Monday, August 30, 2021

Four Wins in Charlotte; Off to Jacksonville

 The Bulls won 4 of 6 against the Charlotte Knights last week and are off to Jacksonville, Florida for a six-game set against Miami's franchise, the Jumbo Shrimp. This is a simply spectacular season for the Bulls. They are 7½ games ahead of tied second-place teams — Jacksonville and Gwinnett. I do have to note the impressive run of the Strippers, though. They went from 8 games below .500 to 16 above over the last few weeks before falling off the last couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Bulls' parent club, the Tampa Bay Rays, is having a spectacular season of their own. The Yankees made a 20-win run to get close, but fell off recently. The Rays are going home to face Boston with their clutch of Durham Bulls pitchers in train.

And it isn't as if they are in an easy division. The wild card leaders include 3 teams from the AL East

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Solid Homestand; Off to Lawrenceburg

 The Durham Bulls played six games against the Memphis Redbirds last week and did very well. They won 4 out of the 6 games and improved to 27 games over .500, by far the best in all of Triple-A baseball. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the Yankees franchise is next best in the Triple-A East at 19 games over ,500, but the Bulls will not play them this year.

Other Bulls' stats are equally impressive. The team OPS of .825 is the best in the Triple-A East as is their ERA (3.49), WHIP (1.14), and Opponents Batting Average (.217).

They are off to Lawrenceburg, Georgia to play the Gwinnett Strippers, the Braves franchise. In the old days, this was a very hot competition. Not so much this year where they only met for one homestand (the Bulls took 5 of 6) and this away series. 

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Rays have pushed into the lead of the American League East. They have won 8 of their last 10 and are now in Boston for a 3-game series that could be a very big deal.

The American League Wild Card race is full of AL East teams. In my view, the team to watch is Charlie Montoyo's Blue Jays. They've been on quite a run lately.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Tough Road Trip

The Bulls played 7 games in Harbor Park last week. It did not go very well. They lost 5. Not badly. Most by 1 or 2 runs. But still, they lost. They left town 28 games above .500 and came home 25 games above .500.

On the other hand, they remain 7 games ahead of the Nashville Sounds and have the best record in the Triple-A East. Standings.

Reflecting (causing?) the team performance, all the measures of team pitching ticked slightly upwards — not a good thing. ERA from 3.40 to 3.49; WHIP from 1.13 to 1.15; and Opponent's Batting Average from .214 to .215. Those are trivial changes and the numbers remain very, very good. 

The Bulls come home to play the Memphis Redbirds for the second and last time this season. Memphis is the Cardinals Triple-A team and has been doing fairly well. But had a tough week against Gwinnett.

Meanwhile, down at the bandbox by the bay, the Rays swept the Red Sox and moved into first place in the AL East. 

Our old friend Charlie Montoyo and his Toronto Blue Jays are playing in Toronto for the first time since 2019! Good for them. And the team is doing pretty well. 

That means the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons will finally come home from their exile away from their namesake town. They've been having a pretty good year as well. Too bad we won't be seeing them in Durham.