By Mike Harrington
Here's what's in my head after a long night at the ballpark, which ended with an 8-7 Bisons win over Charlotte in 10 innings:
Ricky Romero: There were a lot of three-ball counts but there were also a lot of groundouts in the first five innings. He was at 76 pitches and had a 7-1 lead through five. I would have taken him out to allow him to feel really good about the outing. Manager Marty Brown didn't agree.
"He was fine. He had a low pitch count," Brown said. "If you have a crystal ball and say, 'This can possibly happen to Rick in the 6th' you wouldn't want him out there. But that's what he needs. He needs to see the adversity and find a way to battle through it. And today I thought was a step forward. I don't look at it as a negative."
I liked Romero's attitude in the postgame chat. He was happy with the first five innings and said he needed that as a step forward. He wasn't happy with the sixth. Understandable. The Bisons had a script for the bullpen, including Dustin McGowan's two innings (which turned into two-thirds when he couldn't get anyone out). So it made sense based on that and pitch count to let Romero go for six innings. Shame. Take him out at 5 and it's a HUGE step forward.
Postgame audio from Romero:
Buffalo defense: Ryan Langerhans made a diving catch to end the seventh and save two runs. Moises Sierra threw out the potential go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. They get a little lost in all the offense and Romero talk. They shouldn't be.
Bullpen: Newcomer Thad Weber and closer Neil Wagner combined for 3 2/3 innings of shutout relief. It came after rehabbing Dustin McGowan gave up three runs in one-third of an inning, news that won't go over well in Toronto.
Jim Negrych: Went 3 for 5 to push the average back to .394
Brown on his 10th-inning ejection, arguing a hit batsman call on Brandon Short that the Bisons thought should have been a foul ball on a bunt attempt: "I thought I heard wood. Unless his bones are made out of hickory, I thought I heard wood. I just went with what the game was ... I wanted every opporutnity to make sure it was a fair game and I didn't feel it was at that time. So they didn't let me play anymore."
Postgame audio from Brown:
The Bisons are off Wednesday. They open a four-game set against league-leading Indianpolis Thursday at 7. Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall pick by Pittsburgh in 2011, will start here Friday.