Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (15-14) vs. Buffalo Bisons (17-10)
Mon: TBA vs. TBA
Tue: TBA vs. Liam Hendriks (4-0, 1.26)
Wed: Cody Martin (2-2, 3.64) vs. LHP Sean Nolin (2-0, 1.55)
Thu: LHP Daniel Rodriguez (3-3, 2.73) vs. LHP Ricky Romero (0-0, 4.86)
The Gwinnett Braves and the Buffalo Bisons open up a four-game set on Monday night. Gwinnett enters the game only four games back of the front-running Durham Bulls in the South Division standings despite losing four straight games. While, the Buffalo Bisons are leading the North Division and are currently on a six-game winning streak.
Pitching: Gwinnett will have their hands full, as they will face No.1 staff in the International League. Entering today, Buffalo leads the league with a 2.91 ERA. They have logged 244.0 innings, striking out 228 and walking 102. Hendriks, who is second in the league in wins and third in ERA, will take the ball in game two. The former Minnesota Twins’ farmhand has been dominant since moving to the rotation. In four turns, he is 3-0 with 1.46 ERA, striking out 23 batters in 24.1 innings.
Nolin, the game three starter, has been just as impressive. The southpaw is 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA in five turns this year. Last season, in 21 starts across three levels, he combined to go 9-5 with a 3.54 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 111.2 innings.
On the other side, Gwinnett enters the contest ranked 11th in ERA. They are the only team in the IL with an ERA over 4.00 and a winning mark.
Martin and Rodriguez have been solid for the G-Braves. Both lost in their last turn of the rotation, but have .500 records and sub-4.00 ERAs.
Despite owning a 3-3 record, Rodriguez has been special all season. The southpaw leads the team in wins, innings (33.0), ERA and is second in strikeouts (31).
Offense: The G-Braves are starting to miss Ernesto Mejia more and more. In the last eight games, the G-Braves have homered once and scored 36 runs, while dropping five of eight.
Joey Terdoslavich has been red hot in the absence of Mejia. He currently has a 14-game hitting streak and leads the team with a .333 (36-for-108) batting average. He has eight doubles, two homer and 10 RBIs on the season.
Despite snapping his 21-game on base streak on Saturday night, Tommy La Stella continues to rake. The lefty is batting .313 (31-for-99) with two doubles and 15 RBIs. He leads the team in RBI and is third in hits.
Buffalo will counter with the IL Batter of the Week, Kevin Pillar. Last week, he led the IL with a .444 batting average, 12 hits and nine RBI, leading Buffalo to a perfect 6-0 record. In 26 games, he is batting .275 (30-for-109) with nine doubles, two triples and 15 RBIs.
In addition to Pillar, the G-Braves will have to deal with Dan Johnson. The former IL MVP, is batting .309 (29-for-94) with a team-leading five homers and 20 RBIs. He has more homers than the whole team combined as he enters play on Monday.
Bison Tracks: Last season, the G-Braves took five of eight from the Bisons, but split the series at Coolray Field.
Quote of the Day: “Every dream you ever have can’t be reached without action.”