Saturday, August 29, 2009
The Durham Bulls Are Home! Bring On the Braves!
Game 134: Bulls 11, Tides 2
Games Left in Season: 10; Home Games: 7
Wrap, Box, Indy Week
What a road trip the Durham Bulls have had. Seven games, six wins, who could ask for more? And they closed it out with possibly the finest hitting/pitching performance of the season. Bulls pitching only gave up 5 hits and 0 (!) walks. Bulls hitters got 16 hits and collected 8 walks. I missed most of the game, so check out the links for more details.
Chris Richard appears to be back in form. More than that, last night he set the AAA Bulls record for home runs with his 63rd home run as a Durham Bull.
I’m no Bulls historian, but I’m betting this was one of the best road trips in their history. Going in we were 3 games behind Gwinnett in the South Division race and had a tenuous lead in the wild card of 1½ games over Syracuse and 3 over Norfolk. Look where we are now. (Actually, don’t look at the standings on the website, they’re wrong. Click the “expanded standings” link for the right numbers.) [Fixed now, 1315] We’re tied for first in the Division. In the wild card we’ve got a 5 game lead over Syracuse and an 8 game lead over Norfolk. That’s simply an incredible performance over the seven games. Of course, it helps that Charlotte beat up on Gwinnett for several games.
The Rays webworld lit up like a Christmas tree starting at about 4 o’clock yesterday. Now the deal is done and Scott Kazmir is going to the LA Angels. According to the Bulls twitter feed (Thanks, Sue) the Bulls are to have a major press conference at 2:00 pm today for “multiple exciting announcements.” Obviously at least one Bull is off to Tampa Bay, but I’m guessing that since the September call-ups are upon us, they might just announce a couple of them now.
In the next few days the 2009 Durham Bulls will be a shadow of their former selves. They will be a new team going into these last few games. In all probability there will be a core of position players on hand, but my guess is that the pitching staff will be a really motley crew. I haven’t watched Montgomery much this year, so I don’t know what may be down there, or even further down the Rays chain. We’ll see a few come up, I’m sure. If it’s any consolation, Gwinnett, Charlotte, and Norfolk are likely to be in the same condition.
So let’s go (weather permitting, forecast for the weekend isn’t good) to the DBAP and take a last look at the team we’ve watched all year. They’ve been great. And Gwinnett is the team we have to figure out how to beat now, and in the near future.