Chiefs Batter Bulls in Durham

Mtworld is in Durham, North Carolina where we witnessed a one way slugfest, the Chiefs burying the Bulls 14-3.  For those who have seen the movie Bull Durham it is a nice replica of that ballpark.  After the movie the team moved away from original park into this new location, which tries to mimic the old stadium.  They brought the bull with them, but it stands next to the left field foul line, instead of right field like the original.  They have what they call the Blue Monster, similar to the Fenway Park Green Monster.  A manual scoreboard is placed within the blue monster as well as a video screen to show stats, crowd shots and advertisement .

Some of the other interestiung facts about the park.  The infamous Crash Davis, the Kevin Costner character who played catcher actually played for the Durham Bulls and led the leage in doubles in 1948.  He never had the most homeruns by a minor leaguer as portrayed in the movie.  Roger Craig, pitcher, manager and pitching coach got his start with the Durham Bulls as a batboy.  Finally, Durham was home for one of the minor league teams of the Negro League for a number of years.  I didn’t think the Negro Leagues had a minor league system.

Jim Paduch got the start for the Bulls.  He might as well have been pitching batting practice.  Corey Brown led off the inning with a triple.  Two doubles and two singles later the score was 4-0.  There were a lot of balls hit to the right field area where Jesus Feliciano does his best to lumber after them.

Yunesky Maya got the start for the Chiefs.  In the bottom frame Henry Wrigley got the Bull fans excited by turning on a pitch and sending it into the patio above the blue monster in left field.  The two run homer would be the only runs that Maya would give up in his six innings of work.  He struck out five, but three were called strikes that each of the hitters had brief words with the umpire on the call.

The Bulls fielding broke down in the third.  The inning started with a double by Xavier Paul and a walk to Brett Carroll.  Back to back errors by Tim Beckham and Henry Wrigley allowed one run to score.  Seth Bynum drove in two with a double and the fourth scored on an Erik Komatsu sacrifice fly.

Seth Bynum continued his RBI barrage in the fourth with a 3-run homer.  His double in the ninth preceded a 2-run homer from Corey Brown.  Brown finished a double short of the cycle while Bynum had two doubles and a homerun to drive in five.

Poor Jim Paduch was left in to give up 12 runs over five innings.  In 2003 he was the Cincinnati Reds minor league pitcher of the year.  The last four years he has been toiling in the independent leagues.  With too many similar performances he will be back in the Independent League.

Game Notes: Yunesky Maya at one point was the ace of the Cuba National pitching staff.  While his stuff is decent he doesn’t throw hard and at 5′11″ the hitters get a good look at him.  At 31 he may end up with a career like Leslie Anderson of the Rays, who did not play in the Bulls game today…Chris Marrero just does not hit for enough power for a first baseman.  He hits some nice line drives, but they don’t have enough carry…Corey Brown has been juicing the ball.  He hit a 2-run homer to the opposite field over the blue monster onto the roof of the restaurant.  The wind was blowing out into left field, but it was tagged..Josh Lueke was hitting only 92-93 with his fastball.  He seemed to be relying more on his curveball to strike hitters out.  He retired all six hitters he faced, three of them on strikeouts…Near the stadium is a restaurant called Dames Chicken and Waffles.  If you want to try something unique check hit out.  I had four chicken drumsticks on top of four waffles with a side of macaroni and cheese.  I don’t have to eat for days…Mark Teahen made two errors on throws at second base for the Chiefs…The Chiefs only out hit the Bulls by one, but they bunched all their hits together…In the eighth inning, for his second inning of work, Jeff Mandel threw three pitches and got three base hits up the middle.  At least with a 12-2 lead he was throwing strikes.

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