double to right-center. The next man, Caleb Joseph, dumped a single into no man’s land in between short and left field to bring home Waring and give Bowie the lead once again.

The Baysox got to Kontos for three more over the six and seventh before Kevin Whelan restored order in the eighth, after the Thunder had blown their last real scoring chance.

With runners at first and second with one out, Jim Hoey – a former Oriole and Rider alumnus working his way back after a series of arm injuries – battled Christian for 10 pitches before getting to wave at an offspeed offering on the outside half. He then got Luis to stare at strike three to end the inning.

NOTES: Christian and Kontos switched uniform numbers, with the outfielder taking 17 from Kontos, who received number 38.

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