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05/03/2007 Archived Entry: "AAA NEWS: Buffalo Bisons Update"

May 3, 2007: Update on the Buffalo Bisons of the International League AAA Baseball by Trent Harrison

Now this is more like it. The sun, an object that has avoided the Western New York region like most of our lawmakers, is finally peeping through the skies and warming the skins and souls of many a Buffalo die hard. Thanks to that nasty October storm, there are exactly two trees in a 75 mile radius that are still alive and properly budding, but alas, we welcome that tantilizing ball of warmth back to our hearts like an exe who we just can't quit. I tell you this only because itmakes it so much easier to talk baseball when it actually feels like baseball.
When I left you last the Buffalo Bisons were taking off on an eight game road trip going through Pawtucket and Syracuse. After dropping a 5-1 game at the opening of the trip, the Herd has gone on to win five in a row with two game left with Syracuse before they come back home for eight games in eight days starting with Pawtucket on May 5th. As the standings go, like it matters in May, the Bisons are 15-6 which has them third overall in the International League, second in the North division a half game back of the Rochester Red Wings. Hey, any group of guys that can pull off 15 wins in a month by getting a stinger on every at bat and playing defense in Carhartts are doing quite good by my standards.
So where did those 15 wins come from you ask? Well take 6 men hitting .290 or better, actually 8 but Shin Soo Choo and Ben Francisco have been called up already, and that becomes an obvious reason for the success. Five players currently have more hits than they do games played, always a plus. Seriously, this team can stroke. Keith Ginter and Ryan Mulhern are at the front of the power department with 5 homeruns apiece, but right down the order this unit can spray the ball with authority, with extra base hits being registered by each member. Add in the element of base stealing, which the Bisons have excelled at this year, and you may begin to see why this team can put some numbers up in a hurry.
Defensively, this unit has made a strong emphasis to eliminate that error bug that caught them in the first month, and this road trip has shown the changes. They have committed two errors in the last six games. Again being able to shed the parka and scarf can increase anyone's infielding capabilities.
Now just hold on a minute if your beginning to think that this team that leads the International League in runs had a rotation or bullpen you could find at a Sunday beer league game, and I say surely you jest. Led by phenom Adam Miller and Jason Stanford, both 3-0, along with Brian Slocum at 2-1, and veteran Jeff Harris at 1-1, this rotation has gotten the benefits of a good offense by being able to pitch a good six or seven innings into each game. This has given the coaches more of a chance to let the young Miller work through some jams they may not have otherwise wanted to put him through yet. Now the Fausto Carmona has been recalled from the Tribe, a steady and stable bullpen just got a little better. As a team, the Bisons have a 3.42 ERA which is fifth in the league while allowing 70 earned runs ranks them in fourth. These are the numbers to look at as a whole; 184 innings pitched, 162 hits, 160 strikeouts, and 76 walks. Very respectable indeed.
So what affect will this weather have on the Herd? Can they cope playing in games were they have to shield their eyes from the sun instead of winds and snow? When they actually hear the applause of the Bison faithful will that throw them off their game? Highly unlikely I say, for I am certain they are welcoming that great life force in the sky much in the same way the rest of Buffalo has, by getting out on their grass and soaking in the sights and smells that is springtime in the B-lo!!!

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