The Buffalo Bisons return to Coca-Cola Field tonight at 6 against the Durham Bulls and Blue Jays fans should note that Daniel Norris is making his 2015 home debut.
And while Norris' outing will certainly be the focus on attention in Toronto, the word on the Herd here will be about its offensive offense.
Quite simply, this is one of the worst droughts the Bisons are enduring in their modern era. Here's the litany of hideous numbers:
----The Bisons went 0-6 on their just-completed road trip to Durham and Norfolk, marking their first winless trip of at least five games since they went 0-8 through Louisville, Indianapolis and Nashville during the final eight games of the 1994 season. And they went winless with a .192 batting average -- even though their starters had a 1.71 ERA!
---The Bisons were outscored on the trip, 18-5, and shut out four of the six games. It's the first time in the franchise's modern era (dating to 1985) that they have been blanked four times in a six-game stretch.
---Buffalo has not homered since Chris Colabello went deep April 25 against Lehigh Valley. That's 15 games and 512 at-bats ago. Incredible.
---Buffalo suffered three 1-0 losses on the trip, including the last two days, and has not scored in 27 1/3 innings. It's just the second time in franchise history the team has lost consecutive 1-0 games, with the other being a doubleheader at Pawtucket on April 10, 2004 (first game in nine innings).
---The Bisons have already been shut out eight times in 30 games. They've never been shut out more than 16 games in a season. And there's still 114 games to play.
---Buffalo's last back-to-back shutouts were Aug. 19-20, 2013 at Pawtucket. If the team is blanked tonight, it would mark its first run of three straight shutout losses since May 11-12, 1986. The Bisons lost a doubleheader at Iowa on May 11, 1-0 and 3-0, and got blanked the next night in Omaha, 1-0, but there was a big asterisk to the whole thing because the team had not played in five days. After playing on May 6, there was an off day followed by three straight days of rain in Otawa.
---The Bisons are 1-8 in May after a 14-7 April. The callups of Colabello and Ezequiel Carrera are certainly killing the offense, which now ranks last in the International League in runs (93), slugging (.320) and left on base (239), second-last in home runs (7) and triples (3).
---And how about tonight's lineup? The bottom six men are all batting .205 or below. So is leadoff man Dalton Pompey, who is at just .143. And Durham has the best record in the IL at 19-12. Yikes.