Monday, July 25, 2011

Bulls in the Fifth for Five in a Row

Game 101, July 24, DBAP
Durham Bulls 2, Toledo Mud Hens 1
Season: 58-43, Home Stand: 3-0; Streak: 5-0
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

The two guys you might think to be the most unhappy about being in Durham were the two guys who made the biggest difference last night — Andy Sonnanstine and Felipe Lopez. From a distance you'd think that neither could be happy about being in Triple-A and yet there they were, out there winning ball games. Part of what makes watching the Durham Bulls so much fun.

Mr. Sonnanstine went a solid seven innings, assisted by two double plays. Most write-ups noted his efficiency at just 83 pitches. Our little pitching efficiency metric, pitches per out, would agree. In his 17 innings so far he's at 4.08. The Bulls most efficient pitcher this year has been Alex Cobb who in his 65 innings with the Bulls was at 5.10. Cobb, by the way, won a game for Tampa Bay yesterday. He might not be coming back any time soon.

Felipe Lopez, at DH last night, hit the winning home run in the fifth, picked up his 37th RBI, had an additional double and single, and snuck past Brandon Guyer in batting average (.309 to .306).

It was good that the pitching was so effective last night, otherwise the story would have been leaving runners in scoring position. The Bulls were great at getting runners to third, but only once got the runner in (Furmaniak's single in the 4th). Speaking of J. J., is he coming out of his season-long troubles? We can hope so. Very likely that Reid Brignac's arrival will complicate the scheduling of infield duties, but the J.J.'s glove and now his bat are needed assets. Maybe some outfield time with the other infield/outfield players Anderson and Canzler.

Interesting interview with new guy John Matulia. |Durham Bulls Podcast|

Last night's win put the Bulls at 15 games over .500, the best this year. The five game winning streak ties the best for the year. The Gwinnett Braves lost both games of a double header to the Norfolk Tides and dropped to 2 1/2 games behind the Bulls in the IL South Division.

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