Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tides Stroll In

Tides shortstop Scott Moore tags out Durham’s Justin Ruggiano, right, during Norfolk’s win at Harbor Park. (Hyunsoo Leo Kim | The Virginian-Pilot)

Game 2: Durham Bulls 4, Norfolk Tides 6
Season: 1-1
Wrap, Box

Bulls pitching walked in two runs in the 5th inning to let the Tides get ahead 3-0, but then we got back two in the 6th and two more in the 7th to go ahead 4-3. The bottom of that inning, however, was a lesson on how quickly things can change in the game of baseball. With two outs, a single was followed by a triple, and then a potential third out became the winning run when a run-down between 3rd and home got botched. That happens. These guys are pros, but that is the sort of thing that happens when they really haven't played any games together as a team.

On the other hand, Joe Bateman got up to some of his 2009 tricks in the 8th. He struck out the first batter. Then hit the next batter. Walked the next. Gives up a single. Runner on second scores. Runner on first goes to third. Walks the next batter, so bases are loaded. Next batter grounds into a force out at home. Bases still loaded. Next batter grounds out.

So, Joe, who was my leading candidate last year as a substitute for a cardiac stress test — just take some readings before he comes in and monitor — is on track to keep the EMTs in business this year. In fact, if it’s at the DBAP just bring the defibrillator on up to 208 while Joe’s on his way to the mound.

Turns out I was wrong in a couple of my guesses about the starting rotation (that’s happened before — why once back during the Reagan administration …). Heath Rollins isn’t going to be a starter. That leads to Heath and Heath sequences such as last night. Jeff Bennett to start tonight. That leaves Carlos Hernandez and someone else. I’m sure that Neil Solondz has mentioned it, but I’ve missed it. If it’s Vasquez, then the tweet reported a while back must’ve gotten in right. You’d think the Bulls would put this kind of information out.

Justin Ruggiano got tossed out of the game last night. Let’s see if Charlie sticks with his rule of benching a player for a game if he gets tossed.

For what it’s worth, last night’s game is one of those where the numbers say we should have won, but didn’t. Aggregate OBP, OPS, wOBA, and FIP were all better than Norfolk’s. But then there’s that other one — runs scored — that sort of messes things up. Oh well, back to the spreadsheet.

For Rays fans: I think, but never trust Time-Warner, that there's a Rays-Yankees game on this afternoon.

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