Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hot Enough?

Game 116: Durham Bulls 10; Charlotte Knights 9 (11 innings)
Season: 72-44; Games Remaining: 27; Home Games 11
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Let’s start off by acknowledging the extraordinary physical fitness of the players on the field last night. The heat index at the beginning of last night’s game was 108° and it was only slightly better at the end of the game (although a small storm was blowing in). In particular, a sip of well-iced tea to the catchers — the Bulls’ Dioner Navarro and the Knights’ Tyler Flowers — seriously tough guys to get through 188 (Navarro) and 248 (Flowers) pitches over 4 hours in catcher’s gear in that kind of heat. More than that, Navarro managed to get two singles and a double while Flowers got a single and a double.

The game ended in a bit of low comedy — two walks and a sac bunt gone awry loaded the bases. A grounder dribbled through the legs of the Charlotte shortstop and Joe Dillon came home. By that time I was at home watching on TV, drinking some ice water. Fist pump, take a shower, go to bed. The younger Bulls, of course, probably went out carousing for all hours and will be bright and chirpy tonight. Ahh, youth!

To rewind a bit, however.
  • Can’t let Desmond Jenning’s bit of lollygagging in the first inning go by. A shallow fly ball with a runner on third was followed by a poorly thrown, rainbowed toss that let a run in.
  • J. J. Furmaniak started in right field. J. J. has a wealth of experience at that position. In fact it was only a couple of years ago, in 2007, as a Sacramento River Cat in the PCL, that he had one game in right field. And he had maybe 30 minutes warning. So there really wasn’t any excuse for his deer in the headlights approach to his first two fly balls in the 2nd inning. He did, however, make his first out as a right fielder in the 5th.
  • Virgil Vasquez really got hammered. Hope it was just the heat.
  • Think that Jake McGee was on a different set of instructions last night. Instead of the fireballing we saw his first outing, this time it was a bunch of sliders/curve balls in the middle 70’s mixed with fastballs in the low 90’s. He did OK, but the stats don’t show that he came in with bases loaded and let all three runs in.
  • We mentioned yesterday that the Bulls hadn’t been hitting home runs lately. That changed last night, big time. Ruggiano, Richard, Dillon, and Chavez all homered. Nice to see.
  • In general, when Winston Abreu comes into the game, and a runner gets on, they don’t bother holding the runner on first. It hasn’t mattered all year. It did last night. In the 9th Winston gave up a leadoff single. The next batter popped up. But during the next at bat they let the runner just trot on to second base. Defensive indifference. A single brought him home. A wild pitch put that runner on second. a double brought him home and the game was tied. Abreu had his first blown save of the year. Too bad.
  • Adam Sobsey gets poetic over at Indy Week.
  • We blew up our bullpen last night. Here’s hoping Richard De Los Santos can go a bunch of innings tonight. More on that later.


  1. Dale Thayer has been on ESPN for Top 10 plays and Web Gems on BBTN for his behind the back throw a lot today.

    I think I am going into withdrawal around here. It will be nice to get back to some games. Maybe for the playoffs...

  2. that had to incredibly tough to last that game out
    hats off to the Bull

    got to listen to it at home on the radio

    what was that play that the announcers thought was so cool? Bulls pitcher flipped a ball behind his back???

  3. Yep, it was the behind the back throw. Annoyingly, one of the SportsCenter anchors kept talking about having the Charlotte Knights on the show, like it was because of them that the play made the list (at one point she did mention that she covered them a long time ago).

  4. I just checked its up right now at the Bulls Website... Dale Thayer

    Nice move, true athlete

  5. For some reason I wasn't able to see video through my browser today. Great to be able to see it on the Bulls site.