Friday, June 24, 2011

Bulls Win in White

Game 73, June 23, Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Durham Bulls 4, Buffalo Bisons 1
Season: 41-32; Home Stand: 3-1
Wrap, Box,

Last night Alex Torres showed why he is so high on the prospect list and on the Rays 40-man roster. He earned all sorts of superlatives for his evening: most innings (7), most strikeouts (12), only 3 walks (trust me, with Mr. Torres, 3 walks definitely deserves an “only”). All that on 102 pitches, against 27 batters.

Brandon Gomes showed that he was human when he gave up his first home run of the year, which ran his ERA all the way up to 1.35. After the homer, he struck out the side.

The 8th/9th inning pairing of Gomes and Jake McGee again worked very well. McGee got his 8th save (albeit with a little help from his friends on the field).

Here’s two names that don’t often make it into the write-up: Leslie Anderson and Felipe Lopez. They picked up 2 RBIs each to account for all of the Bulls’ runs. If the pitching and defense had not been so terrific, however, the likely story of the day would be all the Bulls left on base. They left 11 of them stranded out there during the course of the game.

The Bulls were in their white jerseys last night and were rewarded by the biggest Thursday crowd in my memory, a near-capacity 9,291. On the other hand, maybe the persistently down economy is increasing the attractiveness of $1 hotdog night.

For those who may have missed my update yesterday, I’ve learned that the blue jerseys are much preferred by the Bulls players because of the material they are made from. With the heat we’ve had over much of this week, you’ve got to go with the players’ preference. That does not, of course, let the Bulls management off the hook to improve the legibility of the numbers or to add names (an effort I’m told is in progress).

Alex Cobb is not feeling well, so his scheduled start has been pushed back a day and Brian Baker will be on tonight against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. The current rotation consists of Baker, Bootcheck, Cormier, Hayhurst, and Torres. So once Cobb slips in someone will drop out, most likely Cormier.

If I heard Neil Solondz correctly, something like 20 New York and Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees are currently on their respective Disabled Lists [SWB, NYY]! What that might mean tonight is hard to tell, but that is surely a terrible run of bad luck (or simply only fair, depending on your attitude towards the Yankees). Nevertheless, these will be on the only four regular season games against the Yankee franchise in Durham this year, so it's now or never for Yankee fans.

Note that the four day visit is much shorter than that of the previous batch of Yankees who spent a couple of years in our fair state.


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