Night time baseball is back at Coca Cola Field
by Andrew Kulyk (@akulykUSRT) - posted 3:37 pm, April 16, 2012
Following a string of five straight matinee openings for the Buffalo Bisons, the team will finally go under the lights tonight at Coca Cola Field, as they begin a four game set against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, top affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.
It’s been a somewhat tough week around the ballpark. After the team’s stirring Opening Day 12-3 victory against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the Bisons have gone into a bit of a funk. They dropped three in a row, thanks to ill timed pitching meltdowns, and it looked like the same thing was going to happen on Sunday as Buffalo allowed six runs on the top of the 4th. But they climbed back out of the hole a couple of times to eventually earn a 9-9 tie, thanks much to two home runs and six RBI by Adam Loewen. In the bottom of the 10th, Jordany Valdespin’s RBI single with two outs won it for the Herd.
“Not a lot has gone right, but there’s no quit in these players, and that shows a lot of character,” said Manager Wally Backman following Sunday’s win. “I was not really surprised to see them claw back today.” Backman has worn out a pair of shoes just this week alone walking to the mound and yanking his pitchers. “Can any of you guys pitch?” Backman jokingly asked the assembled media members after Saturday’s loss, wearing the look of frustration.
Backman even brought up the fact that his team left the bases loaded four times in Sunday’s game, yet somehow managed to work out a win. “We got the key hit when we needed to, and that is what won us the game.”
Backman is concerned about the number of walks that the Bisons have surrendered. In Saturday’s loss, the team allowed eight walks. Five turned into runs for the Pawtucket Red Sox. “That is unacceptable,” said Backman. “First pitch strikes leads to success. You’ve got to get first pitch strikes. The guys look a bit tentative out there, so this is something that needs to be corrected one way or another.”
Opening Day winner Jeurys Familia takes to the mound for the Buffalo Bisons tonight at 6:05PM. The team will have the same 6:05 starts on Tuesday and Wednesday before wrapping up this home stand with a 1:05pm matinee on Thursday.