Blogs > Minor Matters

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

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Postgame notes - July 31

Synopsis: Thunder get a solid start from Nik Turley, but a trio of defensive errors prove costly. Harrisburg's A.J. Cole is extremely effective, and Curtis Granderson - despite suffering from a stomach bug - has another positive day at the plate, going 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Slade Heathcott, Jose Pirela and Casey Stevenson pick up RBI.

What went right: Looking at the numbers, Turley had every bit as good a day as Cole, who is one of the Nationals top prospects. Their lines are actually bizarrely similar:
Turley: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 106 pitches, 65 stikes
Cole: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 107 pitches, 65 stikes.
Also, Granderson did not get injured on a collision at the plate with Harrisburg catcher Brian Jeroloman, which would not have went over well with the Yankees brass. After the game, Granderson said he felt fine and that he feels he's ready to return to the big leagues.
Here is a link to four of Granderson's AB's, plus parts of his postgame press conference.

What went wrong: The worst thing to happen to the Thunder Wednesday probably happened before the game, as Tyler Austin was sent to the Yankees' complex in Tampa to continue rehabbing the bone bruise in his right wrist. Just by reading in between the lines of Tony Franklin's pregame comments, I'd be suprised if we see Austin back in Trenton this season:

"Tyler is en route to Tampa," Franklin said. "He had an evaluation yesterday and the organization felt that it was best for him to go down to Tampa and continue his rehab there. Don’t know what’s going to happen from here, but he’s en route to Tampa today and they’ll do an evaluation down there and we’ll see if we’re going to get him back this year. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I can’t tell you if he’s going to come back, I don’t know if we’re going to try to get him back. All I can tell  you is that he’s going to Tampa, where they are going to keep an eye on him."

Also bad for the Thunder Wednesday was Casey Stevenson at third base, as his two errors were basically the difference in the ballgame. Stevenson hasn't been great at the hot corner all year. Before today, he had recorded six errors in 26 games at at third, posting a fielding percentage of just .918. That's the lowest mark for anyone who has played more than 25 games at third for the Thunder this year. In 34 games at third, Reegie Corona has fielded at a .951 rate, while Kevin Mahoney was fielding at a .981 rate in 31 games before getting injured.

Game 110 - Trenton vs. Harrisburg

Pitching matchup: LHP Nik Turley (8-5, 4.23) vs. RHP A.J. Cole (1-0, 1.29)

In the standings: The Thunder are in second place in the EL East, 11.5 games behind Binghamton. Harrisburg is in first place in the west.

Nicol LF
Head CF
Bloxom 1b
VanOstrand DH
Rivero 3b
Martinson SS
Hague 2b
Hood RF
Jeroloman C

Flores LF
Granderson DH
Heathcott CF
Pirela 2b
Roller 1b
Sanchez RF
Angelini SS
Stevenson 3b
Farnham C

Notes: A lot going on at the ballpark today. After going to the doctor yesterday, right fielder Tyler Austin is going to Tampa to continue rehabbing his right wrist. Tony Franklin didn't have too many details before the game, but it didn't sound like we'll be seeing Austin in Trenton again this season...Curtis Granderson is also still here and will play his second game for the Thunder, batting second and playing left. He went 1 for 3 with a triple last night...David Phelps is also still here, worked out earlier...Harrisburg starter A.J. Cole is making just his second start for the Senators. He was acquired by the Nationals from Oakland in the three-team deal that sent Michael Morse to Seattle. Coming into the season he was Baseball America's #3 prospect in the A's organization and #91 overall.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Game 109 - Trenton vs. Harrisburg (updated with Granderson video)

Pitching matchup: RHP David Phelps (0-0, 4.91) vs. RHP Rob Gilliam (3-4, 3.98)

In the Standings: Trenton is in second place in the Eastern Division, 11.5 games back of Binghamton for first. Harrisburg is in first place in the West.

Jose Lozada - CF -- Brian Goodwin was in, but was scratched. #Hugs?
Jerad Head - LF
Justin Bloxom - 1B
Jimmy Van Ostrand - DH
Carlos Rivero - 3B
Jason Martinson - SS
Sandy Leon - C
Destin Hood - RF
Ricky Hague - 2B
Rob Gilliam - RHP

Ramon Flores - RF
Curtis Granderson - LF
Slade Heathcott - CF
Jose Pirela - 2B
Andrew Clark - 1B
Kyle Roller - DH
Carmen Angelini - SS
Reegie Corona - 3B
Jose Gil - C
David Phelps - RHP

NOTES: As you can see from the above lineups, it's a major league kind of day around here. In addition to Granderson and Phelps, Hideki Matsui is here again. Not sure what he's gonna do, but he's here. Not available to the media again, oh well. ... It will also be a good time to see what's going with ScoutWatch 2013 as it pertains to the trade deadline.

Update - 5:39: Tyler Austin is at the doctor. This much was expected. I reported last week that a re-evaluation was coming, and also that it had been pushed back. He's been on the shelf since July 16 with a bone bruise.

As for people who are here, Curtis Granderson is expected to play seven or eight innings, then do the same thing again tomorrow. They'll decide shortly thereafter whether he'll play here again on Thursday, although there is some rain in the forecast for that day.

David Phelps is going six innings or so tonight, a big move up from the 3 2/3 innings he lasted his last time out.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Postgame notes - July 24

Synopsis: Thunder manage just three hits, losing to the Altoona Curve 4-2. Starter Shane Greene allowed seven hits but worked his way out of a couple jams and allowed just two runs. Slade Heathcott, Jose Gil pick up the RBI for the Thunder.

