Monday, June 15, 2015

Bye Bats; Hello Indians

Wrap, Box, Louisville Courier-Journal

Richie Shaffer got three home runs in a game where both teams beat up on each other.

Wrap, Box

First loss after a 6-game winning streak. Mikie Mahtook back in the lineup. See that J.P. Arencibia put on catcher’s gear for the first time in a long while for top of the 9th. Wonder if he’s been carrying his mitt around with him all year?

Unusually poor outing by Matt Buschmann

Season: 38-27; Trip: 3-1
Wrap, Box, Louisville Courier Journal

The basic take on the game by the Bats’ manager, Delino DeShields, was, “We wuz robbed!” Seems like a foul ball in the 9th should have been fair (in his view). And that would have led to a Bats win. Then he goes on to complain about the whole series. I wonder if the same umpiring crew is going to be in Louisville for a couple of days?

But the Bulls did get 3 out of 4 on the road. Pretty darn good, especially with the turnover and turmoil.

Scott Diamond got his seventh win. Kirby Yates got his first K since coming off of rehab. Mikie Mahtook, Richie Shaffer, and Luke Maile got the RBIs.

Outside the game —
  • According to the radio, this was the last game as a Bull for Ronald Belisario. He has an opt-out contract and the guessing is that he’s going to execute it unless the Rays call him up. He has been huge help to the Bulls with 17 saves over 27 appearances, 30+ innings, two losses and a blown save (all when his pitch count got up). A decent WHIP of 1.22. Out of 11 runners he inherited, only one of them scored! Good luck!
  • To my great surprise, the local N&O actually had some Durham Bulls coverage. Two feature articles by Nick Gray. One is about the increasing use of shifts in AAA ball and interviews Bull Alan Dykstra on their effect on his hitting. The second is about the Bulls new star Richie Shaffer. Good reporting. Nice to see some coverage.
  • Ballpark Digest is conducting some sort of poll on favorite ballparks. The DBAP is still in the running.

The Bulls roll up the road to Indianapolis to face what could be their toughest out-of-division opponent this year. The Triple-A club of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Indianapolis Indians are 6 ½ games ahead in the International League North Division. The have an edge on the Bulls in most statistical categories; have won 9 of their last 10 games; and just won 3 out of 4 against the Gwinnett Braves.

The only statistical flaw that jumps out is that their run differential is awfully low for their won-loss record. In fact, if you crank it through the Pythagorean Expectation (PE) equation their won-loss record “should” be just 36-29. That is, they should have lost 5 more games than they have. Typically two explanations are given for these oddities: luck and relief pitching. We will have to see. Over the course of a season, the PE come spookily close to matching the actual won-loss.

[Note: the Bulls’ PE is also anomalous. Won-loss “should” be 35-30. That is, they should have lost 3 more games than they have.]


  1. Apparently Buschmann is opting out (didn't even know he had a clause):

    1. Neither did I. And this doesn't make sense to me. If he did have an opt-out contract and was doing so well and with all the trouble that the Rays have been having, you'd think he'd been put on the 40-man. Have to think someone's going to go for him. (which is why he's opting out, obviously). Too bad. If they both (Belisario) go then it's really going to hurt the Bulls. Thanks for the info.

    2. Gathering a bit more info: the Rays have 48 hours to decide. So could be full-blown negotiation, but you'd think that had already been going on. Assume same applies to Belisario. Neither, I'd bet, will be allowed to pitch during that 48 hours. Buschmann would not have been due for a couple of days. Belisario at least a day or two rest after back to backs.
      I know that there are only two or three of us who care, but too bad we aren't told more about what's going on.

  2. By the way, I had a lot of trouble commenting on blog just now when I was using Firefox browser. Switched to Safari and it went OK. Anyone else having a problem?

  3. Just tried with Chrome. So apparently only a problem with Firefox.

  4. No issues with FF for me.

    Tompkins reported that Belisario officially opted out too. No surprise. Rays have 2 days.