Lugnuts Notes: Series at Quad City River Bandits

June 24: Off Day

June 25 to 28

  • Lugnuts 2 games, Bandits 2 games
  • Lugnuts are 5-3 (.625)
  • Second place, one game behind the Whitecaps, tied with the Battle Cats
  • Mull pitched a complete game
  • Catcher Doug Murray has been added to the roster

The last game looks like a disaster. The others showed promise, though.

Doug Murray, our new catcher, is reportedly a brand-new free-agent hire from Northwestern University. I don’t know anything about him.

Now that they’ve successfully trained Pat Hallmark to play center field, they’ve moved him back to catcher. Doesn’t make sense to me, unless KC thinks his future’s as a utility player. But that’s a really strange utility player. I hope this experiment is temporary.

Blaine Mull’s complete game was the team’s first, and leaves only the Whitecaps without at least one CG this season. In this league, you need three things to get a complete game: A pitcher capable of completing a game, a manager willing to let him finish, and a pitch limit high enough to make it. Our guys seem to be on tight pitch limits. (Oakland’s farm at West Michigan gets about one complete game per year because of really extreme pitch limits set by the farm system; their only CG in 1994 was a 69-pitch seven-inning game.)

Lots of roster switches lately, and almost certainly more to come. We get to learn some new players, and see how the team starts to fit together. In some ways, this is the most interesting time to watch the Midwest League; entire teams change character, and sometimes the reason is obvious. It can be glorious. Or it can be frustrating.

I received a note from a Spokane fan that said Juan Robles hit his first professional home run the other day.

Garden’s doing nicely, thank you. Daylilies have opened, or at least started, and one (exactly one) of the traditional lilies is also open. The weather’s even being civil, more or less.

And there’s a hummingbird eating just outside the bedroom window. You should see Butterscotch watch, all tense and excited….

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One Response to Lugnuts Notes: Series at Quad City River Bandits

  1. joel says:

    Doug Murray would appear in 18 games for the Lugnuts; for the most part he was the team’s bullpen catcher. Two years later he’d be back in QC as an Astros farmhand.

    Blaine Mull was one of the Midwest League’s best pitchers in 1996, finishing with 15 wins (second in the league) and a 3.25 ERA (eighth). His Lansing year was his best, though, and he’d retire from baseball after a Double-A season at Portland in 1998. Probably the highlight of his baseball resume is being traded to the Marlins for Jeff Conine in Wayne Huizenga’s post-championship fire sale.

    Mull was a tall guy, pitched overhand without any notable quirks. He had good control, but didn’t register a lot of strikeouts. I suppose he might have developed into a middle reliever if such things still existed, or a setup man in current major league practice.

    He seems to have gone home to Morganton, North Carolina, after baseball. In 2005 he was coaching the local American Legion team.

    I’m still not sure what was going on with Hallmark. The issue certainly wasn’t a catcher shortage; Matt Treanor was with the team all season, and (as we’ve noted) Doug Murray had arrived. As we’ve previously discussed, Pat would be back–mostly at catcher–the next season.

    In ’96, they soon moved him back to center field.

    In the event you’ve just stumbled onto this entry, here’s an explanation of what I’m up to. With an index!

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