Thursday, August 27, 2009

Richard Drives Bulls Into Tie For First

Game 133: Bulls 3, Tides 1
Season: 75-58
Games Left in Season: 11; Home Games: 7
Wrap, Box

The game went on and on and on with a thirty-minute rain delay in the middle of it. Could have been worse. If the game had been called when the rains came, and it could have been, we would have lost 0-1.

One way to put it the rest of the game in perspective: They bet Joey Gathright, we saw that bet with Fernando Perez and raised them Justin Ruggiano and Chris Richard.

In the bottom of the 8th, Joe Nelson came on in relief of Jason Cromer. He promptly walked Joey Gathright. Not a good way to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt sent Gathright to second base. Intentional walk to Norfolk’s Jeff Fiorentino. Then a double steal, so men on second and third, one out. But Brandon Snyder hit the ball to Joe Dillon at third, and Dillon threw to Riggans at home who put the tag on Gathright (the second time Gathright had been put out heading for home in the game). The next batter popped out to Chris Richard.

In the ninth, with one out, Fernando Perez pinch ran for Jon Weber. Justin Ruggiano got a hit, but Perez didn’t get past second. With Chris Richard at the plate, Perez and Ruggiano pulled off a double steal. Richard had a masterful at-bat, working his way back from 0-2 to 2-2 fouling off 3 more pitches along the way. Then he cracked one over the right field wall, scoring Perez and Ruggiano. So the double steal didn’t really matter except that it may have rattled Norfolk pitcher Bob McCrory. At least he seemed rattled since he brushed back Shawn Riggans after the Richard homer.

Who you gonna call for the bottom of the 9th? Winston Abreu, of course. He started the 9th with three K’s. Unfortunately, the ball got away from Riggans on the third strike of the third K and the runner made it to first. No matter. The next batter flied out to right.

Four days ago we were 13 games above .500 and Gwinnett was 21 above .500. Since that time Gwinnett has lost 4 games (Thank You Charlotte!) and the Bulls have won 4 games. We’re 17 games above .500 for the first time this year and tied for first.

About Jon Weber and Jason Childers:

They will be with the Bulls until August 31st. That means we’ll get to see them Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Team USA trains over in Cary and they start training there the 2nd of September. Not much of a drive from the DBAP. As soon as I’m able to learn more about how that works, I’ll put something up here. Don’t know if practice is open to the public, but I think they've got a tune-up game early on. I’ve never seen the facility, but hope to take a look soon.


  1. Is it wrong of me to sort of be rooting for the Bulls to end up with the Wild Card? I know that it is looking way down the line, but if the Bulls are the Wild Card and get through the first round, the IL championship will be played at the DBAP (assuming I understand the wording of the release from the IL about the playoffs). If the Bulls win the South, they would host the first two games of both playoff rounds, but the end of the series would be on the road. In these 5 game playoff series, as they are played, I much prefer to be the team starting on the road for games 1 and 2, and then hosting the next three (as needed).

    Of course, there still is a lot we need to worry about before the championship series is an issue.

  2. You know, I think you're right. That's at least one big advantage to us as fans. On the other hand, if it plays out as it might, how about a road trip to Gwinnett to watch the Bulls win the Governor's Cup? That might be really fun.

  3. Google Maps says the drive from my house to the Braves' stadium is 5 hours and 29 minutes. Should be doable, but I would still prefer the 10 minute drive to the DBAP.