By Mike Harrington
We've gone through the first week of the International League season and the Buffalo Bisons have dodged three rainouts to post a 4-2 record heading into tonight's 6:05 game in Coca-Cola Field against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Some quick numbers on the Herd thus far:
Batting: .240 (believe it or not, 7th in the 14-team IL)
Runs: 30 (T-6th)
Runs per game: 5.0 (5th)
ERA: 3.00 (2nd)
The Bisons have scored a lot early (seven runs in first innings, their highest total) and have scored a lot late (five runs in the eighth, four in two extra-inning wins). Their batters have been selective, walking 29 times in six games, while the pitchers have a 2-1 strikeout-walk ratio (54-27 in 57 innings).
---Anthony Gose has hit in all five starts, posting a .423 on-base percentage to go with a .286 average.
---Newly acquired Juan Francisco leads the team in batting (.429), on-base (.478), slugging (.714) and OPS (1.193). Dan Johnson is second (.300/.464/1.114) and Johnson and Francisco have split the team's four home runs.
----In need of a quick breakout: Kevin Pillar is 2 for 25 and Mike Nickeas is 1 for 16.
----Reliever Bobby Korecky is one of four IL pitchers with two wins, and both Korecky and Chad Jenkins have six scoreless innings out of the bullpen thus far.
Kyle Drabek will make his second start of the season tonight against Pawtucket's Jeremy Kehrt. The Bisons (4-2), Rochester (4-2) and Pawtucket (5-3) are tied top the IL North thus far.
Elsewhere in the IL, it's a big night tonight in Charlotte as the Knights officially move downtown to BB&T Ballpark with 7:05 game against Norfolk. Props to the folks down there for getting that project done and here's hoping they remember April 11, 2014 as fondly as we recall April 14, 1988.
The Bisons' lineup tonight:
Anthony Gose, cf
Steve Tolleson, 2b
Juan Francisco, 3b
Dan Johnson, 1b
Matt Tuiasosopo, lf
Kevin Pillar, rf
Andy LaRoche, dh
Mike Nickeas, c
Munenori Kawasaki, ss
Kyle Drabek, p