Monday, August 5, 2019

Ugly Road Trip; Will Turmoil Ever Stop?

We had some fairly negative things to say as the Durham Bulls hit the road last week. The situation has not improved. If anything, it may have gotten worse.

On the road, the Bulls had 4 losses and just two wins, plus a rainout that cannot be made up. All games were against the other three International League South teams. The Bulls left home 1½ games back, they returned home 2½ games back.

The reasons why are pretty obvious.

First would be the sheer turmoil. Remember, this is a team traveling around — to Gwinnett, to Charlotte, and to Norfolk. In the last six days the Bulls have had 17 roster changes. And there's reason to expect more before tomorrow's game.

Then there were some pretty ugly moments. Two starting pitchers didn't make it out of the 1st inning: Rehabbing Anthony Banda gave up 4 runs on 4 hits and two walks in the first ⅔ of the 1st inning against Gwinnett on July 30th (the Bulls lost 6–7) and new guy Peter Fairbanks gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks in ⅔ of the 1st inning against Norfolk on August 3rd (the Bulls lost 2–3).

Another newish pitcher, Sam McWilliams, he of a 7.46 ERA, made it through 6 innings, but he also gave up 5 (4 earned) runs on 8 hits and 4 walks. The Bulls lost that game (August 2) as well.

To my surprise, we did not see much of an increase in unearned runs, and the Bulls' batting average didn't change much at all. New guy Kevin Padlo is having a terrific start as a Bull. The Bulls' hole in center field, made when Andrew Velazquez got pushed off the bus, has still not been filled.

By the way, Valazquez is playing with the division-leading Columbus Clippers along with Jake Bauers and Dioner Navarro.

About the only thing good to report is that the Bulls are leading in the wild card, but just by 3½ games over Charlotte.

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