05 September 2006

Pending Pinstripes: AA Trenton Thunder 2006 Season Summary

Unlike the Columbus Clippers, the Trenton Thunder actually had a good year in 2006. They won the AA Eastern League's Northern Division handily, with an 80-62 record that is 6.5 games better than the second place Portland Sea Dogs. Portland clinched yesterday. The Thunder will have home-field advantage in a five-game series against Portland starting Wednesday, and if they win that series, they'll face either the Akron Aeros or the Altoona Curve, the first and second-place teams in the Southern Division. There's an even bigger gap between first and second place in the Southern Division than there is in the Northern, 10.5 games. Nevertheless, this playoff format awards playoff berths to not one, but two second-place teams. Also, the Eastern League must have some weird rules, because despite the fact that he hasn't swung a bat for them all season, Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui will be permitted to play for Trenton, making his rehab starts with them, in the playoffs.


Overall, the Trenton Thunder have hit only .257 as a team, good for 4th in the Eastern League, but they are second in OBP (.330), Slugging (.399) and OPS (.728), which is why they ended up second in runs scored (659, or 4.64/game). The Thunder are also second in total bases (1909), hits (1229), RBIs (603), tied for 2nd in doubles (253), third in the league homers (121) and steals (117), and tied for 4th with 32 triples. In every category in which the Thunder rank second, the Akron Aeros are first, leading the league in almost every offensive stat possible. The two stats in which Trenton does lead the EL are walks (475) and fewest steals (40), which gives them the best stolen base percentage in the league, at 74.5%. Akron, the offensive juggernaut that won the Southern Division by more than ten games, will likely be the Thunder's opponent for the Eastern League Championship, if Trenton can get past Portland in the first round.

Read the rest at pending Pinstripes...

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