Friday, July 6, 2012

Pitching, Pitching, Pitching

Season: 42-47; Home Stand: 1-1; Bulls v. Tides: 5-5; Standings

The fundamental weakness of the 2012 Durham Bulls — pitching (especially starting pitching) — was re-exposed last night. Decent hitting simply wasn’t enough to hide it this time. 

We Bulls fans are simply shaking our heads over Alex Torres this year. Last year it was the huge BB and K numbers of the young man. Our view then was that if he could keep the Ks up and drop the BBs then the Bulls (and the Rays) would have themselves a pitcher. But this year all seems to be in confusion. Torres had five starts to begin the year, the last three of which were just awful, only a total of 8 innings and 17 earned runs given up. So he went to the bullpen, from which he made 11 appearances for 10 innings and 11 more earned runs. He had a decent start on June 19th (and a win). He went up to sit on Tampa Bays’ bench for a couple of days (was that meant to be a motivational gimmick?). He came back to a relief appearance, another pretty good start on June 30th, and then last night’s three inning, 62 pitch mess. Today at 20 appearances he’s got a FIP of 4.75 and an ERA of 6.84. I have to take the baseball gurus word that he’s a “prospect”, but he isn’t helping the Bulls this year.

Then Ryan Reed ended up facing a very experience pro in Norfolk’s Bill Hall in the 5th inning with two runners on and a 3-0 count. Not pretty. Hall’s home run put the Tides up 7-3. The Bulls got two runs back in the 6th on small ball, although they left two runners on base (as they had in the 5th). Norfolk led 7-5 until Romulo Sanchez imploded in the 8th giving up three runs on a single and back-to-back home runs.

Outside the game —
  • I haven’t mentioned the extraordinary job that the DBAP folks have done with the scoreboards this year. If you pay attention, they can really keep you in touch with the game. Live updates of batting and pitching stats (including pitch counts); a recap of in-game performance each time a batter comes up; and more. Great job. 
  • I missed this when it happened. A $4,400,000 shirt!

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