July 2008

Another Champ and All Star arrives

We’ve been hearing Brendan Donnelly’s name since he was signed in early February by the Indians. Even then the Tribe knew he wouldn’t throw a pitch until later in the year but seems to progressing ahead of schedule. The early goal was to get Donnelly pitching at “some level” by August 1 and after debuting in the Gulf Coast League July 3 he has climbed to Buffalo after a brief stop in Kinston.

The Bisons announced that RHP Brendan Donnelly has been promoted to the team from Single-A Kinston. The reliever was on the 2002 Anaheim Angeles team that won the World Series.

Donnelly, 36, burst onto the Major League seen in 2002 with the Angeles. He went 1-1 with a 2.17ERA in 46 games before making five appearances in Anaheim’s World Series Championship over the San Francisco Giants (7.2IP, 1H, 0R, 4BB, 6K). In 2003, he went 2-2 with a 1.58ERA in 63 games with the Angles, earning a selection as an American League All-Star.

Last season, Donnelly went 2-1 with a 3.05ERA in 27 relief appearances for the Boston Red Sox (20.1IP, 19H, 7ER, 5BB, 15K). He was placed on the disabled list on June 11 with a strained right forearm and underwent ligament reconstruction in his right pitching elbow (Tommy John Surgery) on August 14.

Donnelly owns a career Major League record of 25-9 with 4 saves and a 2.88ERA in 303 relief appearances (315.2IP, 258H, 101ER, 110BB, 310K). He began his professional pitching career in 1992 in the White Sox organization and later spent time in five different minor league organizations (Cubs, Reds, Rays, Blue Jays, Pirates).

Bisons/Braves, try again

It’s another double-dip for the Bisons today. Last night was a wash so that will line up Bullington and Huff (notes below) to toss and both have potential to lead the Herd deep into the game. Even though there is still a slight chance of a shower we’re expecting action on the field at 1:05 p.m. The sun is already starting to pop out from the clouds.

This could be a LONG day of baseball, given the display already from the two games in this series but a big chance for the Bisons to sweep a series opening the second half of the season.

Kick back and relax on radio or TV, it’s game time.

Here are today’s News & Notes
***Both of today’s games will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Channel 13***

TODAY’S GAME: This afternoon, the Buffalo Bisons host the Richmond Braves in a doubleheader that will conclude their four-game series at Dunn Tire Park (7:05 p.m.). Prior to last night’s rainout, the Herd won the first two games of the series by a combined scored of 26-5. Starting for the Bisons in game one will be RHP Bryan Bullington. The righty will be making his first start with the Bisons after throwing three innings of relief last Saturday (4H, 4ER, 6K). LHP David Huff will start for the Herd in game two. The southpaw has struck out at least four batters in all eight of his starts with the team.

GAME 1 STARTER: Bryan Bullington
-Last Game: 7/12 vLOU: (ND, 3.0IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K), Bisons’ 9-3 Loss.
-2008 w/Bisons: (0-0, 12.00)(1G, 3.0IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K).
-2008 w/Indianapolis: (4-6, 5.52)(15GS, 75.0IP, 90H, 54R, 46ER, 25BB, 60K).
-2007 w/Indianapolis: (11-9, 4.00)(26GS, 150.2IP, 146H, 70R, 67ER, 59BB, 89K)
-2007 w/Indianapolis: 1st in starts (26), innings (150.2), wins (11).
-Originally a first overall pick in 2002 by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
-Claimed off waivers by Cleveland, July 10, 2008.

