Wheeler Tosses Gem As Bisons Split Doubleheader

Zack Wheeler spun a gem for the Herd in Game 1 of the Sunday doubleheader.

The Bisons played two yesterday in Buffalo. In the first, Zack Wheeler tossed a gem, with the Bisons coming away with a 1-0 win. In the second, it was a sloppy slugfest that the Bisons lost 11-9.

Game 1: Bisons 1, Red Wings 0

Zack Wheeler was on in yesterday’s ballgame. It was certainly a pitching duel. Esmerling Vasquez allowed only one run, so it was up to Wheeler to keep the Red Wings scoreless, which he did. Being a doubleheader, the teams played two seven-inning games. Wheeler pitched the entire game and was absolutely dominating the Rochester lineup. He held them scoreless, allowing only three hits and two walks. He struck out nine and threw 65 of 98 pitches for strikes.

The lone run for Buffalo came in the fourth off Vasquez. With Adam Loewen on third with one out, Matt den Dekker hit a fly ball to right. It was caught, but Loewen tagged up and scored on the play, giving Buffalo a 1-0 lead. That would end up being the only run of the game.

Game 2: Red Wings 11, Bisons 9

The second game was a much different story for both teams. Unlike the first, where each team’s pitcher was dominant, this one was a slugfest. Each team was using their longman as a starter, so the bullpens would be in use pretty quickly. That’s exactly what happened.

The Bisons started Dlan Owen, who didn’t allow a hit but struggled with his control and allowed three runs. However, thanks to some sloppy defense by Rochester, Buffalo still had a 4-3 lead when Owen left the game after an inning and a third. In the bottom of the third, Valentino Pascucci homered to extend the lead to 5-3. From then on, though, it was all Red Wings.

C.J. Nitkowski entered to start the fourth and got rocked. He allowed three runs in that inning and was then sent back out again. In the fifth, he was knocked around again, allowing four more runs. Eventually, Nitkowski was taken out after allowing seven runs on seven hits while recording just four outs. With a big lead, the Bisons couldn’t come back despite two-run homers by Fred Lewis and Zach Lutz.

Herd Rumblings: The good start from Wheeler in the first game was certainly a good sign. He had struggled his previous two starts, allowing eight earned runs in 10.1 total innings. The high points on offense included Matt Tuiasosopo, who was 3-for-7 in the two games, driving in two runs. Valentino Pascucci was in the middle of everything, scoring three runs and hitting a home run. Zach Lutz also had a good day at the plate,  going 2-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored. The Bisons take on the Red Wings again tonight at 7:05. The game will be televised on SNY.

About Connor O'Brien 337 Articles
Connor O'Brien is a fourth-year economics student at Rutgers University, a longtime writer here at MetsMerized Online, and an aspiring economist. He embraces sabermetrics but also highly values scouting. Follow him on Twitter at cojobrien.