Wake Up Call: Chiefs can't figure out Bisons' starter in rare weekday matinee
With an 11:00 a.m. first pitch, Chiefs' batters barely had enough time to wipe the sleep out of their eyes. Maybe that's why it took them till the ninth inning to score some runs.
Syracuse did more complaining than hitting on Wednesday morning in a 7-5 loss to Buffalo. Both Manager Doug Davis and catcher Eric Kratz were tossed for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire David Uyl. In reality, it wasn't the umpire, but the pitcher that stopped the Chiefs from winning. Indians top prospect Adam Miller shut out the Chiefs for six innings. Spot starter Jason Scobie did his best to keep pace, but a high pitch count forced him to exit after three frames.
It was the classic story of too little too late for the Chiefs. They would score four runs in the ninth, but the upset bid would fall start. The winning run would come to the plate in the form of Curtis Thigpen, but he would fly out to second baseman Joe Inglett to end the game.
Adam Miller wasn't scary good, but he was good enough
Adam Miller has a disgusting slider and a mid-90s fastball. Neither was on display early in this one. The big Texan couldn't command his heater. I guess you could say that he was effectively wild. He plunked two Chiefs. In three innings Syracuse got runners to third base on Miller. All three times he worked out of trouble.
"That changed the whole complexion of the game," said Chiefs hitting coach Al LeBouef, who called the shots after Davis' ejection, "when you have runners on first and third, less than two outs, you got to put the ball in play."
Miller gave up just two hits while striking out seven. His bread and butter is his fastball but the late bite he has on his slider eats hitters right up. When he got ahead today it was an automatic out.
Middle of the Order forgot its bats
John-Ford Griffin and Kevin Barker are the only true power hitters this team has. You wouldn't have known that from watching today's game though. The two went a combined 0 for 8.
Griffin was victimized by the slider. He faced Miller three times, and struck out swinging each time. Miller set him up with a fastball, and sat him down with low, inside sliders. Griffin's third whiff was a prayer. His bat and the ball were in two different time zones. Barker was at least able to make contact once, but his other two chances against Miller ended the same way, strikeout.
Jordan DeJong is back in Syracuse
The 28-year old made his first appearance since being promoted from New Hampshire. In two innings of mop-up duty he allowed two runs. Jordan was sporting a 91 mph fastball and uses the curveball as his strike out pitch. He dropped an outside corner bender on Ryan Mulhern to retire the side in the eighth. His second inning wasn't as good. When he got behind 3-1 to former Twin Luis Rivas he served a straight fastball down the heart of the plate that Rivas lifted over the left center field wall. Despite giving up the homer, LoBoueff was pleased.
"I liked what I say. He had a tough travel day just flew in here. He arrived in the third inning. He kept the ball down and mixed pitches." Notes
Jason Scobie left the game after three frames because he threw over seventy pitches. It didn't matter if the converted reliever had more in the tank. LoBoueff said that taking him out has to do with organizational their organizational philosophy…Wayne Lydon had his best day in a Chiefs uniform. The lead off man had three hits and scored two runs. He's a calculated risk taker. He scored from second on an infield single. That's tough to do…Curtis Thigpen relieved Eric Kratz after his ejection and continued his awful run behind the dish. The Bisons' attempted one steal attempt against Thigpen and converted. In the previous eight innings Buffalo tried swiping a bag only once, and Kratz hosed the runner out…I think I have manager's Doug Davis' ear. I asked if was going to move Ray Olmedo up in the order anytime soon. He told me no, and then promptly batted him second today. Olmedo answered the call and reached base four times. Thanks for making me look smart Ray.