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Bisons' bobbleheads are en route

The Bisons announced during Wednesday night's game that the Buster Bison/Mr. Met bobbleheads that were stranded in the port of New York City during Hurricane Irene have been released and are scheduled to arrive at Coca-Cola Field on Thursday. The dolls were scheduled to be given away Monday night but the team instead gave out coupons to claim them. They can be claimed according to the following policies:

1). For fans coming to Thursday's Fan Appreciation Night game against Syracuse, the coupon can be redeemed inside the main concourse by the Washington Street gate. Gates open at 5 p.m.

2). For fans not attending Thursday's game, the coupon can be redeemed at the ballpark box office beginning Friday. The box office will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

 

Two home games left for Herd

The Bisons meet the Syracuse Chiefs in the penultimate home game of the season at Coca-Cola Field (Don't know what that means? Follow Marv Levy's advice to Thurman Thomas: Look it up). Buffalo is just 4-10 against the Chiefs this season and 10-20 vs. its Thruway rivals the last two seasons.

Oddly enough, a Syracuse win tonight would even the all-time series between the teams since the return to the IL in 1998 at 112-112. Mark Cohoon (4-9) will start for the Bisons and try to prevent that. Leadoff man Jordany Valdespin has an eight-game hitting streak and is batting .406 in that span.

Outfielder Jesus Feliciano has 369 career hits, nine shy of equaling Bill Selby's modern era record with six games left. DH Val Pascucci is tied for the IL RBI lead with 91. Here's the Herd lineup tonight:

Jordany Valdespin, ss
Mike Baxter, lf
Josh Satin, 3b
Valentino Pascucci, 1b
Luis Hernandez, 2b
Jesus Feliciano, cf
Raul Reyes, rf
Raul Chavez, c
Mark Cohoon, p

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

CC gets another chance against Red Sox as Yankees open crucial series in Fenway

This is one of the most baffling stats of the entire baseball season: Yankees ace CC Sabathia is 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Red Sox this year -- but is 17-3, 2.40 against everyone else! That's going to have to change starting tonight when the Yanks and Sox meet in the opener of a three-game set in Fenway. (It starts at 7 and is a local New York City My9 game, which means you'll have to poke around on your service to find it. It's on radio on WECK-AM 1230.)

Both teams enter on two-game winning streaks and Boston has a 1 1/2-game lead in the AL East. The Red Sox, however, are 10-2 head-to-head with New York this year and the Yankees have a 5.98 ERA in the series. The teams have only one other series remaining, a three-gamer in the Bronx Sept. 23-24-25.

With a win tonight, Sabathia would become just the fifth Yankees pitcher to win at least 18 games in at least three straight seasons, and the first since Vic Raschi had four straight seasons of at least 18 wins from 1948-51. Sabathia will be opposed by John Lackey, who is 12-9 but has a ghastly 5.98 ERA.

Phil Hughes meets Josh Beckett on Wednesday while A.J. Burnett gives thanks that August is over to face Jon Lester on Thursday. Burnett had an 11.91 ERA and looked completely lost during his five August starts but still managed to go 1-2.

On the injury front, Alex Rodriguez (thumb) looks like he could miss the series while Derek Jeter (knee) could be out tonight. Kevin Youkilis (back) is starting rehab tonight for Pawtucket in Rochester.

For Jerry Sullivan's take on Sabathia, see this entry at the Sully on Sports blog.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

 

Pascucci snubbed as Bisons shut out of IL All-Stars

It's four years and counting for the Bisons in terms of failing to place anyone on the International League's postseason all-star team. The team was announced Tuesday morning and the Herd's only real candidate, first baseman/designated hitter Valentino Pascucci, was not named.

The last Buffalo all-star was Ben Francisco in 2007. The Herd had an impressive 21 all-stars in their 14 seasons with the Cleveland Indians but have had none in three years with the Mets, although Jesus Feliciano (2009), Dillon Gee (2010) and Pascucci, the current co-RBI leader with 91, all were likely close in balloting done by IL front office members, managers, coaches and media (Disclosure: I did have a vote).

