Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hitless Wonderfulness

Season: 47-42; Home Stand: 1-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

The box score really doesn’t tell the tale of the wonderful quirkiness of the first 5 innings of last night’s game. We were almost, but not quite, sad for Gwinnett pitcher Alex White. We got over it.

Here’s the oddity: Not one of the first three Bulls runs of the game were “driven” in, that is, not one of the runs came home on a Durham Bulls hit. Here’s how it happened.

The first batter, Boog Powell, got on base when the catcher could not handle the strikeout pitch. Powell went to second base when Nick Franklin walked. When Taylor Motter grounded out, pitcher to first base, Powell and Franklin were in the midst of either a double steal or a hit-and-run. At any rate, Powell went full bore around third and came home with a very pretty plate-brushed slide. One run, no hits.

In the 4th inning Hak-Ju Lee drew a walk, stole second base, went to third base after a deep fly out to center field by catcher Bobby Wilson, and came home on a Vince Belnome sacrifice fly to left field.

In the 5th inning Taylor Motter walked, stole second, moved to third on a fly out to right by J.P. Arencibia, and came home on a sacrifice fly to right by Tim Beckham.

How cool is that? Three runs on no hits and the Bulls were ahead 3-2 going into the bottom of the 6th.

Then the Bulls did start hitting and the wheels really came off for the Braves. Hak-Ju Lee batted twice in the inning, doubling and scoring the first run on a Vince Belnome ground rule double, and striking out to end the inning. In the meantime the Bulls romped. The most exciting moment came from Tim Beckham’s bases-loaded single that cleared the bases and left him on third base when the throw from right field sailed into the Braves dugout.

Meanwhile, the Braves batters were taking shots at Bulls starting pitcher Scott Diamond. The first line drive hit him in the legs and he shook that off. A line drive in the last of the 3rd inning, however, went off his pitching arm and he left the game. More news today.

The recently maligned (by WDBB) bullpen came in for 6⅓ strong innings. Jeff Riefenhauser, led off and got the win. He was by WDBB favorite Jhan Mariñez for a 50 pitch, 2⅔ stretch. The game was closed out by Everett Teaford. Everett Teaford? What’s he doing in relief? That’s what he was doing for the Rays when he was up there and even though they’ve taken him off the 40-man, it looks like he’ll will be, at least for one night, a member of the relief crew.

Outside the game —
  • Matt Andriese, top rider of the Durham Bulls/Tampa Bay Rays carousel is starting tonight. I’m guess he’s become a personal friend of whomever schedules Tampa-RDU flights. I’m not entirely sure, but I think there are seven transactions involved Andriese this year, none of them injury related. 
  • Richie Shaffer was off to the futures game. Good luck today.
  • Game time today 1:05. Need to get your praying done early.

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