Game #109 vs. Cincinnati

PNC Park | 1:35 | Gorzelanny vs. Bronson Arroyo | Box Rained out. To be made up as part of a doubleheader on 8/28. This saves the Bucs from being swept by the lowly Redlegs. Pre-game Thoughts Everybody knows about Bronson Arroyo. Guitar player. Long blonde hair. Tall, lanky. At the top of his delivery he pauses briefly on one leg, giving him the most graceful looking windup in all of baseball. Not that something like that counts for...

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I Appreciate Barry Bonds

A night after Barry Bonds reached the top of the all-time home run list and a week before he plays what could be his final two games in Pittsburgh, I figured I’d dig a post out of the archives and pay tribute to a former Pirate… Barry was here when Pittsburgh last experienced baseball glory; when the Bucs were the class of the National League in the early 1990s, it was Barry who made the team go. He was the last in a long...

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Munoz and Ryan Lead the Tribe Over the Tide

boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
Indians’ left fielder Michael Ryan hit 2 home runs in the month of May and 2 more in June. Then he exploded with 10 home runs in July. Tonight he started in on the count for August, with a monster homer over the Norfolk bullpen in the 3rd inning, for his 15th homer of the season, to spark the Indians’ scoring, as the Indians beat the Norfolk Tides 3-1 at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia.
?I had a good change-up to swing at in my first at-bat, so I was looking for it again in my second,” said Ryan in a post-game interview. “I got one up in the zone and was able to take it out for a home run.? Ryan’s improvement at the plate has been reflected in his overall batting average too, which went up 25 points from June to July, and
is up more than 30 points from before the All-Star break to after the All-Star break. His OBP is up over 35 points, and his SLG is up from .420 to .655. He credits his hitting coach, Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens for his assistance in this upward trend. “‘Bam Bam’ has really helped me with my approach. I have gained some offensive confidence and it is showing on the field.?
Luis Munoz  -- photo by NancyZ
The game started off with the Tides seemingly ready to give away a run to the Indians. In the top of the 1st inning, Tides’ starter, right hander Andy Mitchell, had put down the first two Tribe batters, when LF Michael Ryan reached base on a fielding error by Norfolk 1B Jon Knott. A wild pitch moved Ryan into scoring position at second base, but Mitchell got 1B Steve Pearce to strike out to end the inning.
The Indians did give away a run in the bottom of the 1st inning. Tribe starter Luis Munoz (photo), just today put back on the active roster, gave up a single to lead-off batter CF Tike Redman, and then got the next two batters to fly out. Redman stole second base, and moved to third base when Tribe C David Parrish’s throw to second base went into centerfield. Redman headed for home when CF Luis Matos’s throw to third base sailed into the Indians’ visiting team dugout.
That unearned run was the only run the Tides would score. Luis Munoz earned his second win with the Indians, as he gave up 7 hits and a walk scattered over 6.1 innings, while striking out 5 Norfolk batters. One of the hits, to Jon Knott, was a double, and the rest were singles. Knott had 2 hits, and Tike Redman had 3 hits and 2 stolen bases. The biggest threat Munoz faced after the first inning came in the 6th inning, when 3B Terry Tiffee and Jon Knott both singled. Munoz struck out LF Val Majewski to end the inning and the threat.

