Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How Long? Oh, How Long Will That Baseball Game Go On?

Season: 17-9; Home Stand: 2-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Times-Tribune (Scranton)

On a game like this one someone who writes about baseball may be forgiven if he (or she) tries to find some deep significance in a long (almost five hours), miserable (damp, breezy, mid-50’s) night. Is there something to be discerned among the seven pitchers? Some quirky moment to help make the game come to life for the 5 or 10 folks who were still there at midnight? Not much. So here’s a few small highlights and then we need to get ready for this morning’s 11:00 game.

A very scary moment in the 10th when Mikie Mahtook took a pitch right in the face. By that time I was watching on MiLB-TV and got several re-runs, none of them clear. At at guess the pitch ricochetted off the inside of his helmet's brim into his cheekbone. Given the laudable new protocols in place regarding concussions, I’d guess we won’t see him on the field for a couple of days. However, he did look alert on his way off the field.

After our praise yesterday, Jerry Sands had a rough night with 4 Ks. But his leadoff single in the 12th was the one of the few opportunities the Bulls had to win the game. Wilson Betemit's game-tying home run in the 9th was a beauty.

We remain unimpressed with Nate Karns. Is he really ready for AAA? My guess is that he’s going to be this year’s hole in the rotation and we’ll have the chance to watch him develop (or not). His first couple of innings were OK, then he had an all too typical big inning in the 4th, 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks (none of the walks scored, to his credit. In addition, the RailRiders got three stolen bases off of him.

C.J. Riefenhauser was put on the disabled list yesterday and I heard no explanation. As is typical with the Rays, if they don’t have to say anything, they won’t. But if anyone did hear something, please speak up.

In his place, infielder Robby Price, in “extended Spring Training,” magically appeared on the bench. Then even more magically came into the game as a pitcher in the bottom of the 13th after the Rail Runners had picked up their winning runs off of Gelz. He faced one batter and will now be forever on the books as a Durham Bulls pitcher. He could very possibly be the first ballplayer ever to win two WDBB Moonlight Graham awards — one as a hitter (2012) and one as a pitcher.

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