Marathon madness

By the time last nights game was over the only thing I had running through my head was Eric Clapton’s song, “After Midnight.” What a marathon! Fourteen innings, nearly five hours of coverage, 14 different pitchers and all the chances both sides had to take control of the game.

In my mind, one of most devastating losses of the season came against Norfolk when the Bisons sputtered in the night cap of a twin bill in Norfolk. The Herd let an 8-3 lead slip and the Tides walked away with double-dip sweep and then dropped three of four in Richmond.

While there were many chances to win and take hold of last night’s tilt, I don’t look for the same symptoms following this particular loss. The Bisons are at home and there will be a very festive crowd to play in front of tonight.

Here are today’s News & Notes

TONIGHT’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Norfolk Tides in the second game of a four-game series at Dunn Tire Park. Tonight’s contest is part of an eight-game homestand that included a 3-1 series win over Richmond and an 8-4 loss to Norfolk last night. On the mound tonight for the Herd is LHP John Halama. The southpaw threw a complete game on Thursday in a 10-2 victory over Richmond. Norfolk will counter with RHP Hayden Penn.

TONIGHT’S STARTER: John Halama-Last Game: 7/17 vRIC: (W, 9.0IP, CG, 8H, 2R, 2ER, 3K), Bisons’ 10-2 win.
-2008 w/ Bisons: (6-2, 4.88)(8GS, 51.2IP, 55H, 28R, 28ER, 10BB, 17K).
-2008 w/ So. Maryland (IND): (4-1, 1.88)(8GS, 56.2IP, 47H, 13R, 12ER, 8BB, 48K).
-2007 w/ Long Island (IND): (8-10, 4.14)(26GS, 167.1IP, 201H, 94R, 77ER, 44BB, 93K).
-Career 56-48 with a 4.65ERA in 262 Major League Games (911.0IP, 492K).
-Originally a 23rd round pick (640th overall) of Houston in 1994 amateur draft.
-Signed as a free agent on June 7, 2008.

GOING THE DISTANCE: LHP John Halama returns to the mound after having one of the finest performances by a Bisons pitcher in 2008. In his last start, the veteran became the first Bisons pitcher to toss a nine-inning complete game. Halama allowed just two runs while striking out three and walking none. He has now won six of his eight starts with the Herd and is tied for the team-lead in wins with RHP Matt Ginter, who is currently with the Cleveland Indians.

HOT HITTER: INF Michael Aubrey stretched his hitting streak to seven games Monday night after notching a single in four at-bats. Over the past seven games, Aubrey is 13 for 29 (.448) with two doubles, a home run and nine RBI. Since July 6, the infielder has raised his average 33 points, from .265 to .298.

BULLPEN NOTES: RHP Brendan Donnelly made his Bisons debut last night and struck out one in a scoreless inning of relief…All seven Bisons relievers were used in last night’s game. The group combined for 10 strikeouts in nine innings of work…RHP Bubbie Buzachero has a 1.80ERA in his last 6 games. He has struck out 20 in his last 15.0 innings of work.

BISONS BITS: Monday night’s game was the longest contest of the year for Buffalo in both innings (14) and time (4 hours, 41 minutes)… INF Michael Aubrey was intentionally walked three times last night. His five free intentional passes on the season are tied for the team lead with INF Jordan Brown. OF Jason Cooper led the team last year with five intentional walks.

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