Thunder 8, Senators 2
• Throughout most of the season, the Senators’ pitching staff had done a great job limiting damage and avoiding giving up the big inning. In fact, they had only allowed five or more runs in an inning nine times all season before Tuesday night. The tenth time was a killer though as Trenton turned a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead they would never relinquish in winning Game 1 of the ELCS.
• After cruising through the first two innings, the wheels came off for Harrisburg starter Blake Treinen. The righthander had retired the first six batters he faced before walking back-to-back hitters to lead off the third inning. A bunt single, three more hits, and a wild pitch spelled the end to Treinen’s night and put the Senators in a hole they would never get out of.
• Yes, the Senators were up 2-0. But it sure felt like the Senators wasted chances as they managed to plate only one run in second and third inning rallies. Manager Matt LeCroy said, “I thought every run we could get would make it a little bit tougher on them, and we kind of let ’em off the hook there.” Harrisburg’s approach was also in question as Matt Kardos of Double G Sports commented on Twitter, “Offensively, Harrisburg looks like they have absolutely zero plate discipline. Literally have offered at everything (Trenton starter Nik) Turley is throwing tonight.”
• When your starter lasts only eight outs, the potential for a rough night for the bullpen is very likely. But Matt Swynenberg and Rob Gilliam shouldered the load and kept everyone else fresh for the rest of the series as they tossed the final 5.1 innings.
• Justin Bloxom was a bright spot on offense as the first baseman went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored. According to PennLive’s Geoff Morrow, Bloxom also provided a rare late-game highlight as a foul ball off his bat nearly smacked a trash-talking Jersey loudmouth “lady” in the luxury section.