What went right: After Graham Stoneburner made a mess of the seventh inning, giving up two runs while recording just one out, Cesar Cabral came in and showed why a lot of people thought he was going to be a big contributor for the Yankees in 2012 before fracturing his elbow that spring training. Cabral was very good, striking out four while giving up just one hit in 1.2 innings, although he did allow an inherited runner to score. In five of his first six appearances with the Thunder, Cabral gave up multiple runs in five of his first six appearances with the Thunder, but now hasn't allowed a run in his last eight times out.

"He wasn’t fully equipped to get going because it was like spring training for him,"  manager Tony Franklin said. "He wasn’t ready to go when he got here. Since that time, he’s been very consistent and realy has done a nice job getting lefthanders out for us. I can see what the Yankees saw. That slider is a pretty good pitch for him. He’s done a real good job."

Offensively, Slade Heathcott's first-inning triple means that the center fielder has now recorded a hit in 20 of his last 22 games.

What went wrong: Though the Thunder only managed three hits, they somehow managed to leave seven (!) runners on base. They were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Also, it was the aforementioned Graham Stoneburner's second tough game in a row. Stoneburner had been coming off five scoreless outings in a row, but in the last two games has seen his Thunder ERA jump from 1.64 to 5.11.

GAME 103: Trenton vs. Altoona

Pitching Matchup: RHP Shane Greene (3-2, 3.03) vs. RHP David Bromberg (5-8, 3.77)

In the Standings: Trenton is 1/2 game behind New Hampshire for second place in the EL East.

Mel Rojas, Jr. LF
Adalberto Santos 3B
Gregory Polanco CF
Alex Dickerson RF
Justin Howard 1B
Jarek Cunningham 2B
Charlie Cutler DH
Carlos Paulino C
Drew Maggi SS

Ramon Flores LF
Reegie Corona 2B
Slade Heathcott CF
Kyle Roller DH
Carmen Angelini SS
Andrew Clark 1B
Casey Stevenson 3B
Jose Gil C
Shane Brown RF

NOTES: Right fielder Shane Brown was activated before Wednesday's game...Infielder Dan Fiorito has arrived from Tampa to replace Jose Pirela, who was promoted to Triple A Scranton.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Game 101 and 102 - Trenton vs. Altoona

Pitching matchups: RHP David Phelps (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Nick Kingham (3-2, 2.84)
                                RHP Zach Nuding (4-10, 4.17) vs. LHP Eliecer Navarro (2-3, 4.63)

In the Standings: Trenton is two games back of second-place New Hampshire and 12 games out of first.

Mel Rojas Jr. - LF
Oscar Tejeda - 3B
Gregory Polanco - CF
Alex Dickerson - RF
Justin Howard - 1B
Jarek Cunningham - 2B
Charlie Cutler - DH
Carlos Paulino - C
Drew Maggi - SS
Eliecer Navarro - LHP

Ramon Flores - LF
Slade Heathcott - CF
Jose Pirela - 2B
Kyle Roller - DH
Yeral Sanchez - RF
Andrew Clark - 1B
Carmen Angelini - SS
Reegie Corona - 3B
Jose Gil - C
David Phelps - RHP

Notes: David Phelps is here and pitching. This was a poorly kept secret. ... Sean Black was placed on the DL today as well. Mikeson Oliberto was also sent back to Staten Island. ... The Thunder's eight millionth fan is also expected to cross through the turnstiles today. ... It is currently pouring rain, so we'll see how it goes tonight, I suppose.

Around the System - July 21

Louisville 4, Scranton 1
David Adams: 0 for 3, BB, R
J.R. Murphy: 1 for 3, 2B, RBI
Adonis Garcia: 1 for 3, 2B, SB
Ronnier Mustelier: 1 for 4, 2B
Cody Grice: 1 for 4
Jose Ramirez: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
Josh Spence: 2 IP, 3 H, R, ER, BB, 4 SO
Dellin Betances: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO

Trenton 8, New Hampshire 2
Ramon Flores: 1 for 5, 2B, R, RBI
Reegie Corona: 1 for 3, R, 2 RBI, BB
Jose Pirela: 1 for 3, R, RBI, BB
Andrew Clark: 3 for 4, 3 2B, RBI
Carmen Angelini: 1 for 3, R, RBI, BB
Mikeson Oliberto: 2 for 4, 2 R
Fred Lewis: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
Jeremy Bleich: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO
Danny Burawa: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Tommy Kahnle: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO

Palm Beach 9, Tampa 4
Mason Williams: 1 for 5, R, RBI
Rob Refsnyder: 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Taylor Dugas: 1 for 3, 2B, 2 BB
Saxon Butler: 1 for 4
Jose Toussen: 1 for 4, R
Ali Castillo: 1 for 4, R
Dietrich Enns: 4 IP, 7 H, 8 R, ER, 3 BB, 3 SO
Branden Pinder: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO
Charley Short: 2 IP, H, R, ER, BB, SO

Charleston 3, Hickory 0
Cito Culver: 1 for 5
Greg Bird: 3 for 4, 2 R, RBI
Dante Bichette: 1 for 5
Angelo Gumbs: 2 for 4, SB
Rey Nunez: 1 for 4, 2 RBI
Danny Oh: 1 for 4
Ericson Leonora: 3 for 4, 2 SB
Brett Gerritse: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
Eric Wooten: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Ben Paullus: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 3 SO

Staten Island 3, Mahoning Valley 0
Eric Jagielo: 1 for 2, BB
Yeicok Calderon: 1 for 2, BB
Daniel Lopez: 0 for 2, BB, R
Bubba Jones: 2 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Connor Kendrick: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
Charles Halsup: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 2 SO
Kelvin Castro: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

