Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Week 23: Blown Out by RailRiders; Blown Up by Rays

 With the notable exception of the 9th inning heroics on Friday, this was not a good week for the Bulls. They lost 4 out of 6 games against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the New York Yankees franchise. Their lead in the IL East dropped from 3½ games to 1½ games. Standings. The second-place teams, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami) and the RailRiders, are in a tie. 

Mostly last week the Bulls were not even close. The RailRiders scored 37 runs, the Bulls just 20. Only one starting pitcher went more than 3 innings. The relievers' ERA grew from 4.34 to 4.63 in one week. 

It would be nice to put the week in the past (usually a good idea in baseball), but we Bulls fans are suddenly faced with an ugly reminder of minor league baseball reality. Their parent, the Tampa Bay Rays, are off to a very tough set of games against the Toronto Blue Jays, including a doubleheader. This allows the Rays, absolute masters of roster manipulation, to shake things up. Throw into that mix the fact that at least one Ray (Brooks Raley) is not vaccinated against Covid and is not allowed into Canada. Then we see that the Bulls who are off to Georgia are not the Bulls who played in Durham last week. Six recent Bulls are in Toronto, Cooper Criswell, Javy Guerra, Keven Herget, Josh Fleming, Jimmy Yacabonis, and Yonny Chirinos. A couple are on the "taxi squad" — I have no idea what that means. But the roster on the Bulls' website isn't even close to being accurate. 

Any help coming? Hard to say. Cooper Criswell is reportedly on his way back after his start last night. Available? Who knows. Pitcher Trevor Brigden is coming up from Montgomery. 

On the positive side in the coming week, the Bulls' main competitors are facing tougher competition than the Bulls this week. The RailRiders are up against the 69-65 Worcester Red Sox, and the Jumbo Shrimp are playing the IL West leader the 81-53 Nashville Sounds.


The Bulls are down in Georgia playing the Atlanta Braves' affiliate, the Gwinnett Braves. As with the Bulls, the Braves' parent team is trying to win its division or at least a wild card spot. Unlike the Bulls, the Braves have had a much tougher year. They are in 8th place in the IL West. Nevertheless, their pitching is pretty good. Much may depend on how well the Bulls pitcher chaos sorts itself out.


Rules that the Bulls have played under for the last couple of years (mostly) are coming to the major leagues. Pitch clock and bigger bases we've seen. What we haven't seen are the limits on positioning of infielders. Interesting that the MLB players union voted against the changes, perhaps because they could not find any internal consensus among the membership. I like the changes, with the possible exception of the freebie runner on 2B in extra innings, but the major leagues are already doing that. Should probably be noted that I'm not a fan of the tie-breaker in tennis either.

No comments:

Post a Comment