Friday, July 17, 2009

Be Still My Heart

Game 91: Bulls 4, Bats 3
Season: 52-39
Wrap, Box

I missed my workout at the gym yesterday, so my heart hadn’t had its usual workout. Joe Bateman fixed that in the bottom of the 9th last night.

The Durham Bulls had just tacked on an insurance run in the top of the inning and were ahead 4-1. Bateman had come on for Childers in the 8th and set Louisville down 1-2-3 with a strikeout, groundout, and a strikeout. But Thayer wasn’t available since he’d had a long outing in the All-Star game (Adam Sobsey detects something nefarious in Thayer’s non-availability). Bateman’s gone a couple of innings before, so I wasn’t too worried. But that was before a double, a single, another double, and another single brought two runs in and men on first and second. A ground out moved the runners to second and third. An intentional walk filled the bases with one out. (OK, check the old heart. Yep, it’s right up there.) Bateman strikes out the next two batters. Game over. Bulls alone in first place.

Now I can get around to admitting that my guy, Jason Cromer, did not have his stuff last night. He pitched what was probably his worst game of the year and got a win with good defense behind him and good offense scoring runs for him. Guess that’s how baseball goes.

Brignac, Ruggiano, and Jaso were not in the lineup. Brignac apparently got in late from Portland. Ruggiano is still recovering from his bruised hand. Jaso lollygagging where? Kansas City? Tampa? The Rays had a day off.

It was the veterans Chris Richard and Jon Weber who made the offensive difference. Richard got a homer, a single and 2 RBIs (he’s getting his eye back). Weber got three hits (two doubles and a single) and scored a run. Ray Olmedo and (get this) Craig Albernaz got the other two RBIs.

The break gave Montoyo the opportunity to mess with the pitching rotation. Wade Davis is supposed to start tonight (would have been DeSalvo if pre-break rotation kept up). Suspect it will be a couple of days before the rotation settles out.

Odds and Ends:

Over at The Rays Party they have ranked the prospects currently in the Rays system. Current Durham Bulls are: Wade Davis (1), Reid Brignac (4), John Jaso (9), Mitch Talbot (11), Rhyne Hughes (16), Justin Ruggiano (19), Elliot Johnson (23), and James Houser (28).

Also at Rays Party is the beginning of a series explaining pitch f/x. If that is as opaque to you as me, then might be worth taking a look at and maybe we can educate ourselves.

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