Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Outpitched, Outplayed

Game 86: Bulls 6, Braves 7
Season: 50-36
Wrap, Box

As much as I hate to admit it, the Durham Bulls just got outplayed tonight. I thought that maybe, just maybe, some 9th inning heroics would do it for us again, but it didn’t happen.

It was a really slow game, 3 ½ hours to play 9 innings. Some of that I blame on the Gwinnett starter, Antonio Armas, but we helped him out by getting 18 batters in the first 3 innings. That was OK, since we got 5 runs. It should have been 6, but something happened to Ray Olmedo as he came around third base in the 2nd and he wasn’t able to score on Brignac’s single. If I find out what, I’ll try to post it. But Olmedo left the game for Elliot Johnson. Unfortunately, a not-very-well-played bunt and an error in the top of the 3rd let Gwinnett have 2 runs. So, bottom of the 3rd, 5-2.

I don’t think we were ready for Mario Gomez, the first Braves reliever. He’s good. He shut us down for 4 innings. Meanwhile, Jason Cromer, my favorite Bulls pitcher, had a decent 6 innings, but, in a replay of his last start, the 7th was a mess. The difference was that last time Jason Childers got him out of the mess. This time he didn’t. A single and a double, on Cromer, then Childers comes on with runners on second and third. A wild pitch, an error, a homer (not necessarily in that order) and it’s 6-5 Braves. DePaula hangs on in the 8th, but the new guy, John Meloan lets another run across in the 9th. We get one run back in the bottom of the 9th, but that’s not enough to tie.

I’m getting superstitious about saying good things about Justin Ruggiano. Seems like every time I do, the next game is terrible for him. He started the night with three strikeouts and a ground out.

After tomorrow’s game, the Bulls won’t be back in the DBAP until the 24th of July. Here’s hoping that the turf recovers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the field look quite as bad as it does right now. Not sure why, but I’m guessing that with the Team USA games, the ACC tournament and perhaps a bit of dry weather, it simply hasn’t been able to recover. Since I’m planning on watching a couple of Governor’s Cup games there this September, here’s hoping the crew can get it back into shape.

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