Friday, September 4, 2015

Cruisin' Into the Seventh ...

Season: 71-69; This Trip: 1-1
Games left in season: 4
Wrap, Box, Charlotte Observer

The game started at noon because two Carolina football teams were playing on a Thursday (!) night in downtown Charlotte (one of the teams lost).

Pretty much the Bulls were cruisin’. Boog Powell was back in leadoff and had a great, great game with 4 hits (two doubles and a home run). New guys Cameron Seitzer, Alec Sole, and Wilmer Dominguez were in the lineup and did just fine, although Sole didn’t get a hit. The whole team had five doubles and a home run. They were ahead 7-3 going into the 7th. You’d think it would be enough.

With the noonday sun, came a little rain, in the shape of absolutely the worst performance of the relief crew this year. Too bad, because Andrew Bellatti had seemed to be sorting himself out and new guy Parker Markel was doing just fine. But Bellatti gave up 3 homers and five runs in his time on the mound and Markel gave up another one in the hitter-friendly park.

Outside the game —
  • With the loss the the Bulls were officially eliminated from the South Division race. To be realistic, they'd not been in the running for along time. That was not what I’d been hoping for. What I’d like to see by the end to this season is a stable .500 record and maybe, just maybe, getting up into third place. That’s a maybe for the Bulls, but they’ve got to win, and Charlotte has to lose in a race that’s getting very tight. 
  • Standings
  • The South Division race is down to just a one game difference with Gwinnett having a very good shot at pushing Norfolk off the bus. To get there the Bulls will have to be the spoilers for them. Gwinnett is one game back. Gwinnett and Norfolk play tonight in Norfolk, but the key games will be the last three Bulls/Tides games in Durham and the Braves/Knights games down in Georgia.
  • The South isn’t the only race undecided. The West Division is a dead heat. The difference there is that the second place team, whichever one it is, has a lock on a playoff spot.
  • About playoffs from the players’ perspective: David Hall of the Virginian-Pilot has a terrific set of interviews with Tides players from a couple of days ago. Worth a read. Players, until they get on the field, aren’t big fans of minor league playoffs.
Goodmon Awards Announced

I like these Durham Bulls awards and I almost always agree with them. Here’s this year’s:
  • MVP: Taylor Motter. You bet. He was fun to watch and did everything very, very well.
  • Pitcher of the Year: Scott Diamond. Again, agree that he was the best of the bunch
  • Team Spirit: Jhan MariƱez. I like the choice. Terrific reliever. Expect him to be on next year's 40-man. Maybe this year's.
  • Community Service: J.P. Arencibia. Makes sense to me.

Here’s how the IL South looks today

click on chart for larger image
And here’s the “path” to what WDBB considers a reasonable goal for this year’s team, but they can still make it into 3rd place with some luck (and a win today). Four games left! Hang on!

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