Posts Tagged ‘Reid Brignac’

“This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.”

Great game in Durham last night, as the Bulls overcame deficits of 1-0, 6-1, 7-3, and 9-7 to beat the Gwinnett Braves, 10-9, in fourteen innings.  It was Durham’s sixth win in a row and gave them a one game lead over the Braves in the International League’s South Division.

In the bottom of the ninth, two outs, down 9-7, Reid Brignac worked the count to 2-2 before fouling off four straight pitches.  On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, he homered to right to tie the game.

It stayed there into the fourteenth.  Gwinnett’s first batter, Wes Timmons, broke the tie with his first homerun of the season and the Braves added another for the aforementioned 9-7 lead.

Durham loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half.  Jon Weber lined a double to right, clearing the bases and giving the Bulls the walkoff win.

Gwinnett trails in the division by one game, but holds a 3 1/2 game advantage in the wild card.

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Now Pitching For The Tampa Bay Rays…

Right now, as we speak, David Price, Baseball America’s second-ranked preseason prospect, is making his much awaited 2009 debut for the Tampa Bay Rays.  He’s through three innings thus far, with three walks, two hits, and five strikeouts to his credit.  The offense has given him some breathing room, touching up Fausto Carmona and Jensen Lewis for seven runs.

This game features three players on Baseball America’s Top 100: Price, Reid Brignac, and Matt LaPorta (not to mention Evan Longoria, who was on last year’s list).  LaPorta is 0-1 with a strikeout, Brignac 1-2 with a run scored and two batted in.  In fact, let’s just go ahead and make this a “Now Batting For…” post for ol’ Reid as well (I think this officially makes him the first prospect to be so honored twice – I gave him a much better welcome last year).  He was called up on Friday to replace Scott Kazmir and could be around for awhile now that Akinori Iwamura is out for the season with a knee injury.  He better be good – he’s on my fantasy team, and we could use the points.

Update: It’s now 10-0 in the top of the fourth.  Price has thrown 77 pitches through his three innings, so it’s pretty much a race against the pitch count at this point to decide if he gets his first win of the year.

Update #2: The pitch count wins.  Price struggles to start the fourth and is pulled when he hits the century mark.  His final line: 3.1 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 5 walks, 6 strikeouts.

Now Batting For The Tampa Bay Rays…

Prior to the season, I noted at One More Dying Quail that as a Red Sox fan, the Tampa Bay Rays scared me.  This was immediately before I compared them to the 1969 Mets, a historically awful team that rode a bunch of young talent to the World Series.  The common response to the post was something along the lines of, “Oh, silly OMDQ – you know the Rays will never actually be good.” 

Jeez, I’m not looking so crazy now, am I?

The Rays are currently performing what figures to be a multi-year hostile takeover of the American League East, and they’re only getting better.  Following an injury to shortstop Jason Bartlett in Wednesday’s win over the Red Sox (that’ll teach you to stage six-run rallies!  Jerks!), Tampa Bay recalled Reid Brignac from Durham (AAA-International), where he was hitting .265 with 7 homeruns and 38 RBI in 78 games.

Brignac, the team’s fifth-rated prospect according to Baseball America, was a second-round draft pick in 2004 out of Louisiana’s St. Amant High School.  (That was a potentially great draft for the Rays: four of the top five picks – Jeff Niemann, Brignac, Wade Davis and Jake McGee – are still top ten prospects, and 13th rounder Andy Sonnanstine has provided some value in the starting rotation the past two seasons.)  He has progressed steadily through the system, showing some offensive pop and earning a reputation as the best defensive infielder in the organization.

Nobody knows how much he’ll play or how long he’ll be in the majors, except maybe Joe Maddon, but the mere sight of Brignac and Evan Longoria, two 22-year-old representatives of the organization’s exceedingly bright future, together on the left side of the infield is sure to make even the most hardened Rays fans shed tears of joy.

Gosh, it could be REALLY fun to watch the American League East for the next five to ten years.