Phillip Ervin has ridden the back-and-forth train between Triple-A and the Major Leagues over the last three seasons. Since the start of the 2019 season he’s been recalled and then sent back to join the Bats three times. He was last optioned back to Louisville on May 24th. Ervin didn’t join the Bats until the 27th, but he’s been swinging a hot bat in the three games since. And last night saw that go to another level as he hit two home runs in Durham against the Bulls.
If you are a baseball fan then the odds are pretty good that you’ve seen the movie Bull Durham. The movie is based on a fictional story about two minor league baseball players who are playing for the Durham Bulls in the late 1980’s. One element of the movie is the bull billboard beyond the outfield wall.
In one of the more memorable scenes of the movie, pitcher Nuke Laloosh is shaking off the catcher. That’s when Crash Davis heads to the mound to ask him what he’s doing shaking him off. Laloosh says “I want to bring my heater and announce my presence with authority,” in one of the better lines of the movie full of plenty of them. Davis goes back to the plate and tells the hitter the fastball is coming. The hitter takes the pitch and crushes it for a home run off of the bull beyond the fence to win a free steak.
It’s been over 30 years since the movie was filmed. The Durham Bulls have upgraded their stadium in 1995, and it’s had several renovations along the way. The original bull is in storage, but it’s been replaced by a new one – this time in left field above “The Blue Monster”. Phillip Ervin took advantage of a 305 foot distance down the left-field line and put one off of the bull just beyond the wall.
Stuart Fairchild keeps crushing the ball for Daytona
The month of April was one that Stuart Fairchild would like to forget. The 23-year-old has what was easily the worst month of his professional career. The 2017 2nd round pick out of Wake Forest hit just .130/.203/.167 for Daytona in 15 games during the month. His .370 OPS was more than 200 points worse than any other month of his career.
With May nearly over, Stuart Fairchild has to be feeling great. On Wednesday night he homered for the third time of the month. Through 20 games played for the Tortugas in May he’s hit .338/.425/.595. Along with his three homers he’s also doubled eight times, tripled once, and he’s walked nine times with just 14 strikeouts.