News & Notes: Game 3

bufgmday.gifTODAY’S GAME: Today, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Pawtucket Red Sox in the third game of a four-game series from Coca-Cola Field (1:05 p.m.). The Herd is still looking for their first win of the 2009 season after falling in game two of the series on Friday, 9-0. Today’s game is the third of an eight-game homestand to begin the 2009 campaign.

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OH NELLY: RHP Nelson Figueroa gets the ball today looking to get the Bisons in the win column in 2009. The 34-year old was 4-7 with a 4.43ERA in 20 games and 16 starts with New Orleans last year. The veteran is an “innings eater,” averaging 6.1 innings a start last year. He worked 7.0 innings or more in half of his starts in 2008. In 2007 with Chihuahua of the Mexican League, Figueroa pitched 10 complete games in 19 starts.

TOUGH START: The Bisons haven’t started 0-2 since the 2002 season. That year, the Herd opened up on the road with losses of 4-3 and 8-3 in Pawtucket. The Bisons rebounded to win the third game in 2002, 6-0 over the PawSox. Buffalo started the 2007 and 2008 seasons 2-0, but missed the playoffs each year.

SULLY: OF Cory Sullivan is the lone Bisons player to have a hit in each of the first two games. His 5th-inning single last night was one of the team’s two hits against PawSox pitching. Sullivan hit .320 in 94 games for Colorado Springs (AAA) last season.

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.

MEET THE METS: Last night, the Mets (2-2) fell to Florida, 5-4 in 10 innings. Jeremy Reed’s two-out RBI hit in the top of the ninth forced extra innings. Daniel Murphy, Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church all had 3 hits in the loss. John Maine started and allowed 2 runs in five innings of work. New York takes on Florida at 6:10 p.m. tonight.

~ Ben Wagner

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