Monday, September 4, 2023

Great Week; Durham Bulls Stay in First Place



The Durham Bulls had a fine week at home. They won 5 out of 6 games against a decent Nashville team. They moved into a tie for first place in the middle of the week, and have stayed there. They scored a bunch of runs (36) and mostly kept the Sounds in check (16).  

For me, during the week I spent some time noticing that this crew is simply not the same crew that started the year with the Bulls. That’s to be expected in minor league ball. But a couple of the players whom I thought would get a chance with the Rays have not. I thought Ruben Cardenas, Tristan Gray, Kameron Misner, or Niko Hulsizer might get shots, but they did not. That’s partly because the Rays position players stayed mostly healthy.  But mainly these men apparently did not have the numbers the Rays wanted. Certainly, the Bulls have benefited, and are benefiting from their presence here.

Can the Bulls stay in first place? For this coming week, I don’t see why not. They will be in Charlotte, which has had a dismal record this year. Two of the Bulls' most prominent opponents — Buffalo and Lehigh Valley — are playing 6 games against each other. Confusion at the very top is likely to continue. Plus, a couple of other teams are waiting in the wings. As much as I dislike this phony “International League” and the schedule, I have to admit that the end-of-season antics are interesting.


Matchup: Bulls vs Knights, September 5, 2023

As of September 4








Durham Bulls (Rays)








Charlotte Knights (White Sox)








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

A matchup between the first-place and last-place teams. The Charlotte Knights have had an awful season. They are 31 games below .500 so far this year. I note that their parent club, the Chicago White Sox is 30 games below .500. So the teams haven’t been much help to each other this year. Too bad. Traditionally, the Knights/Bulls games have been pretty intense competitors. And even this year’s 18 games had only one lop-sided series. They have gone 3-3, 3-3, 5-1, this year. Nevertheless, the numbers are on the side of the Bulls.

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