The bus breaks squelched outside the team hotel shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday morning, ending a six hour jaunt from Pawtucket, R.I. to Rochester where the Bisons will take the field for the final two games of season against their Thruway rival.
This trip started with dominating pitching and ended with a relentless offensive slug fest – both on the good side for the Herd taking the first two of the final four. Impressive how the Bisons have been able to battle Pawtucket, a playoff bound club, all season long. The Bisons took 10 of the 16 games this season and collected their third straight 10-win season against the PawSox.
On to Rochester, the ‘thorn in the side’ of the Bisons for majority of the season. Games that looked like wins didn’t materialize, error plagued marathons carried long into the night and until recently the Bisons had to stop a seven game skid against the ‘Wings.
TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Rochester Red Wings in the first game of a two-game series from Frontier Field (7:05 p.m.). The Herd is on a three-game win streak as they enter the final two-game series of the season. On the mound tonight for Buffalo is LHP John Halama. The southpaw has lost two straight starts but was named the Bisons 2008 Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher on Wednesday. The Red Wings will counter with RHP Anthony Swarzak.
TONIGHT’S STARTER:John Halama
-Last Game: 8/26 vSWB: (L, 7.0IP, 9H, 9R, 7ER, 3BB, 2K), Bisons’ 9-1 Loss.
-Named Bisons 2008 Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher
-2008 w/ Bisons: (8-6, 4.74)(15GS, 2CG, 100.2IP, 115H, 59R, 53ER, 17BB, 41K).
-2008 w/ So. Maryland (IND): (4-1, 1.88)(8GS, 56.2IP, 47H, 13R, 12ER, 8BB, 48K).
-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.
BURST THEIR BUBBLES: RHP Bubbie Buzachero has collected a save on each of the last three days. He now has 10 saves on the season, with nine of them coming in the month of August. Buzachero has posted a 0.71ERA in his last 13 appearances. Since July 29, he has allowed just seven hits and struck out seven in 12.2 innings of work.
COUNT ON BROWN: While 10 different Bisons batters collected a hit in the team’s 18-hit performance last night, INF Jordan Brown led the way. Brown went 3-6 with a double, a home run and three RBI. The double was Brown’s team-leading 30th of the season, while he also became the second Herd batter to drive in 50 runs this season. He has now hit in seven of his last eight games, with a .364 average (12-33) since August 19.
EVERYDAY ANDY: All INF Andy Cannizaro has done since joining the Bisons is hit. Last night, the infielder went 2-4 with a home run and two runs scored. Acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay on August 4, Cannizaro has reached base safely in 20 of 23 games with the team. He’s averaged .316 (24-76) with four doubles, three home runs and 13RBI. In 51 games with Durham this year, Cannizaro hit .240 with one home run and 14RBI.
PRONK: DH Travis Hafner went 1-3 last night and drove in the game’s first run. In six games with the team, “Pronk” is hitting .316 (6-19) with three doubles and four RBI. Hafner has also scored three runs and failed to reach base in just one of his six games with the Bisons.
ROSTER MOVE: INF Jorge Velandia was traded today by the Indians to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations. Velandia hit .209 with three doubles and eight RBI in 52 games with the Bisons this season.
Have three minutes? Spend it watching the season end Fan Tribute video from BisonsVision on Bisons.com. Linked here, as part of the homepage features on Bisons.com.
From the long ball to Little Leaguers at the ballpark there were great moments on and off the field and it’s a fitting sendoff into the off season for you, the Bisons Fan.
I think it was wonderfully done by the Bisons’ Matt Lasota and his army of production gurus, set to O.A.R’s “This Town.”
The Bisons are 9-6 against Pawtucket this year and have already clinched the season-series win. Tonight, Buffalo will go for their third straight 10-win season against the PawSox. The Bisons have won 18 of their last 27 games against Boston’s Triple-A affiliate. That includes an 9-5 record in their last 14 games at McCoy Stadium.
TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Pawtucket Red Sox in the final game of a two-game series from McCoy Stadium (6:05 p.m.). The Herd is looking for the two-game sweep following a 2-0 shutout victory last night. After tonight’s game, the team will travel to Rochester for a two-game set with the Red Wings to conclude the 2008 season. On the mound today for Buffalo will be LHP Aaron Laffey. The southpaw suffered just his second loss of the season on Monday, falling in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Red Sox will counter with RHP Eric Hull.
TODAY’S STARTER: Aaron Laffey
-Last Game: 8/25 @SWB: (L, 5.2IP, 16H, 7R, 7ER, 2K), Bisons’ 7-2 Loss.
-2008 w/ Bisons: (6-2, 3.65ERA)(10GS, 56.2IP, 61H, 26R, 23ER, 16BB, 45K).
-2008 w/ Cleveland: (5-7, 4.23)(93.2IP, 103H, 52R, 44ER, 31BB, 41K).
-2007 w/ Bisons: (9-3, 3.3.08)(16G, 96.1IP, 89H, 36R, 33ER, 23BB, 75K).
-2007 Bisons Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher (Buffalo 13-3 when he pitched).
-2007 Indians Bob Feller Minor League Pitcher of the Year (13-4, 2.88ERA).
-Selected in the 16th round (468th overall) of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft.
DOMINATING STUFF: LHP Scott Lewis and three relievers combined on last night’s three-hit shutout. The group faced just one more than the minimum, giving up three singles and no walks while getting a pair of doubleplays. Lewis worked six innings and struck out six. RHP Jeff Stevens, LHP Rich Rundles and RHP Bubbie Buzachero each threw an inning of shutout relief. It was the Bisons 10th shutout this year (T4th in IL). Buffalo’s 3.76ERA as a team is the third lowest in the league.
