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Updated: Season over for Herd's Romero after knee surgery

By Mike Harrington

The day after his franchise-record, nine-walk meltdown May 16 against Gwinnett in Coca-Cola Field, Ricky Romero and I sat alone in the Bisons' dugout following batting practice and he insisted his arm was fine. But he also confirmed my suspicion when he told me his knees probably weren't.

The Blue Jays put Romero on the disabled list after two more starts in Buffalo that featured 10 more walks, and now from Sportsnet's Shi Davidi with the parent club in New York comes this news today: Romero has had surgery on his left knee and may be looking at work to be done on the other if an evaluation in six weeks deems it necessary.

7 p.m. update: The Blue Jays have confirmed Romero's surgery was performed June 17 in Los Angeles and is season-ending. Recovery time is listed as six months.

Romero, the former 15-game winner and American League All-Star, was 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA in nine starts for the Bisons this season. But more than that, he gave up 37 hits and 42 walks in just 37 2/3 innings while striking out only 28. His numbers and his hideous game-by-game log are all at this link.

The Blue Jays are paying Romero $7.5 million this year and $7.5 million next year before they can buy him out for $600,000 following the 2015 season. Now, it appears there's a distinct chance Romero's 2014 season could be over entirely.

And you thought Ville Leino made some easy money.

Late-night magic: Dodgers' Kershaw fires no-hitter with 15 Ks to stymie Rockies

By Mike Harrington

While you and I slept, we all missed one of the great pitching performances of all time: Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitched a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts in an 8-0 win over the Rockies -- coming a Hanley Ramirez error shy of a perfect game.

The Ramirez error came on a night he almost didn't play due to a finger injury. 

Here's an MLB.com article listing incredible facts about the no-no, topped by these two gems: It's the most strikeouts without a walk ever in a no-hitter and it's the second highest pitcher Game Score of all-time (102), behind only the 105 posted by the Cubs' Kerry Wood during his 20-strikeout game in 1998.

Here's MLB.com's no-hitter treatment video of all 27 outs -- made even better by the fact they're through the voice and grace of Vin Scully.

On the air: Harrington talks Yankees-Blue Jays in Syracuse

The Blue Jays and Yankees open a key series tonight in the Bronx and News Sports Reporter Mike Harrington looked at the series late this afternoon with St. Bonaventure grad Mike Lindsley on The Score 1260 in Syracuse. The interview was taped shortly before the Jays announced they have optioned 2013 All-Star reliever Steve Delabar back to the Bisons.

The interview also included Harrington's remembrances of Tony Gwynn and a brief discussion of the Sabres' announcement today that they will be buying out Ville Leino. Click the audio file below to listen to the interview.

 

Mike Harrington on AM1260 in Syracuse

Tanaka vs. Stroman in Yanks-Jays opener in the Bronx; Delabar sent to Bisons

By Mike Harrington

The Blue Jays open a key series tonight in Yankee Stadium in a rare spot for them in recent years: First place in the American League East, and by 4 1/2 games, no less.

The pitching matchup sees Masahiro Tanaka facing Toronto for the second time this year against Blue Jays rookie Marcus Stroman, a Long Island native pitching in the Bronx for the first time in his career. It will be very interesting to see how Tanaka does against a team that has seen him before.

I got a good look at Tanaka on Opening Night in Toronto and he was impressive, just like he's been all season.

Stroman talked to Toronto reporters about the trip home to New York over the weekend in Baltimore:

---You can read about Stroman's return home in John Lott's story in the National Post here.

---You can read Brendan Kennedy's story in the Toronto Star here. 

Incredibly, the Blue Jays have lost 13 straight at Yankee Stadium -- going 0-10 in the Bronx last season -- and 22 of 24 going back to 2011. Here's a look at the pitching matchups for the series.

