Game #118 vs. New York

PNC Park | 7:05 | Morris vs. John Maine | Box The Mets were shut out innings 2-8 but bookended the game with a pair of five running innings. THe Pirates, trailing 10-4 entering the bottom of the 9th didn’t give up. They scored four runs and had the tying run at the plate in the person of Xavier Nady. But Billy Wagner whiffed him to end it. The Mets five run first came off of Matt Morris. Moise Alou ripped a tater and David...

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If You Were the Director of Player Development….

Suppose YOU were the Director of Player Development for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s getting close to September 1st, when the major league team can expand its roster. You’re about to have a talk with Pirates’ General Manager Dave Littlefield regarding player call-ups.
Which players will you recommend be brought up to the Pirates? Why?
Let’s hear from you! Click on the “comments” below and let us know what move you’d make.
Go Tribe!

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Bay, McCutchen Lead Black and Gold Tier Chart

At season’s end, I’d like to be able to put together a listing of the Pirates’ top prospects. Lately, I’ve been catching up with our minor-league catchers and infielders, outfielders and starting pitchers at Sandlot Swashbucklers, and I’ve become increasingly interested with our work on the farm. Today, I’ve taken a near-fantasy approach, introducing a “tiering” system to...

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Indians Lose to Bats’ Bats

boxscore
(Photos by NancyZ)
Michael Tejera -- photo by NancyZ
A six-run 5th inning sealed the Indianapolis Indians’ fate tonight at Victory Field, as the Louisville Bats blasted to a huge lead on a grand slam by Bats’ right fielder Jeff Bannon. The Bats went on to win by a score of 12-3, with Bats’ starter Elizardo Ramirez earning the win and Tribe starter Michael Tejera (photo) taking the loss.
In each of the first two innings, the Indians had two men reach base but were unable to bring them around to score. 1B Steve Pearce and LF Michael Ryan hit back-to-back singles in the first inning. In the next inning, 2B Luis Ordaz singled and then C Carlos Maldonado was hit on the right hand by a pitch. Maldonado stayed in the game after his hand was examined by trainer Jose Ministral, and he caught the next two innings, but when his turn to bat came up again in t he 4th inning, David Parrish came in to pinch hit and then catch the rest of the game.
Michael Ryan -- photo by NancyZ
The Tribe got on the board against Bats’ starter Elizardo Ramirez in the 3rd inning. With two outs, Michael Ryan (photo) smashed a double to the wall in the right-center field alley. 3B Jose Hernandez came to the plate, ran the count full, and then fouled off four more pitches, before lifting a ball down the right field line to bounce off the wall. Ryan scored on the RBI double.
Michael Tejera pitched the first three innings seemingly with ease. He faced only one batter over the minimum for those innings, allowing only a single to C Ryan Hanigan, and striking out three batters. In the 4th inning with one out, Tejera gave up back-to-back walks to 1B Joey Votto and 3B Aaron Herr. CF Jay Bruce hit a long fly ball just to the right of the deepest pocket of left-center field, that looked like it was going out. In a lucky break for the Indians, the ball landed right in front of the wall and bounced over for a ground rule double. That brought in one run instead of two, and held Bruce to a double instead of a triple. With runners on second and third bases, C Ryan Hanigan was intentionally walked, bringing up RF Jeff Bannon. Bannon hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Herr. A second intentional walk (4th walk of the inning) to SS Paul Janish brought up pitcher Elizardo Ramirez, who struck out to end the inning, with the Bats leading 2-1.

