Monday, September 5, 2011

Clouds & Rain?

NOAA radar, September 5, 2011

Game 140, Saturday, September 3, Harbor Park, Norfolk, VA
Norfolk Tides 7, Durham Bulls 6 (10 innings)
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Game 141, Sunday, September 4
Durham Bulls 3, Norfolk Tides 2
Season: 80-61; Games Remaining: 1
Wrap, Box

We are going to be looking at radar images of Tropical Storm Lee for a couple of days as we worry about Wednesday's game. At first I was thinking that the Bulls and Clippers should just swap locations for the start, but maybe, just maybe, this is going to pass us by and the DBAP will be ready for the start of the playoffs.

In the meantime, the Bulls have been going back and forth with the Tides this weekend and will wrap the season up with a game at noon today.

The first 8½ innings on Saturday were vintage Bulls baseball. Decent start by Alex Torres, then Joe Bateman and Adam Russell taking the game to the 9th. In the meantime, Matt Carson got a three-run homer in the 3rd inning and in the 6th a Dan Johnson home run led a 3 run 6th. The last half of the 9th was all Norfolk as they came back with five runs and then had a walk-off sixth run in the 10th.

Yesterday was better. Matt Torra started it off with a 3-pitch, 3-out first inning and hung in there until leaving a bit of a mess for Dane De La Rosa in the 8th (runners on second and third, no outs, one run in). I'm not a big fan of the "save" statistic, but this was one. De La Rosa let one run in, but two K's and a ground out limited damage. He let two runners on in the 9th, but a double play finished things off.

Russ Canzler and Dan Johnson got the Bulls' RBIs. That augers well for Wednesday.

Up in the North Division the IronPigs were working hard to get the Wild Card berth. Issue is not absolutely resolved in their favor over the Gwinnett Braves. But it does look like they have the edge going into the last games of the season.

While I was looking the other way, Charlie Montoyo and Neil Allen have done some very sneaky/thoughtful juggling of the starting pitching rotation. Brian Baker has today's start. With Tuesday off, and assuming a preference for a 5-day gap, they can now choose between Chris Archer (RHP) or Matt Moore (LHP) to open the playoffs. They have also flipped the Matt Torra (RHP)/Alex Torres (LHP) sequence. That gives them right-handed and left-handed choices for the first four games instead of being stuck with a specific sequence. How carefully will Montoyo and his crew be looking at the Columbus lineup? Can't tell. Charlie famously looks at things from day to day (for the press at least), but no doubt he will be looking at the Columbus crew very carefully now.

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