They've called up Munenori Kawasaki from the Bisons and sent reliever Steve Delabar -- who was in the All-Star Game last year -- back to Buffalo in a bit of a surprise move. Delabar is 3-0, 4.68 with 21 strikeouts and 16 walks in 25 innings. Kawasaki has been huge for the Herd lately, batting .387 (12-31) over his last 13 games, and should join a second-base platoon for the Jays with Steve Tolleson.

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet has notes on the transactions from GM Alex Anthopoulos' pregame meeting with reporters.

From the archives (w/audio): Tony Gwynn talks hitting and Yankee Stadium with Sullivan and Harrington

By Mike Harrington

The tributes keep pouring in the wake of the news that Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has died at 54. As you would expect, MLB.com has put together a terrific Gwynn package full of audio and video.

During the 1998 World Series, Jerry Sullivan was among a small group of reporters who chatted with Gwynn about his trip to Yankee Stadium's Monument Park. When you read Sully's column, it's clear Gwynn held the Yankees and the Bronx in a huge amount of reverence.

And like Gwynn said at the end of the piece: The Yankees were "the steepest mountain out there to climb". They swept the Padres in four straight but it wasn't Gwynn's fault. He batted .500 and tied Series MVP Scott Brosius for the most hits in the series with eight. One of them was this soaring home run into the right-field facade in Game One:

Ten years later, on the day of the 2008 All-Star Game that was one of the shining moments of the final season in The House that Ruth Built, reporters were given a chance to interview several Hall of Famers taking part in a red carpet parade that day. We piled into a ballroom at the Hotel Intercontinental and I was floored at the baseball royalty in front of me, as my blog from that day clearly shows. 

Eventually, I made my way to a back corner of the room where Gwynn was speaking to a lone Japanese reporter. They were talking about Ichiro and Gwynn was fascinating. Then I asked Gwynn about his trip to Monument Park 10 years earlier and he recalled the trip in vivid detail. It was with his son, Tony Jr., now a 31-year-old player for the Phillies. I had to leave him at that point to catch a couple others, notably Tommy Lasorda and Wade Boggs, for their thoughts on the closing of the old ballpark. Sad to think now. Lots of hitting questions to be had. 

You can click the audio file to hear the brief conversation below. RIP, Mr. Padre.

Mike Harrington talks to Tony Gwynn in 2008

Hall of Famer Gwynn dead at 54; Padres legend battled cancer

By Mike Harrington

Some very sad news breaking today out of San Diego: Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, one of the purest hitters in the history of the game, has died at age 54 after battling cancer for several years. The Hall's official remembrance video issued today can be viewed above.

Gwynn had been coaching San Diego State, his alma mater, since 2003. He has been battling mouth and cheek cancer since 2010 and his health had been reportedly on the decline for a few months.  Although signing a contract extension just last week, he had been on medical leave from San Diego State since March.

"Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement issued today. "The greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life.

"... For more than 30 years, Tony Gwynn was a source of universal goodwill in the National Pastime, and he will be deeply missed by the many people he touched. On behalf of all of our Clubs, I extend my deepest condolences to Tony's wife Alicia, their son Tony Jr. of the Phillies, their daughter Anisha, the Padres franchise, his fans in San Diego and his many admirers throughout baseball."

Gwynn was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 along with Cal Ripken Jr. It's believed to be the most highly attended ceremony ever in Cooperstown, with upwards of 80,000 people on hand. Two players from small markets who only combined to win one World Series. But both contributed so much to the game and did it with such high character that they were revered across the baseball world.

"This is an extraordinarily sad day," Ripken said in a statement today. "Tony was a Hall of Fame ballplayer but more importantly he was a wonderful man. Tony always had a big smile on his face and was one of the warmest and most genuine people I have ever had the honor of knowing. Like all baseball fans I will miss him very much and my thoughts are with his family today."

Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune has penned this terrific tribute to Gwynn's life and career and it's worth the read (and the multiple clicks to new pages).  The Hall of Fame has issued his obituary on Gwynn here.

