Friday, May 8, 2015

Bulls Sweep the Bisons

Season: 17-11; Home Stand: 3-0
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Another noisy Education Day and some good baseball to be watched.

At first it seemed that the Bulls were going to run away with the game, especially after scoring two runs in the 1st inning and loading the bases with none out in the 2nd. However, the Bison’s Todd Redmond, who we have seen a lot over the years in various uniforms, struck out the side. Then the Bisons tied it up in the 3rd. Eventually, however, Redmond faltered and Belnome’s RBI of Lee in the 4th followed by Motter’s sac fly that brought Casilla home in the 6th were the difference.

All praise to the Bulls bullpen. They have not allowed a run in the last seven games.

We have to mention the deep confidence that Sandberg must have in Allan Dykstra. Dystra started at DH! Here’s a guy batting .000 since joining the Bulls. And he started out with a pop-up to 3B, a fly out to centerfield, and a ground out to 1B. In the end, however, he got his first hit of the year, a double  to left field in the 8th inning.

Hak-Ju Lee had a good day, three singles in 4 AB. Maybe ...

We should probably be a bit worried about both Mikie Mahtook and Taylor Motter, who collided in the outfield in the 3rd inning (Mahtook hung on to the ball, though). Both seemed banged up. Rob McLamb of the Herald-Sun has a bit more information, but not much more.

Outside the game —
  • OK, let me rant about parking for day games. If you buy a season parking package, it turns out it doesn’t count for day games. One option is the parking garage over by the new county admin building. It has one of those automated deals where you put your ticket in and then your credit card. The machine spits back your ticket and your credit card gets charged for the parking. In this case $5. So far, so good. Here’s the fun part.
  • It took me 30 minutes to get out of the garage and when I put my ticket in to get out of the gate, the machine wanted another $2.00 before it would let me go! Now there I was with a host of not happy folks behind me that were certainly not going to be understanding. So I put my credit card in and I was free. But I don’t think I’ll ever use that parking deck again, and I certainly can’t recommend it as a day game solution.
  • Elsewhere, an interesting article in The Economist magazine on the statcast system being used to generate data for major league baseball.
  • The Bulls are up in Syracuse for three games against the Chiefs.
Chart —

This chart tracks the game by game runs scored minus the runs allowed by the Durham Bulls. What does it mean? Other than the profound observation that it takes scoring more runs than your opponent to win a game? Not too much. However, it turns out that if you crank the data through a formula called the “Pythagorean Expectation” you can come up with numbers that very often matches the team’s won-loss record, which I find both very interesting and a bit creepy. If you crank the Bulls current runs scored and runs allowed through the equation you come up with a “PE” of 17-11, an exact match of their current won-loss record. How cool is that?

click on chart for larger image

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