Thursday, June 28, 2012

Important Win

Box, Wrap, Indy Week, Syracuse
Season: 38-43; Home Stand: 5-1; Bulls v. Chiefs: 2-4

This was an important win, but it certainly had its worrisome features.

With the win and Gwinnett’s loss the Bulls claim sole possession of third place in the IL South. For the first time since April 24th the Bulls aren’t in the cellar. That’s good.

The very solid pitching by Lance Pendleton, Frank De Ls Santos, and Dane De La Rosa was impressive. The breakthrough 6th inning was fun to watch.

Note that Rich Thompson had a stellar night: 3 for 4, a walk, a run scored, a RBI, and 2 stolen bases.

But then I’m worried about how the Bulls started the game. Was that the product of some sabermetric geeks in the basement of Tropicana coming up with a really freaky idea? Was there a conversation along the lines of,

“Let’s see what happens if we start a game with guys who are thought to be relievers. Let ‘em go for a couple of innings, then bring in a real starter.” 

Maybe not. For one thing I’d bet that the Tropicana doesn’t have a basement, but you’ve got to wonder. Wednesday night it was Kyle Farnsworth for one inning. Last night it was Alex Torres (who looked awful, by way. He started off the 2nd inning giving up three singles and a walk before Nunez came in) and Jhonny Nunez for two innings, Farnsworth for one, and then the scheduled starter, Lance Pendleton, came on in the 4th. By the time he came in the Bulls were behind 3-0.

Also worrisome item was watching young Tim Beckham at second base. He is a gifted athlete and I’m sure he will get the hang of it, but not yet. At least one double play was missed. You can sense Brignac coaching him out there. That will likely pay off.

Then there were the 12 runners left on base. I have to point out that if the Bulls had not won, Henry Wrigley would have been the goat. He singled in his first at bat. In his next four at bats  9 runners on the bases. Only one of them got home when the Chief's first baseman botched a Wrigley bouncer.

Still, a win under trying circumstances. Well-done!

Outside the game —
  • With Jeremy Hellickson coming of the Rays’ disabled list, Chris Archer is on his way back to Durham. Unlikely he will get a start here before the Bulls hit the road. He did just fine in his first major league appearances.
  • With Luke Scott back on their roster, the Rays will have to cough up someone else. Stay tuned.
  • Joel Guzman, who spent most of two seasons with the Bulls, has been released from the Cincinnati Reds AA team.
Runs Scored - Runs Allowed

The last time we looked at this one, the Bulls were 11 games below .500 and had allowed almost 90 more runs than they had scored. Times are better. The Bulls are now 5 games below .500 and the the RS-RA number is a much improved -53. Going back to our Pythagorean Expectation formula the Bulls are doing better than expectation. The Bulls are 38-43, the formula says they should be even worse off at 35-46. Luck or relievers? I’ll take both or either, with some money on the Bulls relief corps. The trend line is a 10-game moving average.

Click on chart for larger image

1 comment:

  1. Torres was coming off long rest and remember he's actually "in our rotation" now. So it sort of made sense to start him. I assume the head cheeses thought he'd be a little cleaner than he was, so I don't think Nunez was planned.

    Rehabbing guys always go early in a game, so there's no surprise Farnsworth was early.

    I think what they probably wanted was:
    1 - Torres
    2 - Farnsworth
    3-onwards - Pendelton