The Bisons' last-gasp bid for the IL wildcard kicks off tonight at 5:30 with a doubleheader against North Division champion Scranton/Wilkes-Barre here at sultry Coca-Cola Field. Buffalo is four games out with seven to play. Good luck with that, especially now that heart-of-the-order man Lucas Duda has been called up to the Mets. Duda is batting seventh in left field for the Mets tonight in Atlanta.
But give the Amazins credit yet again for keeping the Bisons fully stocked. Replacing Duda on the roster is 24-year-old infielder Zach Lutz, the Mets' fifth-round pick in 2007. He was batting .289 with 17 homers and 42 RBIs in 61 games at Double-A Binghamton. Lutz, who has been battling foot problems all year as this ESPNNY.com story details, was tied with current Buffalo first baseman Nick Evans for the B-Mets' home run lead.
Jesus Feliciano continues his run for the IL batting title and is 28 plate appearances shy of qualifying. He is currently batting .339 and the qualified leader, Gwinnett's Barbaro Canizares is at .338. Feliciano is batting .384 at home.
The Yankees, meanwhile, called up closer Jonathan Albaladejo (IL-record 43 saves), IF Greg Golson and C Chad Moeller from Scranton. Top prospect Jesus Montero (.284-18-66) remains in Triple-A and is the DH in tonight's opener.
Here's the Buffalo lineup for Game One:
Jesus Feliciano, rf Justin Turner, ss Russ Adams, 2b Nick Evans, 1b Val Pascucci, dh Mike Cervenak, lf Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf Zach Lutz, 3b J.R. House, c --- Raul Valdes, p
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.
Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.