Gwynn finished his career in 2001 with 3,141 hits and a .338 lifetime batting average -- the highest of any player since 1939. He won eight National League batting titles. He batted .394 in the strike-shortened 1994 season, and historians say that was probably the best chance anyone has had to hit .400 in the last 60 years.

There is one statue at Petco Park, home of the Padres, and it's Gwynn. And the ballpark's address? Tony Gwynn Drive.

Bisons/Blue Jays roster moves continue: A recap of a busy day

By Mike Harrington

The Blue Jays and Bisons keep burning up the transaction wire in advance of Buffalo's series opener tonight in Toledo.

We've already given you the lowdown today on the promotion of top prospect and former No. 1 pick Aaron Sanchez, who will make his Triple-A debut Saturday night, and the addition of Toronto center fielder Colby Rasmus on an injury rehab assignment. 

But there's plenty more where those moves came from. As of 4 p.m. today, here's the latest Bisons/Blue Jays transactions:

----Promoted from Double-A New Hampshire to Buffalo: P Aaron Sanchez, OF (and former New York Yankee) Melky Mesa.

---Returned to Double-A from Buffalo: OF Kenny Wilson, P Gregory Infante.

---Added on Major League Rehab: OF Colby Rasmus

---Promoted to Toronto yesterday: OF Darin Mastroinni

---Added from Toronto yesterday: OF Kevin Pillar, who has a 26-game on-base streak with Buffalo that is the longest current one in the International League.

---Released: P Ryan Rowland-Smith (had an out in his contract anytime after June 1 if another MLB club wanted to sign him).

---Traded: OF Matt Tuiasosopo, to the Chicago White Sox for cash. He'll likely report to Charlotte.

---Acquired in trade by Toronto: OF Adron Chambers, from Houston for a pair of Class A prospects. Chambers, who has played 84 games with the St. Louis Cardinals over the last three years, was batting .281 for Oklahoma City of the Houston chain. His assignment was finalized late Thursday afternoon and he's expected to join the Bisons in the next day or two.

Rasmus to the Herd for MLB rehab

by Amy Moritz

First, it was the promotion of pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez from Double-A New Hampshire to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

Ph_458675Now, the Herd announced Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus will join the Herd for a Major League rehabilitation assignment.

Rasmus has been on Toronto's disabled list since May 15 (retroactive to May 13) with right hamstring tightness. In his first 37 games with the Blue Jays this season he hit nine home runs, drove in 19 runs and hit .222.

The  bad news for Bisons' fans -- the team is on an extended road trip. They open a four-game series in Toledo tonight and then shift to Columbus for another four-game set. The Bisons return to Coca-Cola Field on Friday, June 20.

Blue Jays promote top pitching prospect Sanchez to Bisons

Sanchez
Aaron Sanchez was the Blue Jays' second first-round choice in 2010. (Toronto Star via Getty Images)



By Mike Harrington

Bisons fans had a memorable, albeit short, stint of watching Blue Jays megaprospect Marcus Stroman on the mound in Buffalo this year. It looks like they're about to get a chance to see Toronto's other big arm.

As first reported by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays promoted 21-year-old right-hander Aaron Sanchez from Double-A New Hampshire to the Herd today. Sanchez is 3-2 with a 3.82 ERA in 14 starts with the Fisher Cats but has been particularly impressive in winning his last two outings, allowing three runs in 11 2/3 innings -- but striking out 14 and walking just three.

Sanchez, who is 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, is generally considered the top Toronto prospect still in the minors. He was listed as MLB.com's No. 19 overall prospect prior to the season and was ranked No. 32 by Baseball America.

The callup of Sanchez will give the Bisons a pair of 2010 first-round draft choices in their rotation. Deck McGuire, who recently joined the team from New Hampshire, was the No. 11 pick that year and Sanchez went No. 34 as a compensation pick for the loss of former Bison Marco Scutaro in free agency. And Stroman, remember, was Toronto's No. 1 pick in 2012.

