The Bisons completed a 5-2 road trip with Monday's 5-3 win at Pawtucket and are off today before opening a nine-game homestand Wednesday night against Rochester. The Herd is 2 1/2 games behind Louisville in the wild-card standings with 23 to play so this race is probably going down to the last weekend of the season as Buffalo tries for its first postseason berth since 2005.
And while the team has plenty to look forward to over the next three weeks, it's already looking forward to 2011 as the schedule for next season has been announced. The IL has given teams the go-ahead to announce the schedules before this season is over so fans can get some early-early-early planning in (and probably as a way to entice some season-ticket renewals too).
The '11 schedule looks good too: There are 12 Friday night games -- with eight in either June, July or August. There are also 10 Saturdays and 11 Sundays. There are a pair of 10-game homestands (June 24-July 3 and Aug. 10-19). The home and season opener are slated for April 7 against Syracuse and the Chiefs are also the opponent for the July 3 Independence Eve celebration and the Sept. 1 home finale. The season concludes with a four-game roadie Sept. 2-5 at Lehigh Valley and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In other IL items:
---The PawSox sat out Carlos Delgado from Monday's game with the Bisons after he left Sunday's game early. He might sit all week too but the linked Providence Journal story makes it sound like he's going to try it again here this weekend (the teams open a six-game set with a doubleheader Saturday night).
---Scranton reliever Jonathan Albaledajo, who has had a stints with the Yankees the last couple years, set the IL save record Monday night by picking up his 39th in a 7-4 win at Toledo. I'll have to ponder my votes because he might be worthy of MVP or pitcher of the year consideration in the league based on some of the callups that have shortened others' seasons.
---Syracuse had the Stephen Strasburg Show this season and will probably get a glimpse of Bryce Harper either next season or early in 2012 as the Nationals and agent Scott Boras did a Strasburg-like move, getting Harper signed to a $9.9 million deal just before the stroke of midnight. The top pick in the draft had to sign by that hour or the Nats would have lost rights to him.
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