Game 13: Durham Bulls 11, Charlotte Knights 0
This is some kind of extraordinary, probably record-breaking, streak the the Bulls are on. Just a couple of days ago I wrote about the great home stand. Now it’s two days later and the Bulls have scored 22 more runs on 27 hits and driven the ERAs of Charlotte’s pitchers through the roof. Simply extraordinary.
Aneury Rodriguez may be a sleeper in the Rays system. For his Triple A debut he pitched seven scoreless innings, only allowing four hits and a walk. He only threw 86 pitches. Pretty darn good at any time. For your first time at AAA, that’s really something. Dale Thayer and Richard De Los Santos wrapped up the first Bulls shutout of the year.
About time to call attention to Dan Johnson. He hit his sixth home run today and now leads the team with 12 RBIs. He leads the entire International League in homers and is 4th in the RBI category. He has started games at first, third, left field and as dh this year.
Dan is forever famous within the ranks of the Tampa Bay Rays faithful for his September 9, 2008 heroics. On the day he was called up to the Ray in Boston, he went in to the game as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning to hit a game tying home run. That game the Rays went on to win.
But what Bulls fans remember about 2008 was his stellar year with us. He played in 113 games; hit 25 home runs, 83 RBIs, and a batting line of .307/.424/.980. Dan was our player of the year for 2008. For a really hard core Bulls fan, as much as we admire his heroics for the Rays that Fall, we have this wistful feeling that maybe the Governors’ Cup would have been ours if he’d stayed with the Bulls through all of the playoffs.
We’ve got some numbers about his 2009 stint in Japan. He hit .215 with 35 homers and 57 RBI, but really haven’t heard too much about that year. Some more stats are here.
My point is that it looks like Dan is in 2008 form and seeing the ball very, very well. I hope he’s having fun being part of the ball-crushing phenomenon we’ve got going on here.
Day game tomorrow! Here’s hoping the rain holds off.