Season: 33-26; Home Stand: 1-0
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun
Watching a Durham Bull hit a grand slam home run is one of the great thrills a fan can have. The first one I’ve witnessed this year came last night from J.P. Arencibia with Leonardo Reginatto, Cory Brown, and Taylor Motter on base in the 3rd inning. Over the Blue Monster and a very pretty thing it was.
By the end of the night Arencibia had 5 RBIs on the homer and a double. Taylor Motter had a perfect evening going 3 for 4 with a walk. Everyone else, except for Eugenio Velez got a hit or two. Nice night for the Bulls hitters.
Which helped, because while Matt Buschmann certainly had a much better outing than his last where his Game Score was a miserable 33, last night it was just a so-so 52. Decent enough, but in need of the run support that he got.
Early on in the game we got to see what looked to be two failures of the modern enthusiasm for shifting players around. The very first Lehigh Valley batter got a triple off of the shift (he later scored) and in the 4th a single off of a shift moved a runner to 3B and he scored later on. The successes/failures of shifting are not something I actually watch all that closely (and would not be able to track efficiently under any circumstance). There must be some data out there if the coaches and managers are going to all this trouble. Watch manager Jared Sandberg at the next game and you will see what I mean. He is routinely signaling position info to his players.
I also wonder if this puts an additional stress on the pitcher to locate his pitches in support of the shift?
Two former Bulls were in the Lehigh Valley lineup last night. They were both 0-fer, so they did no harm. Russ Canzler was a major star for the Bulls back in 2011. Since that time he has AAA time with Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, the Yankees, and twice in the Phillies’ system. I worry every time he comes to bat against the Bulls.
Jayson Nix was with the Bulls for 55 games last year coming to the Bulls from the Phillies. He left in August and got some major league time with Pittsburg and Kansas City. He started this year in the Baltimore system with the Norfolk Tides and now has a few games back in the Phillies system. He made a couple of nice plays at second base last night.
Outside the game —
- Hak-Ju Lee came off the disabled list yesterday. We can expect to see him in a game soon.
- Vince Belnome has been spending his time on the disabled list growing a mohawk. Hoping he comes back soon and re-captures some of his old form with or without the new hair.
- Discovered Cracker Jack for sale at the last concession stand on the first base side. Scratched that itch and won’t feel guilty at the 7th inning stretch any more. All is right with the world.