Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
April 16, 2007: Richmond Braves 4, Louisville Bats 1
Well, this game made working on my taxes look like fun in comparison. I think the worst thing was that it echoed Mo's failure against the A's the other day, and the Reds' Coffey Crash in Cincinnati last night. Just not a good couple of days for relief pitchers.
The Bats had a slim 1-0 lead going into the sixth inning. Alas, it wouldn't last. Shackelford, in to relieve Gosling, gave up a single, a walk, a triple, and a double. He was pulled after 2/3 of an inning (or he might have gone for the cycle). Wilkerson would give up another run on a wild pitch, and it was 4-1 Richmond by the end of the inning. Ugh.
Of course, that's hardly an insurmountable lead. But the Bats' bats have not been hot lately. Aside from that six-run inning the other day, the hitting has been abysmal. The whole team is striking out an awful lot.
It was another futile night at the plate for Bubba, but I think he was just unlucky. It sounds like he's putting together much better at-bats.
1st: None on, one out. He fell behind early, but worked the count full: called strike, called strike, ball, ball, foul, foul, ball...then a fly out to shallow center field.
3rd: One on, two out. Ball, called strike, foul, called strike. Probably his worst at-bat of the evening.
6th: One on, one out. Called strike, ball...then a pitch high and inside. Bubba spun back trying to avoid it, but the ball plunked him on the back of the right shoulder. Ow. Bubba was not happy. But he did get on base.
Votto was up next; he got ahead 3-0, but ended up striking out.
Herr batted next. On a 1-2 count, the Bats got the double steal, with Hopper swiping 3B and Bubba swiping 2B. Herr ended up working a walk, but Bellhorn grounded out to end the inning.
8th: Two out, none on. Called strike, ball, ball...then a fly out to right field. He hit it hard - I could hear the crack of the bat on the audio broadcast - but Bohn robbed him, making an over-the-shoulder running grab.
Bubba's numbers are not pretty: .129 / .250 / .323 / .573 at the moment. But I think he's already turning it around. He's been hitting the ball a lot better the last couple of games. Just hasn't been "hitting 'em where they ain't."
The lineup has been posted; Bubba is once again batting second and playing right field. Let's go, Bubba!
UPDATE: Last-minute lineup change. Bubba is in CF, not RF. Something must have happened to Wise. He's out of the lineup. Godwin is taking over Wise's spot in the lineup, and is playing RF while Bubba moves to CF.
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