The first baseman named was Indianapolis Matt Hague, who leads the league in hits (157) and games played (136). The DH who nosed Pascucci out was Scranton's Jorge Vazquez, who leads the league with 30 home runs. Pascucci's own pitchers could have helped here: Vazquez, a .260 hitter for the season, is batting .302 against the Bisons with nine -- yes, nine -- of his home runs in 14 games. 

Durham third baseman Russ Canzler (.312-18-79) was named the league's MVP, following in the footsteps of Bulls teammate last season. It's the first time since 1984-85, when former Yankees prospects Scott Bradley and Dan Pasqua of Columbus were honored, that a team claimed back-to-back MVPs.

Gwinnett pitcher Julio Teheran (15-2, 2.22) was an easy choice as IL Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year. Gwinnett also took rookie of the year last year with first baseman Freddie Freeman and Teheran is the first player to take the pitcher and rookie awards in the same year since Scranton's Brandon Duckworth in 2001.

The manager of the year was Columbus' Mike Sarbaugh, who has led the Cleveland affiliate to 85 wins and a clear chance to defend its Triple-A National Championship. Ah, what we have missed here the last two years. Had to be a lot of sentiment in the voting for Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg of Lehigh Valley, who has the IronPigs in the playoff hunt for the first time.

The full squad:

1B -- Matt Hague, Indianapolis
2B -- Jason Kipnis, Columbus
3B -- Russ Canzler, Durham
SS -- Zach Cozart, Louisville
C -- Devin Mesoraco, Louisville 
OF -- Stefan Gartrell, Gwinnett; Alex Presley, Indianapolis; Dayan Viciedo, Charlotte
DH -- Jorge Vazquez, Scranton/WB 
Utility -- Luis Valbuena, Columbus
Starter -- Julio Teheran, Gwinnett
Reliever -- Tim Wood, Indianapolis

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Bobbleheads won't make it to the ballpark tonight

This just in from the Bisons: Because of Hurricane Irene, the shipment of Buster Bison/Mr. Met bobbleheads that was to be given away tonight at Coca-Cola Field has been delayed at the Port of New York City and will not be available at the game against the Rochester Red Wings.

The Bisons will instead hand out special coupons for the bobbleheads in the same manner as when they have the dolls -- the first 4,000 fans through the Swan Street gate only, one per person.

When the bobbleheads arrive, fans must then use the coupon to pick them up at the ballpark box office during regular business hours.  The Bisons will have another media release and statement on their web site, Bisons.com, with more information when that process will begin.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Scranton/WB Yankees may barnstorm in 2012

SwbHere's a bit of a bombshell that's been pointed out to me: It appears the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees won't be playing in Scranton in 2012. At least that's what this report in Baseball America says.

PNC Field, the team's decrepit stadium that only dates to 1989 but has been poorly maintained, is getting a $40 million facelift and the work will apparently be much cheaper if it can be done through one whole season rather than being split over two years.

The Scranton Times-Tribune, surprisingly, didn't have a lot more insight to add to the Baseball America report with its story on the situation, other than some comments from team president Kristen Rose and some local politicos. 

So it looks like the Yankees will play next year somewhere else or in a variety of somewhere elses. Lehigh Valley, Syracuse and the Yankees' Class A stadium in Staten Island appear to be good options. Baseball America also suggest a return to Ottawa for a season is possible.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle speculates that Frontier Field could be a seasonlong option.

What about Buffalo? The Bisons run too many other events in Coca-Cola Field and would not be interested in hosting a large number of additional games. But there's a lot of Yankees interest here and I wonder if each IL North team will be asked by the league to host a Scranton series or two.

If I'm the IL, I pick Staten Island or Ottawa. As IL venues, we already see the Scranton/WB Yankees eight times a year in the North Division. No great shakes if we see more. It would be more special in a non-IL place.

