Monday, August 25, 2014

Nice Win; Nice Day at the Park

Season: 70-65; Home Stand: 5-4; Home Games Remaining: 3
Wrap, Box

Seems like a very long time since we were at the DBAP. The Bulls are still pitching well, but hitting remains below average, but usually enough to win a game. Also on a slightly upward trend.

Last evening the pitching was not good enough to keep runners off the bases — Gwinnett did get 10 hits and 4 walks — but the pitching was good enough to strand 12 Braves runners.

Enny Romero’s last couple of outings have been impressive. No doubt the young man can throw hard. 96 and 97 mph readings were typical for the night. He was certainly helped by some smart baseball from Nick Franklin and Cole Figueroa keeping runners from scoring.

Hak-Ju Lee’s triple in the 5th was the big hit. And it was a huge thrill for the fans. Sunday’s are “Kids Run the Bases” games and often enough the place is seething with folks not paying particular attention. But for that one moment they were. Everyone came to their feet to watch the hit go into the right field corner and see Lee move around the bases.

Not much hope that Lee will see a big improvement in his performance this year. But maybe this is a good sign going into the playoffs?

Adam Liberatore came on to close out the game, not his typical role, and gave up a home run. That moment just highlights how important he’s been this year. It was the first home run he’s given up this season (and he only gave up 1 last year). In 51 appearances and 62 innings he’s got stunning numbers: ERA - 1.74; WHIP: 0.94(!); FIP: 1.43. Pitches per out a mere 5.03. And he’s clearly (until recently) Charlie’s premier fireman. Over the year he has come in the game with a total of 27 runners on base, far more than any other Bulls reliever. Only 3 have scored. Best of all, from a Bulls fan point of view, he isn’t on the 40-man. However, after these last two years it seems inevitable that he will be, but let’s hope not until after the playoffs. By the way, he got a save.

Outside the game —

Just in case you missed them, several roster moves while I was up in the mountains.
  • Brandon Gomes came back from Tampa Bay
  • Vince Belnome came back from Tampa Bay
  • Wil Myers finished his rehab and returned to Tampa Bay
  • RHP Jake Thompson was put on the temporarily inactive list
  • RHP Doug Mathis went on the Disable List
  • Reports have Tampa Bay catcher Ryan Hanigan and outfielder David DeJesus rehabbing elsewhere in the Rays system. Just how their progress might affect the Bulls is hard to predict. The Rays might, however, try to stretch things out to September so they don’t really have to do anything at all. 
  • We're still keeping track of the Rays' trek to .500 here.

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