The Bisons haven't been in too many big series in their four years as a Mets affiliate but they're going to be in one this weekend. Tonight's game against Pawtucket is the opener of a four-game set against the leaders of the IL North.
The Bisons are third, four games behind the Pawsox in the division. A sweep, of course, could pull them even. A sweep against them could produce an eight-game deficit that would leave them in an uphill climb the rest of the way.
Matt Harvey (5-2, 3.88) will start for the Bisons and he's winless in his last three starts, a first for him this year in Triple-A. Still, he's hardly been bad in those starts with a 2.57 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 14 innings. The real issue has been an uncharacteristic 11 walks in that span.
Mets infielder Justin Turner, who had a 6-hit game for the Bisons in the 2010 season finale at Rochester, is playing shortstop tonight in the opening game of his injury rehab assignment. Ronny Cedeno is scheduled to be here tomorrow night.
Two quick items on the Pawsox: Bedraggled Boston pitcher Daniel Bard is not scheduled to start in this series (although I assume we'll see him in relief), and Boston OF Cody Ross, the 2010 NLCS MVP with the Giants, starts a rehab assignment here tomorrow.
Here's tonight's Bisons lineup:
Matt den Dekker, cf
Justin Turner, ss
Fred Lewis, lf
Josh Satin, 1b
Valentino Pascucci, dh
Matt Tuiasosopo, 3b
Rob Johnson, c
Raul Reyes, rf
Brad Emaus, 2b
Matt Harvey, p