DURHAM, N.C. – This time, it wasn’t even close.
After the first three games of the Governors’ Cup Finals were decided in the final at-bat, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees ran away with a 20-2 rout of the Durham Bulls on Friday to claim their first championship in front of 3,374 fans at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
“It’s special, not only for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the fan base and everybody there, but for some of these guys this is their first opportunity to win a championship,” Yankees manager Dave Miley said. “This is just a great feeling tonight.”
DURHAM, N.C. — After suffering two walk-off losses in the Governors’ Cup Finals, the Durham Bulls returned the favor Thursday night.
Nathan Haynes ripped a one-out RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Bulls avoided elimination with a dramatic 3-2 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
MOOSIC, Pa. — Eric Duncan got the game-winning hit Tuesday night for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. But Tim Battle got the thrill of a lifetime.
The 2008 Governors’ Cup Finals get underway in eastern Pennsylvania in a best-of-five
matchup for the International League Championship. The finalists each won their first round series 3 games to 1, setting up a Finals series that has been a long time coming.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees won the IL North Championship this season with an IL-best 88-56 record. They will meet the Durham Bulls, winners of the IL South Division by a comfortable 9.0-game margin. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Durham have never met in the playoffs, an astonishing fact when considering that one of these teams has played in seven of the last ten Governors’ Cup Finals. Five times in the last ten years the IL playoffs have included both clubs, but they have never met in the postseason until now. The Yankees took seven out of eight against Durham this year, but the teams have not been together on the field since early May.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has never won a Governors’ Cup title. They previously reached the Finals in 1992, 2000, and 2001, coming up short each time. Durham, a member of the IL since 1998, is playing in the franchise’s sixth Governors’ Cup Finals and looking for its third championship. The Bulls lost in the Finals in 1998 and 1999 before winning back-to-back crowns in 2002 and 2003. Durham lost 3 games to 2 in last year’s championship series against Richmond.
The Durham Bulls are in the Governors’ Cup Finals for the sixth time in the last 11 years. The Bulls are looking to win the Cup for the third time, following back-to-back championships in 2002 and 2003. The 2002 Durham club is one of just five teams in League history to win the Governors’ Cup without losing a single postseason game. The 2003 Bulls swept Pawtucket in the Finals after the Red Sox posted the League’s best regular season record, the last time the best regular season club lost in the Finals. When Durham lost in last year’s Finals to Richmond, it broke a string of five straight Governors’ Cups for American League affiliates.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise has never won a Governors’ Cup, despite this being their eighth playoff appearance and fourth trip to the Finals since 1992. Each of the team’s three previous Finals losses came by one game, including the 2001 championship which was called in Louisville’s favor after one game due to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Dave Miley is attempting to become just the second skipper to win the Governors’ Cup in the same season he managed the IL team at the Triple-A All-Star Game (Larry Parrish of Toledo, 2006).
A Yankees victory would mark just the second time in the last ten years that a North Division team won the Governors’ Cup (Buffalo, 2004). The South Division, on the other hand, owns three of the last six IL titles. This is the first time in four years that the Wild Card entry has not been part of the Governors’ Cup Finals.
The Cleveland Indians have recalled RHP BRYAN BULLINGTON from the AAA Buffalo Bisons.
Bullington, 27, was claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 11th and optioned to AAA Buffalo. At Buffalo he went 1-3 with a save and a 4.75 ERA (53.0IP, 65H, 34R/28ER, 13BB, 47K) in 10 games/8 starts. He was 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA (19.0IP, 24H, 10R/7ER, 5BB, 13K) over his final 3 starts at Buffalo and last pitched on September 1st at Rochester (6.0IP, 10H, 4R/ER, 0BB, 7K). He will wear #26.
Prior to joining the Indians Bullington was 4-6 with a 5.52 ERA in 15 starts (75.0IP, 90H, 46ER, 25BB, 60K) at AAA Indianapolis. He was with the Pirates, but did not pitch from May 29-June 12 and was named the International League Pitcher-of-the-Week after going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA (2GS, 13.0IP, 12H, 2ER, 15K) in two starts during the week of May 19-26. He was designated for assignment by the Pirates on July 3.
Bullington was the 1st overall selection by the Pirates in the 2002 First Year Player Draft out of Ball State (IN) University. He appeared in 6 Major League games with the Pirates in 2005 and 2007 (0-3, 6G/3GS, 18.1IP, 25H, 12ER, 8K). After missing half of the 2005 and all of the 2006 season due to right shoulder surgery he went 11-9 with a 4.00ERA (150.2IP, 146H, 70R/67ER, 59BB, 89K) in 26 starts at AAA Indianapolis and was named to the International League mid-season All-Star team.