Monday, September 7, 2009

Joe’s Get Jolted

Game 144: Durham Bulls 3, Norfolk Tides 4
Season: 83-61
Wrap, Box

Just looking down from the stands you knew this was going to be a different kind of game. Henry Mateo was playing first base. Chris Richard, Justin Ruggiano, and Joe Dillon weren’t in the game. Leaning up against the rail was Mitch Talbot, of all people. Last seen in Durham when he won a game against Rochester on May 27th, Mitch sort of disappeared into disabled list limbo after that. At the plate the Bulls were all using the same bat, reportedly one of Jon Weber’s that he left behind. They got two home runs off of it during the game (Johnson and Eldridge).

On the mound for the Bulls was Jason Cromer. He was followed by Calvin Medlock, Mike Wlodarczyk (in his first AAA appearance), Joe Bateman, Julio DePaula, and Joe Nelson. Obviously, Charlie Montoyo was giving his bullpen some exercise, but not too much.

Because it was the last game of the year, it looked like the players on both teams were pretty much swinging away. Very few base runners and no runs at all until Johnson’s homer in the 7th. Then Bateman (the first Joe) came on in the 8th. Unlike previous Bateman experiences, this did not work out well. Pop up, single, single, single, walk, walk, pitcher change, double play. Two runs and it was 1-2. But Eldridge hit a home run in the 8th to tie it. Joe Nelson (the second Joe) came on in the 10th and got two quick outs. But a home run, single, stolen base, and a double made it 2-4. In the bottom of the 10th we got one back, but the Bulls couldn’t pull off their usual comebacks.

Nevertheless, the Bulls have one of their best years ever. We go into the playoffs in pretty good shape if these young pitchers hold up.

The loss of Chris Richard will be important. He was put on a plane to New York immediately after today’s game to fill a hole created by a season-ending injury to Carlos Peña. Guess he didn’t get there in time for the second game of the Rays’ double-header with the Yankees since he didn’t appear in the lineup (8:00 pm).

The radio reported that Jeremy Hellickson will start Game 1 against the Bats and Mitch Talbot will start Game 2, Jason Cromer Game 3, and next, well who knows? Maybe we won't need a game 4. If Mitch is in shape, he could make all the difference.


  1. Interesting about the bat. Where did you about it being Weber's?

    An annoying loss, but I think we should be in good shape for Wednesday.

    A minor Bulls complaint. After who knows how many games, for the first time I "caught" a shirt from Wool E. Bull's hot dog gun (by "caught", I mean it landed in my lap). It is nice quality shirt, but I was disappointed that it was a Rays shirt and not a Bulls shirt. Hard to complain about a free shirt, but it bothered me.

  2. On the radio broadcast. Solondz mentioned it several times and I started watching. Definitely the same bat. Have to take Neil's word for it that it was Weber's.

    Have the same complaint about this year's giveaways. All Rays stuff, not Bulls stuff (except for two hats). Maybe they paid for them.

    Now I'm happy Wool E. missed me a couple of weeks ago.

  3. At least they seemed to give a bit of thought to the t-shirts they shot. They were Rays shirts with players names and numbers on the back (I got Crawford). At least it looks like they just did Rays players that actually came up the ranks and played for the Bulls.

    I guess that is something. Sort of.

    I noticed the bat when Michel Hernandez made an out and then Elliott Johnson picked up his bat and used it. It struck me as too bizarre that those two would be using the same sized bat, and kept watching from that point. Maybe they were trying to show Weber how easy it is to hold onto the same bat all game long?