Friday, September 14, 2018

Durham Bulls 2-1 in Governors' Cup Contest

PNC Field, Moosic, PA

Kind of weird to be playing a home game up at the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders' home. And it was a pretty sparse crowd of just 1,775 (likely because the RailRiders were not expecting to play a game there either).

But I'm proud to say that some of those were very noisy Bulls fans! Patrick Kinas said that some of the Bulls office folks traveled up to see the game and it turns out that outfielder Joe McCarthy was born in Scranton. So certainly some of the noise in support of the Bulls was from his friends and family.

Wrap 1, Wrap 2, Citizens Voice, MiLBcom

I have been thoroughly unimpressed with Chih-Wei Hu this year, often wondering just what the Rays saw in the young right-hander. Yet, here we are in the post-season and he's is showing up, big time. Last night was his best start of the year. He pitched a scoreless 7 innings while throwing just 77 pitches. His Game Score of 76 was 10 points above his next best back on August 15. Simply a superb game. Note that his start in Game 3 against Toledo was pretty good as well (5 innings, Game Score 55 and a win). He may turn out to be the starting pitcher hero of the Cup. See the MiLB link above for some good quotes and analysis.

Another feature of the playoffs is how good the Bulls' defense has been. They were the second-worst in the IL in errors (107!). Their uERA (unearned runs per 9 innings) during the season was a bottom of the league .521. That's a half a run per game given away. In the post-season they have only given up one unearned run and that in the very first game, a 10-3 loss to Toledo.

Whether it was Bulls pitching or something else, I do have to comment that the RailRiders certainly looked flat. Even the RailRiders broadcast crew sounded flat.

Meanwhile, I'm listening to the wind blow and sending best wishes down east. The Bulls and the International League certainly made the right decision. And a BIG thank you to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for hosting the second half of the playoffs.

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