Series (best of five): 1-2
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Triangle Offense, Louisville Courier-Journal, Bats
Excitement! Great fans really getting into the game, understanding the game. Terrific pitching. Impeccable fielding (with one exception). What more could you ask for on a September evening?
Well, that’s what I’m thinking this morning. Last night I was thinking, “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, how could you leave that kid in for the 7th?” As were we all, I’d say.
This was a game that would drive a true baseball numerologist nuts. Every number says the Bulls ought to have won it. Hits, 8-3; total bases, 9-6; team OBP, .236 to .125; strikeouts, 14 to 8. And so on through just about any metric you’d like to put up there, except for one — runs scored.
I’m going to leave all the analysis to the links above. The Bulls had their chances. Did not happen.
So, let’s celebrate this terrific young pitcher we got to see — Alex Cobb. Way back in February RaysProspects had him pretty high on their list. With his year in Montgomery and what he showed last night, his future looks bright. Here’s hoping he’s with the Bulls next year. He very effectively controlled the Bats until the unfortunate 7th when he let one pitch get away from him.
That wouldn’t have mattered if the Bulls could get a run across, but they couldn’t. My heart soared with that shot of Angel Chavez in the 8th. A couple of feet to the left and it would have been off the wall, Richard would have scored, and all would have been right with the world.
Tonight’s another night. These Bats are good. They are well-managed. The Bulls are starting Paul Phillips, we saw him in the last game of the year when he pitched six terrific innings in relief of Bobby Livingston. Seems a good choice among the limited options available to Charlie Montoyo.
Tonight is, as we know, a critical game. A Bulls’ loss and the season is over. This is a terrific team. Pretty sure we can do it.
A last point: What a great baseball town/region this is! The fans last night knew exactly what was going on and let the team know it. Think we could have done just fine on our own without the PA system’s encouragement (but that’s another rant for another day). What we want to say here is how much fun it is to be at the park for a night when folks are actually watching the game and getting behind the Bulls.
Up in Pennsylvania, the Columbus Clippers shut out the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and lead them 2-1 in their series.