It's not exactly a fresh start, but if any team needs a reason to turn over a new leaf it's the Buffalo Bisons.
The Bisons, who have lost 29 of their last 36 games, face their nemesis in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at 7:05 p.m. Thursday in the opener of a four-game series between the teams at Coca-Cola Field. It begins the post-All-Star Game break portion of the Herd's schedule and features a Darryl Talley bobblehead giveaway.
Buffalo has lost its last seven games against the New York Yankees affiliate, the defending champions of Triple-A baseball. Scranton's surge over the last month has overtaken the Lehigh Valley IronPigs for first place in the North Division of the International League. The RailRiders (55-34) own a half-game lead over the IronPigs (55-35). Think the Bisons would like to play spoilers in Scranton's last visit of the season to Coca-Cola Field.
All-Star Report: Bisons infielder Jason Leblebijian went 0 for 4 while playing all nine innings for the International League team in a 6-4 loss to the Pacific Coast League at the Triple-A All-Star game in Tacoma, Wash. Leblebijian struck out twice, line out to second and grounded out to third. He started the game at third base but took over at first in the sixth inning.
Promotion: It's Darryl Talley Bobblehead Night and the former Buffalo Bills linebacker will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, sign autographs for an hour. A thousand of the Talley bobbleheads will be distributed at the Swan Street gate.
— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) July 12, 2017
Weather: A 30 to 50 percent chance of rain is forecast for Thursday night with temperatures in the low 70s and light winds.
Last game: The Bisons are coming off a 1-6 road trip to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Pawtucket. They suffered a 2-1 walkoff win in 11 innings in their last game at Pawtucket on Sunday before the three-game All-Star Game break.
Probables: After three days off, all the starting pitchers should be available for each side. Best guess is that T.J. House will open for the Bisons. It's unlikely the left Caleb Smith will get the start for the RailRiders because he pitched one inning for the International League team in Tacoma, Wash., for the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday night.
The homestand: The Bisons and RailRiders will play 7:05 p.m. games Friday and Saturday and complete the series with a 1:05 game Sunday afternoon. Saturday will be Dino Day at the ballpark with visits the kids will enjoy from Teddy the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Vinny the Velociraptor. A fireworks show will cap the night. It's only a four-game home stand before the Bisons head for their only visit of the season to Columbus to face the Clippers.