Monday, April 24, 2023

Week 4, Bulls Win 5

 The Bulls had a great week up in Syracuse, winning 5 of 6 games against Syracuse and rising into a tie for 5th place in the International League Standings

The stat improvements are impressive. Every key stat got better.


4/24: Week 4














Run Diff




Now comes a new challenge. The Memphis Redbirds won 12 games in a row before losing on Sunday. Their run differential is impressive, but otherwise, maybe there are some cracks in their pitching. We'll have to see.

Matchup: Bulls vs Redbirds, April 25, 2023

As of April 24, 2023 








Durham Bulls (Rays)








Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals)








RDiff-Run differential;  Rk - Rank in International League; WHIP - Walks/Hits per Inning; uERA-unearned runs per 9 innings

Monday, April 17, 2023

Great Week in Durham, Syracuse Next


Next Week in Syracuse

The Bulls went 5-1 and moved up from 16th to 6th in the 20-team International League standings. 

Certainly yesterday's bizarre bottom-of-the-9th was the oddity of the week. The Bulls were trailing 1-3, with one of those runs most annoyingly scored on a balk back in the 7th. Nick Dini singled and then moved to 2B when Tristan Grey drew a walk. Kyle Manzardo struck out, but then Kameron Misner doubled to center, Dina scored, Tristan Gray to 3B. Curtis Meade came in to bat for Tanner Murray. In a move that the IronPigs surely came to regret, Meade was given an intentional walk. Makes sense, of course, since it loaded the bases to allow for a double play to end inning. Even better, the next batter, Ruben Cardenas struck out. Bases loaded, 2 outs, Bulls still behind 2-3.

Osleivis Basabe, he of the bright, bright, orange cleats, walks. Game is tied. Ben Gamel walks on the next four pitches. Wins the game.


The Bulls are off to Syracuse, New York to play the Mets. They are doing well this year. 

About this season

Just a few thoughts about just how weird this season is going to be for International League fans. First of all, the basic numbers: 20 teams, no divisions. Teams play 6-game sets (mostly). In a 150-game season, that's roughly 25 sets of 6 games. But the plan this year is to have two 75-game seasons and for the winners of the two seasons to play each other for the championship. That means the Bulls will play one 3-game set (already done) and 12 6-game sets (2 down, 10 to go). The first half wraps up at the end of June. By that time the Bulls will have had a home and away with Syracuse, Memphis, Jacksonville, Charlotte, and Norfolk. Not bad. On the other hand, the Bulls will not see Lehigh Valley again. The "traditional" rivalries of Gwinnett, Charlotte, and Norfolk will be observed. But there are too many "what-if's" to mention. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Winning Week in Jax; Matchup


The Durham Bulls went down to Jacksonville, Florida for a week and did OK by getting their first wins of the season. They won three games, lost two, and one got rained out. It's still hard to get a handle on the numbers for this year. The one that stands out is the number of unearned runs they are letting through. Per 9 innings they are letting in 1.4 runs. That's an exceptionally bad number. The team ERA of 5.62 is pretty ugly as well. 

A modest hole has been punched into the lineup with the Rays calling up Vidal Brujan and Jonathan Aranda. Both are very good players with Aranda off to a particularly solid start this year. Have not heard of any replacements.

This week sees the Lehigh Valley IronPigs come to town. They are Philadelphia's Triple-A team. The table has their matchup numbers, but we are way too early in the season to put much stock in them.

On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Bulls' parent club, is off to an amazing start to their season. They've won 9 games against 3 different teams without losing any. Congrats!

Monday, April 3, 2023

The Durham Bulls Are Back


Throwback Uniform — I like it

Quite possibly the worst opening home stand in Durham Bulls history. But, hey, the season is very, very young.

The Bulls lost all three games: 4-3, 4-13, and 4-7. So, they've shown they can score four runs. Now, how do they hold down the opposing team? Well, they sure won't do it by giving out bases on balls. Bulls pitchers issued 21 walks and gave up 9 home runs. Not auspicious. For now, the are firmly in last place in the International League. Standings.

Nevertheless, this roster looks pretty good. Nine on the 40-man, 4 position players and 5 pitchers. Mostly young players. 

Without checking history too closely, it seems to me that the first year with a new manager in Durham was usually pretty tough. I'd hope that's not what we're up against this year.

Meanwhile, MLB keeps piling on the weirdness in whatever the International League is going to be from year to year. This year, assuming I understand it, we have a 20-team league and no divisions. Whichever team is leading after 75 games wins the first half. The team out front at the end of the year wins the second half. And then they have a playoff for the championship.

But wait, there's more. We might be getting automated balls and strikes right here at the DBAP, any day now. Not sure whether it's going to be full-blown ABS or the version where appeals are allowed.

And even more. The home dugout has moved from the first base side to the third base side. I was worried that Ripken might get confused, but I think that the main person confused was me. I'll get used to it. Just like I've got used to living inside a cage while at a game.

The changes in the rules making such a stir in Major League Baseball were the norm here at AAA last year. The only new rule for us involves doing away with the extreme shifts. I'm happy with that. We saw at least one ground ball on Sunday that would have been an out last year. Still, we saw a couple of pitch clock violations over the early games (both pitcher and hitter). 

Patrick Kinas is back in the radio/TV booth doing his superb job. All home games, by the way, are televised. 1257 on Spectrum. 

Beautiful catch in the 8th last night. Video here.

Our favorite manager, Charlie Montoyo, is back. Now with the Chicago White Sox.