Monday, July 22, 2013

Boomin', Losin', and, At Last, Winnin'

Season: 64-58; Home Stand: 6-3
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

As this is being written, if Twitter is to be believed, the Bulls are heading down I-85 to the Atlanta suburbs. Probably last night’s affair is fading. Nevertheless, it was a game of superlatives. Well, maybe “superlatives” isn’t quite the right word, but it will have to do.

Between them the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Durham Bulls, in an 8½ inning game,
  • Sent 97 hitters to bat
  • Scored 27 runs
  • On 33 hits, 12 walks, 3 hit batsmen, and no home runs (although one run was scored on a single and a 3-base error, a semi-inside-the-park-home run by Jason Bourgeois)
  • Used 10 pitchers
  • Over 4 drizzly hours

In the end, it was sort of the opposite of a pitchers’ duel for both teams. In fact, the last three games of this series was essentially boomin’ and losin’ (or winnin', depended on which side you were on).

The hero last night? Undoubtedly Mike Fontenot who made a hot grounder look easy and drove a stake through the heart(s) of the Pawsox, who would not stay dead in this game. They just kept climbing out of their coffins, even in the top of the 9th when they had runners on second and third and could go ahead in the game if the grounder had gotten past Fontenot. But the grounder didn’t and the Bulls prevailed at last.

The Herald-Sun and the wrap lays some of it out, so let’s do our WDBB thing and draw a couple of pictures to show just how odd these last four games have been.

First of all, the pitching. Just a couple of days ago the cumulative ERAs of Bulls pitching was on a nice downward slope. Now look at the last four games. Remember that these are cumulative ERA, so it takes a lot to push them up or down. And note that it isn’t just the starters, everyone was pushing that ERA up.

click for larger chart

Another way to look at those number is game-by-game and there the last four games are even more startling.

Lastly, if the importance of pitching ever needed emphasis, look at this one. The Bulls bats have been booming, but, except for last night, it wasn’t enough.

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