GAME 2 STARTER: David Huff
-Last Game: 7/11 vLOU: (ND, 5.0IP, 4H, BB, 5K), Bisons’ 1-0 loss.
-2008 w/ Bisons: (2-2, 3.35)(8GS, 43.0IP, 38H, 19R, 16ER, BB, 48K).
-2008 w/ Akron (AA): (5-1, 1.92)(11G, 10GS, 65.2IP, 44H, 17R, 14ER, 14BB, 62K)
-2007 w/ Kinston (A): (4-1, 2.72)(11GS, 59.2IP, 57H, 23R, 18ER, 15BB, 46K).
-2007 Carolina League All-Star, missed second half of season (left elbow strain).
-2006 w/ Mahoning Valley (A): (0-1, 5.87)(4GS, 7.2IP, 9H, 5R, 5ER, 8K).
-Drafted by Cleveland in the 1st round (39th overall) of the 2006 MLB Draft

BULLY FOR HIM: RHP Bryan Bullington was claimed off waivers (Pittsburgh) by the Indians on July 10. While he’s making his first start for the Bisons tonight, the righty did strike out six in relief on July 12 against Louisville in his Herd debut. Bullington was the first overall pick by the Pirates in the 2002 draft. He won 11 games with Indianapolis in 2007.

HUFF’S STUFF: LHP David Huff has continued to impress after just eight Triple-A games. The southpaw has struck out 48 batters to only five walks in 43 innings of work. That’s 9.6 strikeouts per walk or 10 punchouts per nine innings pitched. Huff started the year in Akron (62K) and now has 110 strikeouts on the season. He leads all Cleveland Indians minor leagues in strikeouts and is 3rd with a 2.48ERA. Huff threw five shutout frames on July 11 in his last outing with the Herd (no-decision).

Keep'em Come'n

As much as “We Love This Team” I think “We Love These Wins” even more! The most impressive back-to-back displays by the Bisons offense all year long. Last night the Herd plated the most runs in a game since April 16. The 7-inning, 17-1 pounding of Columbus and more runs since the 15-14, 9-run 9th inning comeback over Pawtucket on May 5 (see the history books for that game). There are even more staggering numbers below about the past couple of nights at the ol’ball yard.

Here are today’s News & Notes

TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons host the Richmond Braves in the third game of a four-game series at Dunn Tire Park (7:05 p.m.). The Herd has won the first two games of the series by a combined scored of 26-5. Starting for the Bisons tonight will be RHP Bryan Bullington. The righty will be making his first start with the Bisons after throwing three innings of relief a week ago (4H, 4ER, 6K). On the mound for Richmond will be LHP Chuck James.

Tonight’s Starter: Bryan Bullington
-Last Game: 7/12 vLOU: (ND, 3.0IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K), Bisons’ 9-3 Loss.
-2008 w/Bisons: (0-0, 12.00)(1G, 3.0IP, 4H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 6K).
-2008 w/Indianapolis: (4-6, 5.52)(15GS, 75.0IP, 90H, 54R, 46ER, 25BB, 60K).
-2007 w/Indianapolis: (11-9, 4.00)(26GS, 150.2IP, 146H, 70R, 67ER, 59BB, 89K)
-2007 w/Indianapolis: 1st in starts (26), innings (150.2), wins (11).
-Originally a first overall pick in 2002 by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
-Claimed off waivers by Cleveland, July 10, 2008.

BULLY FOR HIM: RHP Bryan Bullington was claimed off waivers (Pittsburgh) by the Indians on July 10. While he’s making his first start for the Bisons tonight, the righty did strike out six in relief on July 12 against Louisville in his Herd debut. Bullington was the first overall pick by the Pirates in the 2002 draft. He won 11 games with Indianapolis in 2007.

GREAT RE-START: The Bisons offense has simply been on fire in the first two games after the All-Star break. Buffalo has scored 26 runs with a team batting average of .434 (33-76). The Herd has also drawn 16 walks in the two games and hit .432 (16-37) as a team with runners in scoring position. The last time the Bisons scored 26 runs in two games was May 7-8, 2006 against the Ottawa Lynx (wins of 10-2, 16-5). Eleven different Bisons batters have scored a run during the two games.

MORE OFFENSIVE NOTES: In last night’s win, six different Bisons reached base safely four times: INF Jorge Velandia (4-6), INF Andy Gonzalez (2-4, BB, HP), OF Todd Linden (3-5, BB), INF Jordan Brown (1-2, 4BB), INF Morgan Ensberg (1-3, 3BB), OF Jason Cooper (2-3, 2BB). With 19 hits, 12 walks and one hit by pitch, the Bisons had 32 base runners last night.

