Monday, May 5, 2014

Solid Finish to Home Stand

Season: 20-11; Home Stand: 5-3
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Since the Rays desperately needed Nate Karns sitting on their bench yesterday, relatively new guy Doug Mathis got the start and did just fine. Mathis isn’t a strikeout pitcher, but except for the unfortunate solo home run in the 4th, he led a fine “committee” day for the Durham Bulls.

He was followed by even newer guy just up from Montgomery, Jim Patterson, who got the win in relief. Patterson had a very brief AAA appearance back in 2012. He might stick around this time.

Bulls power was not in much evidence this home stand. In the eight games we only saw four home runs (one each by Belnome, Sands, Betemit, and last night’s by Solis). On the other hand, Roman Ali Solis’ in the 7th broke up the tie game. The two more runs scored in the 8th meant that Sandoval could stay in the game (and get a save) and the Bulls relievers could get some more rest.

Here’s an observation for those of us who puzzle about this game: When Jim Patterson came into the game to start the 5h inning, had he ever even thrown a ball to his catcher, Ali Solis? Was that warm-up their first encounter? Did they even have a chance to have a chat before the game? Seems to me it says a lot about both players' professionalism that they did so well together.

Outside the game —
  • When pitcher Jim Patterson came in to pitch, Robby Price was out in left field. Here’s a bit of deep WDBB trivia for you. They were this blogs’ Moonlight Graham Award winners for 2012. That is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek award that we give to the players with the least amount of playing time in a Bulls uniform each year. Price came up from Single A Charlotte to play in two games at the old Charlotte Knights stadium in early September. Patterson also came up from the Stone Crabs and came on in relief on the September 3rd. So here they were yesterday, together in Bulls uniforms again.
  • Huge crowd yesterday(11,507). One of the largest in Bulls history. Probably means more Star Wars nights in the future.
  • Bound to be some kind of transaction today involving pitchers. Doesn’t make sense to send someone off to Syracuse when the Rays are short a reliever. With Riefenhauser on the DL, the Bulls only have 12 pitchers (usually have 13) and another reliever to St. Petersburg makes it 11. Watch this space.
  • Former Bull Reid Brignac is having a decent year with the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

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