Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pitching! Pitching! Pitching!

Game 38: Bulls 1, Redwings 0
Season: 23-15
Wrap, Box, Indy Week Story

If a pitching duel is your baseball thing, then last night was your night. It was a great one. Our Wade Davis was just a little bit better than Rochester’s Brian Duensing, but not by a lot.

With his pitch count limit raised to the 90s, Davis went 6⅔ innings and threw 93 pitches, 61 for strikes. Rochester didn’t get a baserunner until the 4th, a two-out single by Hughes, who then stole 2nd base and was left stranded. The next base runner didn’t come until the top of the 7th, also a single. That was followed by a strikeout, fly out, and a walk (his only walk). Winston Abreu came in to finish the inning. Masterful, just masterful. Davis faced 17 batters and only 3 even got on base.

Winston Abreu really slammed the door. He pitched 2⅓ innings and didn’t let anyone on base. Abreu seems to get better with every appearance. His Opponent’s On Base Percentage is .160. That means only 16% of the batters he sees even get on base. Fifteen appearances, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts, only 7 hits, 1.27 ERA.

The line score doesn’t quite convey the terrific performance by Rochester pitchers. Duensing only let 7 runners on base. With the exception of the 3rd inning when we got a runner to third base with two outs, and maybe the 7th when Joe Dillon led off with a double, we were never a threat. If it hadn’t been for Chris Nowak’s homer in the 5th, who knows how long the game would have gone? Duensing threw 101 pitches, 68 for strikes, and stayed for seven full innings. Their reliever, Bob Keppel, shut us down in the 8th, 3 up, 3 down.

Here’s a question for you baseball strategists/tacticians out there. I don’t have an answer, even though I like the way it turned out. I’d like to hear what you think. Was this a good call, assuming Montoyo put on a steal sign?

5th inning. Nowak hit his homer. Jaso hit a single. Sadler strikes out. Olmedo hits a grounder back to the pitcher who throws out Jaso going to 2nd. Olmedo at first on a fielder’s choice. Brignac at the plate. Count is 0-2. Olmedo has one stolen base this year and has been caught three times. If Olmedo goes on the pitch, then here’s what could happen (disregard a foul ball): 1) strike, batter out, inning over; 2) ball, stolen base, runner in scoring position; 3) ball, caught stealing, inning over, but one of your better hitters leads off next inning. Option 3 is what happened, and Brignac led off with a walk in the 6th. Unfortunately, Ruggiano then hit into a double play. What do you think?

My first criticism of Montoyo (I think) this year. At the top of the 7th Joe Dillon hit a double to right. He was then thrown out going for third after Chris Richard’s fly out to right field. Unless Joe did it on his own (unlikely), that was a bad call. Montoyo should have known something about Rochester’s right fielder’s arm. Beautiful throw, by the way.


  • Indy Week story linked at the top has some interesting comments from Wade Davis and Charlie Montoyo on last night’s game, and learns the DBAP’s radar gun reads high.
  • Rays of Light takes a look at the Bulls, focusing on Rays’ prospects, of course.
  • Tampa Bay made it up to .500 (20-20) for the first time since April 13th.
  • Yesterday on Rays Index Justin Ruggiano and David Price made his “Who’s Hot” list; John Jaso and Wade Davis made his “Who’s Not” list. Regarding Davis, oops!

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