Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Misty Loss

Game 102, July 25, DBAP
Toledo Mud Hens 6, Durham Bulls 2
Season: 58-44; Last 10: 8-2; Home Stand: 3-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun, Indy Week

Both the Herald-Sun and the Indy Week stories quote Charlie Montoyo commenting on Brian Baker's problems invoking the dread term "dead arm". That's scary, and we heard something like that near the end of the season last year. Certainly Baker did not look good last night. His fastball wasn't very fast. His change up wasn't fooling many batters. In our pursuit of the odd and probably irrelevant we have to point out something else about last night — almost all the damage was done by left-handed batters.

After a one hour rain delay (it stayed misty all night) the game finally got going. Until the 3rd inning Baker may not have looked all that good, but he was getting by. Then left-handed batting Toledo catcher Jeff Kunkel hit a home run. The next three batters, all lefties, got two singles and a double and a total of two runs were scored in the inning. The 5th inning started out with two lefties and they both got singles. They both subsequently scored. Later in the inning a lefty hit a single to score a third run. Of the Mud Hen's 12 hits, 10 were made by players batting left-handed.

Does this little statistical anomaly really matter all that much? Maybe not, but you can bet that the next time Baker's on the mound (possibly Charlotte on Saturday), the opposing team will be loading the lineup with lefties, if they can.

Offensively, the Bulls were pretty quiet. J.J. Furmaniak's homer got them on the board, but mostly quiet after that. Need to note that Ryan Reid really did well. Much better than his earlier efforts as a starter.
What Have You Done For the Bulls Lately?

Here's a look at just the last ten games. I chose OPS for the comparison for a couple of reasons, 1) the numbers were readily available and 2) I was too lazy to compute the wOBA, which may be a better stat. However, I was just looking for something that is a reasonable answer to the question in the headline. What jumps out are the two extremes, Felipe Lopez and Ray Olmedo. I had not noticed that Ray was doing so poorly, or that Felipe so well. We can hope that Dan Johnson's numbers stay up there and the Brandon Guyer gets back on track.

Bulls Hitting — OPS for last 10 Games

Today is very likely to see yet more roster turmoil for the Bulls. Rays relief pitcher Alan Russell has passed through waivers and should be available tonight. Infielder Reid Brignac is also expected to be available tonight. The way I read the roster, neither arrival requires a corresponding roster move by the Bulls, but I've been wrong before. Certainly the locker room chatter being reported in the papers doesn't sound promising as it regards Brian Baker. Still, it looks like the Bulls are currently at 12 pitchers and 12 position players. Much of this year they've been at 13 and 11, but it isn't clear if it has been a preference or a necessity.

Finally, Brandon Guyer came out of the game last night with some sort of muscle pull. That's worrisome.

This four-game series with the Braves is a big deal. We should be seeing some great baseball if the heat doesn't get to us. Air and smoke look OK, and current heat index prediction is only 94 and falling during the game.


  1. re: Ray do so poorly

    I really like Ray. He is the key for most of the non-home run scores that the Bulls get (my non-scientific stats). Hitting, in general, is in the dumper, but Ray is a star in my book. He also seems to be always having fun playing the game. I don't know about OPS, but as I said - I like Ray.

  2. I'm confident Ray is just going through a slow patch. I should have had a cell with his season's numbers (.613). He went 2 for 4 with a run scored last night. Even better was watching him give Reid Brignac a hard time on the field. Clearly he was having a lot of fun. Their effort to do a hand shake/bump after double play was amusing. Ray is one of my favorite Bulls. Am sure he will be back up there. With so many infielders on the roster, he may not be getting as much playing time over the next few weeks, though.