Friday, April 17, 2015

Two Down, But Hey! It's Baseball!

Season: 3-5; Home Stand: 0-2
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun [paywall]

Great to be back at the park! We have new seats over on the first base side of the stadium, and we like them. The 20 minute delay led to some apprehension on our part, but in the end, it was a pleasant night — at least the weather was nice.

On the field, it could have been better. Hak-Ju Lee did have his first good night of the year with a nice play in the field (and no errors), a bunt single, and a double. But he was the exception. The Bulls had opportunities in the 5th and again in the 9th, but Norfolk’s pitching prevailed.

Durham’s starter, Matt Buschmann, had the longest outing of any Durham pitcher so far this year, 7 innings (97 pitches) — 6 ⅔ would have been better, although possibly would not have made a difference in the game outcome. No one was even warming up at the beginning of the inning and Mr. Buschmann got two quick outs. But then 3 hits and two runs later the game was pretty much out of reach. Seems odd to let a pitcher go so long so early in the season.

This Norfolk team looks good. The South Division might be much more competitive this year.

Outside the game —
  • The new pitch clock was counting away and proved to be mostly a distraction. We quickly stopped paying attention. On the other hand, it seems to be working. In the 8 games so far the games have averaged two hours, 45 minutes. But that includes an 11 inning game (3:29) and a slugfest, 20 run game (3:24). At a guess, I think we can expect to be getting out of the park at a bit less than 3 hours, probably close to 2:30 most nights. The difference, it would seem, is in the between-innings time and the time for relief pitchers to get ready.
  • The new microbrewery Bull Durham Beer Company looks very cool. I look forward to tasting the beer. Probably will be brewing and selling by the next home stand. In the meantime they’ve got folks (Head Brewer Tate Little last night) there who like to talk about what they are up to.
  • We did not try any of the new concessions.
  • Have to say that the playing field does not look all that good, yet. Pretty scruffy, in fact. Apparently waiting for the summer before it really starts looking good. Meanwhile, it does seem to be playing well.

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