Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Taking One For the Team

Game 78: Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay) 7; Louisville Bats (Cincinnati) 5
Season: 47-31; Home Stand (11 Games): 4-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

For the nuts and bolts of this very exciting game, let me commend to you the links above, especially Mike Potter’s treatment at the Indy Week. He’s got a couple of good quotes from Charlie Montoyo and Chris Richard.

I’ll assume that you all know about the come from behind victory, again, for those of you who either left or didn’t come to the game. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of people/events.

Virgil Vasquez made his first start since 21 April. Not long after that start he got run over by a friendly North Carolina driver, broke both wrists, and has been on the disabled list ever since. Except for the 3rd inning, three runs on four hits, he had a decent five innings. I had thought that with his return to the roster someone would have to go. But that decision’s delayed with Dale Thayer going on the DL and R.J. Swindle getting time off to attend to the birth of his child. We are one short in the bullpen after all.

Dioner Navarro made his first appearance as a Durham Bull wearing his Rays number 30. We can only assume that Angel Chavez was willing to give it up and go for the number 10 he was wearing last night. Pretty sure that at a reported $2.9 million, Navarro counts as the highest paid Bull. Two Bats stole bases, but for sure one of them was off Vasquez, the other was something of a toss-up. Two wild pitches were charged against Bulls pitchers and, mostly, I’m not a good second-guesser of the scorer on the wild pitch/passed ball decision. So, pretty good behind the plate. At a guess, Winston Abreu is the only Bulls pitcher he has seen before, and maybe not Abreu.

At bat Navaro was a champion. By that I mean he took the phrase, “take one for the team” to a new level. Aroldis Chapman is a very hard-throwing (and at $30 million, expensive) pitcher in the Reds system with some control issues. He had two hit batsman and two wild pitches last night. But he can really throw. I’ve got several 97, 98, and 99 mph pitches in my notes. And one 100 mph. And, here’s where Navarro comes in, one at 102 mph! That’s the one that hit Dioner in the back. But he just trotted down to first. Jose Lobaton in the dugout signaled him with finger talk that it was a 102 mph pitch. In addition to that at bat, he drew two walks, had a ground out, and scored two runs.

Desmond Jennings got his first home run, and it was a shot off the bull. Good for him. Until the 6th inning he was the only Bull with any hits at all. Then Justin Ruggiano doubled him home.

Aneury Rodriguez, who was originally scheduled to start, pitched the 3 innings and let in a couple of runs. Did not look comfortable in his relief role.

Chris Richard’s two out at bat against Aroldis Chapman in the 8th was a thing of beauty. It started with Dan Johnson on first on a 99 mph hit by pitch and J.J. Furmaniak on third after a clean single and a wild pitch. Score was 5-3, Bats. Furmaniak came home on a wild pitch and Johnson moved to second on the same pitch. Score 5-4. Richard worked it to 3-2, fouled one off, and then hit a beautiful opposite field double scoring Johnson to tie the game. That was Chapman’s day, but Chavez singled Richard home off of Louisville’s Jon Adkins, and Perez doubled Chavez home for the final scores.

Great night.

On another note, Hank Blalock has been “designated for assignment” by the Rays. Too bad. He helped us get on our way this year.


  1. Saw the all-star announcement. Congrats to the guys that made the team. However, how is Hellickson not an all-star?

  2. You have caught me in mid-rant. Typing away. Will have something up in a bit. Incredible that he was not chosen!