Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Come On Home

Game 64; June 9
Durham Bulls - 1; Louisville Bats - 5

Game 65, June 10
Durham Bulls - 5; Louisville Bats - 2

Game 66, June 11
Durham Bulls - 5; Louisville Bats 8

Season: 41-25; Trip: 4-4

All things considered, a pretty good trip even if in a perfect world things could have good just a bit better. The next eight games are an exact rematch of the last eight games, an oddity of this year’s schedule. Indianapolis arrives Thursday and the Bats come to town next Monday for an all weekday run.

The Bulls put up six relief pitchers last night after the Rays tapped scheduled starter Jake Odorizzi to come on down to St. Petersburg to warm the bullpen bench just in case he might be needed.  Except for the 4th inning and that ugly grand slam, they almost pulled it off. 

What should be admired about this team is simply how well they are doing in a time of roster adversity. They just split on a road trip where they faced the best team in the IL followed by a team with some really good ballplayers. In last night’s game  two of the six pitchers had pitched the previous night, two on one day’s rest, and two had had two days off. 

What helps with this pitching staff turmoil is offensive production. And that’s looking very good. Myers, Anderson, and Figueroa (!) had home runs yesterday. Every hitter in the lineup has decent batting averages. 

I guess what worries me most is that this back and forth risks losing focus. Yet we certainly can’t ignore the opportunities this year’s Bulls are getting. Of the five starting pitchers at the beginning of 2013, four have spent some time with the Rays. Three of those four (Archer, Torres, Odorizzi) are with the Rays now. The fifth, Mike Montgomery, has been on the DL most of the season, but is starting to get his legs under him.

Two of the relievers have been to the Rays. One of those, Josh Lueke is really banging on the door. Since his return he’s pitched in 6 innings and let just one batter get to first base. 

The Bulls have the day off. They’ve earned it. 

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