Monday, July 11, 2011

Take a Break

Game 90, July 10, Harbor Park, Norfolk Virginia
Durham Bulls 3, Norfolk Tides 1
Season: 50-40; Last 10: 6-4
Wrap, Box, Virginia-Pilot

Am I going to have to start saying nice things about pitchers I’ve been criticizing? Beginning to look that way. At least for today. Alex Torres and Jay Buente took the Bulls into the All-Star break with solid performances. Torres got the win and Buente got the save.

Torres has actually done quite well recently, winning four out of his last five games and getting his tendency to give up bases on balls under control. He's only had 12 walks over those five games. Trust me, for Torres that's great. He (and Buente) were helped a lot by the Bulls defense yesterday when they pulled off 4 double plays. Torres needed them since he gave up 10 hits, but just one double. Buente has made four appearances as a reliever now, 4 2/3 innings, 1 win, 1 save, no runs. Much better.

Meanwhile in the 6th Russ Canzler got on base with a single and Jose Lobaton walked. Robinson Chirinos' double brought them home. In the 7th JJ Furmaniak doubled, stole third, and came home on Felipe Lopez' sac fly.

The Bulls go into the break 10 games above .500 and a half game ahead of Gwinnett. Note that for the Bulls, the break is well past the midpoint of the season. They only have 52 games left in their 142 game season. Half of those will be at the DBAP, the other half on the road. If you haven't seen a game yet, you're running out of time.

Outfielder John Matulia is on his way back to Montgomery and Brandon Guyer is on his way back to the Bulls.

Mr. Matulia didn’t get a hit in his two games with the Bulls, but he did do a fine job in center field, making at least one nice catch that I happened to catch on MiLB.TV. Also managed to not be distracted by the seagulls, who appear to be a problem in Harbor Park. His sacrifice bunt attempt, mishandled by the Tides' pitcher, was the event that opened the door to the Bulls' win late Saturday night. So he did make a difference even if he didn't get credit for an RBI.

I'm guessing that Guyer will go through Salt Lake City for the AAA All-Star game on his way back to Durham.

* * * * * 

Ready for some weirdness (thanks to DRR for the tip)?

Last Saturday the Yuma Scorpions played the Lake County Fielders at the Fielders home field in Zion, Illinois (north of Chicago). They won the game 8-3. Nothing special about that, until you take a look at the box score and check out the battery. The pitcher was former Ray Jose Canseco and the catcher was former Bull Joey Gathright! And Canseco got the win. Gotta admit that's some kind of weird.

But wait! There's more! Why was he pitching in the first place? As reported in the Chicago Sun-Times the Fielders manager and several players had walked out in protest over a pay dispute prior to the game and the Fielders team for the day were mostly pitchers. Player/Manager of the Scorpions, Jose Canseco, decided to make things more even by putting himself in the game to pitch. More details in the Yuma Sun

And there's more! An owner of the Fielders is none other than Bull Durham star Kevin Costner.

In addition to the sheer fun of just chasing this one down, I had been wanting to do an update on Joey Gathright. He created a lot of excitement as a Bull several years ago. Good to know that he's still in baseball.

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