Saturday, August 20, 2011

Good-Bye to PNC Field

Game 125, Friday, August 19, PNC Field, Moosic, PA
Durham Bulls 7, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 4
Season: 73-52; Trip: 6-2; Streak: 6-0; Games Remaining: 17
Wrap, Box, Times-Tribune

Don't get me wrong, I'll take a win anywhere, anytime. But I am just a bit wistful that this beautiful run hasn't taken place at the DBAP. After all, home is where teams are supposed to play their best, right? This year the Bulls don't seem to care where they're playing. They are 37-26 at home and 36-26 on the road.

Last night started off worrisome. We expressed some concern about Brian Baker yesterday and the very beginning of the game bore that out. The Bulls got a run in the top of the first, but the first three Yankees to bat had a single, a double and a home run. Not good. But, as hoped, the Bulls bats were with them and they got two runs back in the top of the 2nd off a bases-loaded double by Brandon Guyer. Unfortunately, the leadoff batter for the Yankees in their 2nd hit a home run to put the Yankees back ahead. This was beginning to look like a very long game for all concerned (and it did end up going almost 3 hours).

What helped a lot was that the Yankees pitcher was having as much or more trouble as Baker. Dan Johnson led off the Bulls' 3rd with a homer, Baker settled down for the 3rd and 4th. The Bulls picked up two more runs in the 4th.

Brandon Guyer had a terrific night: triple, double, two singles, 4 RBI. Stephen Vogt played 1B (Anderson still out, Dan Johnson DHing) and had a double, single, and 1 RBI. Dan Johnson had a homer, double, and single. 13 hits in all for the Bulls.

The Bullpen: They have really stepped up for this streak. As noted in the wrap, but worth repeating here, in this six game run the relievers have put in 20 2/3 innings and only allowed one earned run!

This might have been the last game the Bulls play at PNC Field for a couple of years. Apparently a major renovation is in the works and the Yankees may play no games at home next year. Interesting that it was first reported in Baseball America, not the local newspaper.

What I'd hope for is that with a renovation they'll also hire a television crew. For most of the games of this session your subscription to MiLB.TV got you a fixed, wide-angle camera shot from high above home plate. Bit like watching a video game with figures scurrying around on the ground way below you. At first kinda cute, since audio feed of Neil Solondz was on a 45-second delay. You would see folks scurrying around and then wait for the play-by-play. In the end, however, it was just irritating. They had regular TV coverage for one of A-Rod's games, but that was the only time. Too bad.

The Bulls got on the bus to head for two games in Norfolk, then a day off, and then the last home stand. Can't wait.

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