Friday, April 12, 2013

Purple, No Wait, Make That Golden, Haze

Season: 7-1; Home Stand: 4-0
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Rays Colored Glasses

Ah, April in central North Carolina. Sunny days are blessed with a thin golden haze drifting in lovely clouds creating an aureate glow in the waning sunlight. On the way to the ballpark an amber dustcloud curls through the air and gathers on the streets making miniature gilded drifts that swirl up and billow behind slow moving cars.

Ah, a North Carolina spring when you eye seeks out the pine trees and notes the efflorescence of their stamens, bright yellow against the deep green. You know as long as they are visible, that pollen ain't goin' nowhere. It’s just gonna keep on blowing through and covering every g-d surface, with a sticky, ugly mess. There's a downside to April in North Carolina.

Ah, a North Carolina April where if you can be allergic to it, it's blooming at just about the same time as the pine pollen starts drifting down from pines.

But, we have baseball in the golden glow! Oh, yeah. Great baseball in the haze. Really, you could see the haze and occasional billows of pollen being blown off the roof.

For 7½ innings we were treated some some terrific pitching by both the Tides’ Jair Jurrjens and the Bulls’ Alex Colome. Colome was particularly sharp, not allowing even a hit until 5th inning and only one more in the 6th. I am very impressed with this guy. For his part Jurrjens did let in two runs, but he was assisted by a couple of nice plays by center fielder, and former Bull, Jason Pridie.

Although the Bulls threatened in the 6th, scoring a run and leaving the bases loaded, the game went into the bottom of the 7th with the Bulls ahead by only two runs. The first two batters, Fontenot and Belnome, went quietly. Then the bottom fell out for the Tides' Scott Proctor who was followed by former Bull Adam Russell. Nine more batters came to the plate before the inning was over. They included Fontenot, who got a double his second time around, and Belnome who unfortunately can claim credit for two outs in one inning. The rest of the team collected 2 walks, 3 singles, and 3 doubles to score 7 runs.

Just before that blowout inning, Josh Leuke came in to close out the 8th with a K. After his long wait, he faced four more batters. One reached on an error. He struck out the other three earning him the oddity of the night, a "save" in an 9-0 game.

Outside the game —
  • We've been curious about this year's pitching rotation. J.D. Martin is scheduled to start tonight and while Martin has plenty of experience as a starting pitcher we thought he was brought in to be a long reliever. Turns out (according to Kinas on the radio and the Herald-Sun) that new guy Mike Montgomery has forearm tightness and may miss a couple of starts.
  • The other new guy, catcher Juan Apodaca, is here and in uniform (#13). He's being carried on the disabled list, but that was him warming up pitchers last night.
  • We saw Tim Beckham trip as he crossed first base Wednesday afternoon. The Herald-Sun is reporting that he is day-to-day.
  • A big storm blew in last night. Maybe it will wash some of the pollen out of the air and off the pine trees. We can hope. Otherwise, sniffle, sniffle, sniffle, cough, cough, cough.

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