The Bisons have reached a low point in their current skid as they were shut out 1-0 by Toledo. Manager Gary Allenson sarcastically requested that we all just use yesterday's interview because we are all running out of ways to describe the offense. The frustration was painted all over his face and you have to feel for the guy. Again the opportunities were there, but the clutch hit never came.
Hard throwing righty Radhames Liz made his Buffalo debut tonight. It was an up-and-down outing for Liz, who may have been on a pitch count as he threw just 76 pitches over four shutout innings. The problem was that only 35 of those pitches went for strikes which led to five walks. Fortunately for Liz the Mud hens were unable to make much solid contact with his mid-90's fastball as they only collected two hits against him.
Liz is in his first season with Jays after spending the past three in the Korea where he had a good deal of success. He was initially signed out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 16 by Baltimore and quickly rose to the top of their prospect list. Interestingly enough he was signed shortly after he learned how to play baseball. The talent in his arm alone made him worth the risk. Now at the age of 30 that talent is still apparent, but so is his lack of control. He has a good deal of strikeout potential with his good fastball and a sharp breaking ball. He spent the first month plus of the season on the DL and tonight's start was just his third this season making a bit of rust a possible cause for his control trouble.
Liz benefited from two runners getting gunned out in steal attempts by catcher A.J. Jimenez. The 24 year-old has a canon for an arm and he took advantage of the opportunities to show it off. Offensively Jimenez has struggled since being called up from New Hampshire hitting just .207 coming into tonight's game. Jared Goedert got the night off and Allenson decided to put Jimenez in the three hole. There he left a runner on third with just one out in the first inning. He has showed enough potential with the bat which to become a top 20 prospect for the Jays, but that has yet to translate at this level.
Kyle Lobstein was on the mound for the Mud Hens coming in as one of the hottest pitchers in the league. He worked five shutout innings, but did not earn the win as the game stayed scoreless into the ninth. Raul Valdes came into the game trying to give the Herd an opportunity to break the tie unfortunately things did not go as planned. Valdes who had been pitching well of late gave up the go ahead home run to Wade Gaynor.