The Trenton Thunder, a New York Yankees Minor League affiliate, has always been a surprise team. You never know what to expect from them. In Game 3, the Thunder have split the series against the Reading Phillies, a Philadelphia Phillies minor league affiliate. Both of the AA teams hoped to take the game tonight. However, the Phillies prevailed winning the game, 7-1 in front of 7,942 fans.
It was the longest first inning, I have ever witnessed. The first batter of the lineup batted twice; that’s how long it was. The Phillies put up some pretty impressive numbers to exude a “We-Not-Playing-Around” mentality. The Phillies threw five runs on the board heading into the bottom of the first. The Thunder had one hit in the bottom concluding a 33-minute first inning.
Now, the game started moving at a regular pace. Phillies left fielder, Darin Ruf hit a homer just before their last out boosting the score to 6-0. The Thunder were having trouble getting on base. Part of the reason why they had one hit in the second and three straight outs in the third, was because of their lack of confidence following the first inning.
The Phillies weren’t productive in their third and fourth innings. Back-to-back outs gave the Thunder a chance to rebuild their confidence. Thunder scored a run before their last out in the bottom of the fourth. Some players started to emerge for the pack making plays for their respective teams. For the Phillies it was Daniel Ruf and for the Thunder it was Melky Mesa.
Daniel Ruf has played in 133 games for the Phillies, the most on the team. He hit a homer in the second inning but continued to get on base consistently throughout the game. Ruf leads the team in runs, homeruns, RBIs, on base percentage, and has the highest batting average of the frequent starters on the team. He wasn’t on fire but put up impressive numbers tonight.
Center fielder, Melky Mesa, was on fire the entire game. He was all in all in hitting and stole a couple of bases, but got caught stealing home in the sixth inning. Mesa is a member for the Yankees 40-man roster, which means, he can get called up to the majors at ANY time. Even though Mesa didn’t have any runs in the game tonight, he leads his team in runs.
The Trenton Thunder wrap up their series against the Reading Phillies Sunday, July 22. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 pm at Waterfront Park in Trenton, NJ.