Thursday, August 8, 2019


Durham Bulls 2, Syracuse Mets 1
Box, Play-by-Play

An exciting game at the DBAP last night. Just looking at the box score does not really give you the flavor of the game. But at the top of the 9th all of us there (smallish crowd — 4,700 paid, maybe 3500 in the stands) knew what was going on pitch-by-pitch. With side-armer Toby Milner striking out the first batter, getting a pop-out to short [edited: thanks Chris], the Syracuse Mets sent in their moose, Travis Taijeron, to pinch-hit (he has 24 home runs this year, the Mets were only one run back). Milner struck him out. Fans cheer on.

But the entire game was much more of a contest that it seems in the stats. Syracuse's Corey Oswalt pitched a brilliant game. Just two pitches got away from him, to Kean Wong in the 1st inning and, a bit later in the 3rd, to Nate Lowe. The Bulls put a fair number of runners on base after that, but none of them scored.

Meanwhile, we saw one of the most unusual defensive alignments of the year. Catcher Mac James was at first, First  baseman Nate Lowe played third base. third Baseman Kevin Padlo played second base, and infielder Kean Wong was in left field. But it all worked out. No errors.

Exciting? Well, in the 5th inning Ricardo Pinto (who got the win) got the first out on a fly ball, then walked Trever Blanco. After getting a K, he then hit Ali Sanchez. Then he balked moving the runners to second and third. All was well, however, when he K'd Braxton Lee.

In the 8th inning, Pinto walked the first batter (Rymer Liriano) and hit the next batter (Ali Sanchez). A sacrifice bunt by Braxton Lee put runners on 2nd and 3rd with just one out. A ground out to short (infield was not drawn in) scored a run. So we had a runner on third and two outs. Rehabbing José Alvarado was called in to pitch to Danny Espinoza. One pitch, grounder to short, inning over. No hits recorded.

In addition to no hits, this had to be one of the most efficient games in recent memory. Starter Arturo Reyes: 3 innings, 36 pitches; Ricardo Pinto: 4⅔ innings, 62 pitches;   José Alvarado: ⅓ inning, 1 pitch (!); Hoby Milner: 1 inning, 14 pitches. Overall pitches per out: 4.18. That's very efficient.

[Note: This is very weird: I seem to be unable to respond to comments on my own blog. Working on it. Chris W]


  1. Was glad to be here for this one. Fun game.

    This is a nitpick, but I think the 2nd out in the 9th was a pop to short? Also if you're Taijeron, how are you taking a called 3rd strike there?

    I credit the last 2 days to your pitching criticisms. 1 run over 18 innings sure helps the averages out.