The loss was the Herd's 87th defeat of the season, their highest total since a 55-89 campaign in 1994. The Bisons finished in last place in the International League North Division for the first time in their now their 12th season since rejoining the league. It's only the sixth time in the modern era Buffalo has finished the year with a losing record.
The final defeat of the season played out like the 2009 campaign. The Bisons offense struggled early in the game as it did as a team in April. Buffalo failed to push a runner beyond second base until the eighth inning.
A 2-0 deficit in the first inning wasn't a mountain to climb like the team's 2-16 record in April, but against stellar work from IronPigs starter Brian Mazone and two relievers, the lead proved to be all the IronPigs would need in the game.
However, like they did all season, the Bisons refused to quit. A single from Luis Rivera and an Andy Green walk put the tying runs on base with two outs in the eighth inning. Chip Ambres followed with a single to left field. Unfortunately for the Herd, Rich Thompson's throw from left beat Rivera to the plate for the final out of the inning. A late rally, like their 30-38 record after July, was a little too late for the Bisons.
Lehigh Valley scored an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth for the 3-0 win.
Southpaw Adam Pettyjohn pitched extremely well in the Herd's final start. He allowed just two runs in seven innings but was saddled with the tough loss. The veteran struck out six and walked just one.
Pettyjohn's start in the team's final game was also fitting. The pitcher joined the team in late July as part of a 130-transaction season. Sixty-four different players appeared in a game for the Herd this year, their most since the 2004 season. Only seven of the 24 players on the team's active roster for game #143 were on the team's Opening Day Roster.
What was unusual in the team's final game was the absence of Jesus Feliciano from the starting lineup. Feliciano was given the well deserved day off after appearing in a team-high 130 games. Even without playing on Monday, the Bisons MVP will lead the entire International League with 154 hits unless Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Austin Jackson (149) closes out league play on Monday night with a monster game.
With no playoffs this year, Bisons will now have to wait 213 days for the return of baseball. On April 8, 2010, the Herd travels to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take on the Yankees for the start of the 125th season of professional baseball in Buffalo.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.