Game 65: Bulls 8, Iron Pigs 16
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun Story, Indy Week Story
It’s the morning after and I’m trying to find something good to say about last night’s game. I was trying to do the same thing last night. Gave up. Went to bed.
I scribbled the headline above on the edge of my scorecard sometime in the 3rd inning. Along with a note, “Why is this guy (Houser) pitching for the Bulls?” But then in the bottom of the 6th I started trying to craft an alliterative headline with words like “comeback” and “cardiac”, especially when my man Jon Weber came to the plate with a couple of runners on base and four runs already scored. Didn’t happen. But we did get out of the inning with a bunch of runs and the game was within reach, only (only!) 7-9 at that point.
But the Pigs get 5 runs in the top of the 8th. Do you really want to know how that happened? Really? Darn, it’s only eight o’clock. Too early for a shot of Jack. OK. Here it is. Bateman’s on the mound. First batter (Furmaniak, what kind of name is that?) grounds out. Second batter (Spitale) infield single. He steals second base, but it doesn’t matter since Bateman walks the third batter, Ellison. Fourth batter pops up. Two outs, we’re OK. Bateman walks the fifth batter. Bases loaded. Note: not a ball hit out of the infield. Jorge Julio (see note about Houser above) comes in for Bateman and plunks his first batter. Run scores. 7-10. Newhan comes to bat and hits a grand slam. 7-14. Go back to my original headline.
Is there anything good to come out of this? Well, yes there is. First of all Justin Ruggiano showed some signs of life at the plate. Only one strikeout and a couple of hits. Maybe, just maybe. Henry Mateo is on a real tear at bat. Ray Sadler crushed one in the 2nd inning over the Bull. Rhyne Hughes had a single, double, and homer. So even if he doesn’t stay with us when Chris Richard comes back, he shows real promise. Pretty good glove at first base, too. So the hitting side of the equation, which has not been good lately, looks better.
On the other hand, things are grim on the pitching side and not just for us. The vaunted depth of the Rays system turns out to be not deep enough. From Tampa Bay to Durham to Montgomery the disabled lists have at least eight pitchers on them (my count could be off one or two).
Oh well, Reid Brignac is back. We might get to see another rehabbing right-handed Rays reliever, Chad Bradford, tonight. He’s at least fun to watch. Lord knows I sure wouldn’t want to be a batter facing what amounts to a fast-pitch soft baller throwing a hardball at me. Speaking of softball. Alex Jamieson got an inning in relief last night. Reminded me of my slow pitch days. Not quite enough arc on the ball, though.