Saturday, August 29, 2015

Fun While It Lasted

6th Inning: Hak-Ju Lee slides safely under/past the tag of Knights’ 1B Dayan Viciedo as pitcher Brad Penny and 2B Michah Johnson cluster in frustration. Thanks, Sue

Season: 67-67; Home Stand: 1-1
Games Remaining: 10; Home Games: 7
Wrap, Box

Each of the three Durham Bulls pitchers allowed at least one earned run last night and that was enough to break the streak. Those fans inclined to seek good news at the far reaches of probability, possibility, and plausibility are slowly coming back to earth. But wasn’t that a pretty run?

About that photo up at the top by our good friend Sue Roth (who sits not far from first base, obviously) — I am not a fan of even the idea of sliding into first base and have been pleased to see it seemingly disappear from most player’s trick bag. But this time it made sense. As the first batter in Durham’s piece of the 6th inning, Hak-Ju Lee made a hard bunt between pitcher and first base. Thereafter there was a gathering of Knights: Pitcher Brad Perrry, First Baseman Dayan Viciedo, and Second Baseman Micah Johnson. Viciedo has the ball and Lee is sliding under and past the tag to reach the base. A fraction of a second later Johnson kicks Lee in the head and they had what I hope was a friendly discussion about that.

Back to the rest of the game.

Matt Moore had brilliant innings followed by not very good innings all night. And easy 1st inning, then two walks and two K’s in the 2nd. In the 3rd a single, a run-scoring double, and two wild pitches let two runs score. Three up, three down in the 4th. Same in the 5th. In the 6th a single, then an error by Richie Shaffer, and another single loaded the bases. Moore hit the next batter for another run. Kirby Yates gave up a run on 2 hits in his 1⅔ innings. Andrew Bellatti gave up a home run in his inning.

But the hitters did have their chances. After being absolutely shut down for 14 outs, a double by Cory Brown broke up the perfect game Brad Penney had going. Then in the 7th the Bulls scored two runs before Mikie Mahtook struck out with the bases loaded. That got the Bulls within a run, but the Knights got two more runs before the Bulls even threatened in the 9th and that fizzled out.

Nevertheless, an 8-game run is a big deal. Thanks, Bulls, for the thrills as the season winds down.

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