Monday, July 9, 2012

Time for a Break

Chris Archer left after one inning and Bryan Augenstein was pressed into service. He essentially took one for the team by going 66 pitches — he has rarely gone much over 20 per outing — but coughing up three runs in the 5th. Nevertheless, the game was essentially lost on bad luck. A long ball drifted fair instead of foul in the bottom of the 8th and that was enough.

Season: 43-49; Trip: 1-2; Bulls v. Braves: 5-6; Standings

Let’s call this a game where the Durham Bulls showed their character. This was the last game before a three-day break, the only real break in the entire season, only 3,000 folks in the stands, 91°, and your starting pitcher blew up in the first inning giving up 5 runs on 6 hits. So what you could do is take it easy, get through the afternoon, and hit the road. 

They didn’t. They scored three runs in the 2nd inning on a Reid Brignac home run. Unfortunately, Lance Pendleton’s awful day wasn’t over and he gave up three runs in the 3rd. Braves 8, Bulls 3. Now maybe time to coast, but they didn't. In the 5th the Bulls pick up four runs on home runs by Rich Thompson, Henry Wrigley and Chris Gimenez. Braves 8, Bulls 7. The Bulls are getting close and the game is dragging on when the Braves get two runs in the 6th and one in the 7th. Braves 11, Bulls 7. Time to wrap it up, you’d think. But, no. Top of the 9th the Bulls get two more runs to bring it to 11-9 and the tying run comes to the plate with two outs. He (Brignac) struck out.

But the Bulls gave the Braves’ fans a thrill and made them work for their win. If there was a bit of “what the Hell, go for it,” in their swings, why not? It almost worked.

Outside the game —
  • Chris Archer’s departure after the 1st inning of Saturday’s game is reported to be cautionary resulting from a tightness in his left oblique. But he is going to get a couple of extra days off as the Bulls are going to use the All-Star break to reset the rotation.
  • Stephen Vogt was name the top Ray's minor leaguer for the month of June. Congratulations!
  • BurGi over at Rays Prospects has an updated analysis of pitchers in the Rays system. Terrific work. Note the discussion of Alex Torres in the comments.

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