Sunday, September 10, 2006

Trenton, Out

Despite winning Game 1 on the back of Phil Hughes, the Trenton Thunder have lost their third straight game facing elimination in the Eastern League playoffs.

Matt DeSalvo left after a scoreless 1st with an injury. Despite a valiant effort by Jason Jones and Charlie Manning, the team's season came to a close after a walk off home run in the 10th inning by Portland's Brandon Moss.

Staten Island won their first game against the Brooklyn Cyclones tonight. George Kontos pitched 6 innings of 2 run ball, followed by three scoreless innings by SI's bullpen. Mark Melancon saved the game, striking out all three batters he faced for a 5-2 victory. Kontos might be my favorite pitcher from the draft this year. Tim Norton starts tomorrow night.

Additions cannot be made to Staten Island's roster until next series, so Hideki Matsui is likely finished with his rehab stint. You'll see him in the Bronx pretty quickly. Probably at the end of this road trip.

Gary Sheffield was examined by a doctor yesterday, and was giving a clean bill of health. The doctor said (to paraphrase) "I couldn't be more pleased with the recovery that his wrist made". Sheffield hit about 40 balls off a tee, and is ready to begin batting practice. He could be back very soon.

It will be a challenge for Joe Torre to manage the upcoming situation that he will be presented with. How will he fill out his lineup card with so many qualified veteran position players on his roster? Which bench players will stay behind? Will the young pitchers have a chance to make the roster?

Joe, please make the right decision. I am reading Joel Sherman's amazing book: The Birth of a Dynasty. He describes Torre making all sorts of controversial and difficult decisions regarding veterans and rookies. Back in the day, when Torre was a great manager. Maybe working deep into the postseason will restore that luster?