TRENTON – The Thunder returned home to ARM & HAMMER Park on Friday after taking three-of-four games from Bowie. Their 3-2 victory on Thursday night gave the Thunder their 90th win of the season which marked the first time that they have reached that plateau as a New York Yankees affiliate. With the Reading Phillies coming to town for a four-game set to close out the regular season slate, the Thunder are looking to break the single season franchise record for wins, which has stood at 92 since 1999.
Hangin with Mr.Cooper: Yankees first baseman Garrett Cooper began a rehab assignment with the Thunder in Bowie and went 4-for-12 with three walks, a homer and two RBI in the four-game series. Cooper will remain with the team for the juncture of the Reading series before going back up; he is batting clean-up as the DH on Friday night.
Justus Served: After two rehab outings in the Gulf Coast League, southpaw Justus Sheffield is back with the team in Trenton and is slated to pitched on Sunday against the Phils. Sheffield allowed four hits and one earned run while striking out six over his 4 2/3 innings of work. The left-hander has not pitched since July 5 due to an oblique issue. Sheffield will be limited to 60 pitches.
Award Season: The Eastern League began their end of season award announcements on Friday by naming Binghamton starter Corey Oswalt the league’s Pitcher of the Year, whom they will face in the opening round of the postseason beginning Wednesday. The league will announce the Rookie of the Year on Saturday afternoon and the Manager of the Year will be announced on Sunday. Both categories are of particular interest to the Thunder; infielder Thairo Estrada and Manager Bobby Mitchell are both serious candidates for the awards.
Gomez Ridin’ the Rails: Prior to Friday night’s game, right-hander Anyelo Gomez was promoted to Triple-A Scranton. The 24-year old Domincan product had been a key cog in the Thunder bullpen, having gone 3-1 with a 1.72 ERA with 43 strike outs in 36 2/3 innings. Gomez held Eastern League opposition to a .202 batting average.
Koerner Report: Mitchell said on Friday night that Brody Koerner is on schedule right now to pitch the series opener of the playoff series against Binghamton on Wednesday night.