Well that was better than last night.
First a couple of observations on the game.
For the first time this year (I think) almost everyone in the lineup was hitting above the Mendoza line (.200). The lone exception was Bulls’ newcomer Joe Dillon, who comes to us from Sacramento through the Adam Kennedy trade. But even Joe made his contribution by taking one for the team in the 7th inning and then scoring a run off of Chris Richard’s game-winning homer. Otherwise, he went 0 for 2 at the plate.
We got our first look at Joe Dillon and Joe Bateman. Dillon did OK at third handling three (as I recall) opportunities, including starting a double play in the 8th for Jason Childers. Bateman came on in the 6th with two outs and the bases empty. Walked a guy, hit the next batter, but then got a strikeout. He stayed through the 7th giving up a double to the second batter, before Childers came on in the eighth. Since Richard hit his dinger in the bottom of the 7th, Bateman got the win. Not bad, seven batters, 23 pitches, and a win.
Winston Abreu, who closed it out in the 9th after pitching yesterday, continues to impress me. Three batters, a grounder to 3rd and two strikeouts. Wade Davis worries me. Of the 12 outs he recorded only one was a grounder, the rest in the air. On the other hand, he threw 97 pitches, which might the the most by any Durham pitcher this year.
Now to get to the reason for the headline. Andrew Friedman is the Tampa Bay Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, and the man generally credited for putting the Rays team together over the last several years. He was in town for two days and you can hear his comments in a Neil Solondz interview here.
What I’m wondering is if Jonny Gomes, who was with the Rays all last year (and who got his American League Championship ring here yesterday) and Wes Bankston, who had a solid year with Durham a while back, knew Friedman was in town and wanted to show him what he let go? Jonny had a home run, double, single and 3 RBIs yesterday and another double today. Bankston had a single and a walk yesterday and a single and RBI today. A further irony is that the guy who’s got Jonny’s place in the Red’s big league team is Darnell McDonald, also a former Durham Bull.
Of course, what matters to us in the near term is when or if Tampa Bay is going to pull either David Price or Wade Davis out of here (or for that matter a reliever). He doesn’t say anything in the interview that gives a hint, although he seemed to see a lot in Price’s performance yesterday.
- Over at Rays the Stakes they have a piece about Rays starting pitchers, with an extensive discussion of former Bulls Jeff Neimann and Andy Sonnanstine, and current Bulls David Price and Wade Davis.