So says Manager Wally Backman after the Buffalo Bisons won their third straight game this past weekend against the Rochester Red Wings (Monday night’s finale was washed out). The Herd is now 3-1 on this home stand, and within sniffing distance of the division leading Pawtucket Red Sox.
What has gone right for the Bisons? Starting pitching is improving, and the base on balls parade has been slowed down. For now. Dylan Owen pitched a gem of a game on Sunday, earning the win on the heels of seven strong innings. “Outstanding throwing today. He was able to locate his fastball. Just a great job,” said Backman. “He didn’t make any mistakes today.”
In addition to his improved pitching, Backman is playing more aggressively on the base paths, and that is yielding results. “We’ve put on the hit and run and it has worked. You’ll be seeing more of that.” Getting the leadoff batters on board has also been key, with leadoff hitters Bobby Scales and Vinny Rottino being especially productive. “If they set the table, your first two hitters that’s their job to set up for the three and four hitters. That works it’s way then down the entire lineup. So far they’ve done a good job, a real consistent job,” said Backman.
Fans will be seeing the first of pitcher Matt Harvey when he takes to the mound tonight. Harvey was the Opening Day starter for Buffalo, but has only seen action on the road since, where he has been phenomenal.
Other news of note:
-The Bisons have introduced a new way to pay for ballpark concessions, using a mobile scanning device and a QR reader. The pay phone app is called Level Up, and is available by downloading the app and registering online. Users will receive an introductory bonus for first time use and can build up reward points. At this time the payment device is only available at the specialty food stands throughout the ballpark, and the full service stand near sec 209 on the club level.
-AAA action returns to Dwyer Stadium in Batavia this Saturday and Sunday when the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees host the Pawtucket Red Sox. It’s a 7pm start Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.
-For those paying close attention to the Bisons’ mascot race, it looks like the new character, Atomic Wing, is a ringer. Although fans will not be seeing this character in the race every night, in his two starts (Friday and Tuesday) he blew by his competition. The race takes place at each game following the 5th inning.
-Spotted in the stands at Sunday’s Bisons game: Buffalo Bills linebacker Arthur Moats.