Sanchez's career to date has been marked by careful logging of his innings, especially since he missed a month last year with shoulder discomfort. He's yet to throw more than 91 innings in a season, although he finished last year strong, getting additional innings in the Arizona Fall League and earning the starting nod in the league's Rising Stars Game. Sanchez is already at 66 innings this year so he will certainly blow by that number in 2014. 

Sanchez had an impressive spring with the Blue Jays, capped by 5 2/3 scoreless innings in an outing against Tampa Bay that featured the bulk of the Rays' major-league lineup. He was so good that broadcaster Buck Martinez, the former Jays catcher and manager, said he should open the season in the big-league rotation. The Blue Jays followed the advice of Toronto Star columnist Richard Griffin and played it safe with Sanchez, putting him in Double-A.

The Bisons play their series opener tonight in Toledo, with Sean Nolin scheduled to start. There's no word yet how the rotation might go although Sanchez's normal day to pitch would be Friday so stay tuned. The team does not return home until opening a series June 20 against Rochester.

Noon update: The Toronto Star is reporting Sanchez's Triple-A debut will come Saturday at Toledo.

Did-you-see-that Video: Cespedes' throw

By Mike Harrington

My email and Twitter feeds got these contributions today and they're both worth a look.

The first comes from the eighth inning of Tuesday's A's-Angels game, where Yoenis Cespedes makes up for his own gaffe in left field with a not-of-this-world throw to nail Howie Kendrick at the plate. Angels manager Mike Scioscia called it "a guided missile." Good description. Check it out:

Bisons rally for Kids Day win in Syracuse to split series

By Mike Harrington

The Buffalo Bisons used a trio of home runs to wipe out a three-run deficit today and rally past the Syracuse Chiefs, 8-4.  The win before 10,157 in NBT Bank Stadium allowed the Herd to earn a split of a two-game series.

The Bisons fell behind, 3-0, in the first inning and were down, 4-1, after four before rallying to score the game's final seven runs. Dan Johnson slugged a two-out solo homer in the fourth, his team-high 14th of the season, while Jared Goedert led off the sixth with a solo shot and catcher Mike Nickeas capped a three-run eighth with a two-run blast to left that closed the scoring.

Buffalo starting pitcher Deck McGuire fell behind in the first on Zach Walters' solo homer and Jonathan Solano's two-run double and also gave up Brian Goodwin's solo homer in the fourth. But the offense picked up McGuire and improved his record to 3-0 by scoring two runs in the fifth on Kenny Wilson's triple and two more in the sixth on the Goedert homer and an RBI triple from Munenori Kawasaki.

The win pulled the Bisons back to .500 at 31-31 and within 4 1/2 games of first-place Syracuse in the IL North. The Chiefs fell to 37-28 and are 22-10 at home, tied with Rochester for the best home mark in the league.

The Bisons are off on Wednesday. They open an eight-game road trip Thursday night at Toledo, with Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus expected to be in the lineup on an injury rehab assignment and Sean Nolin (2-2) scheduled to be the starting pitcher. The Herd plays four games in Toledo and four in Columbus before returning home to open a homestand June 20 against Rochester.

Bisons win in rain-shortened game

by Amy Moritz

In a rain-shortened game the Buffalo Bisons came out with a 4-2 win over the Syracuse Chiefs in front of 7,494 at Coca-Cola Field Sunday afternoon.

The skies opened up with two outs in the top of the sixth and the game went into a 1 hour, 3 minute 12 second rain delay before the umpires called the game.

Jared Goedert and Mike Nickeas both went 3-for-3 with Nickeas belting a home run and driving in two runs.

Syracuse took a 1-0 lead in the second when Destin Hood had a one-out triple and scored on a single from Jhonatan Solano.

The Bisons continued to pile up hits without a run until Brad Glenn broke through with a solo home run to lead off the fourth. Mike Nickeas added a solo shot to give the Herd a 2-0 lead.

The lead extended to 3-1 in the fifth. Lead off hits from Jared Goedert and Dan Johnson put runners on the corners. Goedert scored on a one-out single from A.J. Jimenez. With two outs, Nickeas drove in Johnson for a 4-1 lead.

