Sunday, July 26, 2009

One Up and One Down

Game 100: Bulls 5, Tides 3
Wrap, Box
Game 101: Bulls 4, Tides 8
Season: 56-45
Wrap, Box

This may take a tad longer than usual, so I thought I’d lead off with some interesting stuff not necessarily related to yesterday’s games.

The strengths and weaknesses of the webworld showed up during the afternoon when Reid Brignac didn’t come out for the 3rd inning of the first game. For an example, see Rays Index. Adam Sobsey does a great job of capturing how it played out in the press box over at Triangle Offense. To recapitulate the kerfuffle (always wanted to use that word), since Brignac is the object of a lot of trade rumors his coming out of a game might have meant he’d been traded. Whomever was speaking for the dugout didn’t help matters by putting out two different stories. By then the tweeterdom was alight. But then Brignac did play in second game, the webworld quieted down and all was well, even if Adam still thinks (and he could easily be right) something may be afoot.

And then there’s that awful grass. Adam chased that one down, too. Scott Strickland, the head groundskeeper with whom I occasionally have a chat, and who has been noticeably avoiding our section of the stands these last few days, reportedly had a mix of rye and Bermuda out there. The idea being that when summer comes the rye dies out and the Bermuda takes over. Guess what? This year the Bermuda didn’t take over. That’s what you get for taking a week to lollygag around in Puerto Rico for the World Baseball Classic this spring, Scott. I guess the larger question is, is it fixable? Certainly not until after the Geezer Gala on the 28th. (Is taking a youngster to see Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan the equivalent of my mom and dad dragging me to a Tommy Dorsey concert?)

But the really cool link is the News & Observer’s feature on Jon Weber and the Blue Monster. Who’d a thought that the N&O would even cover a Bulls game, much less write anything interesting? Well, Luke Decock did. Of course, since it’s about Weber I’ve got to highlight it. Too bad that they are so stingy about their photos or I’d have put one of those up too. Lot’s of neat trivia about how to play the wall and its various quirks.

Lastly, thanks to Rays Prospects we’ve got some news on Mitch Talbot. He pitched a couple of innings for the Gulf Coast Rays yesterday and had a good outing: 1 hit, 5 strikeouts, no walks.

Oh yeah. Two baseball games yesterday. I will admit up front that a prior commitment kept me from the first game, although I did catch much of it on the radio. There is life outside baseball, not very interesting, but life.

Have to say that what really got my attention in the first game was Weber’s hits (homer and a double) and Jason Childer’s save. For Childers that made it two games and two saves in a row, and talk about efficient — 4 pitches on Saturday night, 9 pitches on Sunday afternoon. That’s efficient. What I missed, until Neil Solondz pointed it out during the next game, was Rhyne Hughes going 4 for 4 with two doubles.

In the second game we witnessed an interesting (maybe the wrong word, how about ‘painful’) role reversal. Through June I’d been less than impressed with James Houser and somewhat tolerant of Matt DeSalvo. Then Houser went to the bullpen and pitched two long sessions (3⅓ and 5⅓ innings) where he did just fine. His last start on July 18th was superb. He went 7 innings and only allowed one run. Seven days later he was awful, lasting only 3 ⅓ and giving up 7 runs. Matt DeSalvo, who I’d been hoping had missed the bus in Indianapolis after his six crummy starts in a row, came out of the bullpen to pitch 5⅔ innings in relief and his best performance of the year. I’m too lazy to dig out the rule book, but seems to me the scorer is letting Jaso off the hook too much. DeSalvo got charged with four wild pitches.

I of course cannot fail to mention that Jon Weber got two more doubles (that’s 35 on the year), raised his batting average to .293, and another RBI. This time I did notice Rhyne Hughes and he continued his streak going 2 for 4 with a double.


  1. Talked to Scott Friday night, asked "Aren't ehy putting any money into the field?" He laughed and replied, "Not enough."


  2. Nice to see a nice article about Webber. He still gets my vote for being one of the most consistent players.

  3. Very nice article about Weber. Thanks for the link.

    The more rumors I read about, the more unlikely it seems that the Rays will trade any of our guys away. From what it seems that both Cleveland and Toronto have turned down, Tampa would have to give up a lot more than Reid and Wade for anything, and I just don't see that happening. I guess we got about another week until we know for sure.