Thursday, July 25, 2013

Figueroa and Guyer Team Up to Win

Season: 66-39; Home Games Remaining: 16
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Cole Figueroa played shortstop and batted leadoff.  Brandon Guyer played right field was in the #2 spot last night. They made a terrific 1-2 punch.

Figueroa led off the 1st with a single. Guyer reached on an error that allowed him to go to second base with Figueroa on third. Figueroa came home for the first Bulls run on a Leslie Anderson grounder.

In the 3rd inning Figueroa laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt that moved Jason Bourgeois from first to second. Bourgeois scored when Guyer singled. Guyer then stole second base and third base, but was left stranded.

In the 5th Figueroa grounded out, but Guyer walked and got his third stolen base of the night (he's up to 22 stolen bases), but was stranded at second.

In the 7th Figueroa came to bat with two outs and ran out a grounder to short. Guyer singled him to second base. Leslie Anderson walked to load the bases. New guy (more later on him) Kevin Kiermaier came in to run for Anderson. Braves pitcher Wirfin Obispo balked in Figueroa.

So, between the two of them, they accounted for all of the hits, two of the runs, and one of the RBI. Pretty good night. And they ended up with Figueroa hitting .303 and Guyer at .300.

Meanwhile, the story from the broadcast booth was Gwinnett Brave pitcher Brandon Beachy, who is on his long trek back from Tommy John surgery and who may be scheduled to start for the Atlanta Braves on Monday. It points out a feature of AAA baseball that is rarely so obvious — yes, Beachy cared about winning, but he probably cared much more about specific pitches and his ability to put them where he wanted them to go. Hence he gave up 4 stolen bases, but only 2 hits, both singles. He's probably pleased with himself. The Braves are probably pleased with his performance as well.

From a fan's perspective, the other highlight of the night was the Braves' Ernesto Mejia's at bat against the Bulls' Josh Lueke in the 8th inning with two outs and a runner on second base. Lueke had come on with no outs and runners on first and second base. A run scored (the Braves' only run) on a grounder to short. Lueke struck on the next batter. Over the course of the 10-pitch Meijia at bat Lueke really … worked … hard: 97-98 mph fastballs mixed with breaking stuff. Mejia fouled off five pitches for finally missing one to end the inning. The 9th was anti-climatic: Lueke struck out two and the third out was a long fly to right field.

Outside the game —

  • As mentioned above, Kevin Kiermaier came in to run for Leslie Anderson in the 7th inning last night. He then took his place in center field for the 8th inning, but did not come to bat. We saw him in the Bulls' last 2012 home game when he was jumped all the way up from A-ball to fill out some end of season roster holes. He was a leading candidate for the WDBB's Moonlight Graham Award until Robby Price (also with Montgomery this year) came up for the last two games of the season. Kiermaier has been with Montgomery all season where he leads the team in batting average and is #2 on OPS. Stats. He sounds excited to be here. Relatively new outfielder, Evan Frey, was sent to Montgomery.
  • Tim Beckham didn't play in the last three games. The Herald-Sun reports that he was on the "temporary inactive list". I have no idea what that means. Hope he returns to action soon.

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