Saturday, April 9, 2011

Experience Shows — Bulls Win

Game 2: Durham Bulls 5; Gwinnett Braves 3 (12 innings)
Season: 1-1
First Home Game: 5 days
Wrap, Box, Gwinnett Daily Post

The Durham Bulls must have started yesterday’s game looking over their shoulders. First baseman Casey Kotchman was gone to join the Rays in Chicago (he came to bat just after Dan Johnson’s game winning homer in the 9th and flied out to center). Pitcher Brian Baker was activated from the Hudson Valley roster. This followed infielder Felipe Lopez’s call-up just before the season started. In the end, however, we had something of a traditional Durham/Gwinnett game with the Bulls and the Braves simply going at each other inning and inning after inning.

The Braves and Bulls sent eleven pitchers to the mound before this one wrapped up. In the end, however, it was RBIs by Desmond Jennings and Justin Ruggiano in the 12th that finished out the game for the Bulls first win.

Leslie Anderson came to the Rays system after being sold as a first baseman. In fact, when his defection was first announced early last year he was being mentioned as a late 2010 replacement for the Rays’ Carlos Peña. If what we heard on the radio last night (and saw last year) hints at his skills, Charlie may be looking through his roster for another. Reportedly Chris Carter has played a lot of first base back in 2007, so we may see him there pretty soon.

Nice to have a win under our belt.


Manager Charlie Montoyo is the best manager in AAA baseball. The record speaks for itself. His teams have won championships for the last 5 season (one in AA, four in AAA).

When you see him make his dash from the dugout to third base this Thursday you will know the game is about to begin, the home season has started.

Charlie doesn’t say a whole lot to the press (and down here in AAA he doesn’t really get a lot of tough questions). But when he does, as he did the other day, he shows a deep understanding of the game and of Triple A.

We will undoubtedly argue about tactical decisions this year (Shoulda pulled xxx sooner! Why didn’t you send xxx home? Why did you send xxx home? Etc.) But we cannot argue with his record. We cannot argue with his approach to getting through the very, very tough Triple A schedule. We’re lucky to have him here.

So, Charlie, why did you leave De Los Santos in the game on Thursday when he was obviously out of gas?

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