Top 10 Games of the Year - No. 6
No. 6 - After Pettitte exits, Brackman mows down Curve
RECAP: The opening game of the Eastern League Championship Series was supposed to be about Andy Pettitte making his second rehab tune-up. And while the left-hander did his job over five innings of two-run ball, the 6-foot-10 Brackman, in his first appearance of the postseason, quickly showed everyone why the Yankees spent a first-round pick on him three years ago.
Showcasing a moving fastball that topped out at 98 miles per hour and a hard-biting curveball, Brackman held the Curve to just a hit and a walk over five shutout innings. The Thunder won it in the tenth, thanks in large part to Brackman's yeoman effort.
More impressive than just the numbers, however, was the poise he showed while accomplishing them.
The key moment for Brackman was the eighth inning, when an error and hit batsman put runners at first and second with nobody down. One out later, the bases were jacked, spelling what seemed like certain doom.
But Brackman got Miles Durham to bounce the first pitch, a moving heater, to shortstop Luis Nunez, who started an inning-ending twin-killing that sent Trenton to its only victory of the ELCS.
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“They did it again in this series. They pitched out of key situations. I expect Pettitte to do that, but for these young guys — our entire pitching staff is bearing down, and I’m loving it back there catching. I’m seeing these guys evolving into guys that can bear down and make the pitches they need to make.” -- Austin Romine
AFTERWARD: That was the last bright spot for the Thunder in 2010. Dellin Betances, Adam Warren and Manny Banuelos couldn't outduel the Curve's trio of Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson and Tony Watson -- all left-handers -- and Altoona brought the city its first championship.