Durham Bulls 6; Louisville Bats 2
Series (best of five): 1-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Louisville Courier-Journal, Bats Website
By now the Bulls have finished their trek across the Appalachians. Here’s hoping that all of them (excepting the drivers) got a sound sleep before reaching Durham this morning.
Aneury Rodriguez certainly was not on his game last night. Very quickly the contest became very like one of those “committee” starts we had during the regular season, with each pitcher taking a couple of innings. Darin Downs was certainly the hero as he came on in the 3rd with the bases loaded and got the fly out to deep right field.
The Bulls had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in their first two at bats. Five singles in the 1st inning got two runs in. Two walks and a single got another run across in the 2nd. The Bats did get a run in the troublesome 3rd. When the Bulls made two egregious base running mistakes in the top of the 4th (by Fernando Perez and J. J. Furmaniak) and the Bats scored another run in the bottom of the 4th (bringing the game to 3-2 Bulls), the game was in the balance.
The top of the 5th sounded just like the Bulls we know and love. Justin Ruggiano led off with a double. A Chris Richard single sent him to third. Joe Dillon singled Ruggiano home and sent Richard to second base. Leslie Anderson did hit into a double play, but Richard got to third base and he scored on a wild pitch while Angel Chavez was at bat. The Bulls were ahead 5-2.
After that, the Durham relief corp really hit their stride. Downs had a clean bottom of the 5th. Jake McGee came on in the 6th and faced just seven batters in the next two innings, striking out three. Joe Bateman struck out the side in the 8th. Winston Abreu had a 1-2-3 9th. Meanwhile in the 8th Angel Chavez got his first hit of the series, a double, and drove home Leslie Anderson, making it 6-2.
Tonight we get to see Biscuit starter Alex Cobb. He’s got some very good numbers (ERA of 2.71 in 119 innings). Looking forward to seeing him.
A bit of catch-up here. Neil Solondz has had some very good interviews leading into his broadcasts on recent nights. First is Xavier Hernandez reflecting on his time with the Bulls and his career. Then Charlie Montoyo talks a bit about the playoffs. Finally, Bats manager Rick Sweet talks about his team.
Speaking of the playoffs. The Yankees evened up their series with the Clippers, so they and the Clippers motored over to Pennsylvania to continue their end of the playoffs.
The rest of today’s post is a brief exploration of the incentives to become a major league baseball player. One big, big reason is that, compared to the minors, life is easy. Let’s take a look at our three guys who went “up” to Tampa Bay on the first of September, Desmond Jennings, Dioner Navarro, and Rocco Baldelli. (I know, Baldelli was hardly a Durham Bull since he was only here for a few games and we knew he wasn’t going to stay, but that just helps make my point.)
Since their arrival "up there" the Rays have played a grand total of seven games and have had two days off. They had a home game on September 1 and then flew to Baltimore for three games, to Boston for three games, then on to Toronto for a game to be played tonight. During that same stretch the Bulls have played eight games and made the trek to and from Louisville by bus.
And the new guys haven’t had to work very hard, appearing in only three games each. Not only that, it isn’t as if they had to do much running of the bases. Gotta admit, pretty good life.
But that’s OK. What we are interested in is tonight’s game at the DBAP. Here’s hoping that we get a better turnout than the 3,000 who showed up at Louisville Slugger Park last night.