Friday, June 11, 2010

Bison Basher

Game 61: Durham Bulls 6, Buffalo Bisons 1
Season: 37-24
Streak: W3; Last 10: 8-2
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

Heath Phillips had his best game of the year, Jose Lobaton hit a grand slam, and some very nifty ball handling made it a great night.

It also occurred to me that there may be readers who’ve never seen the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and thus have no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned the crepe myrtles yesterday. Here they are.

Everything about Heath’s performance was good. He faced 28 batters and only used 86 pitches to get through 7 ⅓ innings. Except for the first inning, no more than four batters came to the plate per inning. This was his third win in a row. His ERA has dropped nearly a full run (from 4.68 to 3.76) over the last several games. Things are looking up for the left-hander.

The moment of the game was Lobaton’s grand slam in the 2nd. A single by Ryan Shealy, a walk to Chris Richard, a single to Angel Chavez and the bases are loaded with nobody out. Jose just crushed it and it was all good.

A great night-at-the-ballpark moment rounded it out. Bison new guy Marshall Hubbard hit a grounder to J.J. Furmaniak playing second base in the 7th inning. Furmaniak had to go way to his right to stop the ball and by then he was hopelessly out of position for the throw to first. So he tossed the ball to shortstop Angel Chavez. Chavez made the throw to Chris Richard at first for the out. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

Noticed another little touch I’d not seen before. In the top of the 7th Alvin Colina warmed up Phillips while Lobaton got his gear back on. As Jose came out of the dugout heading toward the plate Colina, instead of tossing the ball back to Phillips, turned and snapped a throw to Lobaton. Sort of, “Here, this guy is yours now,” kind of gesture. The moment had a nice, team-building feel to it.

Charlie Montoyo was quoted in both Herald-Sun and Indy Week as going with eleven pitchers. Did I miss something in the early part of the radio broadcast? I’ve got emails out, but if anyone knows who’s missing (we’ve got twelve pitchers on the roster), please let me know and I’ll update.

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