HOT BAT: OF Todd Linden is coming off back-to-back three-hit games for the Bisons. The outfielder is 6-10 with two doubles and five RBI in the first two games since the break. Linden has now hit in 10 straight, with a .414 (17-41) batting average since July 7. He has also reached base in 29 of his last 31 games since June 15, averaging .307 (35-114).

BISON BITS: In his first game with Buffalo since June 11, INF Jorge Velandia went 4-6 with two RBI…Last night, INF Michael Aubrey became the first Bisons batter to record 5RBI in a game this season.

On the Air: TV & Radio

***Tonight’s game will be broadcast LIVE on Time Warner Cable Channel 13***
TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons host the Richmond Braves in game two of a four-game series at Dunn Tire Park (7:35 p.m.). Last night the Bisons started the second half of the year on the right foot as they defeated the Braves, 10-2. Starting for the Herd tonight will be RHP Jeff Weaver. Weaver made his Bisons debut on July 12 and allowed three runs in three innings of work. On the mound for Richmond will be RHP Anthony Lerew.

TONIGHT’S STARTER: Jeff Weaver
-Last Game: 7/12 vLOU: (L, 3.0IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, BB, 2K), Bats 9-3 Win
-2008 w/ Bisons: (0-1, 9.00) (1GS, 3.0IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2K)
-2008 w/Nashville: (2-4, 6.22)(9GS, 55.0IP, 64H, 43R, 38ER, 20BB, 37K).
-2007 w/ Seattle: (7-13, 6.20)(27GS, 146.2IP, 190H, 105, 101ER, 35BB, 80K).
-2007: threw 3CG and finished 4th on Mariners with 146.2IP.
-2006 w/ STL: Won World Series Clinching Game (Game 5) vs. Detroit.
-Signed as a Free Agent on July 5, 2008.

OFF IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Last night, the Bisons started off the second half of the season in a commanding fashion. The Herd dominated all facets of the game as RHP John Halama pitched a complete game, holding the Braves scoreless until the ninth inning. The Bisons were able to put up 10 runs, receiving several clutch hits throughout the order. INF Jordan Brown hit a two-run home run in the fourth and INF Morgan Ensberg doubled home two more in the sixth. OF Todd Linden put the game away with a three-run double in the eighth inning. Buffalo also played errorless defense in the field.

HIT STREAKIN': OF Todd Linden is currently on a nine-game hit streak. Since July 7, the outfielder has averaged .389 (14-36) with six doubles and seven RBI. He knocked in a season high four last night against Richmond. The outfielder has also reached base in 28 of his last 30 games since June 15, averaging .294 (32-109) with nine doubles, three home runs and 14 walks.

ROSTER MOVE: INF Jorge Velandia has joined the Bisons today having been outrighted by the Cleveland Indians. The veteran had his contract purchased on June 12 and appeared in five games with the Tribe, hitting .375 (3-8) with a double and run scored. Velandia hit .235 (16-68) with two RBI in 16 games with the Herd prior to his promotion. INF Chris De La Cruz has been placed on the disabled list.

BISON BITS: INF Michael Aubrey is 9 for his last 18 at the plate. He has raised his batting average 28 points to .293 in the last four games…LHP John Halama threw the Bisons first nine-inning complete game last night (8H, 2R, 2ER, 3K).

For the Red, White & Blue

Athletes have told me, “one of the highest honors any athlete can be asked is to represent their country” and Jeff Stevens was no exception. Over the All Star break the Bisons closer learned of the news he’ll play for USA Baseball in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. Stevens met with members of the media at Dunn Tire Park.

Here are some other related links to learn more about Jeff Stevens:
Jeff talks about the honor: LISTEN HERE
Stats & Player Profile
Team USA Release

Can you imagine the emotional rush getting to participate in everything from the Opening Ceremonies, strolling around the Olympic Village with the world’s premier athletes and then hitting the top step of the podium as your national anthem starts to play?

Bring Home The Gold!

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