Still no official word from the Washington Nationals about Stephen Strasburg's potential appearance Thursday in Coca-Cola Field against the Bisons. The Syracuse PR staff has instructed the Bisons to list Thursday's starter for the Chiefs as "TBA," which is normal parlance when a team simply does not know who the starter will be.
Strasburg took his first Triple-A loss Saturday in a 3-2 defeat to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before another packed house at Alliance Bank Stadium. I would imagine the Chiefs are trying to convince the Nationals to push Strasburg back a day so he could pitch one more time in the Salt City Friday against Durham rather than throwing in Buffalo. Syracuse Post-Standard columnist Bud Poliquin wrote this morning that the Nationals better seriously consider that as a goodwill gesture to Syracuse. Point.
Strasburg's ERA is now 1.27 in Syracuse and 1.43 in the minors this year. Still pretty impressive. Who took him deep last night, becoming the first hitter this year to do it? How about journeyman catcher Rene Rivera, a backup with the Bisons last season.
Strasburg's 0.39 ERA through his first four starts with the Chiefs rose to 1.27, and his overall ERA in the minors -- 0.99 entering the game -- shot up to 1.43.
The Bisons open a four-game set with Syracuse Monday at 2. They are wrapping up a four-gamer with Toledo today as Dylan Owen is on the mound. The Toledo starter is 28-year-old lefty Ryan Ketchner, who was born in Wellsville but attended high school in Florida.
Here's the Buffalo lineup:
Jesus Feliciano, cf
Justin Turner, 2b
Daniel Murphy, 1b
Mike Hessman, 3b
Mike Jacobs, dh
Mike Cervenak, lf
Russ Adams, rf
Josh Thole, c
Ruben Tejada, ss
Dylan Owen, p
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