In the top of the sixth, Hendriks gave up back-to-back singles. He got out of it as the defense turned a solid double play. With two outs and Brock Peterson on third, Hendriks tried to bare hand a hit from Brian Goodwin, but he missed the ball. Third baseman Jared Goedert picked up the ball and tried to make the play at first, but the throw was late and Peterson scored.

That cut the Bisons’ lead to 4-2 with a runner on base and two outs as the rain came pouring down and the tarp rolled out.

Top pitchers in the International League take the mound today

by Amy Moritz

Please rain, stay away from downtown Buffalo for a few hours. Because this is a great pitching matchup at Coca-Cola Field.

The pitchers with the top two ERAs in the International League square off at 1:05 p.m. (Radio 1520, TWCS) as the Buffalo Bisons conclude their homestand against the Syracuse Chiefs.

For the Herd, it's righty Liam Hendriks, who makes his ninth start of the year. He has a 1.91 ERA, which is second only to Taylor Hill (1.57) who starts for the Chiefs.

Hendriks made two starts with the Toronto Blue Jays during a promotion from May 23-June 2. He went 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings pitched.

Back in Buffalo, his last start was June 3 when he gave up four runs on six hits in eight innings of a no-decision. In that outing he strukc out six and walked none.

Hill has allowed two eanred runs over 30 innings of his last five outings.

Today's Bisons' lineup:

Darin Mastroianni -- CF
Ryan Goins -- 2B
Jared Goedert -- 3B
Dan Johnson -- 1B
Brad Glenn -- LF
A.J. Jimenez -- DH
Munenori Kawasaki -- SS
Mike Nickeas -- C
Kenny Wilson -- RF

Bisons look to use the force to pick up third straight win

by Amy Moritz

The Buffalo Bisons (er, Jedi Bisons) prepare to do battle with a team from a galaxy far, far away (or, you know Syracuse) ... yes the Star Wars references will be flowing freely tonight as the Herd hosts its seventh annual Star Wars Night at Coca-Cola Field.

While the soldout crowd will get to play with laser swords, meet characters from the movie and follow along with a game-long Star Wars episodic story, the Bisons will be looking for their third straight win. While wearing R2D2 themed jerseys.

On the mound: Kyle Drabek makes his seventh home start. He took the loss on June 2, against the Chiefs, giving up four runs on six hits including three home runs.

Roster moves: Brad Glenn comes off the disabled list and returns to right field for the Herd. His bat is much needed as the Bisons look to create some offense. Glenn has hit in all 13 games he has started for Buffalo since his promotion from Double-A New Hampshire. Outfielder Brett Carroll went on the DL while pitcher Shawn Hill was transferred to the FisherCats.

Streak continues: Darin Marstroianni extended his hitting streak to nine games. During this stretch, he his batting .438 with six runs scored and four stolen bases while driving in six runs.

Tonight's Bisons' lineup:

Darin Mastroianni -- CF
A.J. Jimenez -- C
Jared Goedert -- 3B
Dan Johnson -- 1B
Brad Glenn -- RF
Matt Tuiasosopo -- LF
Ryan Goins -- 2B
Andy LaRoche -- DH
Jonathan Diaz -- SS

Bisons still searching for offense

by Amy Moritz

The Buffalo Bisons aren't out of their offensive slump. Not yet.

The Herd did finally win, getting five runs on 11 hits in Thursday's School Kids' Day win over the Toledo Mud Hens.

But a glance at tonight's lineup for the final game of the series with the Mud Hens (7:05 p.m., Radio 1520) shows that the Bisons need some more consistent offensive production.

The last three hitters in the Herd's lineup are all hitting below .200 -- Andy LaRoche (.179), Kenny Wilson (.167) and Jonathan Diaz (.113). The Bisons are not the worst hitting club in the International League. That dubious honor goes to Charlotte with the Knights collectively batting .232. But the Herd's .251 average is the prime reason they have slipped below .500 and from first to a three-way tie for third in the IL North Division.

