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Archive for the ‘Trenton Thunder’ Category

Thunder sweep Fisher Cats, headed to EL Championship Series

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 11, 2010

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats second-ever playoff run came to an end Friday in an 8-1 loss to the Trenton Thunder in front of 5,370 at Merchantsauto.com Stadium.  Despite seven strong innings by Scott Richmond and multi-hit games by Darin Mastroianni and Eric Thames, New Hampshire fell to Trenton 3-0 in the best-of-five Eastern Division Championship Series.

Friday marked the first playoff game ever played at Merchantsauto.com Stadium since the 2004 Eastern League Championship was won at Gill Stadium.  

The Fisher Cats snapped a 29.2 inning scoreless streak with two outs in the ninth on a David Cooper RBI single, plating Adeiny Hechavarria, who reached on a double down the right field line.  New Hampshire had been shutout of games one, two and through 8.2 innings of game three. 

Trenton did their damage early on a pair of home runs.  Damon Sublett got the Thunder on the scoreboard with his first hit of the series, a solo-shot over the right-field fence on a 2-2 offering.  Sublett, who had two home runs in all of the regular season, gave the Thunder the 1-0 advantage.  Rene Rivera then hit a two-run blast in the seventh to extend the margin to 3-0.  Rivera’s third home run in as many games this series was a towering shot to right field, and scored Marcos Vechionacci, who reached off a wild pitch on a strikeout.  

New Hampshire pitcher Scott Richmond (0-1) gave the Fisher Cats their third consecutive quality start of the series, but received the loss for his efforts.  Richmond threw seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out four and walking none.  

The Thunder got to the Fisher Cats bullpen in the top of the eighth to take a 7-0 edge.  Trenton sent 10 men up to bat in the frame, scoring four runs on three hits, two walks and two fielder’s choices, in which the lead runner was called safe both time.  

Jonathan Jaspe shined defensively for the Fisher Cats behind the plate.  The catcher threw out a runner at second base on a bunt attempt in the third, and picked off a runner at second in the sixth on a backdoor play.  

Manny Banuelos (1-0) earned the win for the Thunder, shutting out the Fisher Cats through seven innings.  The southpaw scattered five hits while striking out five and walking three.  The ambidextrous Pat Venditte and Adam Olbrychowski came in as lief for Trenton to secure the victory. 

The lead grew to 8-0 in the ninth on a pair of doubles by Daniel Brewer and Vechionacci.  

New Hampshire had their chances, but were induced into four double plays, and got caught stealing twice to seize any opportunities.  Mastroianni (2 for 4) and Thames (2 for 4) led the charge offensively for the Fisher Cats. 

Edwin Encarnacion, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 28 by the Toronto Blue Jays, made his Fisher Cats debut on a rehabilitation assignment, but went 0 for 3 on the night with a walk.  

Trenton will now take on the winner of the Western Division Championship Series between the Altoona Curve and Harrisburg Senators.  The Curve currently hold a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-five series.  The Eastern League Championship will begin on September 14.

Guarantee your ticket to the 2011 Northeast Delta Dental All-Star Game by purchasing 2011 Fisher Cats season tickets.  For ticket information visit www.nhfishercats.com or call (603) 641-2005.


Posted in Eastern League, Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Trenton Thunder | 1 Comment »

Pettitte strong, Rivera wins game for Trenton

Posted by Joshua Kummins on September 10, 2010

In a rehab start, Andy Pettitte led Trenton to a 2-0 series lead over New Hampshire. (Kevin Littlefield/MiLB.com)

by Jed Weisberger, MiLB.com

TRENTON, New Jersey – Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte admitted his Major League rehabilitation start for the Double-A Trenton Thunder in an Eastern League divisional playoff game Thursday night made him think a bit.

“I realize this start was important to me and I certainly needed the work,” the 38-year-old veteran said. “I also knew it was a playoff game for the Thunder and I didn’t want to lose the game for them.

“Naturally, since Trenton is one of our farm teams, I hope they win the Eastern League championship. Winning a championship here is a great thing for the guys to carry over when they get to higher levels.

“I’m glad I pitched well.”

His four two-hit innings helped the Thunder, which took a 2-0 series lead over the Fisher Cats with a 1-0 victory on catcher Rene Rivera’s 12th-inning home run to center field. The game draw a playoff-record crowd of 8,072 to Mercer County Waterfront Park.

The Fisher Cats will host Game 3 at Merchantsauto.com Stadium on Friday, aiming to avoid elimination.

Pettitte, sidelined since July 18 with what has been diagnosed with a “small persistent tear” in his left groin, tossed four scoreless innings — throwing 51 pitches (37 for strikes) and striking out four. He then threw 14 more in the bullpen.

“The plan was for 65 pitches,” he said. “So I finished in the bullpen. I feel real good, but I know I’ll have to deal with some soreness tomorrow. I felt a little short in the first inning, but I got more and more comfortable.

“I really felt the best, and I stepped it up a lot in the fourth inning. I was just glad to get some work, because I have had no work at all. It’s not fun when you’re not contributing to your team. ”

While Pettitte, who was 11-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 18 starts with the Yankees, felt his effort was “a definite step forward,” he still knows he is not quite ready for a return to the Bronx.

Though satisfied with his overall command, mechanics and ability to pitch in sequence, neither his stamina nor his changeup are where he wants them to be.

“With the setbacks I’ve had with this, I’m doing almost no work with my legs,” he said. “If I pitched for the Yankees next week, I might be able to give them four or five innings.

“As far as my changeup, I pulled a few of them, one of which was a wild pitch. It’s been the toughest pitch for me to come back with. I’ll need it to get Major League hitters out.”

Pettitte, who flew back to Texas on Thursday night to rejoin the team, credited Trenton catcher Austin Romine with a big assist. He feels the Yankees will ask the lefty to make one more rehabilitation start, probably Tuesday.

“I worked with Austin a lot in Spring Training,” said Pettitte. “He was familiar with my pitches and knew the New Hampshire hitters, what they like and what they don’t like.”

Romine was simply happy to work with Pettitte.

“He’s easy to call a game with,” said Romine. “If there was anything special he wanted to work on, I was there for him. That was some of the best stuff I’ve ever seen. Nothing was straight.”

Both New Hampshire’s Zach Stewart and Trenton’s Adam Warren were spectacular. Each struck out 10, with Stewart pitching seven innings and Warren six. “That’s playoff baseball,” said Trenton manager Tony Franklin. “You won’t see many runs scored in games like this.”

Rivera played with the Seattle Mariners from 2004-’06, batting .227 (34-for-150) in 53 games. He was signed by the Yankees on May 21 and batted .319 (30-for-94) with five home runs in 25 games. With Romine serving as the everyday catcher, Rivera has found his niche as the Thunder’s designated hitter. “I just want to get into the game and contribute,” the 27-year-old said.

In other Eastern League action:

Altoona Curve 6, Harrisburg Senators 4

Andrew Lambo doubled twice and had three RBIs and former 10th-round pick Derek Hankins allowed one run over 3 1/3 innings of relief for the win as Altoona evened up its series with Harrisburg. Starter Jeff Locke held the Senators to three runs — one earned — on four hits over 4 2/3 innings before former first-round pick Daniel Moskos pitched the ninth for the save. Box score

Posted in Eastern League, Minors, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Trenton Thunder | 1 Comment »