Monday, August 5, 2013

Sunday in the Park


Season: 73-43; Home Games Remaining: 13

The Braves’ Yohan Flande found his groove last night, and the Bulls never came close to figuring him out. He pitched eight very solid innings and if his pitch count had not gotten up to 109, he likely would have gone the distance. The Bulls didn’t even get on base until the 4th inning when Tim Beckham hit a double. Beckham eventually scored, but that was to be the Bulls’ only run of the game.

On the other hand, what a great evening for baseball. A nice breeze, not too warm, a couple of quirky plays, the Bulls and Braves in Negro League uniforms. Fun day at the park.

This was Negro League day and both teams wore the uniforms of the era (to the confusion of the PA announcer who kept getting numbers wrong all night). I wish that somehow baseball could find an even more impressive way to honor and tell the story of that era. I appreciate the conflict — how do you show respect for something that never should have happened in the first place? That’s hard to ignore. And yet these gentlemen (several of whom were at the park last night generously signing autographs) were superb athletes who surely loved the game. And if the game should have given them more, well, I just don’t know how to fix that except by shaking their hands and hoping that they at least had some fun playing baseball.

Matchup: Red Wings vs. Bulls

The Rochester Red Wings are the Minnesota Twins' Triple-A team and they have recently climbed into first place in the North Division. They are at the start of an eleven day road trip (we thought the Bulls have some long treks!). What is much more important, however, is that one of our all-time favorite Durham Bulls will be back in the DBAP — Ray Olmedo. Olmedo has probably put in more time on International League diamonds than any other active player. In addition to his two seasons as a Durham Bull (2009 and 2011) he has time in four seasons with the Louisville Bats, and single seasons with the Syracuse Chiefs, the Columbus Clippers, and the Charlotte Knights. Then there was his year with the Nashville Sounds, who are in the Pacific Coast League. That’s 11 seasons in Triple A baseball! He’s having a pretty good year. He’s hit two home runs (that’s about average, maybe a little above). He’s batting .228 over 87 games. He’s divided his time at 2B, SS, and 3B almost in equal portions. He has not been on the pitchers' mound since his one, and only, appearance for 2 innings with the Durham Bulls in 2009. He got the win. He may have the best winning percentage of any player in Durham Bulls history.

Meanwhile Nuke keeps on finding creative ways to lose in his races against Crash and Annie. Last night he was well ahead of them both when an irate groundskeeper tackled him and Crash piled on. Annie blithely skipped by to win.

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