Box, Wrap, Herald-Sun
Matt Torra has an unfortunate tendency to give up home runs. Last night he gave up two more, making it an even dozen so far this year. What made it worse was that in the 1st inning after he’d gotten two outs he then walked and then hit a batter, then gave up the first homer. With two freebies, the three run homer really hurt. Then in the very next inning he walked a batter, then gave up a home run. Two hits, five runs. A deep hole to try to get out of.
In contrast, the Bulls also hit two home runs (Matt Mangini and Leslie Anderson), but the bases were empty.
One bright note was the first 3⅓ innings of Alexander Torres’ 4⅓ inning relief appearance. Torres was throwing strikes (6 Ks) and inducing ground balls. The only baserunner until the 9th was a hit batsman. But the 9th started out with 4 hits and two runs. Pitching coach Neil Allen made his obligatory trip to the mound (I wonder if any other pitcher on the Bulls has been visited by Allen more than Torres?). Still, no walks! Something of a breakthrough for Torres.
We also saw catcher Mayo Acosta make his Triple-A debut. He singled in his first at bat and drew a walk. Here’s a question. Coming up from A ball, I’d guess that Acosta had never caught Matt Torra before, but maybe in spring training. But he at least caught warmups. What about when Torres came in? Was the bottom of the 5th inning the first time that Torres had ever seen Acosta behind the plate? How can a pitcher trust a catcher he’s never even seen before?
I’ve been avoiding mentioning Reid Brignac since his return to the Bulls, but just have to say something about his awful night at the plate. He hit into two double plays to kill two rallies early on; struck out looking in the 6th, and hit weak grounder to second in the 8th with a runner in scoring position. Other than new guy Hideki Matsui, Brignac’s BA of .145 is the worst on the team.
Speaking of Matsui, 0-4, but one was a long shot to deep centerfield.
Outside the game
- I noted much earlier that the appearance of Hideki Matsui might even bring out the Raleigh News & Observer to the DBAP, and at first I thought that was the case. But then I checked the bylines on the N&O, Examiner, and IndyWeek stories. All by the same veteran sports writer Mike Potter.
- Over at WRAL they haven’t get gotten the memo sent out from St. Petersburg about five years ago, the team down there is called the Rays, not the Devil Rays.
- Hudson-Thompson trade. In yet another example of how little I understand about this game, the Rays have traded Kyle Hudson for Rich Thompson, who had one major league at bat (with the Royals) in 2004. He’s hitting .307/.390/.398, 7 SB, 0 home runs for Lehigh Valley this year. Stats. Hudson, on the other hand, is 6 years younger with more (but not much more, 28 ABs) major league experience and roughly the same batting numbers .291/.378.318, 7 SB, 0 HRs. So what was the point. Going to look a bit foolish if Hudson gets hot next month when the Bulls play Lehigh Valley. More on trade here, and he once made a movie.