Monday, September 2, 2019

Today's the Day for the Durham Bulls

Back just a few days ago I wrote that the Durham Bulls has played themselves out of the wild card spot for the International League Governors' Cup playoffs. I was wrong.

Here they are in the last game of the season and, if the season were to end now, they would be getting ready to play the IL North winner for the first round of the Cup.

By any measure, this was a remarkable week of baseball for the Durham Bulls.  Yesterday's terrific pitching performance by Aaron Slegers and Jose De Leon; a booming home run in Dylan Cozens' first game as a Durham Bull; and rock-steady work by Emilio Bonifacio were much like the rest of this week.

And this was a week with considerable turmoil in the ranks. But, from a distance, little things were clear that these guys are hanging together as a team. Last night the little thing was when Gillermo Heredia caught  a fly ball for the last out in center field, he did not toss the ball into the stands. He kept it, either for himself or perhaps for Slegers. He, and the rest of the team, knew that they had played themselves into the wild card. And then they were all out there to slap hands with the kids running the bases.

About today.

  • If the Bulls win, they are the wild card team no matter what happens in the Norfolk Tides, Charlotte Knights game.
  • If the Bulls lose and the Knights lose, the Bulls are the wild card team.
  • If the Bulls lose and the Knights win, the 2019 season is over for the Bulls.
  • Game time: 1:05


There are so many potentially fascinating stories about this week and this team that we'd love to hear. We get a few of them from Patrick Kinas' superb reporting on the radio. But it sure would be nice to hear more. I just checked the Charlotte Observer, Raleigh News & Observer, and Durham Herald-Sun web sites: Not a whisper about what's going on. Even WRAL, who's boss owns the Bulls, has only a whisper. Not a bad story in the Virginian-Pilot, of all places, though.

Up North

The Bulls/Knighs competition isn't the only story on this last day. Up in the IL North an end-of-season tie between the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and the Syracuse Mets could happen. The RailRiders are playing the Buffalo Bisons and the Mets are playing the Rochester Red Wings. All these games are afternoon games, so you can expect solid coverage from Kinas, Scott Pose, and company if you listen/watch the game.

Note: If the IL North ends in a tie, they will have a one-game playoff to determine who comes south for a playoff game.

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