Mahoning Valley 7, Staten Island 3
Brandon Thomas: 3 for 4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
Yeicok Calderon: 1 for 3, 2B
Kale Sumner: 1 for 3
Jose Rosario: 1 for 3
Jerison Lopez: 1 for 3, R, RBI
Rookie Davis: 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
Dillon McNamara: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
Andury Acevedo: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Postgame notes - July 21

Final score: Trenton 8, New Hampshire 2

Synopsis: Fred Lewis pitched four scoreless innings, and Andrew Clark led the way for the offense with three doubles. Newcomer Mikeson Oliberto had a pair of hits as well, and Reegie Corona drove in two runs. Danny Burawa and Tommy Kahnle threw up zeroes over the final two frames. 

What went right: Let's start with Lewis, who made just his second start with the Thunder after being converted from a reliever. He fanned four over as many frames (a career high as far as length is concerned) and looked quite good at times. 

“Better this start than he was last start,” manager Tony Franklin said. “Of course his last start was his first one and you just don’t know what you’re going to get in your initial start, but he threw the ball well. He had all of his pitches working today. … Really good performance, I liked it.”

The moral here is: If you have a mid-90s heater from left side, and you can match it up with a pretty good slider and change, you have a chance. Just look at Francisco Rondon. 

Burawa and Kahnle also looked excellent this evening. Burawa, who was mentioned the other night by a scout as one of those guys whose numbers don't match up with his stuff, has allowed just seven hits over his last 16 innings.

Clark has also turned it on a bit lately. He'd undergone some regression after a scorching start that saw him go .359/.375/.590 in June. He's come back to Earth, but he's also the first Thunder player this season to swat three doubles in one game. So, does he feel he's adjusted to the league after it adjusted to him?

"Yeah, I mean, I'm always trying to get better as a hitter," he said. "Once I got here, obviously I was hitting well. Had to make some adjustments up there about halfway through. I'm starting to see the ball better again and get my timing down."

With another hit on Sunday, Jose Pirela just keeps climbing. He's hitting .339/.423/.419 this month and .322/.390/.455 since June 1. Amazingly, after three years with the Thunder, he's the youngest infielder on the team. 

"Everybody thinks Pirela is really an older guy, in terms of age," Franklin said. "He's really only about 23. He's only 23 years old. He's still a young player, and in terms of maturity, I think it that amount of time for kids coming from the Dominican, or maybe Venezuela. So he's still a young player in terms of age. He's been at this level three years now, and maybe you're starting to see the benefits of the time he's spent here."

What went wrong: This, really. 
Foul ball 1, Popcorn machine 0. 

Pick to click: Here is my game story from today. 

Flick to click: Here is my highlight reel from today. 

Game 100 - Trenton vs. New Hampshire

Pitching matchup: LHP Fred Lewis (0-4, 2.43) vs. RHP Marcus Walden (6-9, 3.19)

In the Standings: Trenton is 2.5 games behind New Hampshire for second place in the Eastern Division. The Fisher Cats are 10 games out of first.

Brian Van Kirk - LF
Andy Burns - SS
Gabe Jacobo - 1B
Brad Glenn - RF
Kevin Nolan - DH
Ryan Schimpf - 3B
Jack Murphy - C
Tommy Manzella - CF
Amadeo Zazueta - 2B
Marcus Walden - RHP

Ramon Flores - LF
Reegie Corona - 3B
Jose Pirela - 2B
Kyle Roller - DH
Yeral Sanchez - RF
Andrew Clark - 1B
Carmen Angelini - SS
Jose Gil - C
Mikeson Oliberto - CF
Fred Lewis - LHP

Notes: Lewis should throw approximately 75 pitches this afternoon as he works his way back into being a starter. ... This is Oliberto's debut in Double-A. He has yet to make his debut in either Low- or High-A. Oliberto did play a lot for the Trenton work group, so Tony Franklin is familiar with him. He said this morning that he's a decent outfielder who can play all three positions.

Around the System - July 20

Louisville 2, Scranton 1
David Adams: 1 for 5
Alex Rodriguez: 0 for 4, 3 K
Adonis Garcia: 1 for 4, 2B
Dan Johnson: 1 for 4
Randy Ruiz: 2 for 4, 2B, HR
Corey Patterson: 1 for 4
David Huff: 6 IP, 6 H, R, ER, BB, 7 SO
Jim Miller: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Matt Daley: 2 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 0 BB, SO

New Hampshire 7, Trenton 4
Slade Heathcott: 2 for 5, 2B, 3B, R, RBI
Jose Pirela: 1 for 4, RBI
Andrew Clark: 1 for 3, R, BB
Reegie Corona: 2 for 4, 2B, R, RBI
Jeff Farnham: 1 for 3, R, RBI, BB
Nik Turley: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO
Graham Stoneburner: IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, SO
Francisco Rondon: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 3 SO
Rigoberto Arrebato: IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, SO

Jupiter 9, Tampa 4
Mason Williams: 1 for 5
Taylor Dugas: 2 for 5, R
Peter O'Brien: 3 for 4, HR, 2 R
Rob Refsnyder: 1 for 2, R, 2 BB
Dan Fiorito: 1 for 4
Jose Toussen: 1 for 4, RBI
Rafael DePaula: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO
Diego Moreno: 2 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, SO
Manny Barreda: 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, BB, 2 SO
Taylor Garrison: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO

