Thunder 11, Senators 4
Harrisburg’s pitching was so good all season, I don’t think anyone saw the last three games coming. The Thunder batters went to the plate with an approach and executed it perfectly to frustrate and rattle Senators’ pitchers the entire series. It was the worst pitching performance since probably early April when New Britain treated them like a bunch of Juggs machines.
Thursday night at Metro Bank Park looked a whole lot like the first two games these clubs played at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton. The Thunder grinded at-bat after at-bat, chased the Harrisburg starter early, and never took their foot off the throttle. Manager Matt LeCroy commented on Trenton’s tenacity, “They battled until they got themselves a pitch. They kept fouling off pitches and fouling off pitches and finally got the big blow.”
An offense which generated only ten runs on 25 hits in three games couldn’t keep up with the Thunder’s relentless attack. And when men were on base, the Senators reverted to their old ways as they went a pitiful 6-for-33 with runners in scoring position. But let’s be honest, the pitching was what carried the inadequate offense all season and was expected to in the Championship Series as well. Unfortunately for the Senators’ title hopes, it wasn’t meant to be.
• The win marks Trenton’s third Eastern League Championship in the 20-year history of the franchise. They also won the title in 2007 and 2008 as well.
• Despite giving up five or more runs in an inning only nine times in the regular season, Harrisburg was touched for two five-run outbursts in the series including the fateful third inning on Thursday.
• Ali Castillo was named the Playoff MVP as the Trenton shortstop posted a slash line of .381/.409/.714 with four runs scored and six RBIs in six postseason games.
• Combined, Harrisburg’s starters Blake Treinen, A.J. Cole, and Nate Karns managed to go only 9.1 innings with a 9.64 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, and six measly strikeouts.
• By sweeping Binghamton and Harrisburg, Trenton became the first team since the 1991 Albany-Colonie Yankees to win the Eastern League title by going 6-0 in the playoffs.
• LeCroy on 2013, “They bought into the team. They bought into pulling for one another. They bought into team baseball. It just shows everyone in there that if you pull together and try to play as a unit you can accomplish (anything).”