So I don't have to do this as a class anymore. And now that I've had some time away from it, I think it might be fun to do this when I want to and not because I have to do it. So, I'm back.
Now that I don't have to do this as a class, I've got freedom to write what I want, when I want, all of that. To be honest, the Big 12 bit really sucked some life out of me. It's a good idea to talk about, but it's not a lot of fun for me to write. Roberto Ruiz can do a better job, and since it's his idea, probably should have been the one to do it all along. Maybe I'll revisit the rest of the Big 12, but for now, it's nice to let it alone.
What I really want to talk about is what I'm getting credit to write about at The Trentonian. So I'll take a page out of Will Palaszczuk's blog Friend of the Feather, which now has his radio calls, and I'll talk about the games I cover, starting with tonight's Trenton Thunder (Yankees AA affiliate) game.
Jason Jones, who you can read more about here, pitched pretty well. He did allow five hits and walked two, but that's pretty solid through six innings. Basically, he kept the Thunder in the game for as long as he pitched.
But while he was doing that, Antonio Bastardo of the Reading Phillies was busy walking hitters and retiring those he didn't walk. He walked six in 6 1/3, but he didn't give up a hit. If he had some solid run support backing him up, he'd have been a deserving winner.
On another note, one thing he's not is blessed by his name. His name literally translates to Anthony Bastard from Spanish to English. Good thing for him he can pitch well.
Back to the Thunder. After getting no hits through 7 2/3, Trenton finally broke through on a nice double down the right field line by Ramiro Peña that scored Reegie Corona (who of course reached on a walk). Austin Jackson then followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, which scored Peña after he took third on a ball that Phillies catcher Lou Marson had to block. Trenton manager Tony Franklin labeled that as a big play. Line for the Thunder tonight: Two runs, one hit, one victory. As Franklin said, it's a strange game.
Tomorrow's game, which I will be at Waterfront Park for, features two pitchers going in different directions. For the Thunder, Phil Coke is slated to throw tomorrow in his return from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Coke's a lefty with a 4-1 record and a 3.41 ERA in 11 starts at Trenton. On Tuesday, he made his first appearance for Scranton and got hit hard, giving up eight hits and three runs in three innings of work. Not great, so he's back in New Jersey. But given how Coke's improved, that game might just be a blip on the radar for him.
He'll face J.D. Durbin, whose career is going south in a hurry, or to be geographically accurate from Philadelphia, went slightly north to Allentown, Pa., then southwest to Reading. Durbin began the year at Class AAA Lehigh Valley and got shelled. In nine games with the IronPigs, Durbin's ERA was 9.42. It was no surprise that he was sent down to Reading, where his ERA has improved, but his win total hasn't. Durbin's 0-7 overall (0-2 with Reading) this year. I'll see what he's got to say tomorrow.
Here's your Eastern League wrap-up for June 6. I'll try to put this feature in whenever I post, whether I had the Thunder game that night or not. It was a good night for Trenton. The Akron Aeros (Indians affiliate) went to Portland, Maine and knocked off the Sea Dogs (Red Sox affiliate) 6-1, giving the Thunder a three game edge in the EL North. The Sea Dogs are four up on the Binghamton Mets for the #2 spot in the North. The B-Mets were the only other North team to win tonight, beating the New Britain Rock Cats (Twins affiliate) with two runs in the eighth.
In the EL South, the Bowie Baysox (Orioles) caught the Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) by scoring eight in the final two innings for a 9-2 win at Commerce Bank Park (not the same one) in Harrisburg, Pa. Bowie now leads the South by a half-game over Harrisburg. The aforementioned Aeros are very much in the race as well, lurking two games back of the Baysox. Of the other three EL South teams, only the Altoona Curve (Pirates) are within 10 games of Bowie.
My time is up. You've all been great. Enjoy Skillet.