Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Seven Pitchers, Thirteen Innings, One Loss

Game 128, August 23, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham, NC
Norfolk Tides (Orioles) 6, Durham Bulls (Rays) 4 (13 Innings)
Season: 74-54; Home Stand: 0-1; Home Games Remaining: 8
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Examiner, Indy Week

The first oddity of the night was how hard Matt Moore seemed to be working. Nevertheless, he made it through six scoreless innings and all seemed right in the world. The Bulls were ahead 4-0 on four solo home runs (Guyer, Carson, Beckham, Johnson). That would be another oddity of the early part of the game. At that point the Bulls bullpen, with a combined ERA of 3.45, could be depended upon to close out the next three innings and we'd be on our way home by 9:30 or so.

Didn't happen.

The next six (count 'em, six) Bulls pitchers had their fair share of trouble, but it was Jay Buente and Adam Russell who did the most damage by putting runners on base, then giving up home runs. It could have been worse, I suppose, since the Bulls got out of a bases-loaded (all on walks) situation in the 7th. Nevertheless, by the end of the 7th, the score was tied and stayed that way until the 13th. In that inning Joe Bateman, much like every other Bulls pitcher, could not handle Norfolk's Carlos Rojas. Here's a guy batting ninth in the order, barely above .200, who got on base five out of six times last night (three walks, two crippled singles). As it happens he didn't score any runs, but it says something about Bulls pitching that he got on base at all, much less five times.

Deep breath.

Sometimes a day off is not a good thing for baseball. Maybe that's all it was.

Alex Torres tonight. Still playing the Tides. The Bulls have to play these guys five more games this year, tonight at the DBAP, plus four games in Norfolk at the end of the season. Might as well get used to seeing Manager Gary Allenson put on his show. Last night's had something to do with how many times you have to touch second base when you're not sure you've hit a double or a home run. Maybe he'll get tossed early and we will have a shorter game.

To end on a high note: If you went to the game you got to see third baseman J.J. Furmaniak make a couple of stellar plays.


  1. This game bugged me. As I sat in the seats in the 12th, I sent a note off to Neil that basically summed up my feelings on the game...

    "What's Charlie's strategy here? Why is Canzeler not being used to pinch hit?"

    There were (by my admittedly possible flawed count) 6 times where lefty batters faced lefty Norfolk pitchers late in the game, two each for Vogt, Dan Johnson and Leslie Anderson.

    I understand not pinch hitting DJ despite his historically terrible record against lefty pitching, but Vogt is young, and Anderson can't hit his way out of a paper bag against lefties (Neil would later dispute this, so I admittedly might be wrong on this, but still, it's not a favorable matchup).

    In any event, Neil wrote back to me this morning and indicated Charlie's only pinch hit 3 times all season. I guess you can make a legitimate argument that it favors player development, but as a fan with a magic # of 9 and having used up our best starting option, it seemed like the opportune time.

    Frustrating game all around...

  2. that Furmaniak catch in the second row of seats was amazing, he just made enough reach to get it in the webbing pocket...all without bumping into a fan

  3. I left in 10th and watched 11 & 12 at home, but was only able to listen to Furmaniak catch. Good points about pinch hitting (or pinch running for Asheley with Mayora available).

    I don't much enjoy watching the Tides the way I do some other teams. Not sure why.

  4. Also odd in this game was the fact that Beckham could have been called out on his HR trot. But to me this is really being a rules nit. And it bugged that Norfolk would even try to argue for it.

  5. Buried in Adam Sobsey's essay at the Indy Week link is a review of the legalisms that were in play with Allenson delay of the game. To be honest, I couldn't figure it out from Sobsey's explanation and surely not from Allenson's quote, whether Beckham actually did anything wrong at all.

    To my earlier comment I need to edit to read: "watched the 12th and 13th at home."