Sunday, July 10, 2011


Durham Bulls 11, Norfolk Tides 8 (13 Innings)
Game 89, July 9, Harbor Park, Norfolk, Virginia
Season: 49-40
Wrap, Box,

As I type this the Sunday game in Norfolk is just coming on the air (although the MiLB.TV isn’t working). I only heard the 10th through 13th innings of last night’s game and did not hear the roster-related information. So this is a good place to comment on the game and what I've learned about the roster changes.

First of all, last night’s game was an unprecedented comeback by this year’s Bulls as they scored 5 runs in the 9th inning. Yes, the bullpen of the Norfolk Tides is unimpressive, but five runs without a homer is hard to do under any circumstances, and that’s what the Bulls did. In fact, their 11 runs without a homer is unusual.

Then there was the 13th inning when the Tides’ reliever misplayed a sacrifice bunt (runners on first or second) so badly that a run scored. The same pitcher wild pitched in another run. A sac fly by JJ Furmaniak brought in a third run.

Important win. Bulls got back into first place when Gwinnett split a double header with Charlotte.

About the roster changes:
  • Desmond Jennings has been put on the 7-day disabled list (he could be back in the lineup right after the All-Star break). Slight fracture (whatever that means) to his right index finger.
  • Ray Olmedo was named to the AAA All-Star team in Jennings’ place.
  • Brandon Guyer got a call-up to the Rays for at least today’s game (will he go to AAA All-Star game?)
  • With two outfielders unavailable, John Matulia was called up from the Montgomery Biscuits. Signed out of high school, 24 year-old Matulia has been slowly working his way up through the Rays system. This is his first time in AAA and he is not on any of the prospect lists that I’ve seen. Stats.
  • Brandon Gomes was called up to the Rays where he relieved David Price against the Yankees and pitched 2/3 of an inning.
  • Andy Sonnanstine has been sent down to the Bulls from Tampa Bay. The last time Sonnanstine was mentioned in WDBB was back in a post-season wrap-up in October of 2009. He’s been spending a lot of time on the bullpen bench with the Rays. Rays have never been able to make up their minds about whether Sonnanstine is a starter or reliever. We’ll see what slot he gets put into with the Bulls.
Was I wrong in my rant yesterday about how Bulls pitching was handled? Well, by stretching out Baker, only two relievers (Ekstrom and Delaney) were used in that game. That meant that last night (after Hayhurst had a rough start) six more relievers could be used (including Delaney for the second night in a row). With Gomes gone, the Bulls only have seven relievers. So, if Montoyo had not stretched Baker out, would it have made a difference? Maybe. However, three of the pitchers “used” last night pitched only a total of 1 1/3 innings, so you’d think all of those three (Swindle, Buente, and De La Rosa) are available for the last game before a three-day break.

Do I really need to remind folks that the Bulls management/coaching team has forgotten more about baseball than I'll ever know?


  1. Unrelated to today's game, but here was a strange place to see Joey Gathright's name:

  2. I had on my "to do" list to chase down Gathright and Perez, two players I often think of together. Perez has just been released and I knew that Gathright was playing indie ball somewhere. But this is more than bizarre. If I can figure it out, I'll do a piece on whatever the heck happened here.

    Thanks for the link.