Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Matsui Wins a Game for the Bulls

Season: 19-27; Home Stand: 4-3; Bulls vs. Knights: 4-7; Standings
Box, Wrap, Herald-Sun

No doubt the stars of last night’s game were Hideki Matsui, Jesus Feliciano, and Lance Pendleton, but here’s the headline I wanted to write,

Brandon Gomes Gives Up a Run! ERA Soars to 0.69!

If Gomes hadn’t given up the run in the top of the 9th, then the Bulls wouldn’t have needed the heroics. On the other hand, an ERA of 0.00 can’t go on forever. Perhaps Gomes was being too cautious. He had Knights Hector Giminez down two strikes, but walked him on the next four pitches. On the next pitch Jordan Danks hit a double and Gimenez scored from first base. Gomes, very likely not happy with himself, struck out the next two batters.

Of course, the Bulls were only ahead by one run going into the 9th and both of those runs depended on mistakes by Charlotte that let runners advance. Otherwise, Bulls bats were very quiet.

The baseball gods were paying attention when we mentioned yesterday that Hideki Matsui had done nothing to help the Durham Bulls during his stay with them. That held true for his first four at-bats, included one that left his bat in three pieces between home plate and just in front of the second baseman. But then reliable hero Jesus Feliciano got on base in the bottom of the 10th and the gods of baseball decreed that Matsui could whack a one-out single to right field to win the game.

It was a game-winning hit. It was hit with authority. And it was the first of his admittedly few his to right field. Could I have been wrong?

Lance Pendleton has had three consecutive no-decisions. Too bad. Unlike his last outing, which was pretty shaky, last night was just fine. He’s become a reliable member of the rotation. Nice to have him with us.

Nice little crowd of 3,000+ in the DBAP. I guess it’s selfish of me, but sometimes it’s nice to pretty much have the place to ourselves without all the raucous clatter that makes for “family entertainment”. I didn’t plug my radio into my ear. I didn’t get out my scorebook. I chatted with the folks nearby. Strolled around a bit. Weather was perfect (except for that odd little mini-cloudburst at the end). And the Bulls won. Perfect.

Outside the game
  • Transactions affecting the Bulls are not going to let up for a long while. To deal with yet another injury, the Rays reached out for an infielder named Drew Sutton. We saw Sutton when he was playing for the Gwinnett Braves earlier this year. 
  • To make room for Sutton someone had to go off the 40-man roster and that someone was Durham Bulls reliever John Gaub. He’s been designated for assignment, which means that there’s ten days for legal/contractual mumbo-jumbo to ensue. Gaub may or may not be with the Bulls at the end of that time and it doesn't have to take ten days.
  • Catcher Jose Lobaton should be with the Bulls today on a rehab assignment.
  • A glance at the Rays’ 40-man roster shows six players on the 15-day DL: Catcher Lobaton, infielders Longoria and Keppinger, and outfielders Allen, Guyer, and Jennings. As they get heathy you can expect more transactions.
  • The odd man out is Bulls shortstop Reid Brignac, who has missed the last several games with quad/back problems, but is not on any disabled list. He is only current Bulls position player on the Rays 40-man roster, but apparently not available to go up to fill in for this last Rays injury.
Have to pass on Stacy Long’s lead:
Promising youngster Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single to end [the Bulls game].


  1. Radio last night said Gaub was put on waivers, so 72 hour period for someone to claim him. Assuming that doesn't happen, he'll likely be outrighted to Durham on Thursday.

  2. The report from the Rays (and MLB Trade Rumors) said designated for assignment, which I took to mean that he was out of options. The practical result is about the same, but, I think, Gaub might be able to refuse the assignment. Why he would do so if no one had claimed him I can't imagine. And, as always, I could be wrong. He was originally claimed off waivers from the Cubs (that's why he's on the 40-man). That transaction probably comes into play as well. From my narrow perspective it seemed to me that he was being groomed as a LOOGY, until his last outing. I'm a little surprised they didn't DFA Brignac instead.

    again, this is not an area I know much about. Maybe we'll see someone on the Rays blogs take it on.

  3. I'm pretty sure DFA is correct. But when you DFA a guy you have the option of either putting him on waivers or just holding him in limbo for 10 days to put him back on the roster. The Rays chose the waivers route because realistically they don't really need him on the 40 man anyway, and anyone who wants to pick him up would have to put him on their 40 man. I'm going to guess that when the Rays got him from the Cubs, no other team put in a waiver claim. If that's the case it's fairly safe to assume he'd pass through the 72 hour waiver period, at which point he could be outrighted.

    As far as refusing assignment, the Wiki article you linked says that's only possible if he's got 5 years of major league time, which I'm guessing Gaub doesn't.

    What's interesting to me is that radio mentioned last night that since he's on waivers he can't even be in the dugout. That seemed odd considering the amount of Hudson Valley players we tend to have in the dugout and warming up pitchers, etc.

  4. Thanks, Chris. It will all be made clear soon, I suppose. Including why Jhonny Nunez wasn't taken off the HV roster at least until Gaub shows back up.