For whatever reason, there were a bunch of good pitching performance across the minors last night, with several starters taking no-hitters late into games.
For the second night in a row, New Hampshire’s bats were silenced, this time by Altoona’s Tim Alderson. Alderson pitched six no-hit innings, walking one and striking out three, before being pulled after reaching his pitch count. It was the second time this season he shut down the Fisher Cats – back on May 10, he struck out ten and took a no-hitter into the seventh.
There was no no-hitter drama in the Harrisburg-Trenton game, just a good old-fashioned pitchers duel. Jeff Mandel went eight shutout innings for the visiting Senators, allowing three hits, walking two, and striking out four. He was outdone by Ryan Pope, however, who allowed two hits and struck out eleven without walking a batter. Both pitchers came out after the eighth and did not factor into the decision (the Thunder won it in the ninth on a single, sacrifice bunt, and a walkoff RBI single).
David Bromberg scattered three hits and struck out nine in a complete game shutout for Fort Myers, improving to 11-1 and taking over the Florida State League’s strikeout lead.
Anibal Sanchez made a rehab start in the Florida State League for the Jupiter Hammerheads, and he was pretty good. 6.2 innings, two walks, five strikeouts, no hits. Daniel Jennings got three outs in relief before allowing a two-out single in the eighth.
And finally, just so you don’t think that all the good performances came from the Florida State and Eastern Leagues, Randall Delgado pitched seven no-hit innings for the Rome Braves in the South Atlantic League. He struck out nine and walked one to earn his fourth win of the season.
(Oh, and just a slight hint of offense: Layton Hiller went 4-for-5 with three doubles and eight RBI for the GCL Braves. Elys Blanco also had a fun game for the Braves, finishing 1-for-2 with four runs scored.)
Most of these are several days old, but here are a few more changes in major-minor league affiliations:
Toronto Blue Jays: Syracuse is out, Las Vegas is in.
The story announcing this change contains one of the most awesome paragraphs the world will ever see:
The Syracuse Chiefs had made it known that they weren’t willing to extend their relationship with the Blue Jays after this season. Syracuse hasn’t made the International League playoffs since 1998 and was hoping to reel in a more competitive farm club. In the end, Syracuse found a new parent club in the Washington Nationals.
I think “hoping” is the key word there.
New York Yankees: extend PDC with Trenton through 2014.
More than 200 players and coaches have played for the Thunder and in the Major Leagues, including Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano, Dioner Navarro, Nomar Garciaparra and David Eckstein.
The fact that the last two guys played in Trenton when it was a Red Sox affiliate makes me chuckle.
Cincinnati Reds: Carolina is in.
At the LoHud Yankees Blog last night, Peter Abraham wrote about Yankees minor leaguer Jose Tabata, Baseball America’s 37th ranked prospect, who left AA Trenton without permission during a game last weekend and was subsequently suspended for three games.
Tabata is hitting .186 with no home runs and 12 RBI over 26 games for Trenton.
“The expectations of who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do finally got to me,” Tabata told The Trenton Times through a translator. “I made an irrational decision. Maybe it was immaturity, inexperience or just that I didn’t know how to handle what was happening. I just kept thinking I am not producing the way I should be and maybe I didn’t belong here.”
Most of the comments on the post were cautiously supportive of Tabata, bearing in mind the very pertinent fact that he is still just 19 years old and the important thing in a situation such as this is the aftermath. A few mentioned Mickey Mantle, who considered quitting when he was a youngster in the Yankees system before being talked out of it by his father.
As soon as I read the post, it made me think of a story from Buck O’Neil’s “I Was Right On Time,” from his days as a scout with the Chicago Cubs. Buck got a call one day from the team’s general manager telling him that Billy Williams, a top prospect playing in the Texas League, had jumped ship and gone home to Alabama. Buck went down there and basically waited out Williams, bringing him to ball games and reminding him how great it was to be a ballplayer until he decided to go back to San Antonio. On the way back, Williams mentioned that one of the reasons he had left the team was – surprise – a crisis of confidence.
Today, Mantle and Williams are both in the Hall of Fame.
That’s not to say that Tabata is headed for Cooperstown when his playing days are over – he’s only 19, has never played above AA, and Abraham notes that he shouldn’t expect to be playing in Yankee Stadium any time soon – but it should be reassuring for Yankees fans to know that even the greats of the game have experienced similar setbacks. Tabata is not the first, and he won’t be the last.
First off, I should probably introduce myself. I’m Sam and Eric and OMDQ have been generous enough to let me join the crew here at the Bus Leagues. I’ll be giving insights on the Eastern Leauge (AA).
Considering that March is synonomous with all sports fans to college basketball, I figured that it would be fitting to link that with this site. For the second year in a row, the Trenton Thunder are running an NCAA Bracket Challenge at CBSSports.com. First place recieves a luxury suite for a night, which includes 25 tickets. Second place recieves 2 half season tickets (36 games) and the third place finisher recieves 2 10 game pic-a-plans. The entry deadline is noon on Thursday, which is when the tourney tips off for those not in the know.
I actually think this is a really good idea to grow interest as the season opener nears (April 3rd for EL teams). So if you live close to Trenton and enjoy minor league baseball and also think you have the perfect bracket, why not kill two birds with one stone?
2008 Thunder Bracket Challenge [Trenton Thunder]