Juan Perez -- photo by NancyZ
Reliever Juan Perez (photo) took over for Luis Munoz in the 7th inning. Munoz got one out and then gave up a single to former Indianapolis Indian (2005) SS Cesar Crespo. With left-handed batter Tike Redman coming to the plate, the lefty Perez entered the game. Perez got Redman to ground into a double play to end the inning. Perez also pitched the 8th inning for the Tribe, walking one and striking out two batters. Bret Prinz pitched the 9th inning to earn his second save. He walked one and gave up a single to Crespo, but didn’t allow a run to score.
The Indians got onto the scoreboard in the 3rd inning. With two out, Michael Ryan blasted his team-leading 15th homer to tie the game at 1-1. 1B Steve Pearce followed the homer with a line drive single, and 3B Jose Hernandez smashed a triple to the wall in right field, scoring Pearce with the go-ahead run.
Brad Eldred -- photo by NancyZ
The Tribe added an insurance run in the 5th inning. 2B Don Kelly hit the Tribe’s second triple of the game to lead off the inning. SS Brian Bixler struck out, and LF Michael Ryan was intentionally walked. Steve Pearce lined out to left field, and then Jose Hernandez also walked to load the bases. RF Brad Eldred (photo) slapped an RBI single to second base, bringing in Kelly. Michael Ryan rounded third base and headed for home, but Tides’ 2B Bo Hart fielded the ball and fired it home where C J.R. House tagged out Ryan, for the third out.
Reliever Steve Green entered the game to pitch the 7th inning for Norfolk. He allowed the Indians 2 hits and a walk, singles by Brian Bixler, who also stole second base, then a walk to Michael Ryan, and another single to Steve Pearce to load the bases with one out. But then Jose Hernandez grounded into a double play and the inning was over.
Francis Beltran pitched the last two innings for the Tides, giving up a single to CF Luis Matos in the 8th, and a single to Brian Bixler in the 9th. Bixler again stole second base, his 25th stolen base of the season. Bixler and Steven Pearce each had two hits for the Indians in the game. Andy Mitchell took the loss, his 7th of the season, for Norfolk.
Jose Hernandez -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ hitting gems of the game: Michael Ryan’s home run blast, plus two triples, by Don Kelly and Jose Hernandez (photo).
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: The game-ending play: with Bo Hart on third base and Cesar Crespo on first base, with two out, Tike Redman grounded a tricky hop to third base. Jose Hernandez fielded the trickster, and fired to Don Kelly at second base, just in time to force out Crespo, and end the game without allowing the run to score.
NOTES:
Roster moves:
Indians’ closer Franquelis Osoria was called up to the Pirates.
Luis Munoz was reassigned from Altoona — though he had been “in Altoona” only on paper, as it was planned for him to start tonight’s game for the Tribe.
Reliever Jonah Bayliss was optioned back from the Pirates to the Indians.
Humberto Cota -- photo by NancyZ
Injury report: C Humberto Cota (photo), who has been on the DL with a left shoulder injury, will be having surgery on that shoulder, ending his season.
Other promotions:
RHP Todd Redmond has been promoted from Lynchburg (A) to Altoona (AA). Redmond had a 7-8 record with a 4.54 ERA in 20 starts in Lynchburg.
LHP Daniel Moskos, the Pirates’ 2007 first-round draft pick, has been promoted from the GCL Pirates to the State College Spikes (A – short season). Moskos appeared in two games for the GCL Pirates, where he threw 3 innings, giving up no runs, with 5 strikeouts.
Go Tribe!

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Game #108 vs. Cincinnati

PNC Park | 7:05 | Morris vs. Bobby Livingston | Box As Brian pointed out in the comments, it wasn’t Harang. He was scratched due to problems with his back. Instead it was Bobby Livingston and he pitched pretty well. But the real story is Matt Morris’ Bucco debut. That and how many times the Pirates can blow late inning leads. First things first. Morris staked himself to an early lead with a solo homer in his first at bat...

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Effect of the Deadline on the 2008 Pirate Roster

If only for the sake of quick reference, I figured I’d put together a where-we-stand chart for the Pirates’ roster as of the beginning of August. The left columns represent the 25-man roster (and corresponding salaries) of the Pittsburgh Pirates as of Opening Day 2007. The right columns represent my best guess as to what the roster will look like as of April 2008. I’ve made a handful of assumptions: Jack Wilson will...