Jonah Bayliss  --photo by NancyZ
Ramirez put the Indians down in order in the 4th inning, and then the Bats got right back to business, batting around. LF Chris Dickerson was hit by a pitch, and 2B Jorge Cantu doubled into left field. Michael Tejera got Joey Votto to ground out to first base, moving Cantu to third base. Three consecutive singles, to Aaron Herr, Jay Bruce, and Ryan Hanigan brought in two runs and loaded the bases with only one out. That was the end of Tejera’s night, and Jonah Bayliss (photo) entered in relief. But Jeff Bannon took Bayliss’ second pitch deep over the left field wall for a grand slam. A pop up and a strike out ended the inning, with the score 8-1.
Bayliss set the Bats down in order in the 6th inning. Brian Rogers came in to pitch the 7th, giving up only a walk while striking out two.
Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians started a come back in the 6th inning. With one out, Jose Hernandez lined a single into left field for his second hit of the night. RF Brad Eldred (photo) stepped to the plate and clobbered a 1-2 pitch to left-center field, about to the same spot that Jay Bruce’s ground rule double had gone. This one also looked like it was going out, but it bounced on the top of the wall and fell on the inside of the wall for an RBI triple. Luis Ordaz singled, allowing Eldred to score easily. Elizardo Ramirez exited at that point, in favor of reliever Brad Salmon. Salmon walked David Parrish on four pitches. Then pinch hitter Don Kelly grounded to first base, where Jay Votto was thinking too much about throwing to second base before he actually had the ball in his glove. By the time he picked up the bobble, his only play was at first, and even that was very close — but Kelly was out. A pop fly ended the inning, with the Indians gaining a little bit of ground, 8-3. (Now if we just keep getting two runs in each of the remaining innings……)
Jesse Chavez-- photo by NancyZ
Reliever Jesse Chavez pitched the last two innings for the Tribe. Pinch hitter Mark Bellhorn, who just joined the Bats today from the Cincinnati Reds, singled, then Chris Dickerson reached first base when Tribe 1B Steve Pearce bobbled the catch of a ground ball. A double by Jorge Cantu brought in both Bellhorn and Dickerson, and a homer to straight-away center field brought in two more runs, giving the Bats a 12-3 lead. Chavez ended the 8th with two fly outs, and then pitched a scoreless 9th inning, walking one and striking out two.
The Indians’ hopes were dashed in their last three at-bats. Brad Salmon pitched a perfect 7th inning, and Tyler Pelland pitched the 8th and 9th innings, both perfect, to end the game.
Elizardo Ramirez’s win was his third of the season with the Bats. Michael Tejera’s loss was his third of the season, and his first in his last 6 starts.
The middle of the batting order had 8 of the 9 hits for the Tribe. Michael Ryan, Jose Hernandez, and Luis Ordaz each had two hits. Adam Boeve and Brad Eldred each had one hit.
Brian Bixler -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Brad Eldred’s RBI triple in the 6th inning. It came so close to being a homer, but the triple was pretty dramatic.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the top of the 9th, with Ryan Hanigan on first base (walked), Jeff Bannon drilled a grounder up the middle, which looked like it was going into center field. Not on Brian Bixler’s watch, though. Bixler (photo) charged to his left, dove, and came up with the ball in his glove deep behind second base. Still sprawled out, he turned to his right and flipped the ball backwards to Luis Ordaz, who was at second base. The ball came to the left field side of second base (Bixler was throwing from the ground!), and Ordaz stretched way out (he’s not a tall guy, either) and caught the ball before Hanigan reached second base, for the force out. That’s why Bixler is an All-Star.
NOTES:
John Van Benschoten -- photo by NancyZ
John Van Benschoten (photo) has been named the International League Pitcher of the Week for last week. He had two starts last week (Tuesday in Louisville, and yesterday at home against Toledo), and won both games, giving up only one run in a total of 13.2 innings. He gave up 10 hits and 4 walks and struck out a total of 11 batters in those two games. Van Benschoten was also the Pitcher of the Week for the second week in May.
Go Tribe!

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Game #117 vs. New York

PNC Park | 7:05 | Snell vs. Orlando Hernandez | Box The bullpen faltered and the Pirates offense was unable to jump on Hernandez who walked five and tossed 130 pitches in just six innings of work. Each of the first three hitters got on base three times each. But Jason Bay was hitless in the four spot. Snell was solid, going seven and allowing three runs. He did give up 8 hits. But he walked no one and whiffed seven. Salomon Torres was...

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Indians Lose to Bats’ Bats

boxscore
(Photos by NancyZ)
Michael Tejera -- photo by NancyZ
A six-run 5th inning sealed the Indianapolis Indians’ fate tonight at Victory Field, as the Louisville Bats blasted to a huge lead on a grand slam by Bats’ right fielder Jeff Bannon. The Bats went on to win by a score of 12-3, with Bats’ starter Elizardo Ramirez earning the win and Tribe starter Michael Tejera (photo) taking the loss.
In each of the first two innings, the Indians had two men reach base but were unable to bring them around to score. 1B Steve Pearce and LF Michael Ryan hit back-to-back singles in the first inning. In the next inning, 2B Luis Ordaz singled and then C Carlos Maldonado was hit on the right hand by a pitch. Maldonado stayed in the game after his hand was examined by trainer Jose Ministral, and he caught the next two innings, but when his turn to bat came up again in t he 4th inning, David Parrish came in to pinch hit and then catch the rest of the game.
Michael Ryan -- photo by NancyZ
The Tribe got on the board against Bats’ starter Elizardo Ramirez in the 3rd inning. With two outs, Michael Ryan (photo) smashed a double to the wall in the right-center field alley. 3B Jose Hernandez came to the plate, ran the count full, and then fouled off four more pitches, before lifting a ball down the right field line to bounce off the wall. Ryan scored on the RBI double.
Michael Tejera pitched the first three innings seemingly with ease. He faced only one batter over the minimum for those innings, allowing only a single to C Ryan Hanigan, and striking out three batters. In the 4th inning with one out, Tejera gave up back-to-back walks to 1B Joey Votto and 3B Aaron Herr. CF Jay Bruce hit a long fly ball just to the right of the deepest pocket of left-center field, that looked like it was going out. In a lucky break for the Indians, the ball landed right in front of the wall and bounced over for a ground rule double. That brought in one run instead of two, and held Bruce to a double instead of a triple. With runners on second and third bases, C Ryan Hanigan was intentionally walked, bringing up RF Jeff Bannon. Bannon hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Herr. A second intentional walk (4th walk of the inning) to SS Paul Janish brought up pitcher Elizardo Ramirez, who struck out to end the inning, with the Bats leading 2-1.

