The Trenton Thunder announced several additional promotional dates this week. Highlights include:
Star Wars night is scheduled for Monday, May the Fourth, with costumed characters from a long time ago in a galaxy far away visiting Arm & Hammer Park. Star Wars themed t-shirts and jerseys will be available for purchase at the Thunder Company Store. (I wish I was going to be able to go to this one – I love Star Wars promos at baseball games.)
On Friday, September 4th, Trenton will give out Bernie Williams bobbleheads to the first 2,000 fans through the gates. Now we’ll ignore the little detail that Williams’ only played five games for the Thunder in 2003 as part of a rehab assignment… this is the best of the three bobblehead giveaways on Trenton’s schedule in 2015. CC Sabathia (July 24) only made one rehab appearance with Trenton last year, and while Dellin Betances (Aug. 5) was a real member of the Thunder in 2011 & 2012, he needs to build upon his rookie season before he truly becomes a star.
Today’s baseball game featured the Reading Phillies play the Trenton Thunder in the final game of their only visit to New Jersey this season. I really had no idea who to root for, so I ended up rooting for a quick, well-played game.
That didn’t work out so well.
Dellin Betances, half of the heavily-hyped “Killer Bs” tandem from last year’s Thunder team, started the game for Trenton. He lasted just three innings and gave up seven runs on 10 hits and three walks. The Phillies scored another two runs off of reliever Francisco Rondon to give them a 9-0 lead at the halfway point of the game.
Meanwhile, Reading’s starter Julio Rodriguez took a no-hitter into the fifth inning – but it was an unconventional one. He walked three and hit another four batters before Jose Pirela finally got the first Thunder hit of the game. It opened the door for a five-run rally that chased Rodriguez from the game.
At the 7th inning stretch, Reading still had a comfortable 11-6 lead. The sun and the heat had been bothering me all day, so I decided to make it an early afternoon.
I missed the Thunder’s 9th inning comeback. With two outs, Trenton staged a five-run rally to tie the game at 11-11 and send it into extra innings.
Reading went out in front 12-11 in the top of the 10th, but Trenton tied it again in the bottom half of the inning. Finally, in the 12th, Pirela hit a walk-off home run to give the Thunder what must be their most improbable comeback victory of the year.
I made it home in time to watch the final inning and a half of the Mets’ 8-3 loss to the Dodgers. I’m hesitant to say that this was the game that buries the 2012 Mets season, but I think it would take a sweep of the Nationals and three out of four from the Diamondbacks to let me start thinking about a possible shot at the playoffs again.
Here are some photos from today’s Trenton vs. Reading game:
The Mets will wrap up a disappointing 10-game homestand this weekend with a 3-game series against Atlanta. (At least we can make fun of Dan Uggla and his .175 batting average & .557 OPS.) Even though it’s the weekend, all three contests are night games. Fans attending Saturday’s 7:10 p.m. game will receive a free Mets cap; those attending Sunday night’s 8:07 p.m. game will receive a replica batting helmet.
The Trenton Thunder are also home for the weekend with a three-game series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Tonight’s and Saturday’s games start at 7:05 p.m; Sunday’s game is a 1:05 p.m. afternoon contest. The first 1,500 fans at tonight’s game will get a free Thunder baseball cap. The first 1,500 kids will get a Thunder logo baseball on Sunday. Saturday’s game includes a post-game fireworks display. Yankees’ top pitching prospect Dellin Betances was scheduled to start tomorrow night’s game.
This weekend could be your only chance to see Washington Nationals’ prospect Bryce Harper play in New Jersey this season. Harper is hitting .371 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs so far this season – it’s only a matter of time until he gets promoted.
Harper’s Hagerstown Suns will play the Lakewood BlueClaws in a four-game series beginning Friday night at 7:05 p.m. There will be a post-game fireworks show Friday night.
The Trenton Thunder released their 2011 Opening Day roster, which includes 14 players who are new to the team.
Arguably the most famous of the new faces is Kei Igawa, the former Hanshin Tigers star pitcher who hasn’t been able to find success in Major League Baseball. Igawa is in the final year of a five-year deal signed prior to the 2007 season.
Notable prospects include pitchers Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, catcher Austin Romine and outfielders Cody Johnson and Melky Mesa. Also of note are New Jersey native Steve Garrison and ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte. You can check out the full roster on the Trenton Thunder website (PDF format).
Your first chance to see the 2011 Trenton Thunder team comes tomorrow afternoon at the team’s Welcome North Fan Fest.