The first thing to say about last night is the huge thrill we all felt when Chris Richard hit his grand slam in the 4th inning. Seeing all those white uniforms running around the bases, Chris' huge grin as he came across the plate, that was one of the best moments of the year. Thanks, Bulls!
The moment where the Bulls offense won the game, however, came an inning earlier when it sure looked like Bats manager Rick Sweet outsmarted himself. JJ Furmaniak led off the 3rd with a triple. JJ by the way had a quite a night: on base four out of five times with three walks, a triple, and two runs scored. With Furmaniak on third with no outs and the score 1-0 Bulls, Johnson grounded out third to first. When Justin Ruggiano came to bat the Bats infield stayed at normal depth; however, when the count reached two strikes Sweet called the infield in. Just why he would do that on two strikes and not at the beginning of the at bat, I've no idea. But it didn't work. Instead, Ruggiano got a single right past the pitcher that brought JJ home. Two more runs were to score in that inning and Richards' grand slam in the next inning put the game away.
In the meantime, other things were afoot. We saw some terrific pitching by Paul Phillips, Jake McGee and Dale Thayer.
When the rains came the 2,800 folks didn't budge from the DBAP, although a few joined us up under the eaves.
The "veterans" (Johnson, Ruggiano, Richard, Dillon, and Chavez), who had been somewhat quiet so far in the series, had a great night. Well, may not Joe Dillon, but the rest did just fine.
Elsewhere, the Columbus Clippers won their first-round matchup with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. So the winner of today's game will go into the Governors' Cup finals in Columbus on Tuesday evening.
Adam Sobsey has an interesting speculation near the end of his Triangle Offense piece. He notes that Biscuits infielder Drew Anderson and Biscuits reliever Dane De La Rosa have been leaning against the dugout rail for the last week. He speculates that the Rays are considering calling up both Jake McGee and Elliot Johnson. Not sure I agree. McGee, maybe. Johnson, don't think so. If for no other reason than they'd have to push someone off the 40-man.
This is a big deal! Today! Note the time — 5:00 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Bulls vs. Bats for this round of the playoffs. Otherwise, as great as it has been, the season is over.