Game 86: Bulls 6; Knights 4
Season: 52-34; Trip 1-1
The Bulls are back tonight for a two game series against the Norfolk Tides. They won’t be back at the DBAP until July 15 for a game against Charlotte. Get your Bulls fix while you can.
In the meantime, a few highlights and quirks noted in last night’s game.
- Justin Ruggiano hit a three-run homer in the crucial 3rd inning. Could he be steadying out a bit in what has been a very erratic season?
- Dan Johnson hit his 23rd homer (77 RBI).
- Dioner Navarro got thrown out of the game. The ejection was apparently for arguing with the home plate umpire, Jason Bradley about a stolen base call by the 3rd base umpire, David Rackley. How weird is that?
- Then at the top of the 7th there was Chris Richard arguing that he was not hit by a pitch and should not be awarded first base. Might have had something to do with Justin Ruggiano scoring from third on what otherwise would have been a passed ball/wild pitch. Justin had to go back to third base.
- Charlotte had three runners picked off by Durham pitchers (two by Heath Phillips, one by Dale Thayer). That helps explain how the Knights got a more hits than the Bulls (10-8) and still lost.
- The second inside-the-park home run of the year was scored against the Durham outfield. Could not discern a reason from the broadcast. Solondz was constantly mentioning how small the park is. So how come an inside the park dash was possible?
- Elliot Johnson back in the lineup for both games. Yeah!
- Dale Thayer got a win. R.J. Swindle got a hold. Winston Abreu got his tenth save. Let’s not talk about Heath Phillips.
- But, let’s do talk about Swindle — he has got some outrageous numbers. How about this over 19 appearances and 31 ⅓ innings? An ERA of 0.86; an FIP of 2.40 (for the Sabremetricians — the constant is 3.2, that means his raw FIP is -0.80); averaging one strikeout per inning; only 3 BB so far for a K/W of 10.00! R.J. had 6 innings with the Brewers last year and 4 innings with the Phillies the year before that. Looks like the majors have been ignoring him. For our sake, let’s hope the Rays continue that tradition.
- Interesting podcast with Bulls Trainer Roger Fleming: Coping with heat, old age, and upcoming break.
- Dan Johnson is going to participate in a Triple A All-Star home run derby. I’m not sure that’s a good idea. But as long as he doesn’t stretch/strain something, OK. And maybe there’s some bucks in it for him.