Stay tuned. The final word on this should come in a couple of weeks.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

(Triple) Plays of the Week

I knew about the 5-4-3 triple play the Red Sox pulled against the Rays on Tuesday night (the first around-the-horn job in Sox history), but I completely missed the acrobatic 4-6-3-2 trifecta the Brewers pulled the next day against the Dodgers. That one, which finished with Prince Fielder nailing Matt Kemp at the plate, was simply sensational. The Brewers, in fact, became the first team since the 1953 Yankees to turn a triple play and four double plays in the same game.

Then Elias Sports came up with this nugget: It's the first time since 1981 we've had triple plays on consecutive days in the big leagues. Pretty rare indeed. Let's go to the video.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Herd through grapevine after homestand finale

Gotta say this about the Bisons: There's no run-for-the-bus going on here. They finished a solid 6-4 homestand with Friday night's 4-2, 11-inning win over the Toledo Mud Hens. They're 8-9 in August and 11-9 in their last 20 games. That's not a team going through the motions.

The Herd tied it in the ninth on Jesus Feliciano's two-out RBI single and won it on Valentino Pascucci's walkoff bomb to right in the 11th. So the win broke the Herd's 0-57 record this year when trailing after eight innings. Yikes.

With four home games left, the Bisons are 33-35 downtown and 21-37 on the road. They hit the bus right after the game for an eight-game trek to Columbus and Toledo. Columbus has the best record in the IL this year and the Herd is 0-8 the last two years in Toledo. Oof.

Some more tidbits from Friday night:

---Pascucci's walkoff shot was his first as a Bison and the 48th in the ballpark's 24 seasons. The only other one this season came when Nick Evans connected in the 10th inning April 21 against Rochester. Pascucci has 19 homers and 85 RBIs for the season, tied for the IL lead. No Bison has led the IL in RBIs since Pancho Herrera in 1962.

With 18 games left, Pascucci has a shot at becoming the franchise's fourth 100-RBI man. Only five have gotten to 90, the last one being Ernie Young's 100-RBI season in 2004.

---Feliciano's single was his 364th hit in three years with the Herd. He's three behind tying Brandon Phillips for fourth on the modern-era list and just 14 behind the franchise record of 378 set by Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Bill Selby from 1998-2002.

---The crowd of 16,447 was the second-largest of the season, behind only the 17,454 that came to BPO Night on July 3. Hey people, where ya been all summer?

---Chris Schwinden fanned six more batters to push his strikeout total to 119, fourth in the modern era. Next up is Randy Kramer with 120 in 1988.

---Josh Satin, who had a 14-game hitting streak last month, now has a seven-gamer and is batting .346 in his 27 games with the Bisons.

---The Bisons' final four home games are Aug. 28-29 against Rochester and Aug. 31-Sept. 1 against Syracuse.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

10-game homestand wraps up at Coca-Cola Field

The year is coming to an end for the Buffalo Bisons (53-72) as Friday night is the last firdaynightbash! of the year, and after tonight, there are only four home games remaining.

Tonight's game is the final in a four-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens (60-67). The Bisons opened the series with two straight wins but dropped one last night, ensuring a losing season.

In the three years with the Mets, the team only has one winning season. The Bisons are 18 games back of the Pawtucket Red Sox in the International League South, and only the Norfolk Tides and the Rochester Red Wings have fewer wins than the Herd (Buffalo has 53 wins, while Norfolk and Rochester have 47).

But a lot of players on the team are playing for possible September call-ups. ESPN New York had an interesting write up on this, and I thought I should share.

There's no flashy story line like last night, but Chris Schwinden (7-6, 3.76) will start for Buffalo with Fu-Te Ni on the mound for Toledo.

Here's the lineup:

Jordany Valdespin SS
Luis Figueroa 3B
Zach Lutz DH
Valentino Pascucci 1B
Josh Satin 2B
Jesus Feliciano CF
Fernando Perez LF
Raul Chavez C
Raul Reyes RF
---
Chris Schwinden P

UPDATE: Quick change to the lineup. Lutz is now the DH, while Pascucci will play first base.

