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04/26/2007 Archived Entry: "April 26, 2007: AAA News-Buffalo Bisons"

News and notes regarding the Buffalo Bisons, triple-A affiliate to the Cleveland Indians- By Trent Harrison

It is so hard to get to catch a Bisons game in Buffalo this year. I mean, with all the hoopla with the Buffalo Sabres, oh and the ridiculous weather we've been having, getting a ticket to a Bisons game is easy, getting to watch a game is another story.
Well, let me once again report that two more games were postponed this week, one against Syracuse and one against Pawtucket, whose population strongly denies any relationships with the men from neighboring Nantucket, and those games will be made up when they come back around in July. Hopefully the Ice Boom is out of the river by then( you former locals will get that one). The Bisons are 10-5, good for second in their division. They will kick off an eight game road trip on the 26th, with four games in Pawtucket and four in Syracuse.
On to the team itself. Well congrats to Shin-Soo Choo for becoming the first call up to the Indians this year, although as the outfield goes, I'm not sure why Franklin Gutierrez or Ben Francisco did not get the nod. Must have been one of those gut feelings I guess. Regardless, when the Bisons do get around to play games their offense has been just what manager Torey Lovullo had wanted. There is a potent mix of power and speed in this lineup. They don't have anyone really showing of homerun prowess, but this whole team can hit doubles and steal bases, which can get an opposing pitcher off his game and in the showers before he knows it. They have scored five or more runs six times this year. They have also stolen twenty bases now, which for some unexplained correlation is also the error total.
If you've seen this team at all, then you know that Gutierrez and Francisco are the pulse of the team. With Choo gone Brad Snyder and Jason Cooper will platoon in right, but the team feeds off the other two, who will be in the bigs soon enough. Hector Luna at second and Luis Rivas at short have put up some impressive offensive numbers, but they need to shore up that infield and seriously cut back on their errors to provide some stability for the pitchers. Ryan Mulhern is having another fine year at first(.271 avg., 3HR, 12 RBI).Keith Ginter at third has some impressive at-bats, he needs to be more selective at the plate. Instability at third up in the Indians clubhouse might have this guy a little to antsy, maybe trying too hard to induce a call up with his name on it.
The pitching staff that the Bisons are utilizing this year has proved to be a worthy crew, with eight out of ten wins credited to the starting rotation. Adam Miller and Jason Stanford are still at the forefront here, Stanford improving to 3-0 with a win Tuesday night. Miller's scheduled start had been postponed but will get the nod for tonight's game at Pawtucket. Stanfords numbers are getting to be scary; 18 innings, 17 K's, 7 BB's, and only 2 earned runs. Rafael Perez, Jeff Harris, and Brian Slocum all have victories as starters, with Slocum on the wrong end of a couple five inning, five run starts that can really fudge the books up, so to speak. Ed Mujica has settled nicely into the closing duties, recording five saves and ten strikeouts in eight innings of work, hey he's only allowed three hits so far.
These guys are talented, but still have much to learn and work on. They are young, but have game experience and a nice mix of leaders who have been around. They are learning how to win, and more importantly how not to lose. That may sound like I'm just making phrases up, but remember, talent can't be taught, but winning can. Let's see how the boys do after their road trip.
Hope you enjoy the posts, with a little help, I plan on bringing you all more access to the players and the games to keep you all abreast on how the Bisons are faring throughout the summer, whenever the hell that gets here!

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