Indians Fall Just Short

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
The Indianapolis Indians out-hit the Toledo Mud Hens tonight, at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, OH. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, the winner is decided by the number of runs crossing the plate, not the number of hits. The Mud Hens’ batters crossed the plate twice. The Indians did it only once, falling just short in the 9th inning as the game ended with Tribe runners on the corners, just 90 feet from tying it up. Final score: Mud Hens 2, Indians 1.
Indians’ starting pitcher Michael Tejera (photo) got the loss, despite pitching quite well. He pitched 5 innings in 90-degree heat, and threw 51 pitches (35 strikes). He gave up two hits, no walks, and struck out one. The two hits were a single to DH Erick Almonte in the 3rd inning, and a solo home run to 3B Mike Hessman in the 5th inning.
Brian Bixler  -- photo by NancyZ
Toledo’s starting pitcher, former Indian (2005-06) Ron Chiavacci also had an excellent start, earning his 12th win of the season. He threw 6 innings, scattering 6 hits and one walk, while striking out 4 Tribe batters. Two Indians batters, CF Andrew McCutchen and SS Brian Bixler (photo), who had each singled, were picked off base.
The Mud Hens picked up an insurance run in the 7th inning. Dave Davidson relieved Michael Tejera to start the 6th inning. After a quick and perfect 6th, Davidson got into trouble in the 7th. A walk to 2B Henry Mateo, and back-to-back singles by SS Omar Infante and LF Timo Perez loaded the bases with no outs. Manager Trent Jewett went to the bullpen again, and brought in Mark Corey, fresh off the disabled list, to replace Davidson. Corey struck out RF Brent Clevlen looking. Then he hit Mike Hessman on the forearm with a pitch, forcing in a run. (But that was only one run, and not the 4 that would have come across if Hessman had hit another home run.) A pop out by 1B Chris Shelton and a running catch by Tribe CF Andrew McCutchen of Erick Almonte’s fly out ended the inning.
“I had been working Hessman inside throughout the whole at-bat,” said Mark Corey in an interview after the game. “I came in a little too far and he leaned in to take the hit….I feel pretty good about my performance tonight. Unfortunately, I let one run score by hitting [Toledo 3B Mike] Hessman in the seventh. I am happy with how I worked my way out of the
bases loaded jam (in the seventh) and with how I got three quick outs in the eighth.”

Don  Kelly -- photo by NancyZ
Jason Karnuth came into the game in the top of the 7th to relieve Ron Chiavacci. Karnuth went two innings, giving up just one hit, a line drive single by Brian Bixler in the 8th inning.
The Indians only run and only serious threat came in the 9th inning. Reliever Aquilino Lopez came in to pitch for the Mud Hens. 3B Neil Walker greeted Lopez with a double into right field. Lopez got two strike outs, and then 2B Don Kelly (photo) grounded to the SS Omar Infante. It looked like the third out — but Infante’s throw went high and wide of first base, allowing Walker to score, and leaving Kelly safe at first base. Pinch hitter Michael Ryan (photo below) singled on a soft bloop into right field, moving Kelly to third base. Nyjer Morgan, in his first day back from a thumb injury, came in to first base to pinch-run for Ryan. Two out, the tying and go-ahead run at the corners…….Andrew McCutchen stepped to the plate, having gone 1-for-4 already in the game. But McCutchen popped up to second base to end the game.
Michael Ryan  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians had 10 hits in the game, including two singles each by Brian Bixler and Steve Pearce, and Don Kelly. The Tribe also left 9 base runners stranded on base, while the Mud Hens had 4 hits and left 3 runners on base.
Indians’ hitting gems of the game: Neil Walker’s double and Don Kelly’s single in the 9th inning, getting a rally started to at least score one run.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the bottom of the 7th inning, with bases loaded and two out, Erick Almonte hit a ball that looked like it was going to drop into short center field, scoring at least one more run and maybe two. CF Andrew McCutchen came running in, and made the catch for the out, keeping any further runs from scoring and ending the inning.
Jonah Bayliss  -- photo by NancyZ
Roster Notes: (as reported earlier)
OF Nyjer Morgan was reinstated from the disabled list.
INF Luis Ordaz was placed on the disabled list, with an ankle sprain. It’s bad enough that it is going to take him 3 – 4 weeks to recover and rehabilitate, so this ends his season.
Relief pitcher Jonah Bayliss (photo) was placed on the disabled list with a rib injury.
Relief pitcher Mark Corey was taken off the disabled list, and pitched in tonight’s game.
The Indians return to Indianapolis for their last home stand at Victory Field beginning tomorrow. There are 10 more home games in the next 9 days (double header on Monday)– 3 against Toledo, 5 against Columbus, and 2 against Louisville. The last two games of the season will be in Louisville on the Sunday and Monday of Labor Day weekend.
Go Tribe!