Best hitter: Amid the offensive woes, leadoff man Darin Mastroianni is on an eight-game hitting streak. During the run he has batted .438 with five runs scored and three stolen bases while driving in six runs. 

Nolin returns: Lefty Sean Nolin returns to the mound after missing 20 games with a left groin strain. It will be Nolin's eighth start of the season with the Herd. He has a 2-2 mark with a 2.70 earned run average.

Romero to the DL: Friday afternoon the Bisons put lefty Ricky Romero on the disabled list with a strained right calf. Romero suffered the injury in his last start which came on Sunday at Coca-Cola Field.

Hessman watch: Mike Hessman is in the lineup for Toledo tonight, still chasing sole ownership of the all-time home run record in the IL. He remains tied with Bisons legend Ollie Carnegie with 258 home runs.

Tonight's Bisons' lineup:

Darin Mastroianni -- CF
Ryan Goins -- SS
Jared Goedert -- 3B
Dan Johnson -- 1B
A.J. Jimenez -- C
Matt Tuiasosopo -- LF
Andy LaRoche -- DH
Kenny Wilson -- RF
Jonathan Diaz -- 2B

Bisons snap four-game skid, McGuire shines

By Taylor Nigrelli 

The Bisons used another dominant Deck McGuire performance to beat Toledo, 5-2, and snap a four-game losing streak Thursday afternoon in front of an announced School Kids Day crowd of 15,361 in Coca-Cola Field.  

McGuire pitched seven innings, allowed one run on three hits and tied a Bisons season high with 10 strikeouts. McGuire moved to 2-0 and lowered his ERA to 2.29 in his third Triple-A start.

The Bisons grabbed the lead early, scoring four runs in the first inning on the strength of back-to-back two-RBI base hits by Matt Tuiasosopo and Ryan Goins. The Herd would add a fifth run in the eighth inning on a Darin Mastroianni sacrifice fly.

Mike Hessman, who’s currently tied with Bisons great Ollie Carnegie for the all-time International League home run record of 258, failed to break the record, finishing 0-3 with a walk.

The Bisons will look to come away with a series split with the Mud Hens when they take the field Friday for a 7:05 start. Sean Nolin (2-2) and Mike Belfiore (2-2) are expected to start for Buffalo and Toledo, respectively. 

Opening Night at Rogers Centre, nee SkyDome, was 25 years ago

Ticket
My ticket from the first game in SkyDome. The same seat today sells for $44-$52 under the team's flexible pricing. The psychedellic wavy design was to prevent counterfeiting.

 

By Mike Harrington

It was 25 years ago today -- on June 5, 1989 -- that the Toronto Blue Jays played their first game in the then-SkyDome. It was a Monday night game against the Milwaukee Brewers (then in the American League, remember). The Brewers won it, 5-3, as Paul Molitor, Toronto's World Series MVP four years later, had the first at-bat and hit (a leadoff double), and Fred McGriff hit the first home run. The box score and play-by-play are here.

I was at the game in the left-field stands and remember seeing the scramble that was on to get the building open right to the last minute. There was still visible construction dusts on seats and walls, but the Blue Jays needed to open in the new park because the finale a few days earlier at Exhibition Stadium had been heavily promoted as the final game in the team's home since its 1977 debut.

Jimmy Key pitched a complete game in the SkyDome opener despite taking the loss and threw the first pitch to Ernie Whitt. They will reprise that battery before Friday night's game against St. Louis as the Blue Jays return home to celebrate the anniversary. Cheap plug alert: I'll be covering that game as Marcus Stroman gets the start against the defending NL champions.

The Sporting News has this timeline of key events in the dome's 25 years.

The Toronto Star has this retrospective, courtesy of former Jays pitcher and current broadcaster Duane Ward.

