Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Dan Johnson at bat in 8th Inning
Game 84: Durham Bulls 11, Gwinnett Braves 0
Season: 51-33; Home Stand: 8-3
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week
Dan Johnson got two home runs in a game for the second time this home stand, putting him at 22 home runs and 75(!) RBI for the season. That’s four homers ahead of the second place guy in the International League (Mike Hessman of Buffalo) and eighteen RBI ahead of Hessman in RBI. (Note: Tampa Bay’s leading home run hitter, Carlos Pena, has 16. Evan Longoria has 60 RBI.)
Just a terrific home stand by Dan and by the team.
Jeremy Hellickson did a fine job in getting his eleventh win. He gave up more walks than usual (4) and had fewer strikeouts than usual (3). Our speculation in the stands was that since he was staked with such a huge lead so early, he was working on his off-speed stuff.
How soon was the game over? Well, our first batter, Desmond Jennings, singled. J.J. Furmaniak reached on a fielder’s choice/error. Justin Ruggiano singled Jennings home. Dan Johnson hit a homer for three more runs. So with the first four batters we had four runs. In the third inning we got two runs on a drought-breaking single by Joe Dillon and three more on a home run by Jose Lobaton. Solo home runs by Alvin Colina and Dan Johnson’s second completed the beat down.
Dale Thayer came off the Disabled List and pitched the 9th inning. Here’s hoping he’s back in form. Hard to tell, but he did a good job last night.
Elliot Johnson also came off the DL, but didn’t play. He’s expected to play tonight in Charlotte.
Aneury Rodriguez and Omar Luna were moved off-roster in various shuffles. Expect to see Rodriguez back. Not sure about Luna since Elliot Johnson is off the DL.
The Bulls have scored 462 runs on the year and allowed 318, for a difference of 144. My bet is that that difference could easily be the highest in franchise history. The peak in last year’s championship season was 68.
According to reader DRR, the IL’s Twitter feed is reporting that Joe Dillon will not by playing in the Triple-A All-Star game. I haven’t been able to get an official response from the Bulls front office yet, but my guess is that given the choice between several days off following his hamstring injury and playing in the game, Joe’s opted to take the days off. He certainly has not been himself at bat.
On the other hand, I got lucky with this series of shots last night of Joe in the middle of a Chevez - Dillon - Johnson double play that began with Canizares' out to end the 6th inning. Enjoy.