Friday, August 26, 2011

Waiting for Irene

Hurricane Fran comes ashore, September 6, 1996

Irene is coming and will likely come ashore in eastern North Carolina sometime tomorrow. Last night could be the last baseball we see before Sunday or even Monday. However, maybe, just maybe, we'll get a game in tonight. If so, and if you were not here back in 1996 when Hurricane Fran came through, take a moment to ask your neighbor what it was like. Trust me, you will hear a couple of terrific stories — chainsawing paths out of neighborhoods, huge neighborhood cookouts to prevent the waste of food thawing out in freezers, steamy un-airconditioned evenings, and more. They've been waiting for someone to listen to their stories.

Nearer in time, as it was back in September, 2010, what we Bulls fans really care about is what effect Irene might have on this weekend. Based on the home stand to date, how could it get worse? So it's gotta get better, right?

Game 129, August 24, DBAP
Norfolk Tides 4, Durham Bulls 3
Wrap, Box

Game 130, August 25, DBAP
Charlotte Knights (White Sox) 12, Durham Bulls (Rays) 7
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Examiner, Indy Week
Season: 74-56; Streak: 0-3; Home Games Left: 6

Brian Baker took the loss last night, but he deserved better. The performances of relievers Lance Cormier and Mike Ekstrom were just pitiful. The Bulls had an oh-so-tenuous lead when Cormier came on with two runners on base. Cormier let those two guys in, plus four more. That put the game pretty much out of reach. And it was surely so after Mike Ekstrom let four more runs across. Except for a flurry of activity in the bottom of the 9th, that was about it.

Nice to see Justin Ruggiano on the field. Noted that he was announcing his major leaguer status by wearing long trousers. Guess that's sort of cool, but maybe a bit of showing off in front of the guys he played with for a long time? If so, then he ought to collect a couple more hits.

Have I mentioned that this has been a miserable home stand so far? Guess what? Among the 60+ games so far this year, the Raleigh News & Observer decided to write up last night. Well, not actually a write-up. More a cut-and-paste from the Bulls website. My hometown paper doesn't even deserve a link from WDBB for that. Of course, they don't do any better with the Mudcats over on the other side of town.

Back to the threat from Irene. We can expect the Bulls website to do a good job regarding tonight and then tomorrow's double header. Last look implied that we are on the edge of this storm, so seems like a good chance that three games could get rained out with no chance of makeup. Since Gwinnett has been beating the teams the Bulls are getting beat by (Gwinnett has two wins over Charlotte and one over Norfolk in recent days) the season is at risk. The Monday and Tuesday games against Gwinnett are suddenly very important to those of us obsessing about the Governors' Cup.

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