Bisons coast into Fridaynightbash! with doubleheader sweep
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • August 08, 2013 @ 11:23pm
With one month of regular season baseball remaining, the Buffalo Bisons have reached a pivotal stretch—and the first of three straight weeks of Fridaynightbash! parties comes at a terrific time for meaningful late-summer entertainment.
Fresh off a doubleheader sweep of Scranton Wilkes-Barre—the Yankees’ Triple-A club—the Buffalo Bisons (61-57) face the RailRiders (57-63) yet again at 7:05 p.m. Friday on “Pajama Night” at Coca-Cola Field. You can snag tickets, which run for $12 general admission and $10 for the left-field bleachers, here.
The usual Fridaynightbash! pre-game festivities—14-oz. Flying Bison beers for $2 and BW’s Barbeque specials during happy hour—set the stage for nine innings of baseball and a pajama party that extends long after the game.
Families are encouraged to arrive downtown in their pajamas and bring tents to sleep overnight on the outfield grass of Coca-Cola Field—a movie will play on the largest HD video board in all of minor league baseball after the post-game fireworks conclude.
Heading into Friday’s action, the Bisons sit in second place in the International League North, leading the Pawtucket Red Sox by a half-game while trailing first-place Rochester by 3.5. Buffalo is still easily within striking distance of winning the division, but the hunt for the lone IL wild-card spot is equally as intense—Marty Brown’s Bisons are knotted with the Norfolk Tides of the IL South.
On a rehab assignment from the Bisons’ parent club, Toronto, starter Drew Hutchison (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will take the mound for Buffalo against Scranton’s Brett Marshall (5-9, 5.45 ERA).
Once considered one of Toronto’s top prospects, Hutchison was sidelined for a full calendar year due to Tommy John Surgery after going 5-3 with a 4.60 ERA in 11 starts with the parent club. After five appearances in the lower minors, Hutchison’s first true test comes Friday to determine how far he’s come since the injury.
It’s worth keeping an eye on how deep into the game Bisons’ manager Marty Brown allows Hutchison to pitch—with Brad Lincoln and Neil Wagner recently recalled to Toronto, the Bisons’ bullpen trots out some rather untested relievers.
Joel Carreno, Jeremy Jeffress and valuable long-reliever Buddy Carlyle should all see extra innings in the season’s final month.
Notable names on the Yankees’ Triple-A club include slugging first baseman Dan Johnson (20 home runs), starting pitcher Michael Pineda (an AL All-Star last year), reliever Mark Montgomery and former MLBers Brett Lillibridge and Corey Patterson. Recently suspended former Bison Fernando Martinez, who was named in the Biogenesis scandal, was also property of Scranton.
In Thursday’s wins, Buffalo rode the hot bat of Moises Sierra (3-3, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs) to take the opener 5-2, then relied on the arms of Bobby Korecky, John Stilson and Mickey Storey to win the nightcap 2-1 in a pitchers’ duel. A two-run double by Bisons’ third baseman Andy LaRoche was all that the Herd would need to pull out the ‘W’.
(Photos courtesy of Don Nieman from a game earlier this year vs. the Toledo Mud Hens—see the full gallery).