Saturday, July 30, 2016

Baserunning, Hot Bats, First Place

Game 107, July 29, Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Louisville Bats (Reds): 1
Durham Bulls (Rays): 9
Season: 49-58; Home Stand: 4-0
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Game Score: Pruitt 67; Season Avg 57 (21 starts, 120.1 innings)
Team wOBA: Game .438; Season .301; Diff +.137

Eury Perez came back to the Bulls last night when Nick Franklin was called up to the Rays. Batting ninth in the order he drew a walk to start off the 3rd inning with the Bulls trailing 1-0. The next batter, Jake Hager, struck out, but not before Perez stole second base. Jaff Decker flew out to center field for the second out. While Taylor Motter was at bat, Perez stole third base. Motter drew a walk, the fourth of nine the Bulls drew during the game. After Richie Shaffer came to bat, a couple of pitches in, Motter took off for second and Perez stole home for the run that tied the game. Gee, that was fun to watch. Here's a scoring puzzle, though. Does a guy who steals home get an RBI for himself? (Ans: No)

Then, remember Richie Shaffer's still at bat, a double by him brought home Taylor Motter from second base and the Bulls went ahead 2-1.

In the next inning, the game came unraveled (from the Bats point of view) or we could say that the Bulls bats came alive. In the middle of it? Eury Perez. Jake Goebbert drew a walk to start the inning, moved to third on a Johnny Field single. A Perez grounder towards second base started a double play effort, but Perez did get an RBI when Goebbert came home. Even better, the shortstop threw the ball away instead of finishing the double play and Perez ended up on second base. Jaff Decker picked up the Bulls' sixth walk of the game and Taylor Motter hit a very pretty home run over the Blue Monster. Bulls went ahead 7-2 on just 4 hits.

The Bulls picked up a couple more runs in the 6th. Austin Pruitt got his 6th win. All was right in the world.

Even better, up in Toledo, the Mud Hens were beating the Gwinnett Braves. That meant that the Bulls moved to sole possession of first place in the South Division. It's been a long time. To be specific, back on April 11th, the fifth game of the year, the Bulls went a half-game ahead of Gwinnett for the only other time this year that the Bulls have led in the South. (standings)

Outside the game —
  • If you're curious about all the "non-waiver trade deadline" talk. Here's the definition. Not saying it will help understand why folks are so obsessed with it. But maybe.

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