Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Casali Coming Into His Own? IL South Undecided

Three teams have been in first place this month. Gwinnett back on top for now. Standings.
Game 137, Monday, 29 August, Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Columbus Clippers (Cleveland): 2
Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay): 3
Season: 60-77; Home Stand: 1-3; 7 games left in season
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Game Score: Marks 65; Season Avg 53 (22 starts, 133.2 innings)
Tm OPS: Game .613; Season .679; Diff -.066

It isn't very often that we get something right in this blog, so grant me a moment to pat myself on the back. Yesterday I mentioned how Curt Casali was doing a pretty good job since coming down from Tampa Bay. Last night might have been his best. Casey Gillaspie got himself on base three times (with a walk, a single, and a double) and two of those times Mr. Casali brought him home, once with a hit and another with a sacrifice fly.

As it happened, I watched the bottom of the 8th from out above the center field wall. That was fun. The Bulls started out back by two. Daniel Robertson walked and made it to third base (nice baserunning, by the way) on a Casey Gillaspie single. Taylor Motter singled Robertson in for the tie. A perfect sacrifice bunt by Jaff Decker moved runners to second and third. Then Casali's sacrifice fly to center field.

For the first 6 innings, however, it was mostly pitching. Justin Marks had his best start in a very long while, but let just one pitch get away from him to a member of the best home run hitting team in the league.

Mikie Mahtook is back and we're happy to have him. His timing is off, but we can hope to see it improve before he gets called back up.

Outside the game —
  • Eddie Gamboa was placed on the "temporarily inactive" list. Have not idea what that means.
  • Here's a thoughtful piece on Desmond Jennings that points to systemic issues within the Rays system. We think that the issues are even more serious than in this article, but this is a good start. The Rays are not growing position players.

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