Charleston 9, Hickory 5
Jake Cave: 2 for 5, R, BB
Cito Culver: 1 for 3, 2 R, 3 BB
Greg Bird: 0 for 3, 2 R, BB, 2 RBI
Dante Bichette: 2 for 4, 2 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB
Angelo Gumbs: 2 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI
Rey Nunez: 3 for 4, R, BB
Jose Campos: 4 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 6 SO
Luis Niebla: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
Adam Smith: IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, SO
James Pazos: IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, SO

GCL Yankees 4, GCL Blue Jays 2
Bryan Cuevas: 2 for 4, 2 R, SB
Miguel Andujar: 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI
Renzo Martini: 2 for 4, 2B, R
Drew Bridges: 1 for 4, RBI
Mark Montgomery: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO
Dallas Martinez: 3 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Felipe Gonzalez: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO

GCL Yankees 2, GCL Astros 1
Tyler Wade: 1 for 4, R
Abiatal Avelino: 1 for 4, R
Gosuke Katoh: 1 for 4, 3B, 2 RBI
Chris Breen: 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB
Chaz Hebert: 5 IP, 3 H, R, ER, BB, 9 SO
Nestor Cortes: IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Jose Diaz: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO
Chad Taylor: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, SO
Eric Ruth: IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Postgame Notes - A-Rod encore

Final score: Reading 6, Trenton 3

Synopsis: A-Rod drove in a run on a sac fly, but Mikey O'Brien got roughed up in his bullpen debut and the Thunder dropped their second of three games to the Fightin Phils.

What Went Right: It wasn't filled with as many fireworks as his opening game, but Alex Rodriguez made it through his second night with the Thunder without any issues. He went 0 for 3 with a sac fly and made a couple of plays in the field, including a 5-4-3 twin-killing to end the fifth. 

Tony Franklin mentioned afterward that Rodriguez hasn't yet had to slide or try to score from second, two tests the Yankees would like to see him clear before he is activated. Of course, if those somehow don't occur over the next few games, it's not like they'd hold him back, either. 

After four straight games, Rodriguez won't play in Wednesday's matinee. Instead, he'll work out at FirstEnergy Stadium in the morning and take the rest of the day as a breather. He'll play again on Thursday, though he didn't say where. A Yankees official told me during the evening he believes he'll head to Scranton, though. 

What Went Wrong: A-Rod accidentally flung his bat into the stands during his first at-bat. Everybody seemed to be OK, though, so it was only embarrassing. His was the first of three bats to land in the third-base seats, including once when Zach Collier's lumber shattered violently enough to send the barrel sailing over the Thunder dugout. 

Picks to click: Here are my game story and notes from tonight. 

Flicks to click: I've posted them already, but here are my highlight reel and A-Rod's postgame presser.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Alex Rodriguez postgame press conference and Day 2 highlights

Game 95 - Trenton vs. Reading

Pitching matchup: LHP Fred Lewis (0-4, 2.70) vs. LHP Mario Hollands (0-0, 7.20)

In the Standings: Trenton is in second place in the Eastern Division, back of Binghamton by 11.5 games. Reading is in last place, 21 games back.

Derrick Mitchell - RF
Cesar Hernandez - CF
Maikel Franco - 3B
Jim Murphy - 1B
Kelly Dugan - DH
Albert Cartwright - 2B
Zach Collier - LF
Sebastian Valle - C
Edgar Duran - SS
Mario Hollands - LHP

Ramon Flores - LF
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Slade Heathcott - CF
Jose Pirela - 2B
Andrew Clark - 1B
Carmen Angelini - SS
Cody Grice - RF
Jose Gil - C
Shane Brown - DH
Fred Lewis - LHP

NOTES: Same drill as yesterday for Alex Rodriguez. Seven or eight innings, four at-bats. Unsure whether he'll play tomorrow. Didn't speak to the media. ... Tyler Austin had X-Rays on his wrist in New Britain which showed no structural damage. He'll have MRIs done in Trenton in the coming days. Yeral Sanchez has been recalled to take his place. 

Around the System - July 15

Trenton 6, Reading 5
Ramon Flores: 2 for 4, R, BB
Alex Rodriguez: 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
Slade Heathcott: 1 for 5, R, RBI
Jose Pirela: 1 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
Andrew Clark: 2 for 5, R
Carmen Angelini: 1 for 4
Cody Grice: 1 for 3, R, RBI, BB
Nik Turley: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB, 6 SO
Rigoberto Arrebato: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Dan Burawa: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
Tommy Kahnle: IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, SO

Tampa 3, Bradenton 2
Mason Williams: 3 for 8, 2B
Ben Gamel: 2 for 9, RBI
Peter O'Brien: 3 for 8, 2B, RBI
Gary Sanchez: 1 for 7, BB
Yeral Sanchez: 1 for 8, 3B, R
Rob Refsndyer: 2 for 8, R, RBI, SB
Saxon Butler: 3 for 6, 2 2B, RBI
Jose Toussen: 2 for 2, R, SB
Taylor Dugas: 1 for 6, R, BB
Ali Castillo: 2 for 7, BB, SB
Dietrich Enns: 6 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, BB, 5 SO
Alex Smith: 1.1 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
Branden Pinder: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, SO
Taylor Garrison: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
Eric Wooten: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 5 SO
Charley Short: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 4 SO
Manny Barreda: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 2 SO
Dan Fiorito: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Augusta 8, Charleston 5
Cito Culver: 1 for 4, 2B, RBI
Dante Bichette: 2 for 3, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB
Jake Cave: 1 for 3, BB
Rey Nunez: 1 for 3, R, BB
Kelvin De Leon: 1 for 4, RBI
Wes Wilson: 2 for 4, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI
Luis Niebla: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
John Brebbia: 3 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
Zach Arneson: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO
James Pazos: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Staten Island 7, Auburn 4
Mike O'Neill: 2 for 5, 2B
Eric Jagielo: 2 for 4
Brandon Thomas: 1 for 4, R
Kale Sumner: 2 for 3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Jose Rosario: 1 for 4, R
Bubba Jones: 3 for 5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Rookie Davis: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO
Charles Halsup: IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, BB, 2 SO
Andy Beresford: 2 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Stefan Lopez: IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO

