September 2010

Bisons lose home finale, playoff dream

Thursday night wasn’t the way the Bisons had hoped to end the home portion of the 2010 season.

A great year on and off the field in downtown Buffalo concluded on a sour note in front of 15,539 at Coca-Cola Field. The Herd lost to the Yankees, 9-2, and saw their slight playoff chances officially come to and end.

The final game was in no way indicative of the previous 71 contests played in front of minor league baseball’s best fans. The Herd had 11 walk-off victories, including four via a home run. Maybe none was more memorable than Fernando Martinez’ grand slam winner on June 14 at Lehigh Valley.

Herd fans got to see great offensive performances. Valentino Pascucci’s three-home run game, just the park’s third ever. Lucas Duda splashed onto the scene in mid June and hit home runs in a record-tying five straight games. Jesus Feliciano had 13 hits in one, four-game series against Toledo.

On the mound, it was almost perfection for R.A. Dickey on April 29 against Durham. He allowed a hit to the first batter he faced, then retired the next 27.

It was a great season at home for the Bisons, who finished the year with 42 victories at Coca-Cola Field. Along the way, more than 570,000 fans came through the turnstiles as enjoyed great events like the Independence Eve Celebration, Star Wars night and each and every fridaynightbash!

Unfortunately, the final chapter to the 2010 season will be a missed post season. The Herd was officially eliminated as the Yankees jumped out to a 7-0 lead with four runs in the third and three in the fourth against Bisons’ ace Dillon Gee. Despite the loss, Gee still finished with 13 wins on the season and Triple-A best total of 165 strikeouts.

As has been the Bisons appeal all season, the Herd fought to the final out. The team scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth, on an RBI grounder by Mike Cervenak and J.R. House’s RBI-single.

The Bisons will conclude the 2010 with four road games. The team will play Lehigh Valley for two before ending the season with two games in Rochester.

BISONS NOTES: The Bisons finished with a 42-30 record at Coca-Cola Field. It was the club’s best home record since going 43-29 during the 2006 campaign…Before the game, the team named Lucas Duda the 2010 Most Valuable Player. Pat Misch was named the team’s Most Valuable Pitcher.

News & Notes: Game 140

Buffalo Bisons
73-66, 3rd(-10.5)
RHP Dillon Gee 13-7, 4.69

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees
83-55, 1st
LHP Kei Igawa 2-4, 4.71

Thursday, September 2, 2010
Coca-Cola Field – Buffalo, NY

TV: Time Warner Cable -Channel 87
Radio: WWKB AM 1520,

TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the final game of a three-game set from Coca-Cola Field (6:05 p.m.). Tonight’s game is also the Herd’s final home game of the 2010 season. Tomorrow, the Bisons leave for a season-ending four-game roadtrip with two games in Lehigh Valley and two in Rochester.

WILD RACE: The Bisons are now 4.5 games behind Louisville in the IL Wild Card race with five games to play. The Herd needs to win all five of its games and have either Louisville or Columbus lose all five of their remaining contests to get into this year’s IL playoffs.

vs. YANKS: Tonight’s games is the Bisons final match-up with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Herd is 8-7 against the IL North Division champs, including a 3-4 record against the Yanks at home. In three starts against the Yankees, RHP DILLON GEE is 2-0 with a 0.00ERA and 23 strikeouts in only 18.2 innings.

HOME SWEET HOME: Tonight is the Bisons final home game of the season. The Herd is 42-29 at Coca-Cola Field, tied for the 3rd-most home wins in the International League. It’s also Buffalo’s best record at home since going 43-29 during the 2006 campaign. In 71 home games, the Bisons have hit .278 with 79 home runs and 356 runs scored (5.1 runs/game).

GOSH GOLLY: RHP DILLON GEE gets one more start to add to his impressive strikeout total. Gee has 161 punchouts on the year, 23 more than any other pitcher at the Triple-A level. Gee already has 24 more K’s than the previous season-high for a Bisons pitcher in the modern era (Vicente Palacios, 137, 1990). Overall, Gee ranks tied for 1st in the IL in starts (27), 2nd in wins (13) and 3rd in innings pitched (157.1). The Bisons are 19-8 when Gee starts.

TURN IT UP: Between Tuesday night’s game and last night’s first game, INF JUSTIN TURNER fell a triple shy of the cycle in back-to-back contests. On the season, the infielder has averaged .334 (96-287) with 21 doubles, 10 home runs and 34RBI in 73 games with Herd. Add his time with Norfolk to start the year and Turner’s .315 batting average is the 5th highest mark in the IL.

METS UPDATE: The Mets (65-68) lost to the Braves, 4-1, in Atlanta last night. OF LUCAS DUDA went 0-3 in his major league debut for New York. The Mets were held to just two hits on the night. Today, the Mets announced that they have selected the contract of C MIKE NICKEAS from the Bisons. Nickeas hit .214 (6-28) in seven games with the Herd. The Mets take on the Braves tonight at 7:10 p.m.

