Season: 57-66; Trip: 0-3; Bulls v. Mud Hens: 2-5; Standings
Toledo was Will Rhymes’ home stadium for most of the last three years, but his home run in the second game Saturday night seemed to have been particularly offensive. The end result was the manager and two pitchers getting tossed. The first pitcher hit Nevin Ashley, Manager Phil Nevin got tossed for arguing about it, and the next time Rhymes came to bat the Mud Hens pitcher pitched behind him and he got tossed. The one pitchers got a five-game suspension, the other sits out three.
Otherwise Saturday had to have been simply frustrating. Setting the stage for the suspended game with the bases loaded must have been odd for a reliever like Brandon Gomes, and he ended up allowing 5 runs in 1⅓ innings and really, really messed up his stats for the year.
In the next game, the one with all the excitement, only Rhymes managed to touch the ball with authority.
Sunday’s game drove me to my spreadsheet where something very odd jumped out. Since Chris Archer returned from his stint with Tampa Bay in early July he has allowed just 8 earned runs in 7 appearances. Here’s the oddity — seven of those eight runs came in the 1st inning. I’m guessing that I’m late to the party, but the opposing teams are not. I’m guessing that their scouts have seen this oddity and are telling their hitters to come out swinging when Archer is on the mound. Seems like there ought to be a way to take advantage of that.
Otherwise, a pretty quiet game. The Bulls simply could not put anything together after their big first inning.
Outside the game —
- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are getting a new stadium next season (they’ve been essentially homeless this year). In celebration they are going to give themselves a new name. In keeping with 21st Century marketing wisdom, they are crowd-sourcing the name and letting fans vote. I’m voting for Trolley Frogs. I’ve no idea what that means, but I didn’t know what an Iron Pig was until a baseball team got it as a name.
- Reporter Randy Turner of the Winnipeg Free Press hit the road with the Goldeyes of American Association (an independent baseball league). He has written a terrific bit of reportage focusing on the players in this fairly obscure corner of baseball — why are they playing, what are their dreams. Fascinating stories including a few from a former Durham Bull. And a video/photo essay. Nicely done.