Monday, August 24, 2015

Five in a Row; Is There Hope for the Future?

Season: 64-66; Home Stand: 5-0
Games Remaining: 14; Home Games: 10
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

For the first time in what seems like a very long time I was able to get to the DBAP to watch a game. I certainly didn’t expect the Bulls to pull off a 5-in-a-row, but they did. This was the best at-home series of the year.

The Bulls’ were hitting homers last night, Nick Franklin, J.P. Arencibia, and Hak-Ju Lee in the first three innings. But it was Lee who had the big night at bat, 4 RBIs.

Everett Teaford had his best start in a very long time. In fact, the last time he had a Game Score as good as last night (58) was in a no-decision game back on June 16. Nice to see him in good form. Particularly impressive was the moment in the 5th when the umpire apparently decided to ignore the pace of game rules and let two Columbus batters in a row step in and out of the box numerous times. Both batters drew walks, but Teaford managed to sort himself out and get out of the inning unscathed (we won’t count the inning-opening home run).

My first time seeing new guy Parker Markel. He looked pretty good with his 3 K’s over 2 ⅔ innings. At a guess, however, he’s the odd man out when José Dominguez returns. Dominguez passed through waivers yesterday and will be coming back to the Bulls.

For the first time in recent memory Boog Powell was not the leadoff batter, Mikie Mahtook was and Powell was second. However, he did start toward the plate at the very beginning of the game and came back toward the dugout with a big grin on his face. Habit.

Carolina Dreamin’

These five wins in a row got broadcaster Patrick Kinas running the math a bit. His colleague Scott Pose wasn’t challenging the numbers, but he also wasn’t buying into it either. Standings.

Let’s take a look. The rest of the season the Bulls are playing against International League South Division teams. Five against Norfolk (2 away, 3 home); 7 against Charlotte (4 home, 3 away); and 2 against Gwinnett at the DBAP. All of those teams are above .500 and Gwinnett in particular has been hot lately. Half of the remaining games will take place place after the September call-ups and it’s hard to say what Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, or Tampa Bay will do to their South Division teams.

What we can point out is this:

Yes, the Bulls are hot, but so are the Braves. You have to think that Gwinnett could make a run at the top spot, but no one else is likely to sneak into the wild card slot. Could something happen? Sure. Likely? We can only hope.

A more reasonable wish is for the Bulls to establish a winning season. That’s what this chart will be showing. Getting above the 0 mark is a winning season. And that, given this July and August, would be a significant accomplishment.

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