ELDS Game 2 - pregame notes
In the series: The Thunder won Game 1 in dramatic fashion Wednesday night, when Ben Gamel hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning. See game story here.
News and notes: The Thunder will have a familiar face Thursday as Zoilo Almonte returns to Trenton on a rehab assignment. Almonte, who hit .261/.305/.341 with nine RBI in 26 games for the Yankees this season, has played a total of 152 games with the Thunder over the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He's been on the Yankees DL since July 20 with a left ankle sprain. Here is some video of his pregame press conference:
The move certainly gives the Thunder a lineup a boost, but it's a tough break for Gamel, who gets rewarded for his game-winning hit with a night on the pine. The only other real candidate to sit was probably Mason Williams, who has looked completely overmatched at the plate in his 17 games here, hitting .153/.164/.264, but his defense has been spectacular - he made two crucial running plays Wednesday. The larger point, however, is that playoffs or not, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to take away at-bats from a guy who you hope is going to be a big part of the future and is so talented in as many other areas of the game. Manager Tony Franklin did, however, drop him to 7th in the lineup, which will hopefully take some pressure off.
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