Friday, September 18, 2009
Governors’ Cup Comes To Durham
Durham Bulls 3, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 2
What a night! And only fitting that pitchers who began their seasons with Durham should finish them by beginning and ending the last game of the season with the International League's Governors’ Cup in hand. Jason Cromer started the season as the fifth starter, went off to Montgomery for a while and came back. He got 20 starts in the regular season and two in the post-season. Julio DePaula was on the mound in the very first game of the season and had 49 appearances before its end. In the post season he had six (out of eight games) including last night’s save.
It wasn’t easy. In fact, our pitchers struggled all night long. Very few hits by the Yankees, but we sure walked a bunch (11) and hit one. Jason really wasn’t all that sharp. And yet he kept getting out of trouble. In the 2nd, for example, Juan Miranda (called up to the NY Yankees after the game, by the way) got a lead-off triple. A sac fly brought him home. Cromer hit a guy, walked a guy, but got out of the inning with a K. Same thing in the 3rd — two walks, single (run scored), but closed out the inning with two men on base. In total, during Cromer’s innings the Yankees left seven runners on base. In the 7th Joe Nelson walked a guy with two outs, but got out of it. In the 8th inning he had two outs and walked the bases full before getting a fly out to right. In the 9th Rollins let a guy get all the way around to third base before it was closed out. In the 10th Medlock walked one, but a double play ended the inning. In the 11th Medlock gave up a double to open the inning and the runner to third before he got two K’s to end it. And in the 12th Abreu walked his only batter (leaving the game with a burst blister on his hand), DePaula walked another, and men were on second and third, two out, before he got the comebacker that he ran to first for the last out.
So we kept them to two runs. For our own part, things were really, really quiet until the 8th and we got past starter Ivan Nova. Ruggiano drew a walk, Johnson singled him to second, and a double steal put them both in scoring position. It was the first time all night we’d even had runners in scoring position. Desmond Jennings singled both of them home and the game was tied. Sean Rodriguez got tossed in the 7th for aguing about whether a ball was foul or not and Chris Nowak came in for his only appearance of the series. He had a couple of chances to get famous, but didn’t make it, grounding into a double play in the 9th, and a base-loaded ground out in the 11th.
In the 12th, however, Elliott Johnson singled to right and John Jaso doubled him home. That was enough for the Bulls to bring home the trophy.
I’ll do a bit more later, but for now I just want to thank the team and the coaches for a great, great year. Topped off by a terrific post-season.
Great job! Have fun in Oklahoma City!
Update: Sean Rodriguez got tossed in the 7th, not the 9th as I had it in post.