-- Ryan Marfurt

 

Father vs. Son at Coca-Cola Field

It's Teufel vs. Teufel tonight at Coca-Cola Field as the Bisons take on the Toledo Mud Hens.

Bisons manager Tim Teufel's son, Shawn, was called up from Single-A Lakeland to make a spot-start for the Mud Hens this evening (7:05 p.m.).

The Bisons are coming off a 4-2 win over Toledo in the final afternoon game of the season yesterday. Luis Figueroa hit a triple and two doubles and Miguel Batista went eight innings in the victory.

Outfielder Raul Reyes was called up to replace Bubba Bell (left hamstring strain), who went to the disabled list.

Bisons starting lineup:

Jordany Valdespin, ss
Josh Satin, 1b
Zach Lutz, 3b
Valentino Pascucci, dh
Luis Hernandez, 2b
Mike Nickeas, c
Jesus Feliciano, lf
Fernando Perez, cf
Raul Reyes, rf
-----
Pat Misch, p 

--Sam Kilb

Teufel vs. Teufel at Thursday night's Bisons game

There's going to be an unusual family reunion Thursday night in Coca-Cola Field.

The Detroit Tigers have promoted a 25-year-old left-hander from Class A Lakeland of the Florida State League to start for the Toledo Mud Hens against the Buffalo Bisons. His name is Shawn Teufel.

As in the son of Bisons manager Tim Teufel.

The Tigers have some injury issues with their starting pitching in the minors and a couple of Bisons sources say Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin told his Buffalo counterpart about the callup during the teams' lineup card exchange Wednesday afternoon.

The move was made official Wednesday night following Buffalo's 4-2 win. The game will be televised nationally on SNY and on Time Warner 13 in Western New York.

Shawn Teufel was born on July 16, 1986, in the middle of his father's season playing on the eventual World Series champion New York Mets.  He is 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA this year for Lakeland in 19 games (seven starts). This will be his first appearance above Class A. He was the Tigers' 25th round pick in 2010 out of Liberty University.

Pretty neat little sidebar to an otherwise mundane game between two teams out of the playoff race.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Bisons hope to avoid losing season....at least for another day

The Bisons are one loss away from a losing season. If they finish with a losing record this year, it will be for the second time in three years with the Mets (third in four years overall).

But that hasn’t stopped the Herd from stringing together a series of one run victories. Take away Monday, when the Durham Bulls took both games in a double header (thanks a lot Tim Beckham), and the Bisons would have themselves four straight wins by one run. I guess four one-run wins in the last six isn't that bad either.

Today the Herd plays the Toledo Mud Huns, who were a recent walk-off victim of the Bisons last night. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. at Coca-Cola Field today and it’s looking like a nice day from the press box as of right now. Toledo (59-66), like the Bisons, are at the bottom of their division (the International League West).

As for the close wins, they started last Thursday when third baseman Zach Lutz hit a walk-off RBI to take down Syracuse 3-2. Lutz is the DH today with utility man Josh Satin playing third.

Lutz was in the action last night too, being driven in by Satin for yet another walk-off Bisons win.

It has been a rough season for the Herd, but at least they have kept things interesting lately.

Today veteran Miguel Batista (1-0, 4.59) gets the nod on the mound for Buffalo, with Andy Oliver (7-9, 4.87) starting for Toledo.

Did a quick search on Oliver and he is a young guy (23 years old) from Oklahoma State that has made seven starts in the majors over the course of the last two years, but has yet to get his first win at the MLB level. He is 0-5 with an ERA of 7.11 when playing in the majors.

Here’s the lineup:

Jordany Valdespin 2B
Luis Figueroa LF
Zach Lutz DH
Valentino Pascucci 1B
Josh Satin 3B
Luis Hernandez SS
Fernando Perez CF
Jesus Feliciano RF
Raul Chavez C

---

Miguel Batista P

--Ryan Marfurt

 

Bisons look to rebound from doubleheader sweep

After Sunday's game was postponed due to rain, the Bisons felt the wrath of top Tampa Bay Rays prospect Tim Beckham, as the No. 1 overall draft pick unloaded on the Herd as Durham swept the Bisons in a doubleheader last night, 2-1 and 8-3.

