Season: 84-51; Home Games Remaining: 8
An afternoon game. Get on the bus. Come back home to stay for a week or so. And on a win. Not just a win, but the most wins ever in a Triple A Durham Bulls season (84) with eight games to go.
The heroes of the game were Chris Richard with four RBI off of a double and a home run. And Nevin Ashley with a two-run homer. Nevin Ashley? He’s a catcher who was just called up from Montgomery. The party line is that Jose Lobaton has gone on the disabled list for his foot that was hurt in a game in Norfolk a couple of days ago. As likely is the probability of Dioner Navarro being called to Tampa Bay in the next couple of days. (OK, I was wrong. Craig Albernaz did not get the call. With my track record you thought I’d be right?)
The 25 year-old Ashley has some decent numbers and can obviously hit the ball (although Knights Stadium isn’t a good test). Looking forward to seeing him on the field today.
On the other side of the coin, Mike Ekstrom may have gotten the win, but only after taking it away from Richard De Los Santos. His four-run 4th inning, even with the three K’s, sounded really ugly.
Neil Solondz has a couple of interesting interviews up on the Bulls website. From Saturday he has a chat with Rocco Baldelli, who has nice things to say about Charlie Montoyo and the Bulls and notes a few differences between the 2008 and 2010 Rays. From Sunday there’s a chat with new guy Bobby Livingston, who talks about his at bat. Note: I think he was the first Bulls pitcher to go to bat this year, in fact the first pitcher in a very long time.
Speaking of pitchers, here’s an updated chart. For all the new guys — McGee, Shouse, Ortiz, Livingston — we have small sample size problems, much like the beginning of the year. On the other hand, the turmoil in the pitching ranks is not going to get any better. In fact, it’s likely to get worse. Three of these guys are on the Rays’ 40-man, which means they could easily get called up. And the Rays have some room to add a couple to their 40-man.
Speaking of call-ups, here’s a quote from a Joe Smith item in the St. Petersburg Times:
Maddon said the first wave of September callups will include 4-5 players, with a third catcher (Dioner Navarro) likely. One intriguing name under consideration is LHP prospect Jake McGee, a former starter who has pitched 12⅔ scoreless relief innings since getting promoted to Triple-A Durham. That includes 20 strikeouts and just one walk.Here’s hoping that whatever happens we remain in decent shape for the playoffs.
“I’ve heard nothing but really good things about him,” Maddon said. “I do know that he’s got the kind of stuff that he’s not just limited to getting left-handed hitters out. He’s the kind of guy that can get a good righty out also, which makes him exciting as a left-handed relief pitcher.”
Just to wrap with a bit of trivia: The Rays and Yankees have been in a tied for first place for the last six games.