Friday, June 10, 2011

Tough Loss

Game 60, June 9, Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, PA
Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs 6; Durham Bulls 5
Season: 32-28; Trip: 1-2
Wrap, Box

I’m not quite sure what Mr. Buente was supposed to bring to the table when the Rays claimed him off waivers a couple of weeks ago. The history of this 27 year-old is as a reliever, but with the Bulls he’s been a starter. He lost his first two games and then, with an extra day’s rest, he started his third last night. Not pretty. If not for the Bulls’ big 6th inning, he would have been on the hook for his third loss.

As careful readers know, I’m not the most knowledgeable guy regarding the business side of baseball, but seems a waste for Buente to be taking up space on the Rays’ 40-man and the Bulls rosters. Pretty sure if they DFA the guy then he goes back to the Marlins. OK with me.

Speaking of pitchers, does anyone remember Brandon Gomes? He appeared in 11 games for the Bulls and did a great job for the team. Then in early May he went up to the Rays and made 10 appearances there, the last on May 30 (note: there were 9 days between his last two appearances with the Rays). The transaction registry showed him coming back to the Bulls at the end of May and Neil has mentioned him a couple of times. But no Brandon, so far.

And even more about pitchers: Last night Jake McGee came on in the bottom of the 7th, bases loaded, two outs. One pitch, liner to Dan Johnson, and he’s out of the inning. In the 8th he threw 14 pitches to set the side down 1, 2, 3. But then in the 9th, score tied 5-5, Lehigh Valley’s John Mayberry got his first home run of the year on McGee’s second pitch. Odd bookends to a losing night.

I worry a lot about turmoil in the Bulls lineup, but looks like the Iron Pigs are even worse off. The Bulls have had 16 different players come to bat this year, the Iron Pigs have had 31! The pitching side is more equitable. The Bulls have had 22 different pitchers (including two position player appearances), the Iron Pigs have had 18.

Last night’s loss puts the Bulls into a tie for first place in the South Division of the International League. Gwinnett has won its last six games and caught up while the Bulls have been flailing around a bit.

Elliot Johnson was back in a Bulls uniform last night. He’s on a rehabilitation assignment (knee) and was in the designated hitter slot. 0 for 5. Would have been nice for at least one of the guys who came to bat in the 6th with runners on second and third with none out to get a hit. Elliot (along with J.J. Furmaniak and Desmond Jennings) missed his chance to be a hero.

Justin Ruggiano is reportedly happy these days. Guess it has more to do with my personal history than his, but I’d find Maddon’s patronizing comments hard to take. Glad that Justin apparently doesn’t see it that way. Hope he keeps it up. Up in our part of the stands we always thought he was a potential major leaguer, but couldn’t figure out where he fit with the Rays.


  1. Oddity of the night is when Ryan Feierabend (an Iron Pigs pitcher) pinch hit.

    If Neil was right the other night, I'd expect to see Gomes this weekend.

  2. Agree that it was odd, just couldn't figure out how to explain it succinctly (not that that has stopped me before).

    And another oddity was the way Charlie was swapping pitchers around. Not like him. I'm wondering if the Rays have told him to groom Swindle as a one-out specialist for September call-up. That seems a bit far-fetched, however, even for me.