While wins have been hard to come by this summer, there have been plenty of rainclouds over Coca Cola Field. Anyone in Western New York can tell you the past few months have been cold and rainy, and it’s certainly wreaked havoc on the Buffalo Bisons’ home schedule.
Buffalo has already seen a number of games delayed or interrupted by rain, but what every manager fears is the postponement. That means doubleheaders and off days taken away, and when opponents are only making one trip to Buffalo this season it can cause some serious scheduling conflicts.
Not only does the weather create plenty of problems for managers, but fans looking for nice days to make the trip downtown have been left wanting. Cold, cloudy homestands have kept the big crowds at home, and aside from some big promotions there have been more and more fans dressed as seats as the summer moves on.
It certainly hasn’t helped that there is little on the field to inspire these fans. The dismal offensive performance and lack of prospects in the Mets system has made for quiet, chilly nights on Washington Street.
The Herd have already seen seven home games postponed, with three yet to be made up. One postponement even interrupted a rain-created doubleheader of its own, with Game Two against Louisville being called due to downpours back on May 1.
All those makeups will come back to bite the Bisons next month. Buffalo will play 33 games in the month of August, with just two days off. Four of those 33 games will be played in less than 48 hours, with back to back doubleheaders on August 20 and 21 against Syracuse. That’s a ton of baseball in a very short time, and plenty of free baseball if fans are interested.
Friday’s rain gave Buffalo their fourth home doubleheader of the season, and the fans in attendance were rewarded for their patience with two great pitching performances by The Herd. Top prospect Jon Niese threw a two-hit shutout in game one of the doubleheader, and International League All Star Nelson Figueroa followed suit with a seven-hit shutout of his own. Both games took less than two hours, and fans saw not one but two rare home wins.
With Buffalo’s home record sitting at 17-34, seeing the Bisons sweep a doubleheader must have been quite a sight. Saturday might have been the best value baseball fans will get all season, as Jon Niese might not be in Buffalo for very long.
Niese has allowed just four earned runs in his last seven starts, winning five and facing two no-decisions. With the injuries mounting for the Mets, Niese might be the next Bison getting the call for the ‘Amazins.
That leaves Nelson Figueroa as the lone reason to see the Bisons this year. With the losses slowly creeping towards the Bisons modern day record, the motivation to see a bad baseball team is less schadenfreude and more about the promotions. A few of the doubleheaders are still a value if the right pitchers are going, but there’s little left in the way of competitive baseball out of this team.
Just make sure you check the weather before you head downtown.