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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

ELDS Game 2 - postgame notes

Thunder 2, Binghamton 1

Thunder go up 2-0 in series

If it didn't go down to the wire, it wouldn't be Trenton Thunder baseball. Tony Franklin's club managed to pull out another one-run win Thursday (thankfully this one took just nine innings) to grab a huge 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Binghamton (gamer here). As always, here are some things that stood out:

Mikey O'Brien's gutsy start

O'Brien did not have his best stuff (final line: 6IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 5BB, 4K) and was especially shky early, but was able to get his motion together and throw six strong innings. Here is what he had to say about it:

On struggling early...

Those first couple of innings, I really couldn’t get a rhythm for anything. I had to battle and hope that they hit it right at our guys.

On how he was able to rebound...
Try not to think about it, and try not to think about what I was doing, walking guys and falling behind. Cleared my mind and started over.

On going six innings... 
Being a starter pitcher especially, that’s your goal us to try to pitch deep in the game and save your bullpen. Battle, do whatever you have to do.

On facing Binghamton.... 
We’ve faced them a bunch this year and they’ve kind of had our number. I think we’re starting to execute our pitches and figue out what we’re doing with them, and a lot of it’s luck too. They’re hitting it right at our guys, that’s just how baseball goes. We have to execute and hopefully the result goes our way.

On Wednesday's comeback...
Coming back in the ninth inning last night off their closer definitely gave us a lot of momentum, and showed that we can come back and beat them no matter who is on the mound.

On if the Thunder considered themselves underdogs... 
Not really. Playoffs start over. Everybody’s record is the same. Playoffs are complete different than the regular season.

On if last year is in their minds... 
Not really. We just try to focus on what we are doing this year.

On blocking out negative thoughts...
Yeah especially when it was first and second in the third or fourth inning. I was trying to get a double play and minimize the damage, and luckily I was able to get out of that.

Enough offense to win

The Thunder's year-long inability to hit with runners in scoring position reared its ugly head again Thursday (they were 0-for-4 wRISP) but they were able to manage a pair of runs in two different ways.  In the third inning, it was all about Zoilo Almonte understanding what he had to do to get the runner on third home - drive the ball far enough the opposite way:

In the seventh, it was all about Mason Williams' speed, which he finally got to show off on the base paths with a pair of hits. After the game, Mason said he was heading home the whole way on this one:

The bullpen

Zach Nuding was very strong in his pair of scoreless innings, but I was most impressed with the way Tommy Kahnle came up big in the ninth. Considering that he had given up seven runs in his last six innings of work, it was very big for the Thunder going forward that he was able to work a clean inning. Here he is recording the final out:


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