The Bisons bounced back after a brutal loss at the hands of the Columbus Clippers a night ago. The Herd scored seven unanswered runs to earn the 7-1 victory in the series finale. I would love to avoid cliché, but they really played a great team game dominating all three phases.
P.J. Walters was on the mound for his second start of the season with Buffalo. He looked strong in his first outing, but he looked brilliant in this one. Things started poorly with a leadoff home run by Tyler Holt on a pitch that was begging to be smashed, but after this mistake Walters was nearly flawless. Using a similar game plan to Liam Hendriks and Deck McGuire, Walters was able to pound the zone low getting a lot of easy outs. He kept himself out of trouble walking just two in his seven innings of work and manager Gary Allenson said afterwards he probably could have gone eight. Overall a strong night from Walters who seemed to be lost at the beginning of the year.
Going into the last couple innings of the game the story was clearly going to be not only the great work from Walters, but also the great work defensively behind him. Ryan Goins was the best of the best tonight making two outstanding plays at shortstop. The first of which was a beautiful diving play he made ranging behind second base. He quickly bounced up to one knee after the stop and fired a strike to first beating the speedy Holt to the bag. Later on Goins struck again this time saving an errant throw from first basemen Jared Goedert, who was trying to start a double play. Goins dug the throw out while gliding across the bag and again fired a strike to first to complete the inning ending double play. On top of these great plays Adron Chambers, Kevin Pillar, and Andy LaRoche all made web gem caliber plays.
A great offensive performance was required to top all of these great plays, and that is exactly what the Bisons got. It did not look like they would for the first seven innings as crafty veteran Kyle Davies was in control. The journey man threw six strong innings for Columbus, but the bullpen could not hold up their end of the bargain. The Bisons exploded in the eighth inning for five runs off of reliever Mark Lowe batting around in the process. A.J. Jimenez and Andy LaRoche got back-to-back two RBI singles which was followed by an RBI single from Ryan Goins to finish the scoring.
Steve Delabar did look much better in his one inning of relief work then he did the other night. He was throwing strikes and was able to work a 1-2-3 inning striking out two in the process. Allenson liked what he saw from Delabar and also mentioned that he will continue to get innings as he tries to work through his struggles.
This was the last game of the Bisons home stand, but they will back soon for the annual July 3rd game. The team is now on the way to play red hot Syracuse and hopefully bridge the gap in the IL north.