Afterberth: Thunder Don’t Follow Yankees’ Example, Avoid Collapse


Last night, the Baltimore Orioles lived out every perfectly sane baseball fan’s dream and humiliated the Yankees, then let them humiliate them, then humiliated the Yankees a second time amidst rabid throngs of their own fans.  Adam Jones’ tie-breaking dinger in the 8th had 46,000+ jumping up and down and screaming, and not because they were in Baltimore and something awful had just been committed.

But humiliation isn’t something the Yankees can simply absorb and move on.  No, the massive, toxic conglomerate had to spit out its legendary poison somewhere or burst from all of its inward negativity, and since the Big Club seemed to be okay with getting throttled, it fell on the franchise’s Double-A incarnation.

Things looked pretty good in Reading last night, as least for about 20 minutes. In Game Two of of their playoff series against the Yankees’ Trenton Thunder, the R-Phils dropped a heartbreaker in the ninth inning, despite 5 1/3 innings of straight butchery from starter Trevor May and even a run!

Game Two’s are the worst.  When you win Game One at home, momentum and fun are at such an all time high, they might as well just give you Game Two and move on to the other team’s city.  I can’t think of another scenario where I’d realize this is a horrible, infuriating concept.  As it stands right now, the R-Phils go into Trenton–a city so corrupt even its Wikipedia page is under investigation–with the series tied 1-1and all out of home games in the series.

I don’t know what an OTRS agent is but man they have got to be cool.

As stated, Trevor May pitched the majority of the game, giving up merely three hits–one of them a sad, desperate home run to the horribly monickered Addison Maruszak–two walks, and striking out six.  The first inning saw text book production from the R-Phils’ big horses, as Tyson Gillies drew a walk, and Cody Asche and Darin Ruf popped singles to knock him in, and Jake Fox followed with a subesquent single only to see the inning end prematurely.

No matter, the R-Phils were on the board and that kind of early activity is a satisfying indication of things to come.

Well, it wasn’t, and thankfully Maruszak’s home run was all Trenton could muster until the ninth inning.  Former Orioles farmhand Kyle Simon came on and hurled 2 2/3 innings without allowing a run, but also allowing three batters to strike out terribly.  In the ninth, Colby Shreve entered the “fray,” walked a guy with one out, and then somehow loaded the bases in the time it him to jog to first base (wild pitch, IBB).

So there was Trenton’s Kevin Mahoney–seen here being haunted by a $0 Jersey Jackpot sign–stood in the batter’s box, the bitter Reading crowd at his back, the chance to be a hero at his front.  The Yankees were watching.  The fans were watching.  The base runners in front of him were watching.

And it was all a bit too much for Mahoney, who flailed around and lived up to his reputation from the previous night.

Things were looking good at this point, until it became clear that to win the ball game, Reading would need to secure the third and final out.  Which they did not do.

Rob Segedin stepped up and tripled in all of the possible runs, relaxing that throbbing Yankees vein and preventing the franchise from imploding in on itself.  Thankfully for Trenton, they did not follow the example of their Major League affiliate and collapse like a parade of cowards.  But unfortunately, they did it at the expense of our young heroes from Baseballtown.

Tonight, vengeance is ours with the Shane Victorino-acquired righty Ethan Martin toeing the hill at 7:05 over the Jersey border.  Assuming no one passes out from holding their breath.