Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays): 8
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees): 4
Season: 45-55; Trip: 5-3
Wrap, Box, Scranton Times-Tribune
Game Score: Marks 46; Season Avg 53 (15 starts, 84 innings)
Tm wOBA: Game .415; Season .297; Diff +.118
The Bulls are in 1st place in the International League South Division! How weird is that? They are 10 games below .500 and yet they are tied with Charlotte for first place. Plus, they won a game from the best in the IL in a very impressive fashion. See the chart below.
At first, it looked as if Justin Marks, who threw a no-hitter his last time out, was going to have a very short outing. He got through the first inning OK, but the 2nd was a disaster. Then, the Bulls had a great top-of-the-3rd with Taylor Motter's 2-run homer a highlight and acting manager Ozzie Timmons left him in the game. A couple of double plays helped as he did a good job through the 5th.
Timmons and, very likely, pitching coach Kyle Snyder, had to make the decision because manager Jared Sandberg had gotten himself thrown out of the game in the 1st inning. By my count, this was the fourth ejection of the year (2 wins and 2 losses) and gets us wondering about his anger management skills. Did he have a legitimate beef? Probably. Nick Franklin had taken a pitch off his hand that was called a foul ball, not a hit-by-pitch. Franklin ended up leaving the game.
In the 4th Richie Shaffer hit a long home run to tie the game. Jaff Decker drew a walk and did some nice base running to get to 3B on a Daniel Robertson single. Decker came home on a Johnny Field sac fly. That put the Bulls ahead to stay. Speaking of Decker, in the 8th the accounts will show he hit a double, and that's fair. What they don't say is that the hit was a dribbler that barely made it past the infield and the RailRiders didn't expect Decker to even think about going to second base until they looked around and there he was standing on the bag. Decker came home for the Bulls' 8th run on a Johnny Field single.
Add in Daniel Robertson's 2-run homer in the 6th and you have the Bulls best day at bat in a long while.
Parker Markel came back from Hudson Valley to pitch the 6th inning. Ryan Garton has been put on the disabled list. [Note: I assume that most readers of WDBB understand that to/from Hudson Valley transactions are typically paper transactions. Markel, for example, has very likely been traveling with the team, just not wearing a game jersey.]
Kirby Yates, one of WDBB's all-time favorites (e.g., see a typical post here), came to the mound to pitch the 9th inning for the RailRiders. After coming up through the Rays system Yates started the season as a Yankee. He came down to the RailRiders at the end of June. Overall, he seems to be doing OK on the year even if he's back in Triple-A. J.P. Arencibia, who must have caught him a couple of times last year, seemed particularly amused during his at-bat, and he managed a single off of him.