Read More

Nyjer Morgan Rejoins Indians

Nyjer Morgan  -- photo by NancyZ
Outfielder Nyjer Morgan (photo) is back on the Indianapolis Indians’ roster. He rejoined the team today after spending more than 3 months on the disabled list with an injury to his thumb. He required surgery to repair a ligament in the thumb, and has been recuperating and then rehabilitating. Morgan has been working out in the Pirates’ Bradenton, Florida facilities, and then in the past week he has played with the Bradenton (GCL) Pirates in a rehab assignment.
Meanwhile, Infielder Luis Ordaz was placed on the disabled list, after he injured his ankle while covering second base in last night’s game. Toledo’s Timo Perez appeared to have struck and twisted Ordaz’s foot and ankle while sliding into second base. Ordaz has been reported to have an ankle sprain, but no broken bones.
Go Tribe!

Read More

Game #126 at Colorado

Coors Field | 3:05 | Maholm vs. Franklin Morales | Box There are a few words that come to mind when I see a lineup featuring Nate McLouth, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Josh Phelps, Jason Bay, Jose Bautista, Carlos Maldonado and Matt Kata.   And “win” isn’t one of them. Somehow, though, some way—that lineup did it for the Bucs on Thursday.  Josh Phelps went 4 for 5 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI, Freddy went 2 for 3...

Read More

Indians Fall to Toledo Again

Boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
John Van Benschoten  -- photo by NancyZ
The Toledo Mud Hens didn’t score as many runs as the Texas Rangers did tonight, but they scored plenty enough, as they beat the Indianapolis Indians by a score of 8-4 at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Ohio. The win drops the Mud Hens’ “magic number” for clinching the International League West Division to 5.
Like last night, the Mud Hens had one big inning that put them ahead of the Indians to stay. Tonight it was the second inning, when the Mud Hens batted around plus one, and came up with 5 runs against Tribe starter John Van Benschoten (photo). RF Brent Clevlen started things off with a single, and 3B Mike Hessman followed with a home run, his league-leading 30th of the season. Then there was a single and a walk, and a fielder’s choice to force out the runner at third base, leaving men on first and second bases with one out. Then another walk to load the bases, and a fly out, but too short to have the man at third tag up and score. No matter, that runner was forced in when the next batter walked. Then another single, scoring two more runs, and finally, Brent Clevlen came to the plate again, but this time struck out to end the inning.
Luis Ordaz  -- photo by NancyZ
Besides the 5 runs scored against them, the Indians had another problem in the second inning. Tribe 2B Luis Ordaz (photo) injured his ankle when Hens’ DH Timo Perez stole second base. Ordaz was running to the second base bag to take the throw, as Perez was sliding into the bag, and it appeared that Perez’s foot or leg collided with Ordaz’s ankle. Ordaz exited the game, and had to be assisted off the field. Early reports from the Indians’ clubhouse were that Ordaz had a contusion on his ankle, and they were considering taking him to a Toledo hospital to get x-rays. Also leaving the game due to injury was LF Michael Ryan, who fouled a ball off his foot in the 3rd inning. Ryan was able to continue playing for one more inning, but then had to come out of the game, with a contusion on his foot. Jose Hernandez took over at second base for Ordaz, and Steven Pearce came into the game to play right field, and Don Kelly shifted from right to left field, in place of Ryan.

