Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mini-Sweep in Norfolk

Wrap, Box, Virginian-Pilot

Mike Montgomery had another very solid day on the mound while Wilson Betemit and Mike Fontenot feasted on Norfolk pitching. Mikie Mahtook had a very rare 0-fer, but got a RBI sac fly.

Season: 40-27; Road Trip: 2-0
Wrap, Box, Virginian-Pilot

For the first two innings Alex Colome was looking a bit shaky. But from the 3rd through the 7th he was back on his game. This was his third start since coming back and he is making a solid claim for promotion.

Meanwhile we noticed a nifty bit of quirkiness in the 2nd inning (that also got Mr. Colome out of some trouble). With a runner on third base and 1 out a ground ball went out to Mike Fontenot at 2B. The runner at third broke for the plate and Fontenot’s throw to Mayo Acosta at home was perfect: 4-2, for out #2 and a runner on 1B. Two pitches later the runner broke for second and Acosta’s throw to Fontenot was in time: 2-4, out #3 on your scoresheet. What more could a baseball geek wish for?

Mikie Mahtook’s home run (his third) in the second inning tied it up. Justin Christian doubled and then scored when he stole third base and the catcher’s throw went sailing past the third baseman. The 8th — single, double, single — ended with the bases loaded and a tough moment for Belnome when he struck out, one of three on the evening. We are confident he’s going to break out, but it sure seems like he’s slipping back into the slump that began his season.

Check out the Virginian-Pilot story linked to above. Tides’ manager is very impressed with Bulls pitching.

Outside the game —
  • Former Bull Josh Lueke passed through waivers and is on his way back to the Bulls. His numbers last year with the Bulls were exceptional, with 17 saves and a stunningly low ERA of 0.63 over 57 innings. However, from a fan’s point of view he was a human rain delay. Since we frequently like to watch the 9th from the top of the Blue Monster, we sometimes felt we were never going to get back to our car. Still, we’d go home with a win. This year, he’s not having much success with the Rays (who is?).
  • Rehabbing former Bull Jeremy Hellickson is expected to show up in Indianapolis for a start maybe tomorrow. (Per broadcaster Kinas).
  • While listening Norfolk broadcasters, one of them went into a mild rant about the illegibility of the blue lettering on orange background of Bulls jerseys. Guess they were running out of things to say.

These are the best two teams in the International League. The Indians have won their last three, the Bulls have won their last two. The Indians have led the West Division from the very beginning of the season. Their superstar prospect Gregory Polanco just got called up, so we will have to see what difference that makes. Statistically the teams are very evenly matched in hitting, but with a slight ½ run difference in ERA.


  1. So, it's almost time to start worrying about opt outs. In various articles I've read I saw that both Betemit and Nix have opt out clauses sometime in June or early July. With the Rays in terrible shape, it wouldn't be surprising to take the clauses to try to land on a playoff run team that needs some help.

    I believe one of the pitchers has a similar clause, but I can't recall who offhand.

  2. Pretty sure that Bedard started season with opt-out, but he's gone anyhow. I wonder more about what might happen if the Rays decide to blow themselves up and sell off all their high-priced talent. Or just stay tactical and do things like swap out Odorizzi for Montgomery or Colome. Once again the Bulls who come back from a road trip could be very different from the team who left.