Durham Bulls vs. Indianapolis Indians

Durham Bulls Athletic ParkIt has been a difficult season so far for the Durham Bulls. Injuries here and on the major league squad in Tampa have turned the DBAP into a carousel, with players getting on and off with dizzying frequency. It’s remarkable that the Bulls are still in the thick of the playoff hunt despite the roster instability. They’ve been running neck and neck with the Norfolk Tides all season long, with the Gwinnett Braves making a recent surge to thicken the roux that is the International League South Division. Fourteen of the Bulls’ final 29 games are against those two division rivals, but tonight the opponent is the Indianapolis Indians, the Class AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Oddly, Indianapolis has been affiliated with the big-league Cleveland Indians for only five of its 108 professional seasons, 1952-56; the team has been given an exceptional allowance to keep the nickname for its euphony.) The Pirates organization has been in a state of dereliction since 1992, but it has some good pitchers down in AAA, and the Indians took three of four from the Bulls in Indianapolis less than two weeks ago. Tonight’s game is the last of the year between these two teams, so it’s your last chance to see the Indians’ automotively named second baseman, Shelby Ford, in action. First pitch at 7:05 p.m. See www.dbulls.com for more information. Adam Sobsey