Friday, July 24, 2009
Arriving Home in Style
Game 99: Bulls 4, Tides 2
The Durham Bulls take first place away from the Norfolk Tides and have a terrific return home to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The story out in the Rays World is going to be the AAA debut of Jeremy Hellickson and I have to say that he looked pretty good. 6 innings, 2 runs, 5 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts. So he starts out with an ERA of 3.00. Not bad at all. He was solid in the first three innings with 5 Ks, 1 hit (a single), and 1 walk. A bit shaky in the 4th and 5th, when he gave up the runs. But handled himself very well in the 6th when a runner reached on an error and a single moved the runner to second. He closed out the inning with two strikeouts.
This was the first time I’ve seen right-hander John Meloan, who came to us on the Abreu trade. He looked better than the numbers he’s put up since his arrival, going two innings and not allowing a run. And then Jason Childers as a closer! Nifty double play and he got his first save.
Ruggiano crushed one over the bull for the first two runs. And his brilliant catch in the 8th kept Norfolk from creeping up on us. Another homer from Chris Richard in the 8th gave us some breathing room, otherwise I’d be writing about all the guys we left on base in the 1st and 3rd innings.
Gotta at least mention the condition of the field. This is the worst I’ve ever seen the grass at the DBAP. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but some serious work needs to be done. Maybe they’re waiting till after the geezer’s concert this Friday, but the infield really doesn’t look very playable now, much less through August.
Have to add a rant about how home plate umpire Damien Beal let Norfolk’s Jake Arrieta start the game at a snail’s pace and then slow it down to a crawl. It took almost two hours to get through the first four innings. Arrieta even wasted throws in an apparent attempt keep Chris Richard on base! Richard’s got one steal on the year and I think that was on a passed ball. Fortunately, Arrieta was out of the game after the 4th, and took the loss. So there. But Beal didn’t have to let it happen.
Oh, about that picture. The Bulls are auctioning off those jerseys the guys wore back on the 3rd of July. Just thought it showed my favorite Bull in good form. That was back when he had hair. He doesn’t any more. Did it help? Maybe. Weber was 2 for 3, with a walk, a single, and his league-leading 32nd double.