Friday, July 12, 2013

Drizzly Drama

Season: 60-35; Streak: 5-0
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

In recent days an essential bit of game gear is a rain jacket or umbrella. After a drought a couple of years ago, this year has been near-constant rain varying from light showers to the occasional flood-producing deluge. Local farmers are watching crops rot in the fields.

On the other hand, the Durham Bulls seem to take to the weather like … well, you supply the image. Fans, especially the hydrophobic ones such as myself, tend to check on the tarp status and end up watching the rain from dry seats at home.

Mistake on my part, because, as much fun as it was to watch it on the big screen, it would have been a lot more fun to be there. It was a long haul. Even the broadcasters seemed to lose interest after the Knights’ home run in the top of the 7th put them ahead 4-3, and even more so when Leslie Anderson grounded out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning. Worse, Charlotte picked up another run in the top of the 8th.

In the bottom of the 8th, however, Ryan Roberts interrupted the broadcasters’ nattering on about decades-old baseball trivia with a huge homer over the Bull. Mike Fontenot got on with his fourth hit of the day, was sacrificed to 2B and scored after a wild pitch and scoring error to tie the game.

The bottom of the 9th was classic 2013 Bulls baseball. Vince Belnome got an extra base hit, a triple, to lead off the inning. Shelley Duncan struck out. Leslie Anderson hit a line drive over the head of the drawn in right fielder to bring Belnome in to win the game.

I forget just how young Mike Montgomery is. For that matter, how young most of these guys are: Montgomery, Jake Odorizzi, and C.J. Riefenhauser are all just 23 years old. So, while he wasn’t having an off night, neither did he look all that strong. On the other hand, 96 pitches, not bad.

Outside the game —
  • Careful readers of WDBB may recall that some time ago the good folks at PETA took umbrage at the treatment of opossums out in Brasstown, NC. Now it appears that they have taken up the cause of the Rays’ rays in a fish tank down in Tropicana Field. I know, these are just fund-raising gimmicks targeting folks who have never seen a ‘possum or a cownose ray, but still seems a bit silly.

The Bulls are now 25 games above .500. At 60-35, they have the best record in the International League. [Note: According to Bulls GM Mike Birling, the Bulls have the best record in professional baseball!] The Braves won their last two games and are in town for three before the break. They are 19 games back of the Bulls. The Bulls lead the IL in batting average and are .001 off the lead (Buffalo Bisons) in OPS. They are second in the league in ERA, 0.05 behind the Indianapolis Indians.

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