Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Great Week! Off to Nashville

 Last week was one of the Bulls' best this year. They won 5 of 6 games against the Charlotte Knights. They scored 53 runs to Charlotte's 30. That improved their overall run differential for the year from +9 to  +32. More importantly, they moved up from 11th place in the 2nd half standings to 7th. Standings. At the moment, however, the top of the IL standings is very cluttered. The team in the lead, Buffalo, is only a game ahead of Lehigh Valley. Lehigh Valley is only a half-game ahead of the next two teams, Iowa and St Paul. And those two teams are only a half-game ahead of the next two teams, Norfolk and Worcester. And they are only a half-game ahead of the next three teams, Durham, Indianapolis, and Rochester. Overall, half of the IL's 20 teams are within 3 1/2 games of each other. 

Other geek stuff about last week. The team OPS move up 11 points from .803 to .814. After 102 games, that is substantial movement. There was a slight improvement in their strikeout rate, but they still lead the International League with 1,025. Nor has their baserunning improved. They remain 16th in the IL in stolen bases and #1 in caught stealing.

Meanwhile, the Rays continue to trade away Bulls. Ben Gamel, he of the big red beard, went off to the San Diego Padres' Triple-A team in El Paso, Texas in the middle of July. Yesterday, Kyle Manzardo was part of a trade with the Cleveland Guardians. I'm guessing he will end up with the Columbus Clippers. Probably a big deal in the long run for Rays and Guardians. Stories here and here.

And then RHP Taj Bradley is coming back. That could be good for the Bulls. Bradley didn't do all that well as a Bull earlier this year. Then his first days up with the Rays were exceptional. Not so much lately, though, and he certainly didn't get much run support in the Rays' awful July. So, if he comes back and sorts himself out while helping the Bulls, that could be a good deal all around.

Matchup Bulls vs Sounds

Matchup: Bulls vs Sounds, August 1, 2023

As of July 30








Durham Bulls (Rays)








Nashville Sounds (Brewers)








RDiff-Run differential;  Rk - Rank in International League; WHIP - Walks/Hits per Inning; 

These are two very closely matched teams. In addition to the traditional stats categories, both teams' parent clubs are in the hunt for their clubs' division championship and/or wild card slot. The Brewers are a game and a half back of the Reds and the Rays are a game and a half back of the Orioles. 

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