It was a rapid halt to the three-game winning streak the Bisons had embarked upon with three consecutive come-from-behind wins Thursday to Saturday of last week.

The Bisons have played 164 times since they last played Toledo on July 26, 2010. Now, they play the Mud Hens in eight of the next 12 games in a bizarre piece of scheduling that has the Herd playing its final 16 games against non-division opponents.

UPDATE: Right before gametime Bisons PR came through with a late roster move...Saloman Manriquez was added to the roster to replace Fernando Martinez, who goes to the DL with a left wrist sprain.

The pitching matchup pits Buffalo's Dylan Owen (5-6, 4.93) against Ramon Garcia (0-3, 4.38).

The starting lineup for tonight's (7:05, TWC 13, 1520AM) contest with Toledo:

Jordany Valdespin, ss
Luis Figueroa, lf
Zach Lutz, 3b
Valentino Pascucci, dh
Josh Satin, 1b
Luis Hernandez, 2b
Mike Nickeas, c
Jesus Feliciano, rf
Fernando Perez, cf
---
Dylan Owen, p

--Sam Kilb

Herd to face alum of Rays' World Series team

The Buffalo Bisons have posted a trio of four-game winning streaks this season and will try to do it for a fourth time in the opener of tonight's doubleheader against the Durham Bulls in Coca-Cola Field. To do it, they'll have to beat one of the key cogs of the Tampa Bay Rays' 2008 World Series team.

SonnRight-hander Andy Sonnanstine, a 13-game winner for the '08 Rays, will be the starter for Durham in the opener. Sonnantine has struggled to find his '08 form as he went 6-9 for the Rays in 2009 and 3-1 last year in 41 appearances (23 starts). He was 0-2, 5.71 this year in 14 games (four starts) before being optioned to Durham, where he is 2-3, 4.17 in six games (five starts).

In '08, Sonnanstine was the starter and winner in Tampa Bay's Game Four division series clincher over the Chicago White Sox. In the picture at right from the St. Petersburg Times, Sonnanstine is wearing the goggles while getting doused from behind by Rocco Baldelli and hugged by Rays outfielder Fernando Perez -- who will be starting in center field and batting ninth tonight for the Bisons. Small world this game is sometimes.

Sonnanstine also pitched 7 1/3 innings to get the win in Game Four of the ALCS over the Red Sox in Fenway Park. His Game Four luck ran out, however, in the World Series at Philadelphia as he gave up five runs in four innings and took the loss in a 10-2 defeat.

The Bulls, by the way, already have one canceled game on their schedule (a May contest at Syracuse) and need to get these two in as they open play today 1 1/2 games ahead of Gwinnett in the IL South. The weather forecast gets a little dicey as the night goes on.

Here's the Bisons' lineup:

Jordany Valdespin, ss
Josh Satin, 2b
Zach Lutz, 3b
Valentino Pascucci, 1b
Fernando Martinez, dh
Jesus Feliciano, lf
Mike Nickeas, c
Bubba Bell, rf
Fernando Perez, cf
----
Mark Cohoon, p

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Nationals' Racing Presidents coming to Bisons' Fan Appreciation Night on Sept. 1

Racing PresidentsThere's the sausage race in Milwaukee and the pierogi race in Pittsburgh. Cleveland has an entertaining hot dog race (ketchup tends to get a little physical) and, of course, the Bisons have trotted out a Chicken Wing race this year that has turned Celery into a forlorn winless character that brings you back to the '62 Mets (or maybe the '09 Bisons).

But no mascot race has gotten as much sudden attention as the Presidents Race the Washington Nationals stage each night in Nationals Park. And George, Tom, Abe, and Teddy are coming to Buffalo for the Sept. 1 home finale as part of Bisons' Fan Appreciation Night ceremonies. The Presidents, who are regulars at the White House for various functions, will race and be available to fans during the game, which will also feature giveaways and a huge fireworks show after the final out.

