Blogs > Minor Matters

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

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

GAME 6: Thunder (3-2) vs. Portland Sea Dogs (2-3)

GAME 5: Thunder 10, Portland 1

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

GAME 5 (take two): Thunder (2-2) vs Portland Sea Dogs (2-2)

Roster moves: To accommodate Tyler Austin and Taylor Garrison on the roster, Tyson Blaser and Joel De La Cruz have been placed on Staten Island's roster.  

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:

Also, the Trentonian scheduling gods decided I should miss the Thunder's 11-5 win Sunday, but you can read Ed Morlock's recap here.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

GAME 3: Thunder 6, New Hampshire 5

After two relatively brutal games to swatch (and, I'm sure, to play in given the conditions), the Thunder got their first win of the season Saturday night with an awesome walk-off single from Mason Williams in the bottom of the 9th inning. Here is the play:

 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 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:

GAME 3: Thunder (0-2) vs. New Hampshire (2-0)

Friday, April 4, 2014

GAME 2: New Hampshire 7, Thunder 3

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about the Thunder's 7-3 loss to the Fisher Cats Friday night is that it was an improvement over their 6-0 loss opening night. Though they struggled early against starter Deck McGuire, they started to put some hits together off of the Fisher Cats bullpen and actually had a chance to get back into the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth before Taylor Dugas grounded into a double play.

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:

Growing up I liked the Phillies. My parents are from Philly, so when Utley and Howard first got there things were pretty exciting. I was a little bit of a Yankees fan because of Jeter and watched the Angels a little bit. I’ve just always been a baseball fan, so when its on TV I watch it.

On taking infield advice from Tony Franklin:

He’s very honest and very thorough in his explanations. I’ve worked with him a little bit, but he really let Carlos Mendoza and Luis Sojo (coach) last year, and Tony has been more just little tips on position and things like that. He always jokes that it’s a lot different than when he played. Last night there were a couple of routine balls hit to my left, and I was in good position because what the Yankees are trying to do as a whole. There is a whole adjustment period for the organization, so hopefully we have a lot of success moving forward.

Also, here he is taking some BP: