Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Elliot Gets a Hit, or Three

(Photo courtesy Durham Herald-Sun)

Game 103: Bulls 7, Tides 5
Season: 58-45
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

The photo tells part of the story of last night — Craig Albernaz did a terrific job at the plate. Nice try, but Norfolk's Fiorentino was wrong. He was out. Henry Mateo is holding the ball in his glove there and the tag was good. Fiorentino was out on his attempted steal in the 4th, just like Gathright was out when Albernaz picked him off first base in the 1st. Albernaz also had an RBI single in the 5th that almost (but not quite) got him above the Mendoza line. No wild pitches, no passed balls. I’m becoming more impressed with our backup catcher.

Elliot Johnson’s single, double, and home run (and a very nice play at third to end the game) made for a great night for him and the Bulls. We also had a long discussion about the likelihood of getting a triple in the DBAP, much less a night of single, double, triple and homer. The consensus was, not likely. The dimensions of the DBAP really aren’t good for anyone except a Gathright in his prime, or a Fernando Perez, to stick a ball into the dirt out in right field and make it around to third base. Certainly not last night when Norfolk right fielder Durta showed a cannon of an arm early on. Maybe a shot off the base of the wall in left center that takes a bad carom and gets misplayed. But hard to do. Fun to watch for, though. Hughes had his try the other night. Johnson has his last night. Maybe if Fernando comes through on his way back to Tampa Bay …

Wade Davis was not at the top of his game last night, but the team backed him up well with a double play, pick off, and the aforementioned strike ’em out, throw ’em out, attempted steal.

Reid Brignac made two very nifty plays, one in the 3rd and another in the 6th to end the inning. He’s showing a pretty good glove this year, and his RBI double in the 5th really got things going.

This isn’t the best umpiring crew in the International League — Beal, Crabill, and Rackley. The blown call at the plate in Sunday’s game (in our favor) and the one last night (in Norfolk’s favor). What appeared to be some very inconsistent strike calls at home plate, and a couple of others that I can’t seem to bring to mind. I was up on the top of the Blue Monster when Ruggiano got tossed, but according to Adam Sobsey some unkind words were exchanged. No surprise there.

A great home stand! The Bulls took on the Tides and won 4 out of 5. Can’t ask for any more than that.

By the way, DRR called it in his comment yesterday. Dale Thayer is on his way back to the Bulls, not that Shouse did Tampa Bay much good yesterday. I’m not even going to try to figure out how Durham’s going to sort out the pitching staff for this trip up to Scranton. Trading deadline is upon us, but really hard to tell how it may play out. Think I’ll just wait and see.


  1. That's a great pic up top. Glad to know Elliot is hitting well.

    In other news, I got to see former Bull Jonny Gomes in Chi towm this past week. Looks like his doing well.

    Go Bulls!

  2. Fun game to watch last night, and great way to end the way-too-short homestand. If I was considering a trade involving Davis, a game like last night makes him look more appealing. He most certainly did not have his best stuff, but was able to work around it and mostly kept Norfolk off the board (and, incidently, what a bad a strange call on the "home run").

    That all said, I think the most memorable event from the game last night was the woman a couple rows in front of us being used as a landing post for a couple of bats, which were removed in a couple of empty beer cup by her neighbor (who was louded appauded and showed with chants of "batman").

  3. Nice job by Thayer while with Tampa. Pitched 3 out of 4 days. 2 1/3 innings, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts.

  4. I thought, when you said bats, that I'd missed one of Weber's tosses into the stands. Then I figured out you really did mean bats, as in furry, flying, mammals. Weird. Have never seen them at the DBAP.

    Thayer did do well, and Shouse didn't. Not quite sure what Tampa's thinking with the geriatric relief corps they assembled for this year -- Perceval, Isringhausen, Shouse. None of them have done well, but what did they expect? As a matter of trivia, has any Rays-grown pitcher done well as a reliever? Howell is the only one that comes immediately to mind, but sure there are others.

  5. Elliott was brilliant last night, and Hughes is like the Eveready bunny, just keeps going and going....

    Bateman gave us some scary moments last night, but came through after all; I had visions of a Chad Orvella/Thayer meltdown. And yes, I'm happy to see Thayer coming back to us.

    Anyway, Sonny should get a start at S/WB; fellow sitting behind us the other night was going to come to watch Sonny; when I told him he wasn't starting this homestand he didn't show back up the next night.

    So much for fan clubs.


  6. Yeah, after I posted that, I realized there might be some confusion on the bats issue. They were the fuzzy mammals, and they seemed to have something odd going on. The woman was pretty freaked out, but didn't get scratched or bitten or anything. The bats sure were squeeking up a storm when they got trapped in those cups, though.

    As for the bullpen, I only think of Howell off the top of my head as well. Balfour came through Durham, but I don't think he counts as "Rays-grown". I know that there have been some wanting to move Price to the pen. I guess that would count.