Friday, August 5, 2011

He Wuz Safe!

Look closely at this one. Photo courtesy Craig Robinson of FlipFlopFlyBall
Game 110, August 4, Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies) 5, Durham Bulls (Rays) 3
Season: 62-48; Home Games Remaining: 16
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Examiner, Bacon & Biscuit, Horn and Bell, Indy Week

Dan Johnson, safe at home in the 8th, wuz what shoulda been. But it wasn't. And even if the call had been right the Bulls would still have been behind 5-4 with two outs and a runner on second. But he wuz safe ump.

I'm not quite sure what can be said about Andy Sonnanstine. Outside of the terrible 4th inning — and it was terrible — he did a decent job. The same can be said of all of his four starts since he showed up in the middle of last month. His overall numbers (ERA, FIP, WHIP, etc) aren't that bad, but he's been on the losing end of his starts twice and has one no-decision to go with his one win. He does eat up innings, usually. And he is a very efficient pitcher, a pitch to contact kind of guy. It's just when the "contact" is single, single, double, double, triple, hit by pitch, sac fly, as it was in last night's 5th, it's troublesome.

The practical reality is that the Bulls' starting pitching has been troublesome all year (ERA 4.28) and it is not getting better (with the exception of the exceptional Mr. Moore). An innings-eater is welcome, if we can get away from the big innings.

Dan Johnson looked good at the plate last night. Stephen Vogt continues being very impressive. New guy Matt Carson pulled a hamstring and left the game. Not good.

The IronPigs closer Michael Schwimer was every bit as impressive as reported. The Bulls need to avoid situations where he gets called in because I don't think they'll get much when he is. I'm not sure what catcher Erik Kratz's nickname might be, but he looks like he should be playing middle linebacker, not catcher. At 6'4", 255, he is a presence behind the plate and at bat. Maybe D.J. should have been happy that in that close play Kratz was pulled a bit off. If he'd been fully blocking the plate there's no doubt who would have won the contest.

Bulls reliever Ryan Reid gets the spot start tonight. Heat is not supposed to be quite as brutal today. No watches or warnings for the first time in quite a while.

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