Betances, bats impressive in win over Sea Dogs
TRENTON – Dellin Betances was excellent once again, and the Thunder put together an equally impressive offensive show in a 7-1 win over the Portland Sea Dogs on a chilly night at Waterfront Park.
Betances rode a mid-90s fastball, a hammer curve and an impressive change-up to five solid innings in his best outing of 2011. He fanned five and walked none in throwing 73 pitches, 49 of which found the strike zone.
As the season gets longer, so, too, should the pitch count for Betances. For now, though, the Yankees believe 75 is a good stopping point. And although he has no problem working on such a short leash, Betances knows there’s more in the tank than what he’s using every fifth day.
“I definitely feel like I could go longer,” he said yesterday. “I mean, that’s just something they have me do all the time. I’m definitely not gassed. I feel like I could keep going. Whatever I’ve got next time, I’ll just try to make the best out of it as well.”
The lone damage off of Thunder’s starter came in the fifth, when Mitch Dening caught up with a Betances offering and punched it over the wall in right-center field.
And while excellence is expected from Betances, the same hasn’t been the case for Trenton’s offense, which has scuffled mightily for most of the season.
Cody Johnson and Corban Joseph homered in the second and fourth innings, respectively, before the bats really got cooking in the fifth inning.
After Johnson’s infield single plated one run, Jose Pirela shot a hanging breaking pitch from Tommy Hottovy into the left-center field gap for a bases-clearing three-run double. Addison Maruszak’s single through the middle shortly thereafter scored Pirela and capped a five-run frame.
The five scores in an inning marked a new high for the Thunder, and the five hits matched their output in the second inning of the first half of their doubleheader with Harrisburg on April 17.
Joseph, who also had a triple to go with his longball, knows the offense has been inconsistent to this point, but also believes it has the tools to make last night’s outburst the rule instead of the exception.
“We’re all helping other out. It’s a team-based deal. One person can’t win the whole game,” he said, before providing an interesting tidbit about a lineup goes about helping itself out of a collective slump.
“People with similar stances, similar approaches as you, a similar style of play, you’ll see a lot of connections with those guys, trying to figure out how they pitched the guy before you,” he continued. “We’ll take bits and pieces of really what everyone has seen in the at-bat and just kind of gather it and make a plan and try and produce with that.”
Josh Schmidt, the newest member of Trenton’s bullpen, took the ball from Betances in the sixth and does what he does best: get outs.
The 28-year-old, sent down from Scranton to take Brian Anderson’s spot in the bullpen, spun three one-hit innings before giving way to closer Fernando Hernandez in the ninth.