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Trenton Thunder has an inconsistent start to the season


The Trenton Thunder, the double A affiliate of the New York Yankees, got their 2011 season off to a shaky start. In the first two weeks of the season the Trenton Thunder is 7-6.

“We’re hanging in there right now. We’re not a very consistent team right now, but I think we will be,” said manager Tony Franklin in a press conference at Waterfront Park.

During the first week of the season the Thunder went 2-4 on the road, but they wrapped up their home stand with a  7-6 record.

The Thunder lost their home opener against the Harrisburg Senators 4-2. Starting Thunder pitcher Shaeffer Hall gave up two earned runs, struck out four, and walked two in five and two-thirds innings.

“Hall did well,” said Thunder pitching coach Tommy Phelps in an interview with the VOICE. Phelps also said he was impressed with Hall’s command on his fastball.

With the exception of a home run by left fielder Cody Johnson in the bottom of the sixth, the Thunder’s offense was quiet.

Manager Tony Franklin told reporters during a press conference that he is not worried about the slow start.

“We’re a young team in terms of experience and that makes a difference,” said Franklin.

“It’s going to take time with these young guys, but I’m okay with them. By the end of the year if they’re solid in their game, and their approach to the game, I’m pretty happy,” Franklin said.

Although the Thunder may not have found their stride yet, that hasn’t stopped a few players from catching the eye of the New York Yankees organization.

Outfielder Melky Mesa was ranked the nineteenth best Yankees prospect and the “Best Outfield Arm” in the Yankees farm system by Baseball America.

Three Trenton Thunder players are also on the Yankees 40-man roster, including Ewing native Steve Garrison.

Garrison grew up watching the Thunder play, and said in a post-game conference, “I was really excited to get out there in front of a home crowd again.”

Garrison only allowed one earned run and struck out five batters though five innings in his first home start.

Garrison was taken out after the fifth because Tony Franklin had him, and all starters this early in the season, on a 70-75 pitch limit. Garrison threw 64 pitches (43 for strikes), and lowered his ERA to 4.38.

“[Garrison] pitched pretty well in spring. [The Yankees] like him a lot. All I know is that they kept him for an extended period of time, which kind of indicates that he’s on the radar there. Which is a good thing,” said Franklin.

Trenton Thunder returns home on April 29 with hopes to win their third Eastern League Championship in five years.

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