News & Notes: Game 2
Tonight, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Pawtucket Red Sox in the second game of a four-game series from Coca-Cola Field (6:05 p.m.). The Herd is looking to rebound from a 6-4 defeat in the season-opener, yesterday afternoon. Today’s game is the second of an eight-game homestand to begin the 2009 campaign. On Monday, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees come in for a four-game series. RHP Dillon Gee will make his Triple-A debut tonight against the PawSox RHP Michael Bowden.
VS PAWSOX: The Bisons have had some recent success against their IL North division rival. The Herd has won the last three season series against the PawSox, all by a 10-6 margin. The Bisons ended the 2008 campaign with victories in five of their last six games against the Red Sox. At Coca-Cola Field, Buffalo is 16-9 in their last 25 games hosting Pawtucket, dating back to 2006.
GOSH GOLLY GEE: RHP Dillon Gee will make his Triple-A debut tonight. The starter is in just his third season of professional baseball after being drafted by the Mets in the 21st round in 2007. Gee was 10-6 with a 2.91ERA in 25 starts between St. Lucie (A) and Binghamton (AA) a season ago.
F-MART: It was an impressive Bisons’ debut for 20-year old Fernando Martinez. The outfielder was 2-4 yesterday with a double and triple. The Mets #1 prospect by Baseball America is the youngest Buffalo player in over 15 years. He is just 20 years, 179 days old today.
RIGHT BACK AT-CHA: A couple of Bisons had good games against their former team yesterday. RHP Kyle Snyder hurled three shutout innings and struck out three PawSox batters. He pitched 17 games for Pawtucket in 2006/2008. OF Bobby Kielty had two hits in four at-bats in his Herd debut. He played 28 games for the PawSox in 2007-2008. The Bisons roster features another pair of former Pawtucket players in Sunday’s starter LHP Casey Fossum and LHP Jon Switzer.
BULLY FOR THE PEN: RHP Kyle Snyder’s three-innings of work highlighted a solid bullpen effort from the Bisons yesterday. Four Herd relievers combined to allow just one run in seven innings. RHP Connor Robertson, RHP Eddie Kunz and LHP Ken Takahashi also got into yesterday’s season opener.
MAJOR EXPERIENCE: The Bisons Opening Day roster features 17 players who have played in the major leagues during their career (71%). Additionally, 14 of those players appeared in a big league game last year. INF Rob Mackowiak leads the club with 856 big league games while RHP Elmer Dessens leads all Bisons pitchers with 360 major league appearances.
THE UP AND COMERS: The Bisons Opening Day roster contains 5 of the Mets top prospects, according to Baseball America. Headlining the list is New York’s top prospect, OF Fernando Martinez. LHP Jonathon Niese (#3), INF Nick Evans (#9), RHP Eddie Kunz (#10) and RHP Dillon Gee (#17) are also in BA’s Mets Top 20.