News & Notes: Game 4
TODAY’S GAME: Today, the Buffalo Bisons take on the Pawtucket Red Sox in the final game of a four-game series from Coca-Cola Field (1:05 p.m.). The Herd is hoping to avoid a sweep at the hands of the PawSox, having lost the first three games of the season by a combined score of 16-4. Today’s game is the fourth of an eight-game homestand to begin the 2009 campaign. Tomorrow, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees come in for a four-game series.
CASEY AT THE MOUND: The Bisons will turn to a former Pawtucket pitcher to get them in the win column today. LHP Casey Fossum gets his first start of the season today. The veteran started the 2008 season in the International League, but didn’t last long. After going 3-0 with a 1.96ERA in 11 games with Toledo, he was quickly promoted to Detroit for the remainder of the season. With the Mud Hens, Fossum threw 48 strikeouts in just 46.0 innings of work.
TOUGH START: This is the first time the Bisons have started 0-3 since the 1987 season, back when the team played at War Memorial Stadium. That Bisons team went 0-6. The Bisons also need a win today to avoid a four-game sweep at home. Last year’s Herd club was swept twice at home, by Syracuse (April 15-18) and Louisville (July 10-13).
SULLY STREAK: OF Cory Sullivan is the lone Bisons player to have a hit in each of the team’s first three games. He is now 3-10 in the early going with a double and an RBI. 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: Jose Reyes doubled, homered and drove in his first three runs of the season as the Mets (3-2) bested Florida last night, 8-4. Carlos Delgado chipped in three hits and is hitting .421 in the early going. Livan Hernandez got the win with six solid innings, allowing a pair of runs on six hits while striking out four.