Friday, July 2, 2010

Shut Out

Game 80: Durham Bulls 6; Louisville Bats 0
Season: 49-31; Home Stand: 6-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week, Louisville Courier-Journal

A list for our contemplation and reflection:
  • Another shut out (8 so far).
  • Four wins in a row.
  • 6-1 in this home stand.
  • 7-3 in the last ten games.
  • 18 games over .500.
  • 9 games ahead of Charlotte in the South Division (who just reached .500 for the first time since 21 April when we pushed them over the edge).
I’ll admit that an 11-day home stand is too much for me. As much as I love the Bulls, the trek to Durham every night got to be a bit too much. So I watched it on TV (Channel 151 in the new Time-Warner line up).

Carlos Hernandez did just fine in his return to the rotation. Actually, both starters did just fine. The Bats' Malone had a very good 7 innings.

With Jennings taking a couple of days off, Fernando Perez is having some opportunities at the top of the batting order. He got a bunt single to lead off last night and stole his 19th base a few minutes later. He doubled in Dioner Navarro in the 5th for what was the winning run. Not sure why he didn’t sacrifice bunt in the 8th with Luna on first, no outs.

Home runs by Navarro, Chavez, and Ruggiano in the five run 8th really slammed the door on the Bats.

How about that extraordinary play by Angel Chavez in the 6th? On his knees, behind third base, across his body throw that got the runner, finished the inning, and saved a run. That one play might have made all the difference even without his 2-run homer in the 8th.

In spite of our three wins over them, my impression is that the Bats are a much better team than their 36-45 record indicates. Obvious problems in the relief pitching area.

Regarding relief pitching: Time to point out the terrific job Brian Baker has been doing for us this year. He is certainly one of the keys to our success.

No one has scored a run off him for three games and over 13 innings. He’s appeared in 23 games including two starts. He’s 7-0, which gives him the best won-loss percentage on the team. He is, in essence, our only long reliever. Although, now that Hernandez and Vasquez are back in the rotation, it looks like Rodriguez will be filling that role as well. At 48+ innings, he’s got the most time on the mound of any of the relievers. Why wasn’t he also on the All-Star list? Possibly because middle/long relievers don’t get much respect. Possibly because the Bulls already had three guys on the team (plus the manager).

He’s been working his way up the Rays system since 2005. Is this the year for the 27-year old? Could be.

Justin Garcia, a reliever who joined the Bulls from Montgomery while they were on their last road trip, has been sent to the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Unless I missed something, we didn’t see him here in Durham. At 4 ⅔ innings, he is the leading candidate for this year’s Moonlight Graham Award for pitchers. Craig Albernaz, unfortunately, leads the position players.

The News & Observer has an article on the Bats’ Aroldis Chapman, the fellow who plunked Dan Johnson with a 99 mph pitch and Dioner Navarro with a 102 mph pitch the other night. Background on his defection, separation from his family, and Cincinnati’s approach to getting him ready for the big leagues.

1 comment:

  1. that was some 8th inning...the people in Tobacco road must have thought they were in a hailstorm with all the balls landing on their metal awning