DBAP/ DURHAM—David Price was back on the mound at the DBAP last night. Everyone -- Price, his manager Charlie Montoyo, his catcher John Jaso, and all of us in the press box -- agreed that his second outing of the year was an improvement over the first one. He needed just 65 pitches to finish five innings (the maximum he's allowed), 48 of which were strikes. His velocity was up a little, his slider and his changeup were effective, and he threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of the 20 hitters he faced. He struck out six and walked one.
He also took the loss.
Kidding, of course. But Greg Paulus, Duke's senior point guard, seems to have met—or been rumored to be in connection with—every sports league across America.
Now, ESPN is reporting that Paulus might play quarterback for the Michigan Wolverines next season after reports earlier in the week indicated he worked out for the Green Bay Packers.
Paulus was also interviewed on ESPN's PTI Thursday and was coy about whether or not he'll play football next year but said that he had worked out for the Packers after basketball season ended and that Michigan had offered him a chance to start. He also indicated that academics would weigh heavily in his decision making, which is important because the NCAA would have to clear his transfer to Michigan.
The NCAA is fairly strict about these type of transfers and academics would likely be the deciding factor. Since Paulus did not redshirt, he is eligible for a fifth season in another sport at a different school—and this is key—as long as he enrolls in a graduate program that Duke University does not offer.
DBAP/DURHAM—The first thing you should know about this report on yesterday's game is that it contains literary references. I'm also a book critic, sorry about that.
The second thing you need to know is that I had to leave with the score tied after nine innings, and go to my other job (the one where I make money so I can cover the Bulls). I wasn't there when Adam Kennedy homered in the 13th inning to give the Bulls a 5-3 win and their longest undefeated streak ever to open a Triple-A season.
As it happens, my forced early departure and the state of suspension and incompleteness in which it left me seemed to fit the tone of the day at the DBAP. It was one of those sleepy, sunless afternoons, neither cold nor warm, and the game took its tone from the dun sky and indifferent weather and fans. The Gwinnett Braves' starter, Kris Medlen, was an emergency fill-in: Atlanta had called up the slated pitcher, Jo-Jo Reyes, after learning that Hall of Fame-bound Tom Glavine suffered a setback on his rehab assignment and would postpone his return to Atlanta (in fact, he may have to consider retiring).
TV/ FSN-CR — Not much to say about this one, folks. Those who saw it probably wish they hadn’t and those who didn’t don’t want to hear about it. The ‘Canes looked pretty pitiful, save for a third period surge, and fell to the Devils 4-1 in their playoff opener in New Jersey.
The good news is that, as the saying goes, you aren’t in trouble until you lose one at home. The ‘Canes could still be in great shape if they manage to steal one from the Devils on Friday, but in order for that to happen they need to study some tape and get their act together. The Devils outplayed them, purely and simply. Ward let in a soft goal or two, but the Carolina defense allowed him to be pelted with just under 40 shots and he was solid for most of them. A few well-times saves early in the game, however, and this could have been a drastically different result.
I had no qualms with the officiating. I did, however, with the broadcast. I know Forslund, Tracy and Co. were going down the “impartial" route – and please, tell me if you disagree here – but who honestly cared what Zach Parise had to say after the second period? I knew there weren’t many well-performing ‘Canes to chose from, but seriously…find one. Anyone. Somewhere.
The biggest news out of last night's RailHawks' 2-0 victory over the USL-2 Wilmington Hammerheads was the return of Matt Watson, who scored 15 minutes after entering the game in the second half.
Watson, last year's team MVP, joined the squad yesterday after helping his indoor side, the Baltimore Blast, to the MISL championship. Furthermore, his first child was born yesterday in Baltimore.
Although the team's press release pointedly says last night's squad shouldn't be considered a second team, it notes that few of the players in the evening's lineup saw action in last Saturday's 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Thunder. Among them: Hamed Diallo, Gavin Glinton and Brian Plotkin (the Hawks' release inadvertently omitted Plotkin).
Other players on last night's lineup included the back four of Jeremy Tolleson, Caleb Norkus, Paul Ritchie and trialist Brad Rusin. Midfielders included Plotkin, Glinton and Watson. Players seeing minutes up top included Aaron King and John Cunliffe (who scored the game's second goal in the 82nd minute). Caleb Patterson manned the goal.
The RailHawks' Tim Candon has more.
DBAP/ DURHAM—On a cold, wet night, the Bulls pieced together a second consecutive shutout against the Gwinnett Braves. Faced with the tall order of facing the Atlanta Braves' number one prospect, the Bulls proved equal to the task despite relying on their fifth starter.
The Bulls' starting pitcher, Jason Cromer, scattered three Braves hits over five scoreless innings of work. Once Cromer left the game after the fifth the bullpen continued its stellar work in the young season, tossing five strikeouts in four innings of work and keeping the Braves off the scoreboard.
The Gwinnett Braves sent Tommy Hanson, their system's pitching phenom, to the hill in his second start of the year.
No surprise here: There were only two games in Week One, and in the match that wasn't a scoreless draw, the dominant player was Mark Schulte, whose long throw-ins led to both goals in the ’Hawks 2-1 defeat of the visiting Minnesota Thunder.
The Triangle Offense match report for that game is here.
And here is an interesting piece on Schulte that appeared three years ago in SI.com, when Schulte was playing in Uruguay, the first American to play professionally in the country that won the first World Cup, in 1930.
Tonight the RailHawks travel to Wilmington for a friendly against the USL-2 Hammerheads. We were dithering about going, but numerous logistical difficulties—not to mention an unpromising weather forecast—militated against it. We'll await the report from Tim Candon, the team's in-house blogger and Web editor. And watch the Chelsea-Liverpool replay, perhaps.
Speculation that journeyman catcher Michel Hernandez would be David Price's personal backstop this season was dashed—at least temporarily—by the news that Tampa backup catcher (and ex-Bull) Shawn Riggans has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis. Hernandez has been called up to take the often-injured Riggans' place.
Just four games into the season, the Bulls have already had two personnel changes. Matt Joyce is expected to play tonight (he arrived at the DBAP just before last night's game after being optioned to Durham). Before long, we should also see Alex Jamieson, who will now be the backup to catcher John Jaso. Jamieson is the only Bull yet to appear in a game this season.
H/T Chris at Watching Durham Bulls baseball.
Heisey, the leadoff batter and an outfielder, homered off Mississippi Braves' pitcher Tom Glavine (rehabbing in AA until he's activated with Atlanta this week) in yesterday's 'Cats 6-2 win.
Redreporter notes that Heisey's defense is "good enough for him to play all three outfield positions," and that his batting average (.412) and on-base percentage (.583) have served the Mudcats well.
DBAP/DURHAM-- Bulls pitcher Carlos Hernandez speaks like he pitches: softly. Although I caught one radar reading at a suspicious 92mph last night on the scoreboard, his fastball generally hovered around 86-87mph, and his offspeed stuff closer to 80. He surrendered singles to the first two batters of the game and then loaded the bases with a walk. But he fanned Barbaro Canizares (what a name!) and then got a double-play grounder to get out of the inning.
The Braves didn't get another hit off of him.