GCL Yankees 3, GCL Yankees 2
Abiatal Avelino: 1 for 3, 2B
Eduardo de Oleo: 1 for 3
Austin Aune: 1 for 3
Jordan Barnes: 1 for 3, R
Thairo Estrada: 1 for 3, 2B, R
Nathan Mikolas: 1 for 3, R, RBI
Renzo Martini: 1 for 3, 2B
Jorge Alcantara: 1 for 3
Jose Figueroa: 1 for 2
Mark Montgomery: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO
Chaz Hebert: 4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
Victor Beriguete: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
Dallas Martinez: 1.1 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO
Felipe Gonzalez: 4.2 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 4 SO
Rich Mascheri: IP, 0 H, R, 0 ER, BB, 2 SO

GCL Yankees 6, GCL Yankees 4
Bryan Cuevas: 1 for 2, 2B, 3 R, 2 BB
Luis Torrens: 1 for 2, 3 RBI
Nathan Mikolas: 1 for 4, R, RBI, 2B
Renzo Martini: 1 for 3, RBI
Jorge Alcantara: 1 for 3, RBI
Tyler Wade: 1 for 1, 2B, 3 R, 3 BB, SB
Ericson Leonora: 1 for 2, BB
Jimmy Falla: 1 for 4, 2 RBI
Eladio Moronta: 1 for 3, RBI
Ty Afenir: 1 for 3, R, BB
Jerison Lopez: 1 for 3
Daury Aquino: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO
Hector Bello: 2.1 IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 2 SO
Samuel Garcia: 2.1 IP, H, R, ER, BB, SO

DSL Yankees 20, DSL Brewers 1
Jorge Mateo: 1 for 6, 2 R, SB
Allison Reyes: 1 for 3, 2 R
Jhoan Gomez: 1 for 2, R
Frank Frias: 2 for 4, 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB
Pedro Urena: 1 for 4, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI, BB
Wilmer Romero: 2 for 4, 3 R
Allen Valerio: 4 for 5, 2 2B, HR, 2 R, 6 RBI
Oscar Taveras: 1 for 1
Brayan Reyes: 1 for 3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Melvin Aquino: 2 for 4, 2 3B, BB
Moises Cedeno: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 8 SO
Hector Martinez: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO
Jose Pichardo: IP, 2 H, R, ER, BB, 0 SO
Hershelon Juliana: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO

DSL Rangers 8, DSL Yankees 5
Junior Valera: 3 for 4, 2 R
Angel Aguilar: 2 for 3, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Victor Rey: 1 for 4, 2 RBI
Alexander Palma: 1 for 4, R, RBI
Juan Lorenzo: 2 for 4, RBI
Eduardo Rivera: 3 IP, 4 H, 6 R 4 ER, BB, 2 SO
Freddery Arias: 3 IP, H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
Luis Garcia: IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, SO
Braudy Perez: IP, H, R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 SO

Postgame Notes: A-Rod edition

Final score: Trenton 6, Reading 5

Synopsis: Alex Rodriguez rehabbed with the Thunder, hit a single and a long home run, and Trenton staged a furious rally in the ninth to top the Fightins and stay in second place in the Eastern League's Eastern Division. 

What went right: Just about everything possible. After being hampered by rain in the Florida State League, Rodriguez got chance after chance after chance to test himself as recovers from offseason hip surgery. 

Including a rundown play, Rodriguez got five chances to test himself in the field. He had two grounders on which to bust it down the line (one a groundout, the other an infield(ish) single), and he put a cherry on top with the long homer (we estimated it at about 400 feet) to left-center field. 

"We checked off a lot of boxes tonight," he said afterward. You can see all of what he said in the video below. 

The plan Tuesday is roughly the same. Seven or eight innings at third base and four or so at-bats. It's unclear whether he'll play on Wednesday in the series finale, a noon start. It's also not yet known whether Rodriguez will travel back to Trenton with the Thunder to play out the final leg of his rehab at Arm & Hammer Park.

What went wrong: I don't know if this counts, but Rodriguez admitted before the game that he didn't show up to Friday's scheduled rehab outing in Tampa. This was after meeting with MLB investigators and reps from the players association. The game was rained out, but not showing up entirely and without giving prior notice ruffled the Yankees feathers just a little bit more, if that's possible.

Combine that with the neverending steroid saga (which he didn't answer questions about on Monday), the dalliances with young women in the stands during the postseason, the underground poker rings and everything else that has gone wrong over the last decade in pinstripes, and it's pretty safe to say that relations are strained between Rodriguez and his bosses.

By comparison, skipping a washed-out rehab assignment seems like just a tiny drop in the bucket.

Other stuff: Michael Pineda is in town, but he's not pitching. Scranton is on its All-Star break, and the Yankees want him to get his work in down here while his teammates relax for a couple of days. It would be his turn to spin on Tuesday, but he's not pitching. So it goes.

