Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Duncan, and Others, Bang Up Bats

Season: 45-26; Home Stand: 4-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Louisville

For a Louisville team who’d just won five in a row, included four over in Norfolk, I expected more of a contest last night. Instead what we saw was a Bulls team, especially Shelley Duncan, Brandon Guyer, and Leslie Anderson, who wanted to show off their muscle. Particularly impressive was Duncan’s two home runs and 6 RBI that led the team to several firsts:
  • Most runs scored — 16
  • Largest run differential — 13
  • Most games over .500 — 19
  • Biggest spread between first and second place —  7 games
Since the game was pretty much settled by the bottom of the 2nd inning, we had plenty of time to chat about things in our part of the stands as we watched the middle innings.

Looking at our rosters we shook our head at the management challenges of Charlie Montoyo and crew. The Bulls have four catchers and two outfielders on the roster. That can’t last in the long run, but in the short run it meant putting a catcher (Chris Gimenez) out in Durham’s short left field and hoping that a good arm will make up for lack of foot speed. To his credit, Mr. Montoyo is not going to change his approach to rotating his players  on a regular basis. And, obviously, the offense was none the worse for Vince Belnome getting his day off.

Alex Colome was on a restricted pitch count so that he would be ready for an appearance in Yankee Stadium for the Rays later this week. I get that. What I don’t get is what has happened to his mound routine. He has turned into a human rain delay. The first 1½ innings last night took a hour to play. That was before the 6-run bottom of the 2nd. Yes, Louisville’s Pedro Villarreal was also taking his time, but the Colome we’re seeing now seems different from the guy who was blowing batters away a month ago, back before he went up to the Rays. Is he off his rhythm? He had a 4-inning start back on June 4 that took up 87 pitches, 2 earned runs. On five days rest he then went 6 innings (90 pitches) and gave up three runs. On two days rest he had a limited 2⅔ inning start, 44 pitches, 1 ER, and now a 2⅓ inning start on three days rest, 57 pitches 2 earned runs. This is a guy who not all that long ago went 7 innings, threw 101 pitches, and marked up 11 Ks while allowing only 1 earned run (May 13). I hope he gets his call up. I hope he does well. But I’m not sure that the Rays are treating this young man right.

We also were looking forward to seeing the Louisville’s phenom Billy Hamilton challenge Bulls pitching and catching. Didn’t happen. Mr. Hamilton never got on base.

Today is the 72nd game of the season, the exact midpoint. Traditionally, Bulls-Bats games have been much more interesting than what we saw last night. Looking forward to tonight and seeing if Mike Montgomery has gotten over his on-mound twitchiness.

Outside the game —
  • Claw Digest brings us up to date of a couple of ex-Bulls (and current Bulls)

1 comment:

  1. Only my 3rd game this season, but man this one dragged on. I was timing Colome at one point and even after routine pitches (e.g. not a foul ball) it was taking 30-35 seconds. Sure was tedious to watch. Not sure if it's something physical or mental.