The 12:15 p.m. getaway start for Buffalo gives the Herd a head start to Durham but you have deal with the heat. And it is HOT. Good thing the humidity isn’t as high as what had been in the past but the heat will be something to keep an eye on if either pitcher starts to labor today. Catcher Chris Gemenez was already slamming Gatorade in the lobby this morning too.
Historically, Charlotte has not been kind to Buffalo. The two wins in the series are the most by the Bisons since taking 3-of-4 in 2005, a feat they hope to match today.
TODAY’S GAME: This afternoon, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Charlotte Knights in the final game of a four-game series from Knights Stadium (12:15 p.m.). The Herd is looking for the series win after taking a 2-1 advantage with last night’s 5-0 win. The Bisons are now 2-1 on an eight-game roadtrip that will take them to Durham, July 29- August 1. On the mound today for the Herd is LHP John Halama. The southpaw has thrown back-to-back complete games since the All-Star break. Charlotte will send out LHP Wes Whisler.
TODAY’S STARTER: John Halama–
Last Game: 7/22 vNOR: (W, 9.0IP, CG, 9H, 2R, 0ER, 4K), Bisons’ 4-2 win.
-2008 w/ Bisons: (7-2, 4.15)(9GS, 2CG, 60.2IP, 64H, 30R, 28ER, 10BB, 21K).
-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.
COMPLETE PITCHER: LHP John Halama has thrown nine-inning complete games in each of his last two starts. He started the second half by allowing just two runs in a 10-2 victory over Richmond on July 17. Last Tuesday, Halama gave up just two unearned runs in nine innings to beat Norfolk, 4-2. The southpaw did not walk a batter in either game. In his last seven starts, Halama is 6-1 with a 3.62ERA (49.2IP, 20ER, 6BB, 15K). He leads the Bisons with seven wins.
SHUTOUT WEEKEND: With victories of 4-0 and 5-0 over the weekend, the Bisons have posted back-to-back shutouts for the first time in over two years. Herd pitchers allowed just eight singles and five walks to the Knights over the weekend. The last time the Bisons had two straight shutouts was a doubleheader sweep in Durham, June 15-2006 (3-0, 4-0).
BIG GAME TODD: OF Todd Linden has now reached base in 18 consecutive games, hitting .338 (23-68) since July 7. Over the span the outfielder has eight doubles, two home runs, 11RBI, 10 walks and 11 runs scored. The stretch has raised his average 30 points from .246 – .276.
BISONS BITS: INF Morgan Ensberg hit the Bisons first grand slam since INF Andy Marte hit one on July 28, 2007 in Syracuse…OF Brad Snyder is 8 for his last 17 (.471) with 3 doubles, 1 home run and 4RBI…C Chris Gimenez has reached base safely in 7 straight games, hitting .400 (10-25) with 8 walks.