Season: 43-36; Home Stand: 4-0; Streak: 0-7
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun
The Bulls were ahead 3 to 1. Mike Montgomery was doing a stellar job on the mound. The offense was looking good. And it was a pleasant afternoon at the DBAP, the sort of day we love.
We were a bit puzzled when Montgomery left. And are now very concerned to learn that it was because of elbow discomfort (see the Herald-Sun link). Nevertheless, even after the Chiefs tied it up in the 6th we were still expecting the Bulls to pull it off.
Then came an ugly 8th. On our scoresheet we second-guessed Charlie Montoyo after the first batter doubled off of Brandon Gomes and the next batter, the best hitter in the International League, Steven Souza, was not given an intentional pass. But that’s not what Montoyo does. He’s only ordered one so far this year. Souza singled the runner to 3B and the Chiefs were off, eventually scoring four runs off of two Durham Bulls pitchers.
On the other hand, as much as it pains me to say so, the Syracuse Chiefs are clearly the best team in the IL today. They mopped the floor with the Bulls and the Bulls are a pretty decent team themselves. This will change, of course, depending on the whims of the baseball gods and the fortunes and management decisions of the parent teams. They’ve got talent and seem to be well-managed by former Montgomery Biscuits manager Billy Gardner. They have taken eight games from the Bulls this year. That has not been done in Bulls Triple A history, according to broadcaster Kinas. So, credit where credit is due. The Bulls will not see them again this year unless they both make it through the first round of the playoffs. Now that would be a rematch worth watching.
On their last road trip the Bulls split a four-game series with the Pittsburgh affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians. Plus, it happens that the Pirates are playing the Rays today as well. The Indians lead their division of the IL and also lead the Bulls in every category in this table (but not by much). The Bulls have their work cut out for them today, and for the rest of the week.