Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rarely Used Tactic Doesn't Work

Season: 20-14; Trip: 0-3

An intentional walk is not Charlie Montoyo’s favorite tactic. Last night was the first time in this year’s 34 games that he’s ordered one issued. In last year’s 144 games he ordered a grand total of 8. In contrast, Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays has called for 9 intentional walks in the Rays' 34 games this year. 

Last night the idea was to set up for a double play in the bottom of the 10th. The first batter drew a walk and was moved to 2B on a sacrifice bunt. Charlie called for the IBB to put a man on first. A little line drive to left field drove the winning run in. Not likely to encourage Charlie to do it more often.

Seems like the Bulls are playing a lot of extra inning games this year. So far they’ve played five of them. My view is that once you get past 9 innings the outcome is something of a crapshoot with the advantage going to the home team since they have the last at bat. The Bulls have won 3 out of the 5 extra inning games (2-1 away, 1-1 home). That seems about the best you can expect.

The last several innings were a parade of the new guys on the mound. Jim Patterson in his second appearance, Jake Thompson in his first AAA appearance (very nice 2 ⅓ innings) and Doug Mathis in the 10th with the aforementioned IBB. 

Attendance: 1,508

Outside the game —
  • About those attendance numbers. In addition to the awful spring weather (last night’s 61˚ start temp was one of the warmest this year), some of it is due to a deliberate modification to the Syracuse Chief’s business plan. It seems that the Chiefs had become famous for giving away tickets. The new general manager decided to change that this year and has put a virtual stop to the gravy train. 
  • It sure looks like the “tough love” approach to Syracuse’s addiction to freebies is going to take some time to work out. In the meantime, with the combination of low turnout and bad weather I’m sure glad we don’t have the beer concession for NBT Bank Stadium. We’d be out of business before the summer crowds show up.

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