Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Broken String

Game 109: Durham Bulls 0; Pawtucket Red Sox 12
Season: 68-41; Trip: 6-1
Wrap, Box

All good things come to an end.

I was out yesterday evening. I got back to my car about 7:30, started it up, and switched the radio to 620. Neil Solondz was telling the world that Josh Reddick, Pawtucket’s leadoff batter, was coming up for the second time in the first inning. This is not good, I’m thinking. As it went on I got some background on the six runs that had come in prior to Reddick’s at bat and then Reddick singled in the seventh run of the inning. Drove on home. Didn’t listen to much more. A good thing, because it obviously got even worse.

Trivia: The first Bulls shutout since June 17, in Louisville, and only six on the year. That makes it a bit better.

Assuming that my experience is much like other Bulls fans who find something else to do when a game gets so terribly out of whack, you have to wonder about what’s happening inside the broadcaster’s head. He’s got to be wondering if there is really anyone out there listening anymore. What if he puts up the trivia question and no one even sends an emai, because no one is listening at all? Maybe that’s why they do the trivia question. Sort of the radio equivalent of tapping on the mike to check the sound system.

In this case there were two broadcasters in the booth last night, so they could at least chat with each other.

In the meantime, Tampa Bay has given Charlie Montoyo a management “challenge”: He’s short a starting pitcher and a starting position player. Plus he used his backup starter (Aneury Rodriguez) just to get through last night’s fiasco. To list available pitchers, with the date of their last appearance, he’s got Downs (Sunday, 2 innings), Ekstrom (Saturday, 1⅓), Swindle (Saturday, 1⅓), Bateman (Sunday, 1), Thayer (Sunday, 1), and Abreu (Saturday, 1). Wednesday is an off day, so that might put some more options on the table. Hellickson isn’t really available to go back into the rotation until Saturday at the earliest. What would you do? Gotta think that the Rays aren’t going to send anyone up from Montgomery to lend a hand when the Bulls have such a huge lead in the division. Character building experience?

Also not likely to get a fill-in for Dan Johnson, depending on how long his stay might be. Possibly no longer than it takes to get Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena off the DL, but at least Dan goes on the 40-man. The result of the move might be more outfield time for Elliot Johnson and Chris Richard. Interesting that Joe Dillon has played first base the last two games. Maybe, just maybe, we will see Leslie Anderson come up from Montgomery.

[Update: It will be hard for Carlos Pena to come off the DL since he is not on it, as careful reader Chris D has pointed out. Rays reliever Andy Sonnanstine is the player who is on the disabled list, conveniently going there at about the same time that Hellickson was called up. So Sonnanstine is staying on the DL a bit longer — he has to stay for at least 15 days, but it was backdated. In the meantime, Dan has a chance to hit/play because Carlos Pena is hurt, but not on the DL. Make sense. No? Does it pass the, "So what," test? Probably not. But it does mean that if Dan is to stay with the Rays someone has to go. And that the Rays probably need to dump a relief pitcher in any case to make room for a guy they bought last week (Chad Qualls).]

In the meantime, our Jeremy Hellickson helped the Rays into a first place tie. Here are several links — everybody loved him:


  1. I don't think Pena is going on the DL. Johnson took Sonny's roster spot who they faked an injury for basically.

    Things will probably settle a bit by this weekend.

    As for trivia...my friend won this one, but there are plenty of times when Neil's had to call off trivia due to no answer. I think they should cancel the 30-day rule once it gets to the 7th inning :)

  2. Right you are about the DL. I knew that, was even going to make a comment about it, and blew it. Thanks. I'll update the main post.

    We could also initiate a "mercy rule" just to shorten games that get out of hand the way that one did.

  3. Don't like the "mercy rule"; I've seen teams come back from 8 or 9 down in the late innings.

    Remember what Yogi said about it being over.


  4. re: Charlie's management challenge

    When I think of starters I think of Virgil Vasquez, Richard De Los Santos, and Heath Phillips as well as your list. I couldn't help but get the feeling that Charlie was playing martyr by only playing Baker and Rodriguez. Maybe sending a message to Tampa Bay...


  5. Actually, that was sort of my point. Baker was a stand in for Carlos Hernandez, and then, I think, Rodriguez was going to be the stand-in for Hellickson today. But Charlie had to use them both last night. De Los Santos pitched 7 innings on Friday, Vasquez 6 innings on Saturday, and Heath Phillips 5 on Sunday. So I guess he could go to Vasquez with three days rest, but only if he absolutely has to.

    Academic now: He used Ekstrom, Downs, Thayer, and Bateman for 2 innings each and Swindle for 2/3.