Teddy has never won a race since it was born in 2006. Just like Celery has been an every-day loser so far this year. The Presidents have a wikipedia page with information on their history of races. The Nationals Web site has their official bios. The team also kept the standings on the site through 2010 with Abe leading with 154 wins and Teddy at 0.

There's even an entertaining blog -- called LetTeddywin -- that chronicles his efforts to finally win a race, complete with lots of video. Its current loss meter stands at 415 straight races.

Here's a look at the July 4 race.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington)

Bisons rained out on Sunday

UPDATE: The Bisons game scheduled for 1:05 p.m. on Sunday has been postponed to be played as game one of a doubleheader on Monday. That game will start at 5:30 p.m. The teams will play two seven-inning games.

UPDATE: It looks like they're going to wait out the rain, but first pitch will certainly be delayed. The tarp is still down over the infield. There's rain in the forecast for some time from now, so we will have to see how long they wait. Durham is in a close fight with Gwinnett for the lead in the International League South, so they'll do everything they can to get this game in.

A little bit of water won't stop the Buffalo Bisons and Durham Bulls from trying to get the game in this afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., with Mark Cohoon (3-7, 6.49) taking the mound for the Herd against Durham's  Andy Sonnanstine (2-3, 4.17).

Last night, the Bisons erased a three-run deficit in the eighth, starting with a Zach Lutz solo home run and ending with a two-out, bases-clearing, three-run double off the bat of pinch hitter Bubba Bell. You can read about it here. It was the third straight come-from-behind victory for the Bisons, who pulled out one-run wins on Thursday and Friday as well.

Word in the press box is they're going to try to play today, despite the gloomy forecast. Bisons lineup as follows:

Jordany Valdespin (SS)
Josh Satin (2B)
Zach Lutz (3B)
Valentino Pascucci (1B)
Fernando Martinez (DH)
Jesus Feliciano (LF)
Mike Nickeas (C)
Bubba Bell (RF)
Fernando Perez (CF)
---
Mark Cohoon (P)

 

-- Sam Kilb

Going to the video on Sappelt's debut

As part of Sunday's Inside Baseball column, I mentioned how former Lackawanna Little Leaguer Dave Sappelt made his big-league debut for the Reds last Sunday in Wrigley Field and it was a good first impression in an 8-7 victory.

Batting leadoff, Sappelt crushed the first pitch of the game for a line drive out to left field. But he later got his first big-league hit, a solid single to left, and made a diving catch of his own in left field.

Here's the video evidence of those two plays from MLB.com. Click the arrows in the upper left of the boxes to play.

---Mike Harrington
(www.twitter.com/bnharrington) 

Bisons look to build on walk off victory

Yesterday couldn't have gone any better for the Bisons at Coca-Cola Field. The walk off victory, courtesy of a Zach Lutz double, put an end to a four-game losing streak against the Syracuse Chiefs.

Today Patt Misch (6-7, 4.60) will get the start on the mound for the Herd as they face the Durham Bulls and Matt Moore (3-0, 1.09).

As Moore's stat line suggests, he is a highly regarded prospect. Yesterday I came across a an article from Baseball America on June 17 that rated Moore as the hottest prospect at the time. The article was posted a day after Moore pitched a nine inning no-hitter in Double-A. Here's the story (look for current Bison lead-off man Jordany Valdespin at No. 7 if your interested).

Also playing for the Bulls is the the first overall selection in the 2008 MLB draft, shortstop Tim Beckham.

But today's game is game three of a 10 game home stand and marks the first time the Herd has hosted the Bulls all year. The Bisons split their first two games in this stand with Syracuse.

Tonight is also the second last firdaynightbash! of the year, and of-course it's Ghostbusters night too.

