It took more than a bullshit three-run triple that was probably the result of some kind of Yankees black magic to win the game this time. Trenton needed some hideous small ball and a Cody Asche miscue at third to pull this one out, in a 3-1 victory that gave them a 2-1 series lead and put the R-Phils up against a wall.
Pitching was the key to the game, again, as Ethan Martin, he who avoided losses in seven straight appearances with Baseballtown, refused to yield through a 1-1 dead heat over seven innings. The Trenton pitcher also did well, but we don’t need to know his name and can probably just assume he’s some awful type of person.
The offense was very MLB Phillies-esque, in that it failed to score often and inevitably cost the starting pitcher a win. The top of the third was the most eventful, as Tyson Gillies walked with two outs, then motored home on a Cody Asche double (Asche would account for the majority of Reading’s five hits). In stepped Darin Ruf, who launched an eventually handled fly ball to center to end the inning. Ruf was also picked off first after an intentional walk in the eighth. Seems like he’s been doing that a lot lately.
And after that, it was a turnstile of silence. Each pitcher took turns suffocating the other’s lineup until being removed from the game. Martin had permitted three hits in the first, which led to a run, but went on a tear, retiring the next 12 hitters and striking out a total of 11–the most of his career. Now that he’s left the distracting corruption of the Dodgers organization, young Ethan has chosen the perfect time to begin raising the bar. Kudos.
Nevertheless, the poorly timed hits and the subsequent run given up by reliever Tyler Knigge led to the 3-1 loss and the horrifying nature of the R-Phils new condition.
After taking the first game of the best-of-three series, Reading finds itself clinging desperately to its playoff berth. Game Four, tonight at 7:05 and featuring 21-year-old lefty and July 2012 Phillies Pitching Prospect of the Month Adam Morgan, will determine the necessity of a Game Five, which would sadly also take place in Trenton amongst the devastatingly unsatisfying metropolis.
We can only hope that, despite being far from home, the R-Phils adopt the nature of their hometown’s iconic image–a freight train. Only this train is coming off the tracks and plowing through a small village of adversity.
We can only hope there are no survivors.