Last night’s 7-2 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats not only broke the team’s seven-game losing streak and clinched the season series with New Hampshire, but it kept the Thunder alive in the Eastern League playoff race. Now, the Thunder have a chance to salvage a split in the four-game series tonight at Waterfront Park in the final home game of the 2011 season. Accompanied with losses by New Britain and Reading last night, the Thunder enter play on Thursday night 3.5 games back of the Wild Card spot with six games to go and an elimination number of three.
LHP Shaeffer Hall gets the ball for what will likely be his final regular season start in the 2011 season. The lefty from Lee’s Summit, MO enters the outing tied for Craig Heyer for the team in lead in starts (23) and wins (10). Hall last worked on Friday against New Britain when he received a no decision, allowing just one run in 6.2 innings. In four appearances against the Fisher Cats this season, Hall is 1-1 with a save.
RHP Dustin McGowan will appear on a Major League rehab and start against the Thunder tonight at Waterfront Park. The 29-year-old righty has not pitched in the Majors since 2008 when he went 6-7, 4.37 with the Blue Jays. The 33rd-overall pick in the 2000 Draft is a career 20-22 with a 4.71 ERA in the Big Leagues, all with Toronto. In four starts with New Hampshire this year, McGowan has fared 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA.
The Bank of Princeton’s Hank’s Take it to the Bank: The Thunder most likely need to win out to advance to the postseason…so here goes nothing. The Thunder will win tonight. Season Stats: .472 batting average (60-127, hit streak: +2)