Instead, Fred Lewis will start on Tuesday against Reading. This isn't a spot start. He's being transitioned in to the rotation, a little bit like what the Yankees did with Dietrich Enns, now with Tampa, earlier this year. Lewis is lefty who throws in the mid-90s and has struck out 48 in 45 1/3 frames this season among three levels. To make room, Mikey O'Brien, whose stuff ticks up in shorter stints, is heading to the bullpen.

Kyle Roller took BP and ran the bases, as did Nick McCoy. They're getting closer to returning to action. Tyler Austin, however, is not. He's missed three straight days with a lingering issue in his wrist, which he'll get examined soon, probably once the team gets back to Trenton later in the week. Francisco Arcia is also a long way off.

Picks to Click: Here are my game story and notes from today. 

Flick to Click: Check out the highlights from A-Rod's night with the Thunder. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

A-Rod's postgame press conference

A-Rod's postgame press conference

Game 94 - Trenton vs. Reading (The Circus Begins)

Pitching matchup: LHP Nik Turley (7-5, 4.34) vs. LHP Austin Wright (3-4, 6.87)

In the Standings: Trenton is in second place, 11.5 games back of the first-place Binghamton. Reading is in last place.

Derrick Mitchell - LF
Cesar Hernandez - CF
Maikel Franco - 3B
Jim Murphy - 1B
Kelly Dugan - RF
Albert Cartwright - 2B
Anthony Hewitt - DH
Sebastian Valle - C
Troy Hanzawa - SS
Austin Wright - LHP

Ramon Flores - LF
Alex Rodriguez - 3B
Slade Heathcott - CF
Jose Pirela - DH
Andrew Clark - 1B
Carmen Angelini - SS
Reegie Corona - 2B
Cody Grice - RF
Jeff Farnham - C
Nik Turley - LHP

Notes: A-Rod will play seven or eight innings at third base. He'll play again tomorrow night, and might play again during they day game on Wednesday. He'll have a press conference in a little bit before batting practice. ... Michael Pineda is also here. I've been told he's just getting his work in, even though his day to pitch is tomorrow. We shall see, though. Manager media time is soon, and Fred Lewis (not TBA) is listed as a starter. ... Speaking of Lewis, a lefty who can bring it up to 96 miles per hour, he's moving into the starting rotation. Mikey O'Brien is moving into the bullpen. ... This is the third straight day Tyler Austin has been out of the lineup. We'll find out what that is shortly as well. 

A-Rod and some Ostriches

A fun interview with Tyler Austin (part 2)

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Because the All-Star break is a time for fun and relaxation from the season’s day-to-day grind, it seems only proper to keep the subject matter relatively light. With that in mind, I spoke with Thunder outfielder Tyler Austin at last week's Eastern League All-Star game about a variety of subjects, almost none of which were related to baseball.

JN: What happens on Duck Dynasty? I always see ballplayers tweeting about it, but don't quite know what it is. Please explain. 

TA: It's just pure comedy is what is. You've gotta turn it on and watch it. You'll love it. They hunt. They mess around in the office where they work. They just do crazy things, but boy is it funny. I don't know one individual that doesn't enjoy it. 

JN: Are you a duck hunter yourself?

TA: No, I'm not actually. Never gone hunting in my life. 

JN: How about music? What's your choice?

TA: Country. Country all the way. 

JN: Why is country music so popular among ballplayers? Since players come from such a large variety of backgrounds, you'd think the taste in music would be more diverse. And yet it seems to be almost all country. 

TA: I couldn't tell you, honestly. It's just something about country music that gets people going. It's just fun to listen to and really gets the fans into the game, I believe, as well. Nothing better to listen to, in my mind. 

JN: I noticed you switched at some point to a song that mentions the word "Thunder" a lot. Is that by design or just a happy coincidence?

TA: It's just a Garth Brooks song called "That Summer." We were listening to it one day in the cage. I just absolutely love the song, so I was like 'why not?' Just put it on that part and we'll go from there. 

JN: You ever find any teammates along the way who just can't deal with country music at all?

TA: Even the Venezuelan guys, the Dominican guys, they still enjoy some of it. Like Jose Pirela. My workout song, he absolutely loves it. When we're in the cage he's always telling me to turn it on, so they like it. I think they get tired of it here and there, because most of the time that's what's playing in the locker room. I feel like everybody pretty much enjoys country music here and there. 

JN: Do you have an offseason job at all?

TA: No. This offseason, I'm planning on staying busy with baseball stuff again, so I don't think I'll have one this offseason either. 

JN: When was the last time you had a job other than baseball?

TA: In high school, I worked at a vending machine company just stocking drinks in a vending machine. Just doing that for a family friend. That's pretty much all I've done, really. 

JN: Be honest, how many times did you take one of those drinks for yourself?

TA: (laughs) In between jobs we got to take them here and there -- he didn't mind. 

Futures Game BP from Correa, Bethancourt and Jimenez

Phillies' Biddle struts his stuff at the Futures Game

NEW YORK — Even though they’re teammates, Jesse Biddle wasn’t afraid to talk some smack to Maikel Franco, his teammate with the Reading Fightin Phils, before Monday’s Futures Game.

“Before the game,” Franco recalled, “he told me ‘if I face you, I’m going to strike you out.’”

He was right.

It took Biddle just three pitches — two curveballs sandwiched around a 94 mile per hour heater — to dispatch of his teammate and close the fourth inning of the annual All-Star prelude, held this year at New York’s Citi Field.

Overall, the left-hander finished with 1 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings with a walk and the strikeout. Along the way, he showed Phillies fans who tuned into the telecast exactly that their system’s top prospect can do.

When everything is working, Biddle can be unhittable. That much was proved on April 22, when he fanned 16 hitters at Harrisburg’s Metro Bank Park.