Yurendell de Caster -- photo by NancyZ
(photo — Yurendell de Caster)
Not counting that 2nd inning, John Van Benschoten didn’t have too much trouble with the Mud Hens. In his other 4 innings, he scattered three walks, a single, and one hit batter. Juan Perez came in to pitch the 6th and 7th innings, and he was responsible for 3 more runs and 4 more hits. In the 6th, with one out, C Dane Sardinha singled, CF Andres Torres walked, and 2B Henry Mateo singled, to load the bases. Perez’s wild pitch allowed Sardinha to score from third base, adding an insurance run for the Hens. One inning later, Brent Clevlen hit a solo homer, and Mike Hessman tripled and scored on 1B Chris Shelton’s ground out, giving the Mud Hens 8 runs.
Josh Sharpless pitched the 8th inning for the Indians, giving up only one hit, while striking out one.
David Parrish  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians did get on the scoreboard first, putting up one run in the top of the second inning, and giving them a very brief lead. 3B Neil Walker hit an infield single, and DH Yurendell de Caster doubled into left field to put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly by Luis Ordaz brought in Walker with the first run.
Toledo starter Jordan Tata gave up only that run, and only three more hits, along with 2 walks and 8 strikeouts, in the 7 innings he pitched. The Tribe squandered a chance in the 5th inning, when Jose Hernandez singled, Don Kelly walked, and C David Parrish (photo) singled, loading the bases with no outs. But a pop up to second base by CF Andrew McCutchen, and a double play off SS Brian Bixler’s bat ended the threat without a run scoring.
Steve Pearce -- photo by NancyZ
Eulogio De La Cruz replaced Tata for the 8th inning. He gave up a single to Steve Pearce (photo), and left him stranded. Macay McBride pitched the 9th inning, as the Indians mounted a rally. Neil Walker led off with a single, and after a strikeout to Yurendell de Caster, Jose Hernandez and Don Kelly both singled. Kelly’s single brought in his brother-in-law Walker. A passed ball by C Andrew Graham (who had replaced Dane Sardinha) moved the base runners to second and third bases. David Parrish’s single scored Hernandez, and Andrew McCutchen’s single brought in Kelly. Brian Bixler hit a pop fly to short right field, behind first base, which was caught by Hens’ 2B Henry Mateo. Mateo fired the ball back to second base, where David Parrish was easily doubled off. That base running blunder and double play abruptly ended the Tribe’s rally and the game.
Don Kelly & Brian Bixler  -- photo by  NancyZ
(photo — Don Kelly backs up Brian Bixler on a play at second base)
Jordan Tata earned his 4th win, and John Van Benschoten took his 6th loss of the season. The Indians had 11 hits in the game, but also left 7 base runners stranded on base. Neil Walker, Jose Hernandez and David Parrish each had two hits in the game, and Yurendell de Caster had the Tribe’s only extra-base hit, a double.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: A series of hits in the 9th inning, singles by Neil Walker, Jose Hernandez, Don Kelly, David Parrish, and Andrew McCutchen, to start a rally, despite being down by 7 runs. Losing 8-4 is better than losing 8-1.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the bottom of the first inning, with runners on the corners, Timo Perez hit a grounder to second baseman Luis Ordaz. Ordaz quickly tagged out Omar Infante as he ran past from first to second base, and then threw to Brad Eldred at first base to get Perez, for the double play. It kept a run from scoring. If Ordaz had first thrown to Eldred at first and then hoped for a reverse double play, requiring a tag of Infante before he reached second base, then Infante could have been safe, or the run could have scored if that runner had crossed the plate before Infante was tagged out.
Luis Matos  - photo by NancyZ
Roster Move: OF Luis Matos (photo, being congratulated by manager Trent Jewett on a home run) was placed on the disabled list when Andrew McCutchen was brought up from Altoona. Matos asked to be released, but instead the Pirates decided to trade him. Today he was traded to the New York Mets organization. He signed a minor-league contract and will report to AAA New Orleans.
At the end of the game, there was no further word on either Luis Ordaz’s ankle or Michael Ryan’s foot.
Home plate Umpire Dusty Dellinger also left the game due to injury, when he was hit in the face (?chin) with a foul ball. He walked off under his own power, and the game continued with only two umpires.
Go Tribe!

Read More

McLouth on Fire, CEO Talk, Duffy on Way Out?

Just a few disjointed thoughts this morning on the Pittsburgh Baseball Club. The more Nate McLouth hits, the less likely I think he is to carry success over to 2008. I call it the Chris Duffy Syndrome (which isn’t altogether different from Randy’s Rajai Davis Phenomena). At this point, Nate’s numbers are just comical. In August, he’s hitting .308/.371/.667 with seven homers in 78 at-bats. His isolated power...

Read More

September Approaches, Pirates Should Stand Pat

I got to thinking last night (as Tony Armas was getting his head bashed in): Who on the Pirates’ current roster is going to make this team next year? We talk all the time about how we should be finding playing time for the up-and-comers … but are there any up-and-comers that deserve a shot? Position by position, let’s find out who should ride the pine in favor of a younger replacement: CATCHER Ronny Paulino: Opening...

Read More