Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ruggiano Rocks

Game 13: Durham Bulls 9; Charlotte Knights (White Sox) 1
Season: 9-4; Streak: 2-0

What a pretty thing it is to watch a player get into a groove the way Justin Ruggiano has been the last couple of days. Last night’s two home runs, two singles, and a walk off of three different pitchers followed Monday’s two home run (off two pitchers) game. Seven RBIs in two games brings him up to 14 on the year. And his Average/OBP/SLG is up to .320/.358/.640. Very impressive. 

I drew a big circle around the middle of our batting order last night — Justin Ruggiano (2), Brandon Guyer (3), and Chris Carter (4). They accounted for 9 hits, 3 walks, and 7 of the 9 RBI. I know that’s the sort of thing the middle of the lineup is supposed to do, but it’s nice to see it in action.

Interesting detail: Ruggiano’s hard smash to third base in the 3rd inning was initially ruled an error on Charlotte third baseman Dallas McPherson. That was changed to a single before the end of the game. Made sense from where I was sitting. McPherson didn’t bobble the ball. Ruggiano just outran it.

The pitching: You can’t argue with success, but Alex Cobb sure looked uncomfortable yesterday until his last inning. Three BBs are certainly unusual. In the end, however, he got out of the game only giving up one earned run and has a league-leading 3-0 won-loss record (not to mention a 1.13 ERA and 0.94 WHIP). Rob Delaney had a very solid two innings and R.J. Swindle looked a little better than his last outing. He still hasn’t uncorked his radically slow curve this year, but we can hope. Brandon Gomes needed some work, so he pitched the 9th. (Note: Radio said it was going to be Paul Phillips. He’s got to get back on the horse again, someday.) The crew’s strikeouts are up to 134, or more than 10 per game. Even with last night’s uncharacteristic 5 walks, only 33 on the year. Today we see Edgar Gonzalez.

We have the second day game of the week today. And the weather prediction guesses at storms about 4 PM. Have I mentioned that this year’s schedule is nuts?

Biscuit Watch

Things seem to be improving over Montgomery way.
Game 13: Montgomery Biscuits 5; Jackson Generals 4
Season: 4-8


  1. Ruggiano will get yet another chance with the big club very shortly. One only hopes he makes the best of it this time, after all, the timing is right. If not, it's on to another organization or the infamous "career minor leaguer" moniker will be bestowed on the R man. Also, check this out about minor league baseball bullpens:

  2. Cool link. Thanks.

    My worry is that the Rays may treat Rugg the way they did Dan Johnson last year and leave him dangling. His trade value is surely going up at the moment, so you'd think he'd be moving on soon. But he's on one of those minor league contracts about which the public never really knows much. Hard to guess exactly what will happen. Impressive runout today with three more walks before the long flyout.