The Bisons lost 6-3 last night with another rough offensive showing. The loss came on Star Wars night and oddly enough the quirky attraction was enough to draw a rare sellout crowd. This is significant because I simply cannot get over the fact that Star Wars night was able to draw 18,000 people to the park on a night that would have otherwise sold maybe 5,000 tickets.
Bison's pitching actually performed much better than the six run total against them would say. The first four runs of the game for the Chiefs came after Bisons pitching got two outs with nobody on. The very problem the Bisons offense has had and continued to have last night is clutch two out hitting, and to make things worse it proved to be the strength for Syracuse. Three of those runs came off of Kyle Drabek who looked solid in his five innings of work. He occasionally struggled with his command which got him into trouble, but the Chiefs have the hottest hitting lineup in the league including the league's top hitter Steven Souza Jr. Souza had a pair of doubles off Drabek both of which led to runs. For Souza this was the seventh straight game in which he was able to reach base two or more times.
The fourth run of the game was surrendered by Esmil Rogers who gave the Bisons three strong innings. He came out throwing a good deal of fast balls to start and finish hitters. The one run was all that Rogers would give up, and the impressive thing is that he got six of his nine outs via strikeout. After the game he said that he is really focusing on maintaining a consistent motion for all three of his pitches.
Aaron Laffey was on the hill for the Chiefs and was able to use his strong command to work both sides of the plate avoiding to much solid contact. The only consistently good hitter throughout all of the struggles for the Bisons has been Dan Johnson. He is able to get on base consistently as he leads the league in walks, but his four home runs on the home stand have also been essential in keeping the Bisons relevant in games. He hit another home run last night and in the ninth fell about five feet short of a second bomb that would have brought the Herd within a run. "He just has a really great approach at the plate," said Gary Allenson.
The Bisons will finish up their longest home stand of the season today with Liam Hendriks on the mound. The return of Brad Glenn to the lineup was disappointing as he went 0-4 with a strikeout, but he and the rest of the offense will look to bounce back against the league's ERA leader Taylor Hill.