Five Game Swing through WNY and PA
Buffalo, N.Y. – Today the Chiefs begin a five game road trip
against three different teams. First, they’ll play two against the Bisons at
Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo. Then, it’s off to All-Star, er Lehigh Valley for
two games against the Iron Pigs and a one-day stop in the Electric City:
Today as we arrived in Buffalo, we stopped quickly at the
team hotel to drop off our stuff and then headed over to the ballpark. It’s
kind of like a sleepover. We come in for the day, have some fun while watching
a baseball game, spend the night, and then after the second game it’s back on
the road again. We’re hoping to avoid weather similar to our last stop. (Hint:
It included a one hour, fifty-eight minute rain delay.) Although last time we were
in town, I got to do a great International League Man vs. Food eating fried
bologna sandwiches…that was great fun.
Buffalo’s in a bit of a rough stretch at the moment. The
Herd has lost seven of its last ten and has dropped in the standings, as well.
When Syracuse left Buffalo on June 3rd, the Bisons were 2 ½ games
out of first place. Today, they’re seven back of first place
Scranton-Wilkes/Barre. The Bisons lost a tough game in their series finale at
Charlotte by a 13-12 final.
Their starter for the series opener, Dillon Gee, lost his
last outing going just three innings and giving up seven runs. In the start
before that, the bullpen lost the game for him giving up six tenth inning runs.
On top of that, the last time Gee started against the Chiefs, it was against
Stephen Strasburg in a game Syracuse won 7-1.
The Bisons have also been thinned a bit since the last time
these two teams met. They’re without second baseman Daniel Murphy (injury),
outfielder Jesus Feliciano (with the Mets), Josh Thole (with the Mets), and
infielder Mike Hessman (DL). Buffalo was also leading the league in average
when the Chiefs last came through–now they’re third at .275.
So things have certainly changed in the few weeks since the
Chiefs and Bisons have met. On Tuesday we’ll see Erik Arnesen start for Syracuse
against Dillon Gee.
After two in Buffalo, it’s off to Allentown, PA to take on
the IronPigs for the first time since April 17th-20th. It
was very frigid weather then, and I’m looking forward to wearing short sleeves
rather than my winter coat.
Fifth place Lehigh Valley has struggled lately, as well. The
‘Pigs have won four of their last ten, but in all fairness only
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has a winning record in that same time span looking at IL
Lehigh Valley took a tough loss on Monday night to Durham on
a walk-off two run double. It was the eighth walk-off of the season against
Their roster has changed quite a bit recently. On Tuesday,
Greg Dobbs had his contract purchased by Philadelphia, Brian Bocock was
recalled by the Phillies, Willy Taveras was released from the organization,
J.A. Happ was assigned to Lehigh Valley on a Major League rehab assignment, and
Neil Sellers and Ty Taubenheim were promoted from Double-A Reading to Lehigh
Valley. W-O-A-H. Do not attempt to read that sentence aloud in one breath…you
will not survive. In other words, they lost some talent, got some talent, and
also got a former Chief. Taubenheim pitched with Syracuse in 2006 and 2007.
Another former Chief, Rich Thompson (Syracuse ’01, ’03) was
with Lehigh Valley earlier in the year but is currently with Double-A Reading.
It’s now the start of a long, “momentous, promotion-crammed,
eight-game homestand at Coca-Cola Park” for the
IronPigs including three games against Rochester (losers of nine of ten), two
against Syracuse, and four against Pawtucket.
Lastly, the Chiefs will play a one-game series at
Scranton/Wilkes Barre on July 3rd. The Yankees have re-taken the IL
North division lead and as of Tuesday lead Syracuse by ½ game.
The Yankees just finished a four game sweep against the Red
Wings and have won five straight after taking the series finale against
Pawtucket on June 23rd.
Former Chief Eric Bruntlett–released earlier this month by
Washington–has caught on with the Yankees and despite being off to a 7-43
(.163) start in 12 games, had drawn praise as of late from Yankees manager Dave
“Bruntlett had a good
day. Before we got him, he had quite a bit of time off. He was a little rusty
and his timing was off a little bit.”
No word yet on what the
pitching matchup will be in that series.
One last pitching note
today as well–the Nationals have recalled pitcher Craig Stammen to start on
Tuesday night against the Atlanta Braves. They placed reliever Tyler Walker on the DL. Stammen pitched very well filling
the spot left by Stephen Strasburg in the Syracuse rotation going 2-0 with a
2.25 ERA in three starts.
To fill Stammen’s spot on
the roster, the Chiefs have activated relief pitcher Jesse English off the
disabled list. His last outing was on May 23rd against Toledo and he
was officially placed on the DL May 25th. It’s good to see him back to
help bolster an already very strong Syracuse bullpen.
That’s all for now as we
get ready to start the series here in Buffalo. Be sure to check out our YouTube
page as we’ll be starting a new series called, “What’s in Your Scorebook?”,
where we detail the intricacies of how broadcasters score the game. We’ll also
be doing a brand new edition of IL Man vs. Food from Lehigh Valley where I’ll
be trying out their pork nachos. Be afraid, be very afraid (for me, not for
yourself of course).
We owe a big thank you to everyone from the Chiefs front office who helped us with our first outdoor broadcast of the season on Sunday. Mike Voutsinas and Josh Jones for helping us to set up, Wendy and Ariel Shoen for providing us with great interviews and umbrellas, and all of the fans who stopped by. We also got to meet Russ Haynes, the dad of Chiefs bullpen catcher Chris Haynes, who is an avid fan and listener. We plan on broadcasting outside for the remaining Sunday home games this season.
A special thanks to Jim McGregor who took this photo of me and Jason in the stands:
And as always, you can
follow us on Twitter where we’ll give updates as we travel along with the game
calls from each night.
Thanks for reading,
listening, and being a fan.
Please get in touch if
you have any thoughts, comments, questions or concerns. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.