There is always something to play for.
That’s what Buffalo Bisons manager Bobby Meacham wants his players to always remember.
Jacob Waguespack struck out 12 in his Bisons debut, but it wasn’t enough as Lehigh Valley scored a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the Herd in their series finale, Thursday afternoon.
Though he took the loss, Waguespack (3-6) did etch his name into the Bison record book as his 12 strikeouts is a new modern era all-time high for a pitcher making his Bisons debut.
“He used all his pitches well,” said Meacham.
“They key we heard when we got him that if he keeps the ball down he’s gonna be tough to hit. That’s what we saw today.”
Waguespack joined the Bisons Tuesday as part of a trade that sent Aaron Loop to Philadelphia on Tuesday.
“Obviously I’m excited to join a great organization, but obviously I was kinda surprised,” Waguespack said. “They told me in the office (a trade was in the works). Basically said expect a phone call and you’re probably just gonna change locker rooms. I packed my stuff and that’s what happened.”
“It’s been a pretty smooth, easy transition,” Waguespack continued. “These guys in the club house they’re great guys and welcomed me with open arms. It’s been easy for me. It’s something I wasn’t expecting, but it’s been smooth so far. I can’t thank those guys enough for that.”
Waguespack gave up four earned runs on eight hits and one walk. Five of his 12 K’s were against IL Player of the Month for July, Mitch Walding and Joey Meneses who have combined for 39 home runs.
For Waguespack, facing his old team obviously raised the stakes in his first start as a Bison.
“I think i gave up like eight hits,” Waguespack said with a smile, “so they got me a little bit and i got them.”
The Herd scratched out a 2-0 lead in the fifth, but former Bison Ryan Goins two-run blast tied the game in the sixth.
A based clearing double by Jacob Waguespack highlighted the Ironpigs seventh.
The Bisons showed some resilience as back-to-back home runs by Tim Lopes and Jonathan Davis pulled them within two runs, 6-4. But that was as close as they would get.
Dropping to 11 games under .500 Meacham said that whether it’s a call up or a job next year, guys have to remember that there is always something to play for. And to keep attacking the game hard every day.
“It’s a tricky time of year. It’s kind of a trap time of year where guys are thinking ahead to what they hope was gonna be their season and sort of forget about getting better every day,” said Meacham. “My job and our staffs job is getting these guys to think beyond whatever they thought was gonna happen before this year started and think beyond what they think their numbers are gonna be like in the end. They just need to push hard to get better every day so they can prove to themselves that they can improve and improve every day.”
Vlad Guerrero Jr. Went 1-for-3 with a walk. He is now batting .289 with the Bisons.
Outfielder Dalton Pompey has been suspended without pay by the Blue Jays as a result of an altercation with Meacham during a game in Indianapolis this past Sunday.
Pompey started the game in left field, but was removed. He and Meacham had a heated exchange in the dugout.
Pompey has not played since then.
“He’s serving a suspension right now,” said Meacham. “Violation of team policy. He’ll be back soon.”
Picture Courtesy of the Buffalo Bisons