Buffalo Bisons having trouble holding leads
Wise went 4-for-5-two doubles-and two RBI to lead Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to a 7-5 win over the Bisons at Coca-Cola Field on Friday afternoon.
Taking the rubber match of the three-game series, Wise not only hit a two-run single in the fourth that gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead, he also made a highlight real catch by the wall that robbed Val Pascucci of what looked to be a sure two-run home run in the third inning.
"He plays the game the way it's supposed to be played," Yankee manager Dave Miley said."Professional at-bats. The way he runs the bases, the way he plays the outfield. He just does a terrific job for us. It was a great catch, Val hit that ball pretty good. That ball hits off the wall, who knows? He's been playing good since he came to us."
But breath taking catches seem to be common place for Wise. In 2009, as a member of the Chicago White Sox, he came in cold off the bench in the ninth and made a brilliant leaping catch at the wall in left field against Gabe Kapler to game Buehrle's perfect bid intact.
"Right off the bat I thought it was going to land on the highway back there," Wise said,"but as it got in the outfield it started to hang up and that gave me a chance to get under it."
"He made even a better one when he was with the White Sox," Bison manager Wally Backman said."He's a great outfielder, that's why he's got all the big league time that he has. He's a great defender out there, that's for sure."
Pascucci was just as impressed as his skipper and gave credit where credit is due that Wise made an outstanding play.
"It was a great catch he made and when he came down with it I was disappointed, but I thought it was a great catch," Pascucci said. "(I was) just upset that it was against me for a homer."
Though Wise provided his own personal nightmare for the Bisons on this day, the greater concern for the Herd is for the fourth time in the past five games they let an early lead slip away.
"It's been tough," Backman said. "You've got to be able to pitch ahead in the count, and we haven't been able to do that. We get the leads and we're pitching behind in the count...Starters are throwing way too many pitches. We can't even get our starters out of the fifth inning right now. We've got to pitch to more contact. It looks like we pitched away from contact, 15 walks in the last two games. One was intentional, but it's just too many walks. We get the lead and we just haven't been able to hold it so far."
With the exception of the 12-3 home opener win on April 11, the Bisons have frittered away a 2-0 lead on April 9, 3-1 on April 10, 2-0 on April 12 and 3-0 in Friday's loss.
While Backman's concerns about pitching are well founded what makes it even more worrisome is the first two losses where tagged on the bull pen, while starters lost the last two. Which points to lack of consistency overall in the staff.
"You've got to attack the strike zone," Backman said. "And that's what we haven't been doing as of late is attacking the strike zone. First pitch strike is the key to success."
Vinny Rottino's two-run double in the first broke it open and Lucas May added a solo home run in the second. But the Yankees used a four run, fourth inning to take control of the game.
Chase Whitely, just up from Double-A, picked up the win as he threw four strong inning of relief, keeping Bison bats in check.
Jeremy Hefner was tagged with the loss and dropped to 1-1.
Yankee skipper Dave Miley won his career 1,600th game on Thursday in the Yanks 7-2 win over the Herd on Thursday.
The Yankees are also on a season-long journey where they will play every game on the road this year while a $40 million renovation project takes place at their PNC Field.
The Yankees, who are sporting the nickname "Empire State Yankees," will actually be based out of Rochester and play 37 games at Frontier Field during the season.
The rest of the 2012 schedule has the Yankees playing 10 games at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, seven games at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia, and six at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo.
The Yanks will also have eight games at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, home of the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs, and four at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket,R.I.
Yanks center fielder Chris Dickerson is listed as day-to-day with neck stiffness after crashing into the outfield wall while making a highlight real grab during Wednesday's game. The Thursday game featured 18 total walks with Scranton's Colin Curtis drawing five free passes to break a 23-year-old club record of four.
Pawtucket hits town for a two-game set with the Bisons this weekend, with both games at 1:05pm starts.
Pitching matchups will have Bisons LHP Garrett Olson (0-0, 1.50 ERA) taking on Sox RHP Alex Wilson (0-0, 1.80 ERA).
Sunday will see RHP Matt Harvey (0-1, 5.79 ERA) face RHP Doug Mathis (0-1,1.80 ERA).
Harvey, the Mets No.2 prospect, is coming off an Opening Day loss at Pawtucket on April 5.