Sunday, September 13, 2009
Bulls Beat Bats — Now For the Yankees
Durham Bulls 5, Louisville Bats 3
Now I know where I’m going to be Tuesday and Wednesday — at the DBAP cheering for the Bulls. We have won the first round of the playoffs with superb pitching performances by the relief crew and scrappy play by everyone else. The Bulls are on their way home and will be playing the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees for the Governor’s Cup beginning Tuesday.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think Paul Phillips was a starter. But in a couple of hundred professional games he’s made exactly two starts, one of them tonight, the other on September 6th against Norfolk. Nevertheless, he was exactly what we needed to win. He got through five solid innings.
We were up 4-3 when Medlock came on, so Phillips got the win. He deserved it. On the other hand, Calvin Medlock was really shaky, hitting a batter, walking two and enduring a muffed double play. But Charlie was quick with the hook. Julio DePaula set the Bats down to finish the 6th, had a 1-2-3 7th, but gave up a one-out walk in the 8th. So on came Winston Abreu for his third appearance in this five-game series. Winston got two outs to finish the 8th. A bunt single was all that happened in the 9th. The next three batters were out and the Bulls are now catching a plane back to Durham to play some more baseball.
On offense the Bulls played smart, effective baseball all night long, only making one mistake in the 8th (Jennings got picked off). Twelve hits, four walks, four stolen bases, it was basic heads up ball. Nevertheless, we scuffled for every run. As an example, Matt Joyce tripled to lead off the 4th, but it took a broken bat single by Justin Ruggiano to get him home. Ruggiano, by the way, has had a terrific series. And he was 3 for 4 tonight, two singles and a double, and two RBIs.
I think I said at the beginning of this playoff series that a lot was going to depend on the ability of Charlie Montoyo and Xavier Hernandez to manage the pitching staff. I still think that’s true and still think that is how we managed to win this round. Thank you, Charlie and X!
Oh, yeah. Jeremy Hellickson is supposed to start on Tuesday.