Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Fan’s Lament

Game 5: Durham Bulls 4, Gwinnett Braves 2
Season: 3-2
Wrap, Box

I wasn’t able to listen to the game last night, so hadn’t planned to say anything about it. But a closer look at the box score led me to put these comments together — more for those who may be new to either the Bulls or minor league ball than to say anything special about the game.

Just to set the stage: The Bulls scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to go ahead 4-2. Brian Baker, in his first appearance of the season, had a 1-2-3 6th and followed it up with a 1-2-single-3 bottom of the 7th. (Baker got the win.) Joe Bateman came on for the bottom of the 8th, his second appearance of the season. A single, a double play, and a ground out, and he’s out of the inning.

Joaquin Benoit came on to close it out in the 9th. Where’s the logic in that you may ask? The night before Benoit came on for the last out of the 6th inning and pitched all the 7th inning. So why would he come on in the 9th inning on the next night in a 4-2 ballgame?

Well, we have not way of knowing for sure. We don’t have access to Charlie Montoyo’s cellphone records or his email accounts. However, it sure looks like Tampa Bay isn’t very happy with their relievers. [Tampa Tribune] So the guess has got to be that the only reason Benoit was in the game was because the Rays want to see if he could go back-to-back.

Gotta tell you that, as a Bulls fan, I would much prefer to see if Joe Bateman can go two innings than find out if Joaquin Benoit can go back to back, particularly in a close game where the outcome is obviously not a sure thing.

But that’s the way it goes. Charlie doesn’t always have a choice and, mostly, the last couple of years the Bulls have been able to win games even with the occasional not-very-helpful dictat from St. Petersburg.

It was a near thing. men were on first and third with one out before a shallow fly-out and a ground out finished the game with the Bulls still ahead.

Grumble, grumble, grumble ...

Elsewhere: Stacy Long brings his unique (some might say somewhat bent) sense of humor to the Biscuits Monday night game. [Stacy Long]

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