Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hitters Hit; Pitchers Shuffle

Game 24: Durham Bulls 12; Indianapolis Indians 3
Season: 13-11; Streak: 2-0
Wrap, Box, Indianapolis Star

Yet another problem caused by this season’s screwy schedule is that fans have had no chance to get to know the players. Take, for example, one of last night’s heroes, Chris Carter. Although he has played 19 games for the Bulls with 87 plate appearances, he’s only had 8 games at the DBAP, mostly as the designated hitter (two starts in left field). Consequently, as a fan, we only have the box scores and stats to go on. Those are pretty good and last night’s 3 for 6, 4 RBI performance was exceptional. We just haven’t had a chance to see him.
The same problem holds for several other players such as Russ Canzler, Brandon Guyer, and Robinson Chirinos.

In a couple of months, things will be different. But for now, obviously, the only person commenting on the Bulls who has actually seen the Bulls is broadcaster Neil Solondz. So, it’s on you Neil. Remember, you’re the only guy who has really been watching these guys closely every day.

With those caveats, last night saw the Bulls have their best day at the plate this year. Every player (except for Robinson Chirinos) got a hit. Justin Ruggiano got 4 hits, but Carter’s performance moved him up into a tie for the RBI lead. They have 16 each. J.J. Furmaniak is inching up towards the Mendoza line, now at .192. Leslie Anderson got 3 RBI. A terrific day for the Bulls.

Pitcher Edgar Gonzalez only went 5 innings, but by that time the Bulls were ahead 7-0, so things were looking OK. The unfortunate Paul Phillips came on in the 6th and had a 1-2-3 inning. The 7th was different. He gave up a hit and a homer, then hit a batter and gave up a single. He left the game with two outs and two men on. R.J. Swindle let one of those runners score in his 1/3 of an inning.

That gave Cory Wade yet another chance to show his stuff. He gave up a leadoff single in the 8th, then struck out the side. In the 9th it was K, flyout, K. Very nice job.

  • Alex Cobb will make his major league debut pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays today against the LA Angels. Good luck, Alex!
  • Jake McGee, the big left-hander we saw a bit of at the end of last season is coming to the Bulls (yeah!). I was impressed with McGee last year, and I was worried that the Rays might have been moving him along a bit too quick. He should be a big help to the Bulls.
  • The same article says that Brandon Gomes might be going to the Rays. He’s done a terrific job for the Bulls. Is he ready for the Rays? Guess we will be finding out if the article is accurate. Note that all of the moves involving relievers circle around the question of when J.P. Howell will be getting back into the Rays bullpen.

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