Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Double, Double

Game 114, August 8, DBAP
Durham Bulls (Rays) 6, Rochester Red Wings (Twins) 5
Season: 65-49; Streak: 3-0; Home Games Remaining: 12
Wrap, Box, Examiner, Wild Card

I was sitting next to a teacher of Shakespeare last night, so forgive the headline. Nevertheless, it does point out to a key feature of the game: The Red Wings put a lot of runners on base, but the Bulls turned four double plays. Here's the quirk (of course there's a quirk, why else would I mention it?), two of the four were started by the pitcher.

Alex Torres has had better starts. It took him 91 pitches just to get through five innings. On the other hand, in the 5th he had runners on second and third, one out, and got two K's to end the inning.

Russ Canzler continues with a hot bat, single, two doubles, two RBI. Leslie Anderson continues to struggle, 0 for 4. Stephen Vogt's 9-game OPS of 1.111 warms the heart (along with two critical RBI last night).

The highlight play of the evening came in the 9th. Adam Russell came in to close, but the first batter dinked one over third base. The sacrifice bunt was popped up and Russell stretched out all of his 6'8" and flopped to the ground, catching the ball. By that time the runner on first was standing on second. He had no chance of making it back before Russell tossed the ball to first. (Note: play is on the video highlights at Bulls website.) Russell's first save. In four appearances no runs scored.

The big deal was the appearance of famous big leaguer Justin Morneau rehabbing his way back to Minneapolis. I'm guessing that since he's not actually assigned to AAA he doesn't have to follow AAA rules. He was wearing a one-flap major leaguer's batting helmet. Here's a guy who's missed a lot of baseball from a concussion, but still wants to look good, I suppose. I'm reminded of the motorcycle guys protesting helmet laws. Have always thought that as long as they've signed their organ donor cards they should be allowed to go bare-headed. Maybe the same should apply to baseball players.

With this win the Bulls went 16 games over .500, the best they've been all year. Could not have picked a better time in the season.

As careful readers know, the business of baseball is not my forte. So when it's announced that a player has been "exposed to waivers" my reply is usually, "Huh?" Rays Index makes an attempt to explain recent "exposures" by the Rays.

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