By Mike Harrington
There might be some changeups on the mound tonight from Dave Bush and there will be a bit of a changeup in the broadcast "booth" tonight as the Bisons and Norfolk Tides open a four-game series in Coca-Cola Field.
With more mid-70s weather, Ben Wagner and Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Duke McGuire will take it outside this evening and do the game from a table on the club level from behind home plate for WWKB (1520 AM) and across the Internet at Bisons.com. Wagner tweeted a shot of the setup here (left) and I've already reminded him foul balls come in hot from right-handed hitters and I'm expecting some good plays to be made.
Bush (3-1, 1.61) continues to excel since returning from Toronto. He's given up zero or one run in three of his four starts and is coming off a solid one last Tuesday in Rochester, where he gave up one run in six innings and threw 57 of his 78 pitches for strikes.
Moises Sierra is back in the Buffalo lineup batting third after sitting out Sunday's game following the hand plunking he took in the first inning Saturday against Louisville. He enters tonight seventh in the IL in batting at .354. Jim Negrych continues to lead at .420 while Josh Thole is fourth (.361) and league RBI leader Luis Jimenez is fifth (.360).
Former Bison outfielder Jason Pridie is batting leadoff tonight for Norfolk. Ex-IL MVP Russ Canzler, who was signed by Toronto during the offseason and later waived, is batting third for the Tides, who are coming off a 7-1 homestand and are tied for the South Division lead with Durham at 20-10. The Bisons (19-9) continue to lead the North by two games.
Here's Buffalo's lineup tonight:
Anthony Gose, cf
Jim Negrych, 2b
Moises Sierra, rf
Luis Jimenez, dh
Andy LaRoche, 3b
Josh Thole, c
Mauro Gomez, 1b
Ryan Langerhans, lf
Ryan Goins, ss
Dave Bush, p
A final note on the outdoor broadcast. It's not a first here. BBHOFer Pete Weber famously did one in 1989 -- climbing to the roof of then-Pilot Field to get an incredible panoramic view of the ballpark so he could see what it would be like to have a seat in the upper deck if the park was expanded for a major-league team.
You can check out the pic below from Weber's archives (h/t for the email assist from Nashville from the voice of the NHL's Predators). Be sure to click on the picture for a great full-screen view. You can see the old metal bleachers in right field, the old scoreboard and the old fence configuration. Ed Sprague is batting in the game against the Syracuse Chiefs, who were the Triple-A affiliate of none other than the Blue Jays! The Bisons, of course, were with the Pirates at the time.
And what's missing beyond the parking lot and Buffalo News building as you look past right field? No giant dome of First Niagara Center. How strange to see.