Friday, May 30, 2014

Bulls Got Shut Out, But Coming Home

Season: 32-23; Trip: 6-2
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

The Bulls shut out the Mud Hens on Wednesday. The Hens returned the favor last night, shutting out the Bulls for just the second time this season. (The Bulls have five shutouts on the season.) The major downside of the loss has to be that a terrific 2-hit six inning performance by Nate Karns did not get rewarded with a win. Meanwhile, the Mud Hens won on a Mike Hessman double. Hessman is the same guy who hit two home runs against Bulls pitching on the 6th.

Outside the game —
  • All in all a good road trip. The Bulls return leading the South Division of the International League 1½ games ahead of the Gwinnett Braves. Considerable roster turmoil. 
  • I have subscribed to MiLB TV this year, but I usually mute the sound and listen to Patrick Kinas' stream. But this trip I did check in on the other broadcasters. That reminded me that we are lucky to have Patrick calling the Bulls' games. He's clearly interested in the game; doesn't go off on odd tangents (at least not too often); very smooth dealing with commercial necessities; and he gives the opposing teams and players their due. He often discovers a story to track through the game that is just fascinating. As an example, a couple of games ago Toledo catcher Luis Exposito could not do anything right, committing three errors (and there was a wild pitch that could have been called a passed ball). Patrick noticed it early and kept us interested in the story as the game progressed (which was otherwise a 7-0 blowout by the Bulls).
  • The Bulls are making room on their roster for Alex Colome by moving Doug Mathis off to extended spring training.
  • Cole Figueroa is coming back after an exciting time with the Rays. []My guess is that Robbie Price will be the one who goes to extended spring training to make room.

The IronPigs are the Triple A franchise for the Philadelphia Phillies. Watch this space later on today for a guest blog post from our colleague in the Allentown area.

They are tied for second place in the very tight North Division race. [Standings]

 The anomaly in the table here is the Pythagorean Expectation projection since they have given up more runs than they have scored. As noted before, this implies an unusually effective relief corps. Maybe so.

One of the relievers starters is former Bull Chris Bootcheck. No other former Bulls jump out at me on the roster, although infielder Reid Brignac was with them earlier in the season. He is now with the Phillies.


  1. As far as the pythagorean, I'd chalk that up to a bunch of close wins on the strength of pitching and a few total blow outs when things got completely out of hand against us. Sometimes maybe weather or a young pitcher who's no longer on staff. Lincoln, O'Sullivan, and Enright have all had complete clunkers, and rebounded quite nicely. It's true we haven't won as many blow-outs as we've lost, though.

    Brignac played very well for us--led us in homers for a time, and batted clean-up, actually. Bootcheck is in the rotation and won't start in Durham. He started the getaway game in Norfolk yesterday and will start the opener in Allentown Tuesday against Louisville. He started 24 games for SWB last season, I believe.

    @Kram209, Horn and Bell, Lehigh Valley, PA

  2. Makes sense to me. Basic problems is small sample size. Don't know way I had Bootcheck in mind as a reliever. Fixed that. I always liked Brignac. May link back to some old stories if I get the chance.

    I had also forgotten how incredibly distorted this season has been for both North and West divisions due to weather.