Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bulls Help Chiefs to a Win

Box, Wrap
Season: 12-22; Trip: 1-2; Standings

When the pitchers give up 11 walks and two critical errors are made at third base, it’s hard to win the game. Even if not every one of those free passes had scored, there was the other 15 hits (4 doubles) that helped. Put another way, pitching was a problem last night.

Alex Cobb left the game in the second inning “due to illness”. No further information is available yet. And illness is very plausible. He certainly wasn’t himself. I’m not sure what John Gaub’s and Jhonny Nunez’ excuses were.

Gaub had been doing just fine (well, maybe OK is a better term) this year in his very brief appearances. He usually is in for only one or two batters. Last night he faced 8 batters, walked 5 of them, and gave the Chiefs two free runs. At the beginning of the inning the Chiefs had been ahead 8-2 and Charley Montoyo will, on occasion, leave a pitcher hanging in the breeze apparently to see how he responds.

But those two runs made it 10-2. The huge Bulls comeback in the top of the 8th, six runs on a Mangini grand slam and Feliciano double, still left the Bulls two runs behind.

No matter. Nunez gave up 5 runs on 4 hits and two walks (his ERA ballooned from 5.20 to 6.27 on the evening).

Outside the game:
  • Something we see very little at AAA level is defensive shifting. That’s partially due to lack of data. But the Rays are getting a lot of attention these days for their shift tactic.
  • No word yet on whether or not the Bulls will get anyone to fill in for Brandon Guyer. Worrisome since this umpiring crew threw a Chiefs player and their manager out of the game last night. That’s four ejections in the last two games.

How About Them Rays ?

This is the season’s running total of runs scored minus runs allowed. If you crank that through the Pythagorean Expectation formula you see that they are doing a good bit better than would be “expected.” In general, deviation from the expectation is attributed to luck and relief pitching. The Rays are first place in the American League East. The trend is a 10 game moving average. We last looked at the Bulls about a week ago.

How About Them Biscuits?

The Biscuits (the Rays AA team over in Montgomery, Alabama) are right at their “expectation”. They are in 4th place in the Southern League’s South Division.

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