Jonah Bayliss  --photo by NancyZ
Ramirez put the Indians down in order in the 4th inning, and then the Bats got right back to business, batting around. LF Chris Dickerson was hit by a pitch, and 2B Jorge Cantu doubled into left field. Michael Tejera got Joey Votto to ground out to first base, moving Cantu to third base. Three consecutive singles, to Aaron Herr, Jay Bruce, and Ryan Hanigan brought in two runs and loaded the bases with only one out. That was the end of Tejera’s night, and Jonah Bayliss (photo) entered in relief. But Jeff Bannon took Bayliss’ second pitch deep over the left field wall for a grand slam. A pop up and a strike out ended the inning, with the score 8-1.
Bayliss set the Bats down in order in the 6th inning. Brian Rogers came in to pitch the 7th, giving up only a walk while striking out two.
Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians started a come back in the 6th inning. With one out, Jose Hernandez lined a single into left field for his second hit of the night. RF Brad Eldred (photo) stepped to the plate and clobbered a 1-2 pitch to left-center field, about to the same spot that Jay Bruce’s ground rule double had gone. This one also looked like it was going out, but it bounced on the top of the wall and fell on the inside of the wall for an RBI triple. Luis Ordaz singled, allowing Eldred to score easily. Elizardo Ramirez exited at that point, in favor of reliever Brad Salmon. Salmon walked David Parrish on four pitches. Then pinch hitter Don Kelly grounded to first base, where Jay Votto was thinking too much about throwing to second base before he actually had the ball in his glove. By the time he picked up the bobble, his only play was at first, and even that was very close — but Kelly was out. A pop fly ended the inning, with the Indians gaining a little bit of ground, 8-3. (Now if we just keep getting two runs in each of the remaining innings……)
Jesse Chavez-- photo by NancyZ
Reliever Jesse Chavez pitched the last two innings for the Tribe. Pinch hitter Mark Bellhorn, who just joined the Bats today from the Cincinnati Reds, singled, then Chris Dickerson reached first base when Tribe 1B Steve Pearce bobbled the catch of a ground ball. A double by Jorge Cantu brought in both Bellhorn and Dickerson, and a homer to straight-away center field brought in two more runs, giving the Bats a 12-3 lead. Chavez ended the 8th with two fly outs, and then pitched a scoreless 9th inning, walking one and striking out two.
The Indians’ hopes were dashed in their last three at-bats. Brad Salmon pitched a perfect 7th inning, and Tyler Pelland pitched the 8th and 9th innings, both perfect, to end the game.
Elizardo Ramirez’s win was his third of the season with the Bats. Michael Tejera’s loss was his third of the season, and his first in his last 6 starts.
The middle of the batting order had 8 of the 9 hits for the Tribe. Michael Ryan, Jose Hernandez, and Luis Ordaz each had two hits. Adam Boeve and Brad Eldred each had one hit.
Brian Bixler -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Brad Eldred’s RBI triple in the 6th inning. It came so close to being a homer, but the triple was pretty dramatic.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the top of the 9th, with Ryan Hanigan on first base (walked), Jeff Bannon drilled a grounder up the middle, which looked like it was going into center field. Not on Brian Bixler’s watch, though. Bixler (photo) charged to his left, dove, and came up with the ball in his glove deep behind second base. Still sprawled out, he turned to his right and flipped the ball backwards to Luis Ordaz, who was at second base. The ball came to the left field side of second base (Bixler was throwing from the ground!), and Ordaz stretched way out (he’s not a tall guy, either) and caught the ball before Hanigan reached second base, for the force out. That’s why Bixler is an All-Star.
NOTES:
John Van Benschoten -- photo by NancyZ
John Van Benschoten (photo) has been named the International League Pitcher of the Week for last week. He had two starts last week (Tuesday in Louisville, and yesterday at home against Toledo), and won both games, giving up only one run in a total of 13.2 innings. He gave up 10 hits and 4 walks and struck out a total of 11 batters in those two games. Van Benschoten was also the Pitcher of the Week for the second week in May.
Go Tribe!

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