Sunday, July 14, 2013

And Then There Was Seven

Season: 62-35; Streak: 7-0

Seven wins in a row. Still the best won-lost recored in all of baseball.

Matt Buschmann looked very, very good. Eight of nine Bulls got at least one hit. Eight of nine Bulls scored a run. The new pitcher had a clean 2K inning. Tim Beckham made a brilliant, you-had-to-be-there-to-see-it play. It didn’t rain. This is fun, fun, fun.

This was a game where blunders didn’t seem to matter. In the 3rd inning Leslie Anderson was inexplicably caught standing between first and second base. Did he misunderstand a signal? Did the batter (Fontenot)? He was the third out and on another day it might have mattered. As it was, the Bulls got four more runs the next inning and never looked back. Mike Fontenot did, however, get thrown out at the plate to end the 5th inning. Not sure that was a smart base running move either.

I’m impressed with Mr. Buschmann. He pitched his first game with the Bulls at the end of May. Since then he’s been in 9 games and picked up 5 wins with a nice ERA of 2.36 (and a WHIP of 1.16). Combine him with his Montgomery Biscuits colleague Merrill Kelly (6 starts, 4 wins, 1.70 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) and you have a partial explanation for the Bulls’ recent success. Best of all, from a fan’s view, neither Buschmann nor Kelly is on the Rays’ 40-man roster. That means we will likely get to see them at work the rest of the season. 

About that pretty play: In the 5th inning Braves catcher Jose Yepez hit a very hard grounder to third baseman Cole Figueroa’s left. Shortstop Tim Beckham moved to back him up. Figueroa got a bit of his glove on the ball and Beckham had to make an off-balance stretch to get to it, turn and make a throw from essentially behind third base. The quickness of the transfer and the strength of Beckham’s  throw to first base was a a good reason to be at the game.

We don't know why Ramon Ramirez is here, but if he keeps having strong innings, we are fine with it.

For all you Moneyball readers/watchers: Who’s got the best On-Base Percentage in the International League? That would be the Bulls’ Vince Belnome, who had a hit, three walks, a RBI, and scored a run last night. His OBP is .448. 

I was wrong (imagine that!) about who would be helping the Bulls while Charlie and Neil are away. According to the Herald-Sun, Dave Myers (hitting coach) is running things with help from Rays pitching coordinator Dick Bosman coaching pitchers and outfield/baserunning coordinator Skeeter Barnes as first base coach. 

Last game before the All-Star break tonight.

Outside the game —
  • Here’s hoping that the Bulls can get their bench back over the All-Star break. Jason Bourgeois and Ryan Roberts are slowed down and the Bulls only have 12 position players to begin with. 
  • I’m not a Red Sox fan, but their Triple A team will be here right after the break and here’s an interesting article about why the parent club is doing so well this year. Turns out it’s the pitching.
  • Nuke still having trouble getting to the finish line.

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