Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tough Night For The Durham Bulls

Game 123: Bulls 3, Yankees 9
Season: 68-55
Games Left in Season: 21; Home Games: 11
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

I like to think that I’ve been reasonable in my attitude towards the Tampa Bay Rays this year. I routinely genuflect in their direction. After all, without the Rays we wouldn’t have the Bulls. And I like to think that our manager is doing a pretty good job given the challenges he’s faced.

However (had to be a ‘however’ in this), here we are with 21 games left in the season. We’ve got one fragile pitcher who shows up for games from time to time and pitches well from time to time (Carlos Hernandez). With the arrival of Fernando Perez we’ll have three rehabbers bloating the lineup (I count Riggans as a rehabber) and have to be played. I’ve got to think it’s a Rays dictat that puts Joyce in left, where he boots a ball, and Ruggiano in right, where he gets blinded by the lights, making two players look like amateurs. We’ve gone all season long without a third baseman (don’t get me wrong, I like Joe Dillon. I just don’t think that third base is his forte). And we’ve got a reliever who has taken several days just to show up for work (Jeff Bennett).

What does it have to do with last night? To be honest not much. We could have done better. Cromer could have done a lot better. But I just wanted to complain. It was that kind of evening at the park.

Jason Cromer ran out of steam before the first inning was over yesterday, but he stayed through the early part of the 5th. Did I mention that we’re limping along with four starters? And wearing out our bullpen? Those that show up for the game? The guy Tampa Bay sent down has spent a couple of days getting here. Guess that’s a perk of being a big leaguer who gets dumped. A guy from here who gets called up sometimes plays on the same day. The guy from Tampa Bay who gets sent down gets to take three or four days off on the way. Fragile egos, I suppose.

I left at the stretch, so I missed probably the best moment of the night. Craig Albernaz, who has frequently demonstrated that he can snap the ball from home to first or second or back to the pitcher, took the mound for the bottom of the 9th. So what’s Jaso going to say to him if he trots out to talk to his pitcher (other than maybe notice that it may be the first time he’s looked up to Albernaz all season)? Well, he took the mound and set down the Yankees one-two-three. Sorry I missed it.

OK, he’s back. So it’s time to see if I can figure out how to embed a video in a blog. If this works you’ll see one of the better moments of last season. In addition, if you’re wondering what Fernando did to train for those moments, check out the first minute or so of this clip.

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