Buffalo, New York

Monday, August 30, 2010

We headed out to Buffalo to watch the Mets' AAA club, the Bisons, play a weeknight tilt against the Syracuse Chiefs. This was our second trip to Coca-Cola Field, aka Dunn Tire Park, but the first since the Bisons changed affiliations from the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets.

Along the way, we stopped first at 'Great Skate', a longstanding hockey supply shop in nearby Amherst, to buy Mike a new goalie stick for the upcoming season. Afterwards, we drove downtown to the stadium, parking in the ramp across the street. The gates weren't open at this point, but the restaurant - Pettibones - was, so we decided to go upstairs and have a late lunch. It was an okay space, good for a AAA stadium I guess, but the service was slow and seemed a bit overwhelmed by the fact that the place was half full. Jill had a salad, I had a beef on wheck, and Mike had chicken fingers. The food was okay fare, what you would expect from a minor league ballpark restaurant I guess.

We watched the ballgame until around the top of the 8th. Jennry Mejia pitched a gem, a no-hitter into the sixth when he gave up a home run. Sadly, the home team couldn't hold the small lead they held, and ended up losing the game.

After the game, we decided to grab some dinner so we went to Duff's in Orchard Park. The undisputable king of wings in Buffalo (yes, better than the 'original' Anchor Bar), this was our first visit to this location. We had been to the original Duff's on our way through Buffalo to Detroit earlier this year. Mike had wings, Jill a salad, and I got a fried bologna sammie! We drove home after dinner, arriving home around 2:00AM.

The Chiefs outlasted Jenrry Mejia and it earned them a win.

With the Mets' top prospect out after eight brilliant innings, Syracuse scored three in the 10th inning for the 4-1 victory over the Bisons on Monday night from Coca-Cola Field.

Centerfielder Michael Martinez doubled home two runs in the 10th off Mike O'Connor before scoring himself on a perfect suicide squeeze bunt from Carlos Maldonado. Josh Wilkie retired the Bisons in order in the bottom of the 10th to preserve the win.

With the loss, and a 6-4 Columbus win over Indianapolis, the Bisons fell 3.5 games behind the Clippers for the league's lone wild card spot.

The story early in the game was the work of the 20-year old Mejia. The Mets #1 prospect proved why he is so highly rated with strike after strike. The flamethrower struck out nine batters, including seven of the first eight he faced.

Mejia had a dominating fastball that reached as high as 97 mph. Through the first four innings, the Chiefs didn't get a ball out of the infield off the righty. Martinez broke up the Mejia's no-hit bid with a one-out home run in the top of the sixth.

Mejia then got some help from his newest teammates to keep the game tied. Kirk Nieuwenhuis threw out the speedy Boomer Whiting at the plate to end the sixth inning. In the seventh, a drawn-in Justin Turner threw Brian Bixler out at the plate trying to score on a one-out grounder.

The Bisons scored their only run of the game on Mike Cervenak's eighth home run of the season with two outs in the second inning.

BISONS NOTES: Mejia was great, but the Chiefs got a great outing out of their starter, as well. Shairon Martis allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings...Mejia's outing was his longest since May 2, 2009 when he threw eight scoreless from Single-A St. Lucie...With runners at the corners and one out in the ninth inning, the Bisons hit into a 1-9-3 doubleplay. Right Fielder Leonard Davis was pulled into the infield and was playing just to the left of the second base bag.

Total Mileage: 443 Miles

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