Game 102: Bulls 5, Tides 3
Rhyne Hughes has been with the Bulls for 40 games or so since coming up from Montgomery. His rep was as a power hitter and he’s shown that to us the last couple of games. A bit streaky, though. To put it in context, before the weekend he had 4 games where he was 0 for 18. Nevertheless, you have to respect the streak, especially when it wins games for us. On Saturday afternoon he went 4-4, two doubles, two singles. On Saturday evening he went 2 for 4, a double and a single. Last night he was 3-4 with a single, double, and home run. That pushed his batting average up to .310 and his OPS up to .921, leading the team in both categories.
If you’re looking for a good reason not to trust baseball statistics, look no farther than last night. On paper, Jason Cromer, my favorite Durham Bulls pitcher, had a terrible night even though he stayed with it for 7 innings and 31 batters. He gave up 11 hits. But the Tides could only get two runs across and Jason got a win. Part of his success was the two double plays behind him. But seems to me the biggest unmeasurable part of it was his concentration. Even with Jaso’s indecision regarding a bunt in front of him that put runners and 1st and 3rd, Jason stayed with the game.
Then there’s Jason Childers. Three days, three games, three saves with a total of 21 pitches. Jason leads the team and may lead the IL in appearances with 41. I think that I haven’t appreciated what Jason’s brought to the Bulls this year. He’s been with AAA ball for a long time, including a good year with us back in 2006. If you take just a look at his stats from 2005 through this year, he’s been in a ton of games with Richmond, the Bulls, and two years with Charlotte. Decent stats, in fact superb stats, last year in Charlotte. So this is a guy that Charlie knows well and is doing a great job for us this year — out of the pen he’s got 8 wins, not bad. Let’s call him the Jon Weber of the pitching staff.
Back when May he was traded to Baltimore with an assignment to Norfolk, I made a note that it meant we might get a chance to see Joey Gathright in the DBAP again. I was looking forward to the day (and hoping that he didn’t mess us up too badly). He’s been on the DL and made his first appearance with the Tides in quite a while last night. He wasn’t the Gathright that we knew back in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Back then when Joey got to first base you knew you had a shot at getting a run across. Last night he barely took a lead off first the one time he got on. I’m guessing he was being careful with the hamstring/groin pull that he’s dealing with (not sure which, didn’t have my radio on last night). Here’s hoping he gets back in shape. Certainly one of the most exciting baseball players I’ve ever had the chance to watch in the DBAP.