Sunday, July 21, 2013

Durham Bulls Not Yet Back From All-Star Break

Season: 63-38; Home Stand: 5-3
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Up in the stands we are beginning to wonder when the Bulls are going to come back from the All-Star break. The starting pitching crew that left the field back on July 14 does not resemble the crew that’s here now. Merrill Kelly and C.J. Riefenhauser combined for a truly awful 6⅔ innings, 14 hits, 9 runs, and two of the Bulls’ 4 errors. How bad was it? Well, note that even with the 9 runs, the Red Sox still left 11 runners on base.

Then there was Tim Beckham channeling B.J. Upton in 7th. (Note: for those who were not around to witness young Mr. Upton’s tenure as a Bull during 2004-2006, let’s be kind and just say that he was then a “developing” shortstop and a thrill to watch as long as you didn’t sit near first base — he committed 106 errors over those years). Beckham made a difficult stop, but then sailed his throw several rows above the camera well.

Now, the 8th inning was nice, much like the 8th inning the day before. Leslie Anderson and the aforementioned Tim Beckham hit home runs. Ramon Ramirez shut down the Red Sox. But too little, too late.

We should, however, give some credit to Red Sox knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. Until the 8th, none of the Bulls came close to figuring him out. Baseball lore asserts that the knuckleball, when thrown just right, is virtually impossible to hit well. Throwing it just right is the key, and Haeger was apparently doing that last night.

Well, Matt Buschmann is the fourth of the starting crew to appear since the break. He’s on the mound tonight. Maybe …

Outside the game —

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