Game 93: Durham Bulls 3, Louisville Bats 2 (16 innings)
Wrap, Box, Indy Week
I rarely criticize Charlie Montoyo, if only because he’s forgotten more about baseball than I’ll ever know, but I just don’t understand his decision last night in the 8th inning. The Bulls were ahead 2-1. James Houser had just put in a very solid seven innings, only allowing one run. Montoyo then sent closer Dale Thayer in for, I suppose, a 2-inning save. In the previous two games since the All-Star game Montoyo had used 3 of his relievers (Childers, 1⅓ innings on Thursday; Bateman, 2 innings on Thursday; and DePaula, 1 inning on Friday). So he had at least three other relievers available for the inning (Medlock, Julio, or Meloan). Instead he used Thayer, who got through the 8th OK.
Then, after one out in the 9th, Dale gave up two doubles and a run, allowing Louisville to tie the game. By the 14th Medlock (1 inning), Meloan (2 innings), and Julio (2 innings) had all been used. So Childers came in for the 15th. And Bateman came in for the 16th, after the Bulls scored a run at the top of the inning. Joe started off with another heart-stopper, a 4-pitch walk, but then he got two fly-outs and a ground out to finish the game in the 16th.
So, Montoyo used every one of his available relievers, plus Childers and Bateman. Surely by the end of the game he was regretting his decision eight innings earlier.
Lost in the (let’s call it was it was) tedium of a 16 inning game was Louisville’s Ben Jukich’s 6-inning no-hitter that unfortunately for him went into the 7th and was spoiled by a Matt Joyce home run, and then Elliot Johnson hammered one in the 8th (his first hit off a left-handed pitcher this year!). Also lost was James Houser’s best game of the year. Did he finally show why he’s on the Rays’ 40-man?
Not lost was yet another hit by Elliot Johnson in the 16th that scored Craig Albernaz for the winning run.
Odds & Ends
For the musical celebration of the ages (or is it just age?) the Bulls are peddling a tie-dyed t-shirt. I hate to point it out, but tie-dying became popular long after either Dylan or Nelson hit the national scene. Still, maybe it will be nice to see two guys who are even older than I am playing at the DBAP.