Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Four Pitcher Shut Out

Adam Liberatore

Season: 48-56; Home Stand: 5-3; Bulls v. Red Wings: 6-2; Standings
Home Stands Remaining: 3; Home Games Remaining: 19
Box, Wrap, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

This was one of the most fun-to-watch Bulls games of the year. Were there mistakes? You bet. But there were also a couple of brilliant defensive plays, decent pitching, a timely home run by a fellow just back to the team, and a win against one of the best pitchers in minor leagues. Just plain fun.  Oh, and the Bull is partially back in service.

After starter Matt Torra called in sick, Charlie Montoyo had to go with an all-reliever approach to the game. He kept with his disciplined approach to his lineup, however, sitting out Reid Brignac, Brandon Allen, Leslie Anderson, and Sam Fuld (or maybe Fuld’s gone back to Tampa Bay).

First of all, of course, was the obligatory rain delay, this time just half an hour. The tarp crew has earned they pay this week. Ooops! They don’t get paid for pulling the tarp? How fair is that?

Montoyo started with Ryan Reid, who’d done a 20-pitch inning on Sunday night. Reid gave up two doubles and a walk, but they all ended up standing on the bases. Meanwhile back-to-back doubles by Tim Beckham and Jesus Feliciano in the 2nd inning put the Bulls up 1-0. Nevin Ashley, starting as catcher with catcher Chris Gimenez in left field and catcher Stephen Vogt at first base, had his first at bat as a Bull since April 27th in the bottom of the 2nd. He flew out to left, but it was great to see him back in the game.

For the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings it was Josh Lueke’s turn. He got past a few messy moments, including his own throwing error in the 4th (where Ashley backed up first base and ran the loose ball down almost to the bullpen — I said it was a fun game to watch). He struck out four and stranded one more. He was also supported by a spectacular running, diving stretched-out catch by Rich Thompson in right for the second out in the 5th. Beautiful, beautiful play. Meanwhile Rochester’s Liam Hendriks was showing his stuff, including two strike outs looking to end the 5th.

New guy Adam Liberatore came out for the 6th and 7th and had an ugly stretch after giving up a leadoff single followed by a K. He threw seven straight balls before putting strike across and then getting the second out on a liner to centerfield and then a K with runners on second and third. He didn’t have any problems in the 7th at all. Meanwhile in the Bulls 6th Henry Wrigley drew a walk in the 7th, moved to third on a Vogt double and came home on a wild pitch. Vogt moved to third on that same wild pitch and came home on what should have been a sac fly by Cole Figueroa, but the ump blew the call. The baseball gods made it right in the 7th when Nevin Ashley hit a two-run home run off the Rochester reliever.

The 8th and 9th were Dane De La Rosa’s turn and, although he made it exciting, we fans were rewarded with a spectacular Rhymes to Beckham to Vogt double play to end the game. Beckham seemed to leap straight up into the air to avoid the incoming baserunner while making a perfect throw to first. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

OK, this year’s Bulls may not be the best team in the league, but every now and then we get to see an exciting game. That’s why we go, isn’t it?

Outside the game —
  • The Bull was smokin’ but he wasn’t blinkin’. Guess it takes some special circuitry to make the lights work (or maybe special bulbs?)
  • The story on the grass is, essentially, what would you do if it was 105° for a couple of days in a row? And you just had to lie there and take it? You’d turn brown and die wouldn’t you? All to be made well while the Bulls are on their trek to Lawrenceville and Norfolk.
  • Rays Index does some interesting number-crunching regarding the Ichiro trade. Did the Yankees just waste a couple million more dollars? Will anyone notice?


  1. Sam Fuld is back on the Rays active roster, to make room on the 40 man roster they moved Longoria to the 60 Day DL spot that Fuld just vacated. So I guess we can say "no Bulls were harmed"

    1. Brandon Allen has been put on the "temporarily inactive" list. No reason given. So he and Mangini are out for an undisclosed amount of time. Usually those categories are for funerals, legal proceedings, etc.

  2. BTW, not to brag, but...we've only made it to 6 games this year, including last night. We're 6-0. Considering we were facing one of the league's best pitchers with a ragtag assembly of our own, I have to assume it's us :)

    1. So THAT's why we've been losing so many games this year. You gotta get to more games next year, Chris. This year's a bust, but there's always next year.
      You did get to see what I thought was one of the most enjoyable games of the year, though.