As shaky as things were through the first five innings, we were seeing some interesting baseball. I got to see one of my favorite Bulls start as catcher (Craig Albernaz, winner of the 2010 WDBB Moonlight Graham Award) and get an RBI double; see Jose Lobaton carry on with his extraordinary streak (he is now .478/.536/.913) with a 3 for 3 night including a home run and 2 walks; and J.J. Furmaniak begin to sneak out of his slump with a 2 RBI double. Less fun to watch in those innings were Brian Baker and R.J. Swindle. Neither looked particularly sharp. Nevertheless, we went into the 6th inning with a 6 to 5 lead, so not too bad.
What can you say about a 10-run inning? Character building for Paul Phillips? Not sure. We had a pitcher in a similarly dismal circumstance back in 2008 that I could swear finally gave up and deliberately hit a batter just to get thrown out of the game. At least Mr. Phillips didn’t go that far, but you gotta think it’s heartbreaking to finally get something other than a home run and have your infielders flub the play. That happened twice in the inning. Too painful to replay it here. To his credit, Phillips was willing to talk about it. See Adam Sobsey’s piece over at the Indy Week link.
Phillips was left twisting in the breeze to save the bullpen for today and future games. Here’s hoping they show their appreciation over the next couple of days.
We also got to see a variant of the designated hitter rule that led to a couple of interesting box score oddities. Catcher Jose Lobaton started the game as the DH. In the 8th inning starting catcher Craig Albernaz took over as the pitcher and Lobaton became the catcher. That meant that in the bottom of the 8th when Albernaz came to bat it was as the pitcher, a very rare event. Trivial? You bet! Gotta take some comfort from nights like last night.
Day game today. First chance to see Dirk Hayhurst pitch. Time to celebrate not be struck by the tornadoes.