The Sunday series finale showcased the once frightening Barons' bullpen against Mississippi's Darius Vines. Following the 12-inning battle last night, Birmingham's Manager Justin Jirschele opted for a bullpen day, beginning with left-handed reliever Garrett Davila. Back in game two against the Braves, Davila also earned the start, as he played
The Sunday series finale showcased the once frightening Barons' bullpen against Mississippi's Darius Vines. Following the 12-inning battle last night, Birmingham's Manager Justin Jirschele opted for a bullpen day, beginning with left-handed reliever Garrett Davila. Back in game two against the Braves, Davila also earned the start, as he played the role of the opener to Kaleb Roper. In that first start, Davila completed the task to near perfection, but, on Sunday, Davila took near-perfection to a whole new level.
Over the 25-year-old's season-long four innings, Davila punched out four and allowed just one baserunner via walk. From there, Felix Paulino took the ball and continued the remarkable pitching by Birmingham. That said, the Braves themselves enjoyed near-perfect pitching from Vines as well. Consequently, the pace of play on Sunday was as fast as it gets. Furthermore, in the end, this outstanding duel resulted in Birmingham's shortest ballgame yet, lasting just two hours and eight minutes.
Accomplishing this is no small feat, but it's a bit more understandable when both sides complete six full innings facing the minimum. Meaning, despite the Barons' two base hits, their baserunning blunders caused no additional hitters to step into the box, thereby making it as if every inning went 1-2-3. Finally, though, after 5.2 IP, the Barons' bid at history ended after a two-out looper into left-center for the Braves. However, that's all the Braves could ever really accomplish.
Conversely, Birmingham's big bats finally woke up in the eighth inning. To start, Birmingham's Craig Dedelow and Yoelqui Cespedes drilled back-to-back singles on back-to-back pitches. Then, after J.J. Muno walked, Ivan Gonzalez rolled over to short but beat the throw to first, earning him a fielder's choice and his second RBI of the year. Leadoff hitter D.J. Burt followed that up with a double into right-field to push across Birmingham's second run of the game.
Surprisingly, this proved to be enough, as the Barons walked away with a 2-0 victory. On a bullpen day, Birmingham accomplished the improbable. Across nine innings of baseball and four different pitchers, the Barons faced two more than the minimum. All together, Garrett Davila, Felix Paulino, Yoelvin Silven, and Theo Denlinger combined for 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, and 9 SOs. Moreover, Sunday certainly stands out as the team's best overall pitching performance, as, on the final day of the first half, Birmingham claimed their first shutout! If anything can turn this team around in the second portion of the summer, it's a shutout, a series victory, and wins in seven of their last eight games.