But here's the lineup:

Jordany Valdespin 2B
Josh Satin 1B
Zach Lutz 3B
Valentino Pascucci DH
Fernando Martinez RF
Luis Hernandez SS
Mike Nickeas C
Jesus Feliciano LF
Fernando Perez CF
---
Pat Misch P 

 
--Ryan Marfurt

Bisons three losses away from losing season

The Bisons are all set for game two of a series with the Syracuse Chiefs. The team has lost five games in a row and needs a win today to prevent a third two-game sweep against Syracuse this season. Last night in the first game of the series the Herd lost 6-1.

Last night lead-off hitter Jordany Valdespin doubled in his first Triple-A at bat and will lead off for the Herd again today. Valdespin was a call up from Double-A Binghampton.

Today, Miguel Batista (1-0, 5.00) gets the nod on the mound for the Bisons, while Brad Meyers (4-4, 4.06) will start for Syracuse.

The Chiefs are currently one position ahead of the Bisons in the International League North at fourth, but have a five-game cushion over the Herd.

Here's the Bisons lineup for today:

Jordany Valdespin SS

Jesus Feliciano LF

Josh Satin 2B

Valentino Pascucci 1B

Zach Lutz 3B

Bubba Bell RF

Fernando Perez CF

Raul Chavez C

Miguel Batista P

For those who remember last year's Stephen Strasburg's appearance in Buffalo last year, it appears the only chance to possibly see the phenom this year will be on either August 31st or September 1st. That is the only other time the Herd will host the Chiefs this year.

There is no guarantee that the pitcher will even be with the team at that point, but Strasburg did have a start on Sunday with the Hagerstown Suns in Maryland. He went for one and two-thirds innings, allowing one run on three hits.

His next scheduled start is on Friday with the Class-A Potomac Nationals in Virginia.

 

--Ryan Marfurt

Beltran, Grantland not so clutch

First things first. I really like Grantland, the new site from espn.com major domo Bill Simmons. There's a ton of great stuff. So much to read, so little time.

The other day I saw a story teased on the espn.com home page: "The Case for Carlos Beltran."

Part of the tagline for the story was a rewrite of the story's subhead, which reads: "The Giants' new right fielder has always been clutch — now maybe he'll be recognized for it."

As a Met fan, my knee-jerk reaction was, naturally: "WHUHHH!?!?!"

It was 2006, during the aftermatch of the epic October Storm that hit Western New York. It was Thursday, Oct. 19, and Game Seven of the National League Championship Series was that night.

As a Met fan, this Game Seven brought with it equal parts hope and an impending sense of anguish. If we win, it will be awesome, but it might even be a bigger relief that we didn't lose. That's because if we lose, it will not only be terrible, there will always be obnoxious Yankee fans who will remind us of it. Normally, I would spend an evening so momentous with two companions: my television and my couch.

Invite people over? What will they do when I start screaming at the TV? Or yelling at Tony LaRussa that he's not as smart as he thinks he is? Or holding my breath for inordinate amounts of time through at-bats?

But with skeletons of trees still strewn across streets and a groaning chorus of generators filling the darker-than-usual Northtown nights -- and my cable still out -- I had little choice but to head to Tully's on Niagara Falls Blvd. I went with a group of friends. We got a table. I told them the situation. I told them not to bother me. 

The game was tense. It was not that pretty. It was tied at 1-1 in the sixth when Scott Rolen hit a ball that scared me to death. That's because it looked like he got all of it. A "yeah!" came from a Cardinal fan somewhere in the Tully's bar area. Then, Endy Chavez made one of the greatest catches in baseball history, and I made sure the rest of Tully's knew about it as I let loose with a anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-louder "YEAHHHH!!!!!!"

We were going to win. Endy made the greatest catch ever. We were home at Shea Stadium, a hunk of concrete we loved even though everyone else said it was a dump. We had been down, 3-2, in the series, but now we were going to win.

Continue reading "Beltran, Grantland not so clutch" »

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

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.

@BNHarrington | [email protected]


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

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.

@amymoritz | [email protected]

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