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Playoffs look bleak after split

The Herd got one win on Wednesday night, but they desperately needed two.

The Bisons split a doubleheader with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in front of 8,891 at Coca-Cola Field and now are on the brink of elimination from post season consideration. The Herd won the first game, 4-3, before dropping the night cap 4-1.

On the out of town scoreboard, Louisville and Columbus both collected wins. While Buffalo needs to only catch one of the two teams (as one will win the IL West division), one victory by both the Bats and the Clippers will eliminate the Herd from the playoffs.

All three teams have five games left in the regular season.

The Bisons got off on the right foot in the game one victory with runs in three of the first four innings. Justin Turner put the Herd on the board with his 11th home run of the season -10th with the Bisons- one out into the first.

Turner is the eighth Bison with 10 home runs on the season. Last year, Nick Evans was the only Buffalo batter to reach double digits.

Triple-A rookie Zach Lutz and J.R. House plated runs in the second and Turner doubled home Feliciano in the fourth for the 4-0 lead.

The Bisons held on as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre scored three runs in the fifth inning. Raul Valdes worked five innings to improve his record to 2-1 while southpaw Mike O’Connor pitched the final two frames for his fifth save of the year.

The Yanks bounced back to take game two as IL All-Star Jesus Montero went 3-4 with a first inning home run and a RBI-single in the third inning. The Bisons scored their lone run in the sixth inning on Russ Adam’s 15th home run of the season.

Josh Stinson (1-2) took the loss in game two. He allowed four runs in six innings of work.

BISONS NOTES: Prior to the games, the Bisons added INF Zach Lutz from Double-A Binghamton. Lutz went 1-3 with an RBI-double in his Triple-A debut…Russ Adams now has 56RBI on the season. That’s just two RBI shy of Mike Hessman for the team-high in 2010…Jesus Feliciano went 3-8 in the two games combined.

News & Notes: Game 138/139

Buffalo Bisons
72-65, T2nd(-10.5)
G1: LHP Raul Valdes 1-1, 2.61
G2: RHP Josh Stinson 1-1, 2.08

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees
82-54, 1st(+10.5)
G1: RHP John Van Benschoten 2-0, 4.05
G2: RHP Hector Noesi 1-0, 6.00

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Coca-Cola Field – Buffalo, NY

TV: Time Warner Cable SportsNet 13
Radio: WWKB AM 1520,

TODAY’S GAME: Tonight, the Bisons take on the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in the first two games of a three-game series from Coca-Cola Field (Game 1: 5:35 p.m.). The Herd was swept in a two-game set by Syracuse to begin this homestand. Buffalo has lost four straight games. Tomorrow, the Bisons will host the Yankees in the final home game of the 2010 season. The Herd ends the season with two games in Lehigh Valley and two in Rochester.

WILD RACE: The Bisons are now tied with Syracuse, four games back of Louisville for the league’s lone Wild Card race. The Bats, meanwhile, are now a half-game back of Columbus for the IL West title. The Bisons have seven games left while Syracuse and Louisville have six each.

vs. YANKS: The Bisons are 7-6 against the IL North Division champs. The Herd won five of eight at PNC Field and is 2-3 against the Yankees at home. Buffalo split a four-game set with the Yanks at Coca-Cola Field, April 17-20. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre won the lone game of a rain-shortened two-game series with a 10-7 win on July 8.

DOUBLE DIP: The Bisons are playing just their third doubleheader of the season, all of which have come in the last 11 days. The Herd was swept in a pair of games by Pawtucket on August 22 (2-9, 5-7). Buffalo split a twin bill the Yankees at PNC Field on Saturday, winning 4-0 and losing 2-1.

TURN IT UP: In just his second game since missing nine games with a knee injury, INF JUSTIN TURNER went 3-3 with a double and his 10th home run of the season. Turner has hit .311 between the Bisons and Norfolk, the 5th highest average in the International League. With the Herd, Turner has hit .332 (93-280) with 20 doubles, nine homers and 53 runs scored in 71 games.

BISONS BITS: INF NICK EVANS has reached base safely in 30 of his 32 games with the Herd since his promotion. Evans sports a .317 batting average and a .387 on-base percentage with Buffalo…OF KIRK NIEUWENHUIS has six outfield assists in only 23 starts with the Bisons…RHP DILLON GEE leads all of Triple-A baseball with 161 strikeouts.

METS UPDATE: The Mets (65-67) lost to the Braves, 9-2, last night. After the game, New York promoted OF LUCAS DUDA and RHP JENRRY MEJIA from the Bisons. Duda will be making his major league debut after .314 with 23 doubles, 17 home runs and 53RBI in 70 games with the Herd. Mejia made one start for Buffalo, striking out nine in eight innings of a no-decision on Monday against Syracuse.

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