Friday, July 11, 2014

Win in Buffalo

Season: 51-44; Trip: 1-1; Last 10: 6-4

The first thing to know about the Buffalo Bisons is that their first baseman is Dan Johnson. Johnson stands very high on the list off all-time great Durham Bulls hitters. He was a Bull in 2008, and was back for 2010 and 2011. He is #2 on the all-time list when the list is sorted by OPS. We should note that a hitter could not even get on the list without at least 1,000 plate appearances with the Bulls. He’s having more than a decent year with the Bisons. He leads the International League in home runs and is 4th in OBP and OPS. According to broadcaster Patrick Kinas there were persistent rumors last night that he was about to be called up to the Blue Jays. If so, that would really mess up the Triple-A Home Run Derby, where we were going to be able to see him and Mike Hessman square off for a championship (although doesn’t seem quite fair since Hessman bats right and Johnson is a lefty). DJ went 0-3 with a walk last night.

[Update: 12:30, Friday, twitter saying DJ has been called up and will appear in game against Rays tonight.]

The second is that the minor mystery of Mike Montgomery has not been cleared up, but he did have a decent outing. Mystery? Well, it’s this. Back on June 14 he pitched 5 innings in an 88-pitch no-decision. Then he did not pitch again until June 23, another 5 inning no-decision, where he threw 77 pitches. His next appearance was not until July 4, also 5 innings, throwing 76 pitches. Stated another way, he only made three starts after his June 9th win, and pitched only 15 innings for 3 no-decisions. Why? Unless I missed something, as usual, the Rays aren’t saying.

As Bulls fans, let’s just say that his win last night was welcome. Not that he was all that sharp, but he did reach 92 pitches even though they all came in just 5 1/3 innings. My guess? Rotation turmoil with Hellickson around and a desire to give him some rest. Is he back? Not sure. He did not look all that sharp on the TV last night.

Meanwhile the game was won by — who else? — Jeremy Moore, who smacked a 2-run homer that drove in Justin Christian. Christian had another great night as well with three hits and scoring two out of the three Bulls runs.

Outside the game — 

As we know, Wednesday’s game in Norfolk was rained out. So was yesterday’s against Gwinnett. Wonder why? Here’s what Harbor Park looked like yesterday.

Now, That's a Rainout!

Harbor Park, Norfolk, VA, July 10
Image courtesy Norfolk Tides

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