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

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Postgame Notes from MannyMania with VIDEO

Aside from a couple of walks in the first few innings, Manny Banuelos put together his finest effort of the season tonight. He had just about everything working, including an absolutely devastating, two-plane curveball that turned Brahaim Maldonado into a human corkscrew.

His fastball was operating in the standard 93-95 mile per hour range, and his change-up was playing its usual tricks on hitters, but the curveball quite clearly took center stage on this misty evening in the capital city.

Here's what his manager had to say about his left-hander's hook:

"That's nasty. If it's breaking twice, that's nasty. Once is enough."

Asked whether, with the way he's pitching now, he'd endorse Banuelos' promotion to The Show after New York's spate of injuries, here's what Tony Franklin said:

"No, I wouldn't. If I didn't feel that he was ready to pitch there, I wouldn't recommend that he go. They could probably scar him pretty bad. It's a very difficult situation to pitch in the big leagues. If you go up there and you don't have command of the strike zone and control enough to throw balls over the plate, it's not a good place to be. I would much rather for him to be a little more ready to go rather than have some doubt in my mind."

Overall, Banuelos lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowed three hits and three walks, two earned runs and struck out eight. He threw 100 pitches on the nose, 59 of which found the strike zone. So was he good? Yes. Is there room for improvement, even at this level? Yes.

Banuelos left the clubhouse before the media had a chance to interview him. That's why there are no quotes from him.

- Kei Igawa was promoted to Scranton before the game, forcing Cory Arbiso into spot-start duty tomorrow. It sounds like Igawa will start for Scranton tomorrow, which is weird because that's Brackman's slot. Either somebody had bad information, or something is up in Moosic.

- Jose Gil hit his third home run of the season, and almost certainly his first inside-the-park dinger of his career. Maldonado dove to corral Gil's sinking line drive, did something to his arm and rolled around on the ground while Gil circled the bases.

Maldonado said afterward that he thought he had broken his wrist, even though he ultimately stayed in the game.

- With concussions fresh on the Thunder's mind, it must have been pretty scary to watch Addison Maruszak take a 90-mph heater to the helmet. Maruszak, however, bounced up as if nothing happened and jogged to first. Tony Franklin and Tim Lentych asked him a battery of questions before allowing him to remain in the game.

- Continuing a trend, Naoya Okamoto was stellar again this evening. The Japanese lefty hasn't allowed a run since coming back from the DL on May 21. In those 11 2/3 innings, Okamoto has surrendered just four hits and a walk and has fanned 10. He hasn't allowed a hit in his last seven innings, spanning three appearances.

- There's no movement on the Austin Romine front. The catcher will have more tests done before he is cleared to return. For now, all he's doing is annoying his teammates on the bench while he waits for the OK.

- Jose Pirela had the key two-run double that put the Thunder ahead tonight. Since May 27, the shortstop is hitting .316/.368/.524 with three doubles, two triples, two HRs and 12 RBIs.

- The win, coupled with New Hampshire's loss, puts the Thunder back in the lead in the E.L. East and gives the best record on the circuit.
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