As with just about every minor leaguer, Biddle has a few wrinkles to iron out as far as command is concerned. He said on Sunday that he’s also working on streamlining his focus on the hill, with the help of a motivational coach employed by the Phils during the spring.

“We have a guy named Dr. Jack Curtis, who is kind of in charge of, mentally, making sure that we’re doing the right stuff,” Biddle explained. “I think that’s a huge part of baseball that definitely goes overlooked.

Beyond Curtis, Biddle credits his teammates and coaches for helping him stay focused when his mind strays from the task at hand.

“I think everybody (helps),” he said. “My pitching coach Dave Lundquist — I had him last year (in Clearwater) me and him both got called up this year. And then also I think that my first baseman, Jim Murphy.

“When he feels like I’m overthrowing or when he feels like I’m pitching outside of my game, he’ll call timeout and walk over to me on the mound and say ‘hey, I think you’re overthrowing.’ We’ve played together for the last three years, so he knows me pretty well.”

As he stood by his locker on Monday morning, steps away from super prospects like Minnesota’s Byron Buxton, Oakland’s Addison Russell, Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton and Miami’s
Christian Yelich, Biddle couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by how far he’s come in such a short amount of time.

“There’s so much talent in this clubhouse,” he mused. “To be able to be mentioned in the same group and the same category as these guys means a lot. I just really want to prove why I’m here.”

With three pitches against his teammate, Biddle can consider that mission accomplished.

A-Rod set for Trenton rehab

Rodriguez with Tampa earlier this season 
NEW YORK — In his 10 years with the Yankees, Alex Rodriguez has endured the best and the worst of what the Bronx Zoo has to offer. From boos to cheers to playoff failures to World Series rings and parades down the Canyon of Heroes, he’s seen it all.

Except ostriches.
That will change on Monday, when Rodriguez, working his way through the home stretch of his rehab from offseason hip surgery, joins the Thunder for their three-game series in Reading against the Fightin Phils, who boast two female ostriches, Ruth and Judy, in front of their home s

The move to Trenton has seemed inevitable for days.

It was obvious that Rodriguez needed to leave Tampa, mostly because the area has been so blanketed with rain that he’s played just six games there since joining the T-Yanks on June 30. The forecast for Reading has nothing but sunshine and mid-90s temperatures slated from Monday until Wednesday, so he should get in three more games.

His rehab clock, which started with Charleston on July 2, ends on July 21. That means, even if the Yankees decide to send Rodriguez back to Arm & Hammer Park with the Thunder after Wednesday’s matinee, he could only play there for four games of their seven-game homestand.

No matter the length of time, the Thunder would certainly welcome Rodriguez to the capital city for as long as possible.

“If he’s not ready to join the Yankees when the Thunder end our road trip, we’ll be prepared to welcome Alex Rodriguez to Arm & Hammer Park,” Thunder general manager Will Smith said via e-mail on Sunday. “Our fans will be able to witness another major leaguer play up close in a first-class environment.”

Trenton this year has seen rehabs from All-Stars Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis — both of whom reaggravated their injuries and are out for the season — as well as pitcher Michael Pineda, shortstop Eduardo Nunez and lefty reliever Cesar Cabral.

Beyond the sore hip, Rodriguez has also been beguiled by other, more pressing problems that could plague him for far longer.

His name was among many others found in the notes of Anthony Bosch, the Miami-based self-professed doctor and biochemist who made his bones peddling performance-enhancers to the stars. His clients also reportedly included Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, former Yankees Melky Cabrera and Jesus Montero, and Brewers outfielder and former NL MVP Ryan Braun.

Rodriguez was interviewed by MLB investigators on Friday before a scheduled rehab game with Tampa, which was subsequently rained out.

In that interview, the New York Daily News reports, MLB presented its evidence to Rodriguez, which was damning enough for Rodriguez and his advisors to begin talking about cutting a deal for a shorter suspension.

The News reports that MLB and Rodriguez may agree upon a suspension of 150 games, which would amount to the combined penalties for a first and second offense under baseball’s drug laws.

The meeting with baseball investigators also caused more problems for Rodriguez. Those talks, combined with subsequent huddling with MLBPA reps, reportedly lasted for more than five hours. That caused him to fail to report to the scheduled rehab game on Friday, which angered Yankees officials.

He also refused a move to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, which was playing in Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturday, citing pain in his quad muscle.

Reading had two representatives in Sunday’s Futures Game, held at Citi Field: Left-hander Jesse Biddle and third baseman Maikel Franco. Biddle, who isn’t scheduled to pitch this series against Trenton, nevertheless was excited to hear that the 14-time All-Star was coming his way to begin the week.

“I would love to face A-Rod, obviously,” Biddle said. “He’s a future Hall of Famer. You want to pitch against those guys. You want to see how you do. You want to see how you stack up. I’m not going to pitch to contact — I’m going to try to strike him out.”

If things continue the way they have been for Rodriguez, the only time Biddle will face the Yankees slugger is in his dreams.