How did the building come to be named SkyDome? A bookkeeper from Wallaceburg, Ont., which is three hours away, won a name the stadium contest and has earned two free tickets for life for every event in the place.

Here's an incredible YouTube floating around that shows the construction of the building -- 2 1/2 years of work in 2 1/2 minutes. 

Hessman returns to lineup, Bisons take on Toledo in early game

By Taylor Nigrelli 

After missing the past three games to recover from a procedure that removed “pre-cancerous growths” from his face, Toledo Mud Hens infielder Mike Hessman will return to the lineup this afternoon in the third game of a four-game set between Toledo and Buffalo.

Hessman is currently tied with Bisons great Ollie Carnegie for most home runs – 258 – in International League history.  He’ll bat fourth and play third base.

Today’s game will feature an unusually early 10:35 a.m. first pitch as the Bisons are holding their annual “school kid’s day” promotion.

When the Herd takes the field – just over 12 hours after leaving it last night – it will be looking to snap out of a rough stretch that has stretched over two weeks. The Bisons have lost four straight and 10 of 12 contests.

Buffalo will hand the ball to Deck McGuire for his third triple-A start. The former first round pick has pitched well so far – he’s 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA. Drew VerHagen (3-5, 3.77) will get the call for Toledo.

Today’s lineup:

Darin Mastroianni – CF
Munenori Kawasaki – 2B
Jared Goedert  - 3B
Dan Johnson – DH
Matt Tuiasosopo – 1B
Ryan Goins – SS
Brett Carroll – RF
Mike Nikeas – C
Kenny Wilson - LF

Hessman and Carnegie still tied for home run title

by Amy Moritz

The home run alert for Mike Hessman continues.

The Toeldo infielder is tied with Bisons legendary slugger Ollie Carnegie for most most home runs in the history of the International League.

Hessman, who has pre-cancerous growths removed from his face, has been dealing with some swelling in his eye. He told Buffalo News sports reporter Mike Harrington earlier this afternoon that he was hoping to be available to pinch hit today. He took ground balls and hit during batting practice at Coca-Cola Field.

Hessman played with the Herd in 2010 and has 258 home runs in the IL, tying Carnegie who played 12 seasons in Buffalo.

Meanwhile the Bisons are looking to get back on track. With Tuesday's 5-4 loss in 11 innings, the Herd fell below .500 for the first time this season.

Radhames Liz makes his Bison debut on the mound. He began the season on Buffalo's disabled list with right knee soreness. He made two starts with the Double-A Fisher Cats racking up 10 strikeouts in 8 1/3 scoreless innings.

Tonight's Bison's lineup:

Darin Mastroianni -- CF
Ryan Goins -- 2B
A.J. Jiminez -- C
Dan Johnson -- 1B
Matt Tuiasosopo -- LF
Brett Carroll -- RF
Andy LaRoche -- DH
Munenori Kawasaki -- SS
Jonathan Diaz -- 3B

 

Press box nightmare: Reporter's laptop felled by foul ball in Cincy

Laptop
The shattered screen of Mark Sheldon's laptop, from his Twitter feed.


By Mike Harrington

What's about the worst thing that can happen to a reporter in a press box, especially one on deadline? Easy. A laptop crash. We've all had them from time to time and usually a reboot can get you back up and running.

Then there's the issue of a foul ball. No way to get you running if you take a direct hit and MLB.com veteran Mark Sheldon was such a victim Tuesday night in Cincinnati, thanks to Pablo Sandoval of the Giants. You see the picture above that Sheldon tweeted -- and has more than 1,500 RTs and favorites as of early today -- and you can watch the video evidence below.

I feel for the poor guy, but his reaction is priceless. And how about the buddy who asks him if he wants the ball like he's a 10-year-old who got drilled in the hand?!

The Reds won the game, 8-3, to push their winning streak to four and Sheldon filed his story on the game with an assist from an associate who loaned him a laptop. His quick explanation on the laptop troubles is on his MLB.com blog

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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 | mharrington@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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