Season: 48-43; At Home: 22-21; This Home Stand: 2-2
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Home plate umpire Brian De Brauwere had his hands full last night. He was on the crew (at first base) back on May 1st when the Bulls played the PawSox up in Pawtucket. Veteran catcher for the PawSox, Humberto Quintero, chunked a full-strength throw into Bulls catcher Luke Maile’s gut and later in the game spiked Hak-Ju Lee. We summarized the aftermath at the end of a post back on May 3.
De Brauwere's first big challenge came in the 2nd inning. Cory Brown was attempting to score from second base and to everyone (except the one guy who mattered) it sure seemed like Brown made it past the tag. So we’d have to say he (De Brauwere) missed his first chance.
|Corey Brown slides under Humberto Quinetero's tag|
Photo by Sue Roth
|Maile tags Jamile Weeks|
Photo by Sue Roth
However, as they say in some circles, payback …
Even after wearing out the grass between home and the pitcher's mound — Quintero must have gone out the mound 15 or 20 times last night trying to sort out the PawSox pitching crew; he was the main reason the game went on for 3½ hours — in the 8th the Bulls managed to load the bases. Luke Maile hit a very pretty double that cleared the bases putting three runs across and putting the Bulls ahead 8-7.
Even more fun in addition to Maile's 3 RBI ensued. Boog Powell singled and Maile moved to third base. Ryan Brett and Mikie Mahtook struck out and J.P. Arencibia came to bat. Boog Powell attempted a steal of second base. On the throw, Luke Maile headed for home. So we were seeing double steal in action. Powell beat the throw to second and the second baseman threw home. Quintero blocked the plate without the ball as he waited for the throw (remember he’s an old-school guy). Catcher’s interference was called and the run scored. Luke Maile, the young catcher Quintero had essentially slugged in the gut back in May had three RBI plus had stolen home for a fourth run (in the books it will go down as an error on the catcher)! So, in the eyes of WDBB, umpire Brian De Brauwere had redeemed himself.
It got better when he threw PawSox manager Kevin Boles out of the game a few minutes later. Boles was last seen flipping a bird at the ump. Here’s hoping he gets whacked with a serious fine for that bit of childishness.
Lots of other thrills in last night’s game as the Bulls seem refreshed from their break. Richie Shaffer showed a ton of plate discipline as he drew three walks and got a RBI on a bloop single. Corey Brown got two doubles. The team batted around twice and came from behind twice, something not typical in this year’s Bulls.
Roberto Zarate actually looked very good for 4⅔ innings, but that previously mentioned call at home and then an uncharacteristic error by Corey Brown messed things up for him. Similarly, C.J. Riefenhauser got some solid defense from catcher Luke Maile and almost got out of a bad start to the 8th. But then a 3-run homer had him with at least a blown save. He ended up, however, with the oddity of a blown save stat and a win stat.
Best of all from the pitching side is that, at least for this game, the Kirby Yates of 2014 came out of the bullpen and struck out the side. That is a very, very good sign for the Bulls.
Outside the game —
- Scanning down the Pawtucket roster we see our old friend Ronald Belisario looking very odd in his brand new PawSox hat. Expect we’ll see him the next day or so.
- Last night the paid attendance 10, 370 and it looked like almost all of them actually came to the game. Good vibe, even if some of them were members of the Red Sox Nation.