Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bulls Win; PPA Winner Announced

Game 122: Durham Bulls (Rays) 8; Charlotte Knights (White Sox) 7
Season: 75-47; Games Left: 21
Wrap, Box

Interesting game last night and yet more roster changes, but first let’s get to something much more important —

This year’s first winner of WDBB’s prestigious Prescient Prognosticator Award.

The PPA is given in recognition of a particularly insightful prediction (guess might be the better word). In this case it goes to Chris D for the comment yesterday, in the context of what the Rays might do now that Carlos Pena is back from the DL.
More likely there will be some sort of “hurt roster spot” injury for 15 days to get Tampa until 9/1. I’m not sure if Kapler has played recently, so that’s a possibility.
And that’s exactly what happened. Gabe Kapler is on the DL for a “sprained ankle”. See also Rays Index for other comments. Congrats to Chris D.

Coming off a volunteer shift last night I turned on the radio at 7:20 to catch up to the game. Discovered that the game had not yet started because there was only one umpire at the park. Big traffic jam out on the nearby interstate and the other two umpires were caught up in it. That gave Neil Solondz time to go over some of the changes to the Bulls lineup. We’ll do the same.

Starting pitcher was a brand new Bull, Bobby Livingston. Left-handed pitcher coming to the Bulls as a free agent. Most recently with the Albuquerque Isotopes (AAA, LA Dodgers). Gotta hand it to the Rays organization to even know that Livingston was available. I’m guessing that they have never seen a lefty they didn’t like or were at least willing to give a shot. And we really can’t gripe. They could have left us twisting in the breeze at this point in the season. Note that the Bulls have put three new pitchers on the mound in the last four days. Here's hoping that X. Hernandez, our pitching coach, can at least remember their names.

Designated Hitter, Rocco Baldelli. Last seen in a Bulls uniform in 2002. So that explains why Mr. Salem went back to Montgomery. Should have guessed about that.

Bulls’ roster now shows the sad row of guys on the DL: Phillips, Hernandez, Cromer, Colina, Perez. Vasquez not yet on the list, but he’ll show up soon. Tough, tough year for those young men.

The Game

Bulls win! The Knights got pushed into third place in the South Division and Gwinnett rose into second, 14½ games behind the Bulls.

Mr. Livingston had a bit of trouble shaking the rust out, giving up five runs in 3 ⅓ innings, including 2 home runs (always a problem in that ball park). But he also had 5 strikeouts. Joe Bateman got the win on his longest outing of the year, 2 ⅓ innings. Was also his 46th (!) game this year, the most of any Bull. The cautious approach to Jake McGee continued and he had a fine 21 pitch outing. (Note: I wholehearted agree with the Rays/Bulls caution. Mr. McGee has already had that arm operated on and he’s one hell of a pitcher. Caution is good.). R.J. Swindle got touched for a homer, but held on. Winston Abreu got his 18th save.

The Bulls loaded the bases with one out in the first inning. Does that sound familiar? This time they did push a run across on a sac fly by Rocco Baldelli. They were quiet until the 4th when they scored four runs, the highlight being J. J. Furmaniak’s first home run as a Bull. Nevertheless, the Bulls needed a two run homer by Chris Richard in the 5th to stay ahead of Charlotte.

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