Around the System - July 14

Buffalo 7, Scranton 1
J.R. Murphy: 2 for 3, 2B, RBI
Melky Mesa: 1 for 4
Walter Ibarra: 1 for 3
Brett Marshall: 6 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 SO, WP
Chase Whitley: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, SO

New Britain 1, Trenton 0
Jose Pirela: 1 for 3
Shane Greene: 6 IP, 5 H, R, ER, BB, 3 SO
Graham Stoneburner: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO

Tampa 4, Bradenton 3
Mason Williams: 2 for 4, R, RBI, SB
Alex Rodriguez: 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
Peter O'Brien: 2 for 4
Gary Sanchez: 1 for 4
Ben Gamel: 1 for 4, 2B
Yeral Sanchez: 1 for 3
Ali Castillo: 2 for 3, 2B, 2 R, RBI
Joel De La Cruz: 5 IP, 7 H, R, ER, BB, 4 SO
David Herndon: 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Manny Barreda: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Charleston 5, Augusta 4
Greg Bird: 1 for 4, HR
Dante Bichette: 1 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
Rey Nunez: 2 for 4, 2 HR
Aaron Gates: 2 for 3
Jose Campos: 4 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 5 SO
Brett Gerritse: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO
Tyler Webb: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, SO
Ben Paullus: 2 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 0 SO

Staten Island 7, Auburn 6
Mike O'Neill: 2 for 5, 2B, 2 R, SB
Eric Jagielo: 3 for 5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Brandon Thomas: 1 for 4, 2 RBI
Jose Rosario: 1 for 3, RBI
Daniel Lopez: 1 for 4, RBI
Isaias Tejeda: 0 for 2, R, 2 BB
Jairo Heredia: 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO
Connor Kendrick: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, SO
Kelvin Castro: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
Nick Rumbelow: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A fun interview with Tyler Austin (Part 1)

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Because the All-Star break is a time for fun and relaxation from the season’s day-to-day grind, it seems only proper to keep the subject matter relatively light. With that in mind, I spoke with Thunder outfielder Tyler Austin on Wednesday on a variety of subjects, almost none of which were related to baseball.

JN: What’s your favorite thing to do away from the ballfield?

TA: Just relax, honestly. Sit back and not think about baseball, try to keep my mind off it as much as possible. Just enjoy it and hang out with the guys and go from there.

JN: What about the offseason? Do you go fishing or hunting, or other things ballplayers typically do?

TA: I love to fish. Fish a lot, actually. My brothers and I and my pop, we all like to fish. That’s something we enjoy doing together. We fish as much as we can.

JN: How many brothers do you have?

TA: Two younger brothers – Dylan and Kyle. My dad’s name is Chris.

JN: So where do you like to fish?

TA: This past year my parents lived in Florida, so when we were down there we would all go fishing in the ocean down in Hudson, Florida. So we’d all go out and throw some poles out, and whatever we caught, we caught. And if we didn’t catch anything it was still a good time.

JN: What’s the best thing you’ve caught?

TA: Geez, I don’t know. I’ve caught some pretty big bass in my day, so I’m happy with those. I like bass fishing. I really enjoy bass fishing – it’s a really big stress reliever.

JN: What about your family? Have they bested you, maybe caught some sharks?

TA: We’ve caught a few sharks here and there. When we were younger especially we used to take family vacations to Florida. We’d go fishing out on the pier all the time and bring in little baby sharks. It was always a fun time being out there and bringing in the fish.

JN: What do you do with those sharks? Can you keep them?

TA: No, we throw them back. What are you going to do with a shark? (laughs) We throw them back. We don’t keep much. Here and there if we catch a good redfish we’ll keep that and my dad will cook it up. I don’t eat it, but he does. So he enjoys that.

JN: Where were your childhood vacations centered around?

TA: The beach. Every time we could we were going to the beach. Panama City; Destin, Florida; Fort Walton – that’s pretty much where our vacations were growing up.

JN: How often was that? Every summer?

TA: Yeah, pretty much every summer. Growing up we’d travel to Florida for baseball, so we’d try to make that one into a vacation as well.

JN: Can you think of a favorite memory from those trips?

TA: The first time I ever went down there to Fort Walton Beach, Florida, with my grandmother and my mom and dad and brothers, that was the first time we actually caught sharks on the pier and stuff like that. It was just a great time spent with the family.

My grandmother didn’t get to go back anymore after that trip, I don’t believe, she passed away. That was a really good memory for me – just being there with all them. My brothers and I were still really young, so it was a really fun time and just a great experience being down there.

JN: Did you go to DisneyWorld or anything like that?

TA: I’ve never been to DisneyWorld, if you can believe it. I’ve never been. Looking forward to going sometime though, I’ve heard great things about it. I guess we’ve got to see what happens, but I’m really looking forward to going.

JN: What about superstitions? Do you have any?

TA: I don’t step on the line when I run out on the field. I don’t do that. I always, when I stand in the box, I draw a line in the back of the box before I step in there. That’s pretty much all I’ve got. If I’m not hitting well, sometimes I’ll change the colored (wrist) tape that I wear on the field. Little things like that. Nothing major.

JN: Favorite TV show growing up?

TA: Scooby-Doo, gotta be.

JN: How about now?

TA: Duck Dynasty. 

Media from the All-Star Game

Game MVP Mike Wright
Tyler Austin and Ramon Flores

Section I from Arm & Hammer represent
Nik Turley and Tommy Kahnle
Tyler Austin's biggest fan
Tyler Austin's biggest fan ... again
As you probably already know, I made the trek to New Britain tonight for the Eastern League All-Star Game. Much like the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, this was marred by rain. Unlike the SAL version, however, the delay was only minor (about a half an hour). 

Here are a few pics I took from tonight's action. I'm not much of a photographer. Also included is a small highlight reel of the Thunder's players this evening. 

I have all of the innings from Tommy Kahnle and Nik Turley (didn't include either walk) and the single up the middle from Tyler Austin. 

Ramon Flores, in his only at-bat, banged into a 3-6-3 double play. I videoed that but didn't include it. He also made a great catch in center field, but I didn't get it on video. Sorry, Ramon.