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Indians Split the Series With Richmond

Boxscore (Photos by NancyZ)
Steve Pearce -- photo by  NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians managed only 5 hits against Richmond Braves’ pitching tonight, though two of those hits were solo home runs, by Adam Boeve and Luis Ordaz. The Braves put up 16 hits, 5 doubles and 11 singles to score 9 runs, as Marty McLeary took his 4th loss of the season at The Diamond in Richmond, Virginia. The final score was 9-2. It was the last meeting of the Indians and the Braves for the 2007 season
The Braves got things started right away against Tribe starter Marty McLeary, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After two quick outs, LF Brandon Jones reached first base safely on a grounder toward the right side of the infield. Tribe 2B Luis Ordaz waved off 1B Steve Pearce (photo), and Ordaz was able to field the ball and throw to McLeary covering first base, but the throw was not in time, and Jones had a single. RF Doug Clark followed with a walk, and 1B Barbaro Canizares knocked both baserunners in with a line drive double into center field. Canizares went to third when SS Brent Lillibridge singled, but both were left on base when McLeary induced 3B Wes Timmons to fly out to end the inning.
Adam Boeve -- photo by NancyZ
The Braves’ scheduled starting pitcher, Lance Cormier, was called up to the parent Atlanta Braves today, and the Braves had to turn to right hander Jeff Bennett to make a spot start. It was Bennett’s third start of the season for the Braves. He pitched 5 innings for the Braves, giving up only three hits — a single to 2B Luis Ordaz in the 5th inning, a double to SS Brian Bixler in the 4th inning, and a solo home run to RF Adam Boeve (photo) in the second inning. He also walked one (Bixler) and struck out three Indians.
The bottom of the 5th inning brought a rally for the Braves. Marty McLeary started off by striking out Brandon Jones, but then walked Doug Clark, who promptly stole second base. Barbaro Canizares singled, moving Clark to third base. SS Brent Lillibridge doubled, bringing in Clark, and Wes Timmons was intentionally walked to load the bases, in hopes of a double play. But C Iker Franco didn’t cooperate with the Indians’ plans — instead he singled into left field, scoring Canizares and Lillibridge. That was all for McLeary, and Josh Sharpless entered the game in relief. Sharpless got pinch hitter Dan Smith to strike out, and then got CF Pete Orr to ground into a force out. The Braves had the lead, 5-1, a lead they would not give up.

Brian Rogers  -- photo by NancyZ
The Braves added two more insurance runs in the 6th inning. Brandon Jones walked, stole second, and advanced to third base on Josh Sharpless’s wild pitch. With two out, Barbaro Canizares got his 4th hit of the game, a line drive double into left field, scoring Jones. Canizares scored on Brent Lillibridge’s third hit of the game. When Wes Timmons also singled, Sharpless was lifted in favor of reliever Brian Rogers. Rogers (photo) threw three pitches, getting Iker Franco to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning, with the score standing at 7-1.
Richmond struck again in the 8th inning for two more runs. Reliever Jesse Chavez came in to take over for Brian Rogers, who had allowed one hit in 1.1 scoreless innings. With one out, Barbaro Canizares doubled for his 5th hit of the game, and Brent Lillibridge doubled for his 4th hit of the game, scoring Canizares. A wild pitch by Chavez moved Lillibridge to third base, and Wes Timmons pushed Lillibridge across the plate with a single.
Luis Ordaz -- photo by NancyZ
Ryan Basner pitched the final 4 innings for Richmond. Like Jeff Bennett, Basner also gave up a solo home run, this one to Luis Ordaz (photo) in the 8th inning. Adam Boeve had the only other hit off Basner, a single in the 7th inning. Basner also struck out three Tribe batters. Bennett earned the win, his first with the Braves. Basner earned his first save for the Braves.
Indians’ hitting gems of the game: Home runs by Adam Boeve (his 4th with the Indians and 18th overall for the season), and Luis Ordaz (his 2nd of the season).
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: A double play in the 3rd inning. With Brandon Jones on first base, Doug Clark grounded to 2B Luis Ordaz, who relayed to SS Brian Bixler, who in turn threw to 1B Steve Pearce (4-6-3).
NOTES:
An unusual occurrence: Brian Bixler was thrown out trying to steal second base in the first inning. It was only the 4th time Bixler has been thrown out in 24 attempts.
Marty McLeary’s last win occurred on June 4th — that’s 11 starts since his last win.
Go Tribe!

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