DBAP/Durham-Tonight's first pitch was at 7:22pm, seventeen minutes late, for a game with the Columbus Clippers. A massive thunderstorm was making its way through north Durham and into Wake County. Radar cells were popping up everywhere. Nobody knew if tonight's game would happen.
But the game actually filled a full nine innings in an appropriate time frame, despite the delayed start.
The severe weather that skirted the DBAP created remarkable color beyond the outfield walls during the early and mid-innings of the game, a range from gold to bronze to copper, with some sapphire thrown in (almost an Olympic range).
In between the lines, what happened is fairly simple. Clippers starter Jeanmar Gomez, who has had ten starts in the major leagues this season (for the parent club the Cleveland Indians), was dominant. His cutter and his fastball were both in the ninety mile-per-hour range, and his change-up was devastating, hitting seventy-nine to eighty-one. Gomez went eight innings and only threw eighty-nine pitches.
The other interesting storyline I saw in this game is how perturbed both teams were with home plate umpire Brad Myers. Pitchers, catchers, and batters were bummed out by Myers' calls on balls and strikes all night. In addition, Clippers' outfielder, Vinny Rottino, who had barked with Myers about pitch calls earlier in the game, was thrown out at the plate, according the Myers, on a throw by Bulls' center-fielder Rich Thompson late in the game. Rottino had to be restrained to keep from getting tossed. Myers appears to be an unpopular ump. I noticed that whenever there was a meeting on the mound, Myers jumped out to break it up on a hyper basis.
The unseen sagas that take place in AAA baseball are the real treat.