Friday, July 15, 2011

This Could Be the Start of Something ...

Game 91, July 14, McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston) 3, Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay) 2
Season: 50-41; This Trip: 2-1
Wrap, Box, Pawtucket Times

The Bulls reconvened on the field after an All-Star break during which several members of the team became more than a little familiar with the nation's air terminals. Here's hoping they are well-rested, even those who went out to Salt Lake City.

Last night was the beginning of what could be a very rough road trip for the Durham Bulls. But in this case well-played baseball kept them in the game until the very end.

This is a week where the home office (that would be the Tampa Bay Rays) is monomaniacally-focused on their seven games at home against the Red Sox and the Yankees. To that end they have called up the Bulls’ two best relievers, a catcher, and reportedly intend to call up the Bulls’ best starting pitcher. (The Rays have been quite creative in managing their injuries in recent days.) That leaves the Bulls with 22 players on their 24 man roster and a coaching/management “challenge”.

Overall, you have to say they did OK last night. Alex Cobb was only allowed to pitch two innings in deference to the Rays’ apparent plan to use him down in St. Petersburg in a couple of days. Andy Sonnanstine, who last pitched sometime back in the 20th Century, was rusty. Still, we’ve seen pitcher do a lot worse than his 3-run 4th inning with shut out 3rd, 5th and 6th innings.

Three double plays by the Bulls infield kept the game in reach all the way into the 9th. On the other side, the Pawtucket Sox’s two double plays had a lot to do with keeping the Bulls in check.

I was wrong about Crawford in an earlier post. He’s playing tonight and tomorrow night. Blame the PawSox web site.

The Gwinnett Braves won down in Jawja, which put them 1/2 game ahead of the Bulls in the International League South Division.

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