Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Big Day at Bat for Bulls

Game 130, 22 August, Harbor Park, Norfolk, Virginia
Durham Bulls (Rays): 10
Norfolk Tides (Orioles): 6
Season: 57-73; Trip: 2-0
Wrap, Box, Virginian-Pilot

Game Score: Cobb 27; Average 33 (3 starts, 11 innings)
Tm OPS: Game 1.113; Season .673; Difference +.440

From the beginning this was very unusual game. At the top of the 1st inning, in just four pitches, the Bulls hit back-to-back-to-back home runs: Casey Gillaspie (batting left-handed), Taylor Motter, and Jaff Decker. Since Daniel Robertson was on base for Gillaspie's shot, the Bulls were ahead 4-0.

Unfortunately, for him and for the Bulls, Alex Cobb's rehab does not appear to be going well. Over his 4 innings, the Tides came back with four runs on 9 hits, two walks, and no K's. The Bulls came back with two more runs in the top of the 5th, but Cobb started the bottom of the inning giving up a single and was pulled out for Parker Markel. The Tides scored two in the inning leaving the score at 6-6.

In the 7th the Tides' pitcher hit Daniel Robertson and Gillaspie (batting right-handed) hit his second home run of the game, putting the Bulls ahead 8-6. In the 9th the Bulls loaded the bases and two runs scored on a Dayron Verona single.

A couple of important things happened in this game. The Bulls' hitting was as good as it's been this year, the best in terms of total bases at 28. The Bulls have no choice when a pitcher is with them on a rehab assignment. Everything is dictated by the Rays — pitch count, innings, even the baseballs he throws. So it's up to the bullpen to carry the weight. And that's what they did last night. Markel, Eveland, and Geltz only let one run in while the hitters were doing their thing.

Outside the game —
  • Virginian-Pilot reporter Jim Hodges is my kind of guy. Remember our curiosity about why manager Jared Sandberg got tossed at the beginning of Sunday's game? Hodges chased it down.
   For those wondering why Durham manager Jared Sandberg was ejected after only one batter Sunday, be advised that the process actually began a night earlier and 185 miles or so away. From the third-base coaching box on Sunday, Sandberg advised umpire John Bacon that he had missed a strike call a day earlier in Durham. Words over the Saturday call were exchanged between Tides batter Dariel Alvarez and Bulls catcher Curt Casali, and the discussion escalated into a rumble in which both benches and bullpens emptied but no punches were thrown.
    Then the two clubs – and the umpires – moved on to Norfolk, where Sandberg decided that the issue should linger. And Bacon decided it, and Sandberg, shouldn’t linger at all.
   “I don’t know why I was ejected,” Sandberg insisted Sunday. “You’ll have to ask the umpire.”
   International League umpires do not comment about such situations.
  • About those baseballs Alex Cobb was throwing, they are major league balls and they manufactured in Central America. The IL's baseballs come from China. There's speculation that the MLB versions are being juiced

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