Game 127: Durham Bulls 1; Norfolk Tides 0
Season: 80-47; Streak: 6-0
How about Brian Baker? He goes head-to-head with Norfolk’s Chris Tillman and over seven innings Baker gave up only one hit while Tillman gave up two. Baker left the game with a shutout. Plus the Bulls got a run at the beginning of the next inning so he got the win.
Baker has managed to put together quite a year for himself. He’s been in 34 games (9 starts), put together an ERA of 3.34, an FIP of 4.07, and is 8-4 on the year. He came to the Bulls as a long reliever, but has been thrown into the breach as a starter fairly often (we won’t look too closely at his last two starts). Not only that, he’s fun to watch.
R. J. Swindle and Winston Abreu came in to keep the Tides in check.
Desmond Jennings singled, stole second (33, tied for league high), and was driven in with a Justin Ruggiano double (his 29th, tied for 5th). That one run was enough for the Bulls 80th win this season.
Checking my charts I was surprised to notice that almost a month has gone by since Jeremy Hellickson essentially left the ranks of the Durham Bulls after a start on July 24 (I won’t count his 3 inning appearance on July 29). Since that time the Bulls are 20-7. Says a lot about this team that we can lose our best pitcher and our best hitter and keep on keepin’ on. Great job by the team and the coaches.
Over in the West Division of the International League things are really shifting around and Buffalo is lurking in the wild card race. Columbus just dropped out of first place and is a game behind Louisville. Worth keeping an eye on.
[Update: Missed this MiLB link this morning. Good quotes from Baker. Guess the guys had some fun the night before last.]