The Bisons lost to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 9-2, on Thursday night to provide a downer of a finish to what's been a pretty entertaining year at Coca-Cola Field. The Bisons went 17-3 at one stretch in late July through mid-August but you just can't keep that up indefinitely.
Here's what's cluttering my mind after the home finale:
Bisons' record: The Herd is 73-67 overall but just 4-11 in the last 15 games. Still, three wins in the final four games at Lehigh Valley in Rochester would provide 76 wins -- and a 20-win improvement over last year's disaster. That would be the biggest one-season jump in the modern era without an affiliation change (the team improved by 27 wins from 1994 to 1995 when it switched from Pittsburgh to Cleveland).
Kudos to the Mets for getting players in here, both free agents and better prospects. It's five straight non-playoff seasons and counting now in Buffalo but this one was a close shave. A couple fewer injuries and a couple better performances in New York and this team keeps even more players and makes a deep run.
Mets: I know they don't need a whole lot more players at this point. But it would be nice to see Jesus Feliciano and Justin Turner get a few more big-league at-bats. I'm betting Nick Evans gets another look. Will be interesting to see if they give Dillon Gee a start and perhaps take a look at former Nationals closer Chad Cordero, who has a 1.76 ERA in 16 appearances with Buffalo and seems like he's on the road back from two years of shoulder trouble.
Gee, in fact, might get that look now that I see Johan Santana came out of Thursday's game in Atlanta with a strained pectoral muscle. No need for the Mets to push him if there's any sort of issue. Why not give Gee a start?
Attendance: The Bisons finished fifth in the IL and their total ticket count for the season of 575,296 is more than 45,000 above last year with a few more dates. The average went up slightly from 8,027 to 8,219. Good to see. The team should be able to get above 600,000 if it's a division winner and gets to the playoffs.
Syracuse Chiefs: They've won five straight to take over second place in the IL North from the Bisons. Their operators must be having a good laugh at Buffalo's expense, potentially finishing ahead of the Herd in the standings both years of the teams' affiliate switches (Nationals and Mets, respectively) and raking in the dough this year with the Stephen Strasburg Show.
Rochester Dead Things, er Red Wings: They've lost 11 straight, one shy of their all-time record. They're 48-92 after tonight's 7-3 loss to Syracuse. They play two more against the Chiefs and finish against the Bisons Sunday and Monday. Oh, how the Herd must wish those games were meaningful.
Durham Bulls: The defending Triple-A champions are a favorite to repeat for the Governors' Cup and who are two of their starting pitchers now? Bobby Livingston and Ramon Ortiz, who spent gobs of time with the Herd this year.
Chicken Wings: As I write this late Thursday evening, they're rolling out plastic covers for the outfield for this weekend's National Chicken Wing Festival. Guess baseball season in this town is over until the 2011 opener on Thursday, April 7 against Syracuse.
taggedBisons/Mets | International League | Mets