Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Three Home Runs Not Enough

Season: 59-72; Home Stand: 0-3; Bulls v. Knights: 4-12
Home Games Left: 8; Standings; Wild Card

I was chatting with a fan before the game last night and the conversation began with him saying, “I don’t think the Rays have done right with the Bulls this year. We don’t have the Chris Richard's, the Joe Dillon's.” To which I responded, “We don't even have the Ray Olmedo's.” (By the way, if you’re wondering why Ray isn’t on the Knight’s bench, he’s up with the White Sox for his first big league time since a few games with Toronto in 2007. You can bet he’s having fun. Good for him!)

Case in point, last night’s starting pitcher, Cesar Ramos. I know that I was in the front of the line cheering his appearance as a starting pitcher at the end of July. Shows you what I know. Since that game he’s made four starts, pitched 18 ⅔ innings, and given up 30 hits, 6 walks, 5 home runs, and 17 earned runs. That would be an ERA of 8.23. In the end Ramos has been just another of the Rays’ many makeshift “fixes” to the Bulls this year, and one of the least effective.

Yes, last night’s game had its thrills. The Bulls’ 4th inning began with two home runs, a single, and another home run. But then off to the north we heard the air horn of a train coming through downtown Durham as Reid Brignac came to bat with the bases empty and no outs. An omen? A few minutes later the Knights were out of the inning and still ahead 6-4. They hit their own homer in the 5th to stay ahead. The Bulls responded with a two-run homer in the 6th to get within one run, but then Ramos gave up a single and a home run which pushed the Knights up by three runs. So, yes, a bit of fun back and forth, but always with this uneasy sense that the game wasn’t going to end well. And it didn’t. 

Let’s let Charlie Montoyo have the last word here. As quoted in the Herald-Sun this morning:
“We have to be approaching some kind of record — 32 runs in three games. That’s just tough to watch.”
Outside the game —

Remember Gary Gaetti? He was the Bulls hitting coach some years ago and now manages the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League. The Skeeters were the source of the Bulls’ current pitcher Lance Pendleton and the current home of former Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir (who visited the Bulls for a couple of rehab starts). They’ve signed a new pitcher to start his first game in a couple of day, Roger Clemens. 

If he makes his first start on Saturday, Clemens will be sharing the evening’s entertainment bill with a fellow named Ted Batchelor, a stuntman who sets himself on fire and runs the bases. What a pair! Pretty sure the Skeeters are going to sellout this Saturday. 

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