Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
GAME 18: Thunder (11-7) vs. Akron RubberDucks (9-9)
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Mitchell called up to the Yankees
Saturday, April 19, 2014
GAME 16: Erie 10, Thunder 6
Friday, April 18, 2014
GAME 15: Thunder (8-6) vs. Erie SeaWolves (5-7)
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
GAME 5 (take two): Thunder (2-2) vs Portland Sea Dogs (2-2)
Austin's return: After getting to Trenton Monday, Tyler Austin is in the Thunder lineup for the first time this season, DHing and hitting fifth. Austin is expected to play both third and first as well as right, but it looks like Tony Franklin is easing him into the lineup a little bit. Here he is yesterday:
Also, here are some pics from Jackie Schear of Sunday's win:
Monday, April 7, 2014
GAME 5: Thunder (2-2) vs. Portland Sea Dogs (2-2) POSTPONED
Pitching matchup: Thunder's LHP Matt Tracy (0-0) vs. RHP Mike McCarthey (0-0)
DH Mason Williams
CF Ben Gamel
3B Rob Segedin
C Gary Sanchez
2B Rob Refsnyder
1B Zach Wilson
RF Yeral Sanchez
LF Taylor Dugas
SS Ali Caston
2B Mookie Betts
SS Deven Marrero
LF Carlos Rivera
DH Stefan Welch
RF Henry Ramos
C Blake Swihart
3B Sean Coyle
1B Michael Brenly
CF Shannon Wilkerson
NOTES: After sitting out the Thunder's 11-5 win over New Hampshire Sunday, 2B Rob Refsnyder is back in the Trenton lineup. Refsnyder hit second the first three games, but went 0-for-12 with just 1 walk, so it makes some sense that he is dropped down to fifth in the batting order. Also, Mason Williams is getting a little bit of a break from centerfield.
All that, of course, is if the rain holds off...which it doesn't look like its going to. Visual proof of tarp on field:
Saturday, April 5, 2014
GAME 3: Thunder 6, New Hampshire 5
Williams now has four hits in his first three games of the season, which - small sample size or not - is definitely reason for optimism, especially considering how much he struggled in his time in Trenton last season. More than just the hits, his approach seems to be much better than it was last year, as he's been able to work some deep at-bats and, as was the case in his game-winner, battle back when he does fall behind in the count. Considering that his dad was a receiver for the New England Patriots, it seemed likely Mason was going to add some more strength as he developed, and he has certainly looked that way this season. Here he is talking about this season compared to last:
Another guy that had a good day was Rob Segedin, who went 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a run scored. At Tuesday's media day, Segedin (who like your author went to Tulane...so Roll Wave) talked a lot about the improved flexibility and strength in his hips after two offseason surgeries. Here he is singling home Williams to tie the game in the 8th:
(Apparently his hips weren't quite flexible enough to avoid getting tagged out at second on this attempted double.)
Also of note: the Thunder got a big lift from New Hampshire reliever Randy Boone, who threw consecutive run-scoring wild pitches. Mason Williams was on base at the time, and Boone seemed particularly bother by his presence, so he kept throwing the ball to first. That, somehow, inspired a heckler to start calling him Daniel Boone, as in PITCH THE BALL, DANIEL BOONE. So, in a sense, that wildness was appropriate. Here is one of those plays:
Friday, April 4, 2014
GAME 2: New Hampshire 7, Thunder 3
While obviously trying to find trends after two games isn't helpful, it was also nice to see Mason Williams pick up a hit for the second game in a row, especially after his tough start at Double-A last year. Here is some video - not exactly Ruthian, but it still counts.
Zach Wilson also got the legs moving on this infield RBI single in the sixth...the Thunder's first run of the season.
On the mound, Jeremy Bleich actually threw the ball pretty well, particularly with his breaking pitches. Given the result, he was understandably frustrated with himself after the game for not making his best pitches in the big spots, but considering he is still coming back from pretty significant shoulder surgery it was an encouraging start to the season.
Also, before the game, I got to talk to Rob Refsnyder for the first time, and I found him to be a really interesting, thoughtful guy. Here are some quotes that didn't make it into the story:
On the changing role of second basemen in MLB:
(Jason) Kipnis just got a huge deal. I think baseball is changing. Middle-of-the-diamond guys, not only are they good hitters, but they have good power numbers. They get on base. I think middle-of-the-diamond guys are changing the game. You don’t see many just contact hitters, you see some thump. Cano, Kipnis, Pedroia, some big all-star faces. Utley. It’s always fun seeing how they play and everyone’s style is a little different. Hopefully I can make my own mold at second base, and I’m excited going forward to see how it all shakes out.
On growing up in southern California and not being a Dodgers fan:
On taking infield advice from Tony Franklin:
Also, here he is taking some BP:
GAME 2: Thunder (0-1) vs. New Hampshire (1-0)
Thursday, April 3, 2014
GAME 1: New Hampshire 6, Thunder 0
Sanchez's final line was 5IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 5K. On the gun, he touched 98 and sat around 96. Perhaps the best news of the night was that the one hit belonged to none other than Mason Williams, who poked this little single into left:
For the Thunder, Bryan Mitchell didn't leave with a great line (4IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 4K, 2BB), but almost all of the damage against him was done in a tough second inning. After the game, he said that he really had his cutter going in the 1st inning, but then got too "fastball heavy" in the second and that's what caused some problems. He did recover to post scoreless frames in the 3rd and 4th. Here he is striking out Ryan Schrimpf:
Before the game, I also wrote about Cole Kimball who gave up a run on 2 hits in the 9th.
GAME 1: New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Early Move: cond baseman Dan Fiorito, who played three games with the Thunder last season, is back with the club. Carmen Angelini has been sent to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Here is Williams taking a little BP. He makes nice contact towards the end.
As far as newsworthy info, the two biggest takeaways were that manager Tony Franklin revealed both the starting rotation and the top of the lineup. The rotation (in order) will be Bryan Mitchell (read about him here), Jeremy Bleich, Zach Nuding, Joel De la Cruz and Matt Tracy. Williams will lead off, with Rob Refsnyder in the two hole, Rob Segedin third and Sanchez cleaning up.
Here is a little bit of Franklin:
Also of note: the Thunder have sweet new BP jerseys with light blue sleeves. I am told that the game jerseys will be the same pinstripes as last year, but count me among those who think an change in this direction would be wise. Here is Rob Segedin sporting the new threads: