Game 63: Durham Bulls (Rays) 4, Gwinnett Braves (Braves) 11
Last 10: 8-2
My plan today was to take a cue from a baseball wife about how to deal with bad outings, but then I remembered that I’m not married to these guys...so maybe I’ll just rant, grumble, and mumble a bit. Then get ready for today’s game.
The game was a mess. Richard De Los Santos got lit up, big time. The Braves got 11 hits (8 singles, 3 doubles) off of Richard and he gave up a couple of walks. And yet he had his moments such as the five strikeouts in a row at the end of the 3rd to the beginning of the 5th. Unfortunately, the 5 K’s were followed by three doubles. He also had some bad luck, an error in the 3rd (the first in 13 games!) was followed by a couple of really crippled infield hits, but then they got three pretty solid singles to follow as the Braves batted around.
So let’s talk about a couple of other things.
Elliot Johnson pulled up, crouched on the ground beyond first base in considerable pain and left the game in the 2nd. Radio speculated it was hip flexor, Herald-Sun said quadriceps, and Indy Week said hamstring. Take your choice. Here’s hoping whatever it was that it heals quickly.
With Ruggiano off to the Rays, Elliot Johnson and Joe Dillon hurt, it could be an interesting couple of days for the Bulls, but maybe Jason Bartlett (see below) will help out.
Speaking of Justin Ruggiano, here’s a particularly ugly way his Rays time could work out. Jason Bartlett is the Rays’ shortstop and currently on disabled list. He’s due to come off soon, possibly this coming Tuesday. Reports say that he may be sent to the Bulls to get some playing time before returning to the Rays. The Bulls are playing the Gwinnett Braves in Laurenceville, GA, Monday and Tuesday. The Rays are playing the Atlanta Braves in a three-game set that starts Tuesday. So ... Bartlett flies up to Atlanta and takes taxi to Laurenceville. He plays with the Bulls Monday and Tuesday and gets a taxi to Turner Field. He strolls into the clubhouse and shouts, “Hey, Ruggiano, want me to hold the taxi?” Justin takes taxi to Laurenceville where the Bulls are loading the bus heading back to Durham. Logic would say that Ruggiano would stay with Rays since he’s an outfielder and Bartlett’s an infielder. But somebody with the Rays has got to be pushed off the team and the only other candidates are Dioner Navarro and John Jaso. There’s probably other options I haven’t thought of. I hope so.
In the rant category, we have to mention that a home field advantage is not a home field advantage if you don’t know how to play the home field. I am speaking, of course, of Matt Joyce and the Blue Monster. A whole bunch of guys are making it to second base (not to mention the inside-the-park fiasco) that should not be if Matt (and to a lesser extent center fielder Desmond Jennings) were playing the wall better. That’s what practice is for, guys. Let’s do better, please.
Also in the rant category, whomever runs the Bulls website should make sure the standings are right (as of 12 o’clock they aren’t). And while she’s at it, help us figure out how to find the Bulls TV broadcast on Time-Warner cable.
In the quirky category, after Ryan Shealy’s homer the Bull couldn’t seem to stop smoking. Having had that problem myself over the years I had a great deal of empathy with the poor guy.
In the look-to-the-future category, our own Joe Bateman is featured in an article about career minor leaguers. We’ll be taking a closer look at Joe. Is it time for a “Free Joe Bateman!” campaign? Can we afford to lose him to the Rays?
On the radio last night Neil reported that Jon Weber has signed with Detroit and the Toledo Mud Hens. I can’t find anything out about it on the web. Sure hope it turns out to be an accurate report.