Season: 16-26; Home Stand: 1-2; vs. Red Sox: 1-6; Standings
It was pointed out to me yesterday that perhaps I’ve been taking this game too seriously. It was suggested that I relax, try a pose or two, breath, chant, contemplate a crystal ... oooooommm ...
OK. Enough of that. Lets talk about ... Jim Paduch. Paduch had a brilliant outing in front of 10,000 fans, most of whom could have cared less about who he was or how he got there. But we Bulls fans did. Thanks for getting the Bulls out of their funk. His six innings of crafty pitching set up what is only the fourth shutout by Bulls pitchers this year. Followed by fellow indie ball escapee Dane De La Rosa (is he getting his groove back?) and waiting to be called back to the Rays Brandon Gomes, Bulls pitching was superb. Two home runs (a pleasant change) by Bulls hitters was more than enough (Jesus Feliciano and Henry Wrigley). Icing on cake was new guy Mayo Acosta’s sac fly RBI in the 7th.
Obligatory mention of the guys who drew the crowds: Daisuke Matsuzaka (松坂大輔) pitched for the Pawsox, made it through 6⅔ innings and looked OK. Notable that he was wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform, not a Pawtucket Red Sox uniform. Guess that’s a perk of being a major leaguer. Hideki Matsui was 0-3, but yet another catcher’s interference call got him on base and he scored on Wrigley’s homer. I hate to point this out, but he is not running well.
Amid all the Japanese signage, down in front of me was a lady waving the flag of Taiwan, probably for Pawtucket centerfielder Che-Hsuan Lin. Lin is something to watch out there. He’s made three spectacular catches in these games (taking two hits away from Matsui). He’s a reason to come to the park.
As is Pawtucket shortstop Jose Inglesias. If you’ve ever had one of those deep philosophical discussions about whether a shortstop needs a quick release or a strong arm (as if there’s a distinction), Inglesias is a poster-child for the quick release school. The ball simply doesn’t stay in his glove. It simply ends up flowing towards first base. Pretty to watch.
I’ve got to mention the latest spin of the Montoyo Merry-Go-Round that put infielder Shawn O’Malley in right field and new guy Henry Wrigley at first base. I think Wrigley has played a good bit of first base. O’Malley reportedly hasn’t played outfield since high school. They both did just fine in the field and Wrigley showed his power at the plate.
Then there was the mystery man coaching at third base. That was Michael Johns the manager of the Princeton (as in Princeton, West Virginia) Rays. Guess he’s here to keep his head in the game until his team’s season starts next month.
Outside the game
- Stacy Long at Biscuit Crumbs is reporting that RHP Shane Dyer is coming from AA Montgomery to the Bulls. Probably in anticipation of Alex Cobb going to the Rays in a day or so. Pretty good stats.
- I really like the continuing improvements to the big video board. It is now showing the pitch count (and ERA) of the pitchers. And on the board out in right field they are starting to put up the in-game stats for batters. Better and better.
- Elliot Johnson and Reid Brignac: There’s been a flurry of interest in the recents exploits of the well-liked former Durham Bull Elliot Johnson. He’s been having a grand time lately with the Rays. This column looks at EJ’s recent work (with a really gratuitous cheap shot at the end). But this one extends the discussion into concerns about a current Durham Bull whom we’ve mentioned here, Reid Brignac. A bit of armchair psychologizing, but it makes sense to me. Elliot, however, was one of my favorite Bulls and I couldn't be happier to see him succeed. I have never forgotten Neil Solondz calling EJ’s two homers over in Norfolk, one batting left, the other batting right. Maybe not a record, but certainly worthy of remembering in a blog that celebrates the obscure and quirky. A couple of other mentions of EJ over the years are here (2009) and here (2010).