Friday, May 15, 2009

Bulls (and Fans) Have Fun. Johnson DL Extended.

Game 34: Bulls 11, Bats 6
Season: 20-14
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun Story, Indy Week Story

On my way out of the park yesterday I encountered a young couple. I asked them how they enjoyed the game. One responded, “This was my first baseball game ever. It was fun.” The other said, “Yeah, he was having some trouble understanding the rules.” (Forgive me if I’m a bit confused about gender here. At my age I have trouble sorting out the tattoos, hair styles, and other adornments. Nice kids, though.) I responded, “Well, you got to see just about everything a baseball game has got to offer. I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

This game did have it all. Walks, singles, doubles, a triple, and home runs; stolen bases, strike outs, bunts, sacrifice flies, a double play, and a manager getting thrown out of the game. About the only thing that didn’t happen was a batter getting hit by a pitch.

First, let me acknowledge the great night that Justin Ruggiano had. He showed sound plate discipline in drawing two walks; executed a perfect bunt (not sure that was a good call by pitching coach X. Hernandez, standing in for Montoyo, but it worked); a nice hard hit single; and a triple. A triple in the DBAP is hard to do. Unlike other parks, the DBAP doesn’t have any quirky corners for the ball to die into. So you’ve got to whack the ball really hard and a bit low to get it over the head of either the right or center fielder (ain’t gonna happen in left), and then run like hell. Ruggiano also stole two bases. Oh yeah, got 3 RBIs.

Every other Bull, except for catcher John Jaso, got at least one hit. Newcomer Joe Dillon DH’d and drew a walk, hit a single and a double, and collected 2 RBIs. Ray Sadler got yet another game-tieing home run.

Carlos Hernandez managed to give up 5 runs in the first three innings, 4 of them due to homers. But even then he was collecting strikeouts. In the next three innings he struck out 5 more (8 for the night, the best strikeout performance for a Bulls’ pitcher this year).

From the stands it sure looked like Montoyo was having fun ranting at the umpire in the 3rd. Doesn’t matter that the radio was reporting that the umps got it right in calling Weber’s home run a ground rule double because of fan interference (come on guys out in right, let the ball land!). Apparently his argument was, “If I didn’t see it, how could you see it?”. He lost the argument. The Bulls got five runs in that inning and three in the next.

We saw Isringhausen again. That’s five appearances as a Bull. Bit of trivia: 27 batters, 7 hits, 2 walks, and, odd for a closer, no strikeouts.

Thayer came on the the 9th. After his last appearance I’ve got to admit that I was worried. We only had a five run lead. But this time Dale was Dale again. He did give up a hit, but he also struck out two and covered first nicely for the last out.

Elliot Johnson out for an extended period.

Back on May 6th I put up a post reporting that Elliot Johnson was being put on the disabled list. This morning a comment came into the posting that I will quote here:

“... needs surgery and will be out for an extended period.”

Bulls management has verified the comment.

That’s not good news. Our little group of fans (OK, maybe just me) was beginning to get more positive about Elliot this year. This is a real setback for him. Wish him well and hopes he returns as soon as possible. As an aside, we never did hear just how the injury occurred.



  1. As far as Charlie Montoyo goes, I'm not sure he was enjoying the argument with the ump, But I must confess, I did. I've never seen Charlie that ticked off. He reminded me of a Bantam rooster - those little guys can be very ornery. The ump was more reminiscent of a pit bull. Very cranky guy.

    Re: the player of the game - I wish Charlie coulda got it. He sure fired the guys up. Not sure the win would have been as decisive without the dustup between Charlie and the ump.

    But if Charlie couldn't get it, Ruggiano certainly deserved it. Nice to see Justin have a good game!

    Too bad about Elliot - I'm with you, I was feeling better about him. I think I heard his injury occured during batting practice but that may have been simply rumor.

    All in all, a very enjoyable game.

  2. Charlie was right to argue (plus he wanted to fire his team up too, I'm sure). That ump was baiting him by not walking away.

    Regardless of that, though. How can a fan be called for interference when his arms are above his head when he catches the ball? He didn't lean over the rail so how could he have interfered?

    ...And what is Gomes doing in AAA? Everytime he comes to the plate, I fear for the windows on the building in left. What a shot. Of course, then his fielding hasn't looked so good on those fly balls.

  3. Too bad the video from yesterday didn't include a shot of that play. I didn't see it. Syd could easily be right. Ruggiano's bunt is on the replay. The folks around me thought he was bunting for a single after seeing the third baseman back. I'm beginning to think that they're right and X didn't call the play.

  4. Checked with Bulls front office, Sue. You're right, Elliot did hurt hand in batting practice.

  5. Whew. I was right. Now and again it happens... just not all that often.


    Thanks for clearing up the rumor. Hope Elliot heals up fast. I miss yelling "Elliot! Get a hit!"