If you though Dennis Rodman hitting four clutch free throws against the Jazz was about the most bizarre thing of the evening, then you obviously don't get out much. At least not on Jazz playoff nights.
If you did, then chances are you might have seen the Buzz ho-hum their way to another victory, a 5-0 defeat of Las Vegas on Wednesday night, giving them seven straight wins.It wasn't a typical night for a Buzz game. First of all, it didn't rain - a small miracle for these parts nowadays. Secondly, the game was full of dazzling defense, an almost flawless game by Buzz pitcher Travis Baptist and an inside the park home run by Jamie Ogden. All three things happening at once in a PCL game - much like clutch Rodman free throws - isn't exactly what one expects to see when passing through the turnstiles.
But judging by the attendance, not many passed through the front gates anyway. A paid crowd of 6,059 was announced, but unless 4,000 folks were watching the Jazz game in the Buzz souvenir shop, only about 2,000 actually showed.
It's too bad really, because the Buzz are suddenly tearing things up.
"We're on a nice, quiet roll," said Buzz manager Phil Roof. "We're not blowing people out. We're just on a consistent roll where we've played good defense, had timely hitting and some good pitching."
Throw a little luck into the equation and suddenly you have a Buzz team hotter than Jerry Sloan's temper.
Baptist set the tone early, allowing only a single base runner in the first four innings he sat atop the hill. Using an array of offspeed pitches, mixing a fastball here and there, the Buzz hurler positively dizzied the Vegas batters.
Chad Rupp singled in Esteban Beltre in the fourth inning to give Salt Lake a 1-0 lead. It would turn out to be the only run Salt Lake needed, but Chris Latham and Corey Koskie each added an RBI of their own for good measure.
Then, in the eighth, Jamie Ogden launched a ball high into sky that sailed toward Las Vegas center fielder Chris Prieto. Prieto had made several spectacular plays in the field earlier in the game, but as a general rule in order to make those types of plays, seeing the ball is a must.
On Ogden's blast, Prieto never moved from his spot in shallow center. He just stared into space like an astrologer. Not until the ball landed a good 30 feet behind him did Prieto realize the ball was hit his way. By then, Ogden was well on his way to scoring, as was Jon Shave who had doubled to start the inning.
"You know what caused that? It was the twilight," said Roof. "It wasn't quite dark, but it wasn't light either. The sun had just gone down, and when you hit a ball above the lights into the twilight area, it's hard to see."
The inside the parker was Ogden's first round tripper of the season.
Utah moves to 31-24 with the win and will finish out the homestand with two more games against Las Vegas tonight and Friday.