Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tough 7th

Season: 56-49; Home Stand: 1-3; Home Games Remaining: 19
Wrap, Box

Beautiful night for baseball at the DBAP. Not too hot, not too steamy. Well-matched teams.

Seems like the 7th inning made all the difference. Mike Montgomery was looking much better than in his awful start down in Gwinnett on the 20th. However, the Mud Hens’ Robbie Ray was looking pretty good himself. Jeremy Moore had muscled an opposite-field home run over the Monster in the 6th to tie the game and Montgomery was up with just 86 pitches thrown. Too many? Hard to say. As a practical matter, no one was warming up. Montgomery walked the first batter, who stole second base and came home as the go-ahead run on a solid single to centerfield. That brought in Adam Liberatore, who had only allowed one of his 17 previous inherited runners to score — by far the best on the team. So although the Mud Hens were ahead by one with no outs it didn’t look impossible to catch up. But a bizarre bunt single that went out into right field put runners on first and third and the runner on third scored before Liberatore could put out the fire with two ground outs and a K. Should Montgomery have started the 7th? Probably not. Ain’t hindsight wonderful? Vince Belnome's pretty shot, also opposite field over the Monster, would not be enough.

Let’s celebrate the Bulls homers though, by Vince Belnome and Jeremy Moore. Let’s continue to worry about Hak-Ju Lee, who does not seem to be improving this last month either at bat or in the field.

Outside the game —
  • Terrific essay on Charlie Montoyo’s record-setting career as Bulls manager in the program notes for this series. Worth coming to the game to get a copy.
  • Nice ceremony after the game honoring Charlie. Nice to see wife and children out there with him.
  • Don’t look now, but there’s been a complete turnover in the IL South Division. Norfolk and Charlotte have both put together winning streaks, Norfolk rising to 2nd place and Gwinnett dropping into last place in just the last few days.
  • Looking back to a game a year ago, July 25, 2013, some interesting names pop up in a Bulls-Braves game.
  • Notice the surprising number at the beginning of this post. Only 19 home games left! Where did the season go?
More Geek Stuff

In spite of a couple of homers, Bulls hitters have not been doing well lately. This is the game-by-game team wOBA (weighted on-base-average) of the last 20 games. It’s the trend that matters. As for what it means, let’s just say that the descriptors for wOBA include terms such as “average” for .320 to “awful” for .290, which is where the trend is below after last night’s game. In other words, it ain’t looking good these days.

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