Monday, August 1, 2016

Sweep, Sweep

Game 109, July 31, Durham Bulls Athletic Park
Louisville Bats: 3
Durham Bulls: 6
Season: 51-58; Home Stand: 6-0
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

Game Score: Faria 62; Season Avg 49 (7 starts, 32.1 innings)
Tm wOBA: Game .464; Season .301; Diff +.154

The best home stand of the season showed that the Bulls have it in them to win the South Division.

They were hitting the Bats' starter all through the first couple of innings, bases loaded in the 1st, runner on 1B in the second, runner on 3B in the 3rd. But no runs. And it seemed that the 4th inning was to be more of the same with the first two hitters making outs. Then the next six batters all got hits: A double, 3 singles, and back-to-back home runs by Taylor Motter and Jaff Decker. That turned out to be all the Bulls scoring for the night, but that was enough.

Taylor Motter's eye and timing seem to be on track. In his first two plate appearances he was a microsecond early and slapped at least four pitches very hard (two for home run distance) to the left. In his third time, his shot went over the Bull.

Hank Conger got a gift from the scorer and was credited with one of those hits in the 4th (our section of the stands had E4's on our scorecards). However, his double in the 6th was a very clean shot. Whether he should have tried to score from 2B on Taylor Motter's single to left is another matter, although it did look like the Bats catcher missed the tag.

The Bulls also came close to doing their best-of-season in fewest K's. The Bulls lead the International League in strikeouts, so it was nice to see them whiff only three times.

Jacob Faria got the win, and he worked hard for it. I'd thought that Neil Wagner was back to form in his last outing, but he gave up two runs in his 1 inning.

Outside the game —
  • Duke broadcaster Bob Harris called the game with Scott Pose helping out, a lot. Pose usually does just color, but he obviously got recruited to help with the little snips of advertising that goes with broadcasting the game. "That walk brought to you by ...", etc. Good jobs by both.
  • The Bulls are off to Norfolk for a couple of games before coming back to play two more games against them and three games against Gwinnett. 
Here are a couple of charts to show how the team's been doing since the All-star break, you can see that the starting pitching ticked up then eased back down the last couple of games. More important, the relief crew is doing much better. The team ERA is at 3.54, a little bit better than the league average of 5.61, and 7th in the 14 team IL.


This very pretty chart shows the game by game wOBA of the team over the last 20 games. A very nice little trend going, especially the last ten games.


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