Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pitiful, Just Pitiful

Game 95: Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay) 3; Columbus Clippers (Cleveland) 8
Season: 56-30; Home Stand: 0-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

Ugly, ugly, ugly. It was a pitiful performance by Durham pitchers. The 4th inning quite possibly the worst single inning of the year — 11 batters, 5 walks, 1 run scoring error, 2 hits, 5 runs, two Bulls pitchers.

Bulls broadcasters started making excuses for Jeremy Hellickson even before the game began, mentioning his fourteen days since his last Bulls start, his two innings at the Futures game (he should have gone just one?), the possibility that there might be some “rust”. As the game progressed there was a spate of blaming the ump, Derek Crabill, but since Columbus’ pitcher was getting the same calls, that didn’t fly. In the end, Hellickson was out of the game after 6 K’s, 5 BB’s, and 3 runs on 4 hits, leaving the bases loaded for Dale Thayer in the aforementioned 4th inning. Easily Hellickson’s worst start of the year. Possibly his worst start as a professional ballplayer.

Dale cleared out the debris by giving up a base-clearing double (adding three more runs to Hellickson's total), then loaded the bases himself with two walks. Still, he didn’t let any more runs in. That was left to Darin Downs, who coughed up two more runs on four more walks (that’s eleven if you’ve been counting) and a couple of hits.

I gave up at the end of the 5th and left the ballpark, but noticed that Brian Baker and Mike Ekstrom did decent jobs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th. Ekstrom did give up a BB for a season high 12 walks for the Bulls.

Carlos Hernandez, by the way, was put on the disabled list last night. A muscle strain of some sort, possible aggravated by a play at first base Sunday afternoon.

Moving right along, let’s just go on out to the Web World
  • The Raleigh News & Observer did a not-very-timely profile on Jeremy Hellickson.
  • Rays Index is reporting the Rocco Baldelli has signed a minor league contract with the Rays. He was before my time as a Bulls fans, but apparently he has a lot of Durham friends. He has been assigned to the Charlotte (Florida) Stone Crabs. We may see him in due time.
  • Winston Abreu gets some love from DRaysBay with a plea for him to be called up.
Lastly, and very regretfully, is the news that Jon Weber, although retired, has received a 100 day suspension from major league baseball for his third positive test for a “drug of abuse.” Really sorry to hear it. Probably explains his sudden retirement.


  1. Rocco was always fun to watch in Durham.

    Unfortunately he started yesterday in Charlotte, went 0-4 with 4 Ks. Hopefully he gets his timing back.

  2. I don't think we've ever left after 4 innings; we've even sat thru rain delays without leaving that early.

    That was a truly horrible performance by all concerned.