"Manning was a bright
spot today." said Thunder manager Stump Merrill after the game.
Charlie Manning got the win for the Thunder, pitching four and a third innings of relief behind Felix Heredia. Heredia started the game for the Thunder, pitching one inning and allowing one unearned run. Heredia said that he will be activated by the Yankees on Tuesday, making him eligible for the postseason roster. Manning came into the game with the Thunder down 1-0 in the second inning and kept the B-Mets off the board through the fifth.
The Thunder put up all of
their offense against B-Met starter Ken Chenard. Chenard allowed six earned runs
in his two and a third innings of work to absorb the loss and fall to 9-5 on the
season. Aaron Rifkin led off the Thunder second with a walk and two batters
later Jake Weber doubled to right center to put Thunder runners on second and
third with one out. Jason Grove followed with an infield single when Chenard
failed to cover first and Rifkin scored to tie the game at one. David Parrish
followed with a sacrifice fly to center to score Weber and give the Thunder a
2-1 lead. They would never look back.
The Thunder added four more
in the third, all coming off Chenard before the second out was recorded. Mitch Jones, who is four home runs shy of the all-time Eastern League home run record
of 41, led off the third with a double to left center. Aaron Rifkin followed
with a walk to put runners on first and second for Bronson Sardinha. Sardinha
doubled off the top of the right field fence to score Jones and increase the
Thunder lead to 3-1. That put runners on second and third for Weber. Weber, who
keyed a Thunder rally the inning before, delivered the big blow in the third. He
hit his fifth home run of the year over the right field wall to score three runs
and give the Thunder a 6-1 lead.
The B-Mets added single
runs in the seventh and ninth to cut the Thunder advantage to 6-3 but that was
as close as they would come.
Notes: Jason Grove was the
first ever player in Thunder franchise history to win both the team's season
ending awards. Grove was awarded the team's Community Service and Fan Favorite
Awards in a pre-game ceremony before Saturday night's game. "It's something
I take a lot of pride in." said Grove, about his community service
activities during the season in the Trenton community. Thunder GM Rick Brenner
said that Jason engenders the kinds of attitudes that the Thunder organization
tries to epitomize.
The Thunder went over
400,000 fans in season long attendance in their final game of the season on
Sunday. This marks the 10th consecutive season that the Thunder have reached
this milestone and are the first Double-A team to achieve this goal. What makes
this record all the more outstanding is that they managed to make the number
this year, despite having six games postponed due to rain. The Thunder ended the
year with a total attendance of 402,280 fans.