Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bulls Sweep Governors' Cup Playoff Round

Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, MiLB, Indianapolis

The Bulls rode the buses all Thursday night (10 hours), played a baseball game, won, and got back on the buses to come home as the winners of the first round of the International League Governors' Cup Championship. According to Charlie Montoyo, they have one bus for the guys who want to be loud and one for the guys who want to be quiet. Which one would you ride on?

How was this game won? I give a lot of credit to Jason Bourgeois' 12 pitch at bat in the 3rd inning. With Tim Beckham on 3B, Cole Figueroa on 1B and one run already across (Kevin Kiermaier, who else?), Bourgeois just wore down the entire Indianapolis team (especially rehabbing Wandy Rodriguez) until his ground ball to 2B resulted in a fielder's choice out and the winning run crossing the plate.

But how much credit do we give to young Merrill Kelly who had at least one runner on base in every inning he pitched and yet not one scored? That is terrific composure. The Indians left 8 runners on base during Kelly's 5 ⅔ innings, 4 of them in scoring position.

My worries about a too-rested bullpen were unfounded, obviously. Adam Liberatore had a solid  ⅓ innings and Juan Sandoval got past a few very anxious moments at the end of  his 2 inning save — runner on 3B, 2 outs, 3-2 count, bottom of the 9th — huzzahs to Cole Figueroa for the final out.

The box score shows an amazing 11,327 fans for the game, and they were very much into the game from the noise I heard. I have to say that if I were blogging for the Indians, I'd be heaping a ton of blame on Pittsburgh for this loss. Why in the world would they force the Indians to pitch a guy who hasn't thrown a ball since June 5th in a must win championship game? Manager Dean Treanor (he's the guy who got tossed by the umps in Durham before the game even started several weeks ago) has kept his team playing hard during a lot of turmoil. He has got to be disappointed in his bosses' disruption of his lineup.

For quotes and game details, take a look at Josh Jackson at the MiLB link above. He captured some terrific quotes from Montoyo and Figueroa.

Outside the game —
  • Pawtucket has taken a 2-1 lead over the Rochester Red Wings. 
  • The Bulls are going to take the day off today, then work out on Sunday and Monday to get ready for Tuesday's game. Pitching rotations haven't been announced nor have we heard anything about any moves from the flailing Rays. Worst case (for the Bulls) Jake Odorizzi gets a callup. But there's no rumors we've noticed about that. Everyone's going to be well-rested (except for Kelly) so only the Rays will be keeping Montoyo and Allen from having a completely free hand.
  • I'd thought that was going to give out a freebie viewing for the playoff games. If so, I couldn't find it on either the app or the website. Too bad, I'd sure like to watch game three (and more) of the final round. 
  • Payback for getting snarky about lack of news coverage of the Indians. Not one word about the Bulls winning the playoffs in the News & Observer today. the Herald-Sun, to its credit, had a stringer at the game and gathering up quotes after the game. Good for the Herald-Sun.
Video highlights. Indianapolis perspective, so Bulls' second run missed. 

Update: Here's another clip of 3rd inning single by Figueroa. Note the exuberant whack on Charlie's back by Tim Beckham. This is a loose, and winning, team.

1 comment:

  1. Bulls starting pitching for the playoffs...
    20.2 IP

    That's a 0.87 ERA with a WHIP of 0.97 and 7.8 K/9.

    That's impressive.