Game 124: Durham Bulls 5, Charlotte Knights 1
You’d think that since we drive to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park more than sixty times a year we’d find something better to do when the Bulls are out of town. But there we were bouncing along the torn up Roxboro and Mangum Streets (what’s the deal with that Durham?) last night while the Bulls were waiting for the rain to stop in Fort Mill, South Carolina. The occasion was a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center — a first-rate venue that if you haven’t tried is worth a visit. The same parking attendants work Bulls games and DPAC events. I tried waving my Bulls pass going into the parking deck, but the attendant just smiled and held her hand out for the $5.00. I mention this all because if you have figured out how to get to the DBAP then you can get to a show at the DPAC and it’s a very nice place to spend an evening.
It was a little after 10:30 by the time we got out of the show (Lyle Lovett, terrific) and out of the garage to a point where we could get 620 on the radio. Bulls at bat at the top of the ninth, nobody out, but two K’s and a ground out later, nobody scores. It did not not sound good. But then I find out that the Bulls are ahead 5-1 going into the bottom half. So all is well.
What jumps out from the box score is the terrific night had by Bulls’ pitchers — no walks, 12 K’s, only one earned run. Aneury Rodriguez, who’s had quite few days off since his last appearance, had a terrific night. New guy Paul Phillips gave up quite a few hits, but nobody scored in his second appearance.
Elliot Johnson continued his hot streak; Chris Richard’s homer got him up to 60 RBI, but Justin Ruggiano kept his lead at 63 with an RBI single.
The Bulls are 30 games above .500, the best they’ve been all year. They are moving ever closer to clinching the playoff spot in the South Division. Louisville, after a very unfortunate series (for them) against Columbus are sneaking back into contention in the West. Norfolk, the Bulls next opponent, is one game away from elimination.
Thanks to careful reader Fritz who pointed out Adam Sobsey’s piece on Fernando Perez in this week’s Indy Week. Fans interested in Perez, or just the life of a baseball player, will find it an interesting read.
The Bulls play in Norfolk tonight. Wonder if they even stopped for a cup of coffee as the bus rolled past Durham last night.