Strasburg, Chiefs shut down Bisons
In front of a packed house at Coca-Cola field, Syracuse Chiefs starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg showed Buffalo why he was worthy of the number one draft pick in the 2009 MLB Entry Draft. Strasburg pitched five masterful innings, allowing only three hits and no runs in his last minor league start.
Strasburg showed his famous fastball early and often. Topping off at 99 mph and keeping it in the upper nineties for the majority of the day, Strasburg was able to blow his fastball by the Herd for five strikeouts. Strasburg was able to keep the Herd off balance for the good portion of his start by using his fastball and then mixing it up with his breaking ball which was kept in the low eighties and even reached 79 mph.
He was also able to keep the International League’s leader in home runs and RBI, third baseman Mike Hessman in check. Strasburg was able to keep the “Loch-Hess” Monster at bay by striking out Hessman and getting him to fly out in the two at-bats they faced each other. Hessman eventually went 0-4 on the day.
Strasburg was able to get run support from his teammates early when second baseman Pete Orr hit a two run home run in the second inning to take the lead, one the Chiefs would not relinquish for the rest of the game. Orr hit his seventh home run of the season on a 3-2 pitch from Bisons starting pitcher Dillon Gee over the right field wall to give the Chiefs a 2-0 early lead.
Strasburg was even able to help out his own cause when he singled to center off of Gee in the fifth inning. He was then driven home when Chase Lambin grounded back to the pitcher, allowing Strasburg to score.
Gee, the Bisons leader in wins and strikeouts on the season pitched six innings and allowed seven hits in the losing effort. In his six innings of work the Chiefs were able to score five runs on Gee, but due to two errors by Bisons first baseman Mike Jacobs only two runs were earned. Gee had a great command of the strike zone however, by punching out seven batters and improving on his total for strikeouts to 61 for the year.
Strasburg left the game after the fifth inning, throwing 89 pitches on the day with 54 of them being for strikes. Strasburg ended his tour through the Minor Leagues with a 4-1 record and a 1.08 ERA in his six starts in Triple A.
After Strasburg had left the game the Herd were still unable to produce any offense. The only run the Bisons would score would come in the eighth inning after center fielder Jesus Feliciano hit a two-out double to extend the inning. Feliciano was then driven home by a single from second baseman Justin Turner for his eleventh RBI of the season.
Feliciano provided the majority of the offense for the Herd on the day. Feliciano collected two of the five hits the Bisons had as a team as he went 2-4 on the day and improved his league leading batting average to .388.
The loss now drops the Herd to 30-24 on the season and now they now trail the Chiefs by 2.5 games for the division lead.