Sunday, August 8, 2010

No Homers? No Problem

Game 113: Durham Bulls 6; Indianapolis Indians 4
Season: 70-43; Home Stand: 2-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

When your opponent outhits you and you still win the game, then something else was probably going on. In this case it was a series of timely mistakes and, hindsight now tells us, errors of judgment by Indianapolis’ manager and good ideas by Durham’s manager. In fact, you could say that our manager outmanaged their manager.

Starting pitchers did their job. Durham’s Heath Phillips was pretty good, Indianapolis’ Charlie Morton was even better.

But the managers? Well, here’s the way I saw it.

In the 8th the Bulls were down 3-1. Indianapolis sent in reliever Daniel Moskos, who had pitched an inning the day prior. Elliot Johnson got a single, Justin Ruggiano drew a walk. Montoyo told Johnson and Ruggiano to run with Chris Richard on an 0-2 pitch. Richard grounded out, but a double play was prevented (one out, runners on second and third).

Moskos struggled with Joe Dillon and then Indians Manager Frank Kremblas called for the intentional walk. Maybe the idea was to get to newcomer Leslie Anderson and set up a double play (which the Indians have been very good at this series). Didn’t work. Moskos hit Anderson and a run was in and bases were still loaded.

So Kremblas changed pitchers and brought in Brian Bass, who had also pitched the previous day. Bass walked Angel Chavez, bringing in the tying run. Jose Lobaton dribbles a ball in front of the plate that Bass can’t handle correctly and the go ahead run scores, bases still loaded. Lastly, for the first time in the inning, the ball leaves the infield when J. J. Furmaniak hits a single scoring two runs.

Player of the game: J. J. Furmaniak. Manager of the game: Charlie Montoyo.

Have to say something about yesterday’s game in Toronto. You’ve got to think that the Rays really aren’t looking forward to listening to “O Canada” again any time soon. Dale Thayer was called in to try to put out a bonfire. In the first four innings Toronto had “touched” James Shields for 9 hits, 4 walks, 6 homers and eight runs. Dale poured gas on the fire: seven hits, another homer, six runs. Ultimately the game ended with Toronto ahead 17-11. Dale is on his way back.

On the other hand, Dan Johnson got 4 RBI on a home run and a sacrifice fly. He’s doing just fine since he’s been up there (17 plate appearances, .273/.471/.545, wOBA .441).

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