Monday, August 3, 2015

Slide Continues

Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Season: 52-56; Home Stand: 0-3
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

The Durham Bulls slid deeper into the cellar of the International League South Division with last night’s shutout. Bradin Hagens had a decent start, but it’s hard to win without any run support. And then Everett Teaford, who has had a tough time of it since being sent down from Tampa Bay (10 earned runs in 6⅔ innings — ERA 13.5) had three runs scored on him (1 earned). Which brings up the problem of stone hands/rubber arms: the Bulls have committed 15 errors in the last 5 games.

Nonetheless, it was interesting to see J.P. Arencibia start the game as the Bulls' catcher. That has not happened much this year. Richie Shaffer started at first base, but got pulled from the game (apparently as a call-up to the Rays). Arencibia took off the gear and went to first. Mayo Acosta got to make a rare appearance as catcher.

Jared Sandberg got tossed from the game after a Boog Powell pickoff. Guess he couldn’t see the play on TV re-run. It was a good call by the ump (if that’s what he was arguing about). Powell also got caught attempting to steal and made a throwing error. Not a good day for the youngster.

Speaking of stolen bases, one of the few Bulls strengths this year. They have not stolen a base in the last six games. That might, however, simply indicate a respect for Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt’s arm.

Outside the game —
  • Let me put in a bit of skepticism regarding the Richie Shaffer call-up. Don’t get me wrong, I really like him and he has been a very exciting guy to watch (even though he seems to do better on the road than at home). Nevertheless, it’s worth pointing out that IL pitchers may have figured something out about him. He’s .241 over the last 10 games and has just one home run. 
  • Mikie Mahtook went up to the Rays; came back and put on a Bulls uniform for one game; and went back to the Rays (0-4 last night).
  • Grady Sizemore is up with the Rays.
  • Joey Rickard, a 24 year-old outfielder with the Montgomery Biscuits, has been called up to the Bulls. He has some very nice numbers with the Biscuits. And seems to be fast (19 stolen bases and 6 triples — I take a triple to be more a measure of speed than of power). Also looks like he crowds the plate a bit. He’s accumulated 40 hits by pitch in his 4 seasons of pro ball (just 5 this year, though). [stats]
  • Matt Moore has been optioned to the Bulls. I like watching him pitch. He’s working hard to come back from Tommy John surgery and didn’t do well with the Rays after his two (also not very good) rehab starts here in late June. Yeah, he’s not likely to really help the Bulls, but at this point WDBB is starting to focus on individual performance anyhow. We get a chance to see a great pitcher work on his comeback. He probably should have stayed here for a couple more games anyhow.
  • Another rehabber, Drew Smyly, may also be coming back for a start soon.
  • The N&O has a feature article on new guy Blake Snell. He should start the next day or so.
  • Today: Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh Pirates). First place in IL West. ERA - #5; Hitting (OPS) - #9.

The Slide

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