Random Notes from This Weekend’s Games
Norfolk is hosting Durham for a five-game series, ending this afternoon (as I enter this.) I worked the Thursday and Sunday games for BAM from the press box, and the Friday game for BIS from the seats. Friday’s game was notable for some dominating pitching, and Sunday’s game was just plain fun.
Both Friday starting pitchers, Old Ramon Ortiz for the Bulls and Young Zach Britton for the Tides, were sharp. Relief pitchers Jake McGee for the Bulls and Jim Hoey for the Tides were dominant. McGee pitched 1 2/3 innings, striking out four. Hoey was even more dominant, also pitching 1 2/3 innings, striking out all five batters he faced. Even more interestingly, in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings — covering a total of eighteen outs — there were eleven total strikeouts and eight balls hit into play. Of the eight balls hit into play, four did not reach the infield dirt; and three of those would not have reached the infield dirt even if the fielders did not interfere.
Unfortunately for Hoey, he unleashed a wild pitch during one of his strikeouts that allowed the eventual game-winning run to score. This run was abetted by an egregiously bad call on a stolen base attempt by an out-of-position umpire. There are only three umpires in an AAA game, and with runners on first and second, the third umpire takes a position near second base. J.J. Furmaniak broke for third base, and the Tides catcher Adam Donachie delivered an ugly throw toward third. Despite that, Scott Moore corraled the throw and clearly applied a tag while the diving Furmaniak was still a foot from the bag. But the umpire, apparently overly influenced by the lack of aesthetics on Donachie’s throw and hindered by his position, hesitatingly called Furmaniak safe. It was Furmaniak who scored on the wild pitch.
Sunday’s game — well, let’s look at the linescore to start:
DUR 0 0 0 2 2 4 0 0 1 9
NOR 0 0 0 2 4 2 0 0 0 8
It was a pitcher’s duel at the beginning, and at the end, and a slugfest in the middle. Pat Egan pitched the sixth inning and was done in by back-to-back errors, leading to another unusual pitching line — 1 4 4 0 0 0.