BURST THEIR BUBBLES: RHP Bubbie Buzachero has excelled in the closer role and has closed out nine straight games for the Herd. Buzachero has now posted a 0.77ERA in his last 12 appearances. Since July 29, he has allowed just seven hits and struck out seven in 11.2 innings of work.
BISONS BITS: RHP Preston Larrison has thrown 11 consecutive scoreless outings, a streak that began on August 1 (11.1IP, 10H, 11K)…OF Todd Linden hit his team-leading 14th home run of the season last night…RHP Jeff Stevens made his first Bisons appearance last night since winning a bronze medal with Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
The Buffalo Bisons will open the 124th season of professional baseball in Buffalo at home against the Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston Red Sox) on Thursday, April 9 at Dunn Tire Park. The game will be part of an eight-game homestand with the first four games against the PawSox and the last four (April 13-16) against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.
2009 Schedule Highlights
Two great Buffalo Bisons traditions will become one on July 3, 2009 against the Rochester Red Wings. On a fridaynightbash!®, the Bisons will host their 15th Annual Independence Eve Concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and the largest fireworks show of the year. In the previous 14 years, the event has drawn over a quarter of a million fans.
The Bisons will begin the home portion of the 2009 Thruway Series when the Syracuse Chiefs come to Dunn Tire Park on Friday, April 24. In its 12th year, the Thruway Series features the three Triple-A teams located in New York state. The team with the best winning percentage in head-to-head competition wins the Thruway Cup.
The Gwinnett Braves, the new Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, will make their first visit to Dunn Tire Park from May 12-15. The Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, will play eight games in Buffalo (April 13-16, July 7-8, September 2-3).
All season long we talk about the long haul and the grind of the season. Buffalo starts a two stop tour for the final four games of the year, opening tonight against playoff bound Pawtucket and then closing against rival Rochester.
Travis Hafner is not in the lineup tonight but he will be tomorrow. Josh Barfield will hit as the DH in his return-to-play program. Victor Martinez is back with the Tribe tonight, ending his assignment with the Herd. To allow room for Martinez on the roster the Indians designated INF ANDY GONZALEZ for assignment.
Martinez has been on the disabled list since June 12 and underwent surgery on his right elbow the following day. He began a 20-day rehab assignment on August 15 and appeared in 8 games at AA Akron and AAA Buffalo (.308, 8-26, HR, 3RBI) before today’s activation. Martinez hit .278 (55-198) with 11 doubles & 21 RBI in 54 games (.333SLG, .332 on-base) prior to going on the DL in June. It marked his second career stint on the Major League DL, his first since the 2003 season.
Gonzalez has been with the Indians since July 26 and appeared in 10 games (5-24, .208)
TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Pawtucket Red Sox in the first game of a two-game series from McCoy Stadium (7:05 p.m.). This is the start of the final four-game roadtrip of the season for the Herd. On Sunday, the team will travel to Rochester for a two-game set with the Red Wings to conclude the 2008 season. On the mound today for Buffalo will be LHP Scott Lewis. In just his third Triple-A start, the southpaw threw a complete game in a 2-0 loss in Scranton/Wilkes-Bare on Sunday. The Red Sox will counter with RHP Charlie Zink.
TODAY’S STARTER: Scott Lewis
-Last Game: 8/24 @SWB: (L, CG, 8.0IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 8K), Bisons’ 2-0 loss.
-2008 w / Bisons: (1-2, 3.50ERA)(3GS, 1CG, 18.0IP, 17H, 8R, 7ER, 4BB, 15K)
-2008 w/ Akron: (6-2, 2.33ERA)(13GS, 73.1IP, 62H, 22R, 19ER, 9BB, 61K).
-2007 w/ Akron: (7-9, 3.68)(27G, 25GS, 134.2IP, 135H, 58R, 55ER, 34BB, 121K).
-2006 w/ Kinston: (3-3, 1.48)(26G, 26GS, 115.2IP, 84H, 24R, 19ER, 28BB, 123K).
-2006 VYTORIN Most Spectacular Pitcher Award -lowest ERA in domestic leagues.
-Selected in the 3rd round (77th overall) of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.
VS. PAWSOX: The Bisons are 8-6 against Pawtucket this year and can clinch the season-series with a win tonight. It would be the third consecutive year the Herd has collected the series victory. The Bisons have won 17 of their last 26 games against Boston’s Triple-A affiliate. That includes an 8-5 record in their last 13 games at McCoy Stadium.
COMPLETE EFFORT: LHP Scott Lewis is coming off a complete-game performance in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday -just the Bisons fourth complete game of the season. Lewis delivered eight fantastic innings in just his third Triple-A start and struck out eight without issuing a walk. Unfortunately, a two-run home run from Yankees’ Ben Broussard gave Scranton/WB the offense they needed for a 2-0 win. Lewis now has a 3.50ERA in his first three starts with the Bisons.
ROSTER MOVE: C Victor Martinez has been activated and promoted to the Cleveland Indians. Martinez had been with the Bisons for 10 days on a major league rehab assignment after elbow surgery in June. Martinez hit .300 (6-20) with two doubles and four RBI in six starts with the Bisons.
MVP: Bisons 2008 MVP, OF Todd Linden went 2-4 with a double and an RBI yesterday. The switch-hitter has failed to reach base in only 12 of 86 games while leading the club in home runs (13), walks (51), on-base percentage (.386) and slugging percentage (.476). A clutch performer, Linden has averaged .348 (32-92, 36RBI) with runners in scoring position.