Sunday, August 1, 2010

# 11

Game 108: Durham Bulls 9; Pawtucket Red Sox 3
Season: 68-40; Trip: 6-0; Streak: 11-0
Wrap, Box

Now, we Southerners down here in North Carolina, we would never be so tacky as to boo one of our own pitchers, would we?

Well, maybe.

If we’d had a reliever (in Pawtucket’s case, Fernando Cabrera) step to the mound in the top of the 8th inning with a 3-2 lead, and absolutely, irrevocably let that sucker get completely away.

It was a sort of Gettysburg in reverse.

First of all, he walked Chris Richard. The way Chris has been hitting, maybe not a problem. Then he gave up a single to Joe Dillon and Chris Richard went to third. Not good. The next batter, J. J. Furmaniak, got on with another walk and the bases were loaded, no outs. Coach came out to the mound. Everyone had a big confab and they decided what to do. Whatever the plan was, it didn’t work. Cabrera gave up a single to Angel Chavez. Chris Richard scored (run #1, game tied). Bases were still loaded. Still no outs. Jose Lobaton singled. Joe Dillon scored (#2, Bulls go ahead 4-3). Bases still loaded. Fernando Perez singled. J. J. Furmaniak scored (#3, Bulls are now ahead 5-3). Desmond Jennings hit a grand slam (#4-7 in inning, and Jennings' first ever grand slam). Fernando Cabrera exited to boos from stands.

What would we have done?

Up until that moment, both teams were having pretty good afternoons. Heath Phillips had another pretty good start. However, Darin Downs got the win after the seven-run melt-down in the 8th. Joe Bateman closed it out.

The Bulls 11th win in a row ties a record for the franchise set back in 2004. Brian Baker gets the start tomorrow to see if they can set a new one.

I was interested in finding out was whether or not Dan Johnson was on the bench or headed for St. Pete. It made sense for him to get a day off, but you have to wonder, given reports out of St. Pete about injured Carlos Pena and Ben Zobrist. And Sean Rodriguez started at first base for the Rays. So, will Dan be going to the Rays? No idea. Couldn't find out if he was even in Pawtucket.

Jeremy Hellickson will, as reported, start a game for the Rays tomorrow (Monday). Oddly enough, that means that, if need be, he can make his next scheduled start back in Durham. Will it work out that way? No telling.

Which bring me to my question of the day. What’s the point of keeping secrets about roster moves like this? Why couldn’t the Rays just have said something last week like, “We’re thinking about bringing Hellickson up here to pitch a game or two”? What’s the big deal? It isn’t as if it will make a gnat’s eyebrow worth of difference in what happens on the field. It isn’t as if the Rays’ front office is into some sort of mega-million dollar contract negotiation with Hellickson’s agent. It isn’t as if they gain some sort of competitive advantage over a potential opponent. The Twins probably know as much about Hellickson’s stuff as the Rays do. That’s not a secret either. And it surely isn’t as if they couldn’t adjust immediately before game. This is just keeping secrets for the secrets. I know something you don’t know. Childish.

Creep-out warning … be careful out there sports fans. Hazards of not ducking broken bat revealed.


  1. A number of people on the Rays blogs are saying that the Rays GM made a comment today that Dan would get called up "soon". Can't say for sure if it is true or what "soon" actually means, but it would make sense. Especially if Pena is going to be out for more than a game or two.

  2. Another good reminder of why my seat is always behind the netting...