PNC Park | 1:35 | Maholm vs. Mike Bacsik | Box Paul Maholm might be the first to 20. Losses, that is. Randy’s studied 20-loss seasons. According to him, Murry Dickson was the only player to lose 20 games while playing for the Pirates—he did so in 1952. Join the club, Paulie? Sad thing is, Maholm’s been pitching well. He’s developing into a solid, back of the rotation starter. Littlefield wasn’t expecting...
The Pirates announced a crowd of 26,959 on Saturday. But more than 27,000 fans had a keen eye on this game—a protest of Pirate management and ownership by the “Fans for Change,” led by Andy Chomos, drew local and national attention. I wasn’t in attendance, but I’ll do my best to point you in the direction of solid coverage: Yahoo! Sports, Associated Press and the Biz of Baseball all posted relevant...
PNC Park | 7:05 | Gorzelanny vs. Jason Bergmann | Box The protest results are covered in a separate thread. I’ll keep updating it as more headlines pop up; if you see anything that I missed, feel free to leave a comment. I’m not sure how much the game mattered tonight. Most of the diehards turned their attention to the protest, and rightfully so. But, I’m sure the bobblehead crowded enjoyed the convincing win. Tom...
GAME ONE — started yesterday
boxscore (photos by NancyZ)
The Indianapolis Indians lost both ends of today’s double-header to the Columbus Clippers, both the completion of yesterday’s suspended game, and today’s 7-inning game. The Tribe was shut out in the suspended game, 4-0, and they only managed one run in the second game, losing 5-1, at Cooper Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The Indians’ 8-game road trip (mercifully) is at an end, and the Tribe returns to Victory Field tomorrow, after having won only one game on the road. The Indians are 3 games behind first-place Toledo in the International League West standings.
The Tribe’s starter Sean Burnett got the game off to a good start yesterday, giving up only one hit in the first two innings. He had walked Clippers’ Roger Bernadina to start the 3rd inning, and Bernadina moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by pitcher Tim Redding. That’s when the rains came. The game picked up at that point tonight, but with Jesse Chavez in to pitch in place of Burnett. Chavez was greeted with a single by RF Brandon Watson and a double by 2B Bernie Castro, which scored Bernadina. 3B Brent Abernathy grounded out, scoring Watson. Chavez struck out LF Michael Restovich to end the inning.
Clippers’ starter Tim Redding saw the Indians threaten in the 1st inning, when SS Brian Bixler (photo) singled and then stole second base and third base, and 1B Brad Eldred walked and stole second base in a double-steal. But Redding struck out three other batters, leaving the two runners stranded and no runs in. Redding kept the Indians scoreless in the next two innings, giving up one lone hit to C Humberto Cota, and seeing LF Matt Kata reach base on a fielding error by Clippers’ 3B Abernathy.
When the game resumed today, Levale Speigner replaced Redding. Speigner pitched three innings, giving up only one hit and one walk, while striking out 3 Tribe batters. Winston Abreu followed by pitching 2 innings. He gave up a double to Humberto Cota, but then retired the next 6 batters he faced. Edward Valdez finished the game for the Clippers, pitching the 9th inning. He gave up a double to Michael Ryan to lead off the inning, but then retired the next three batters, keeping the Tribe scoreless.
Jesse Chavez (photo) pitched 2.2 innings, giving up 4 hits and striking out 5. He was responsible for the run scored by Brandon Watson in the 3rd inning, and Sean Burnett was responsible for Bernadina’s run. Josh Sharpless entered the game in the 6th inning on a double switch, with Jose Hernandez coming in to play 1st base. With one out, 1B Larry Broadway walked, moved to second base on Sharpless’s wild pitch, and moved to third base on a ground out by SS Manny Alexander. A walk to C Juan Brito made things even more interesting, until CF Roger Bernadina struck out to end the inning without a run scoring.
Walks were the downfall of Josh Sharpless and reliever Brian Rogers in the 7th inning. Sharpless started the inning by walking Winston Abreu. Brandon Watson put down a sacrifice bunt to move Abreu to second base. Then Bernie Castro walked, and Brent Abernathy flied out for the second out. A fielding error by Tribe SS Brian Bixler loaded the bases. Walk #3, to Larry Broadway forced in Abreu with the first run. At that point, Sharpless was relieved by Brian Rogers. He served up walk #4 of the inning, scoring Castro. Finally Juan Brito grounded out to end the inning, leaving three runners on base.
Levale Speigner earned the win for the Clippers, his first of the season. Sean Burnett was charged with the loss, his 5th. Both Humberto Cota and Michael Ryan had doubles, as the Tribe put up only 5 runs in the game.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Humberto Cota had two hits in the game, including a double.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: The Indians’ pitchers struck out 9 Clippers’ batters, 8 of them in the second part of the game today. Jesse Chavez struck out 5 in 2.2 innings.
GAME TWO — today’s
The second game, per International League rules for a double-header, was a 7-inning game. Indians’ starter Marty McLeary (photo) was on the mound, pitching close to where he grew up in Kettering, Ohio. He had many friends and family members in the stands to watch him pitch. But things did not go well for McLeary, and he particularly seemed to be having trouble with his control.
The Clippers jumped on McLeary in the first inning with three consecutive singles. With one out, LF Brandon Watson singled, and then moved to second base when McLeary committed a balk. Another single by 2B Brent Abernathy moved Watson to third base, and a third single by 3B Kory Casto scored Watson. RF Abraham Nunez grounded into an inning-ending double play, to get McLeary out of the inning without further runs scoring.
The Indians came right back in the top of the 2nd inning, when Tribe 1B Jose Hernandez (photo below)hit a solo home run. It was his 7th home run of the season, giving him the team lead for homers.
In the bottom of the second, McLeary had control issues again, as he walked 4 batters in the inning. It started with two walks, to 1B Larry Broadway and C Brandon Harper. A wild pitch by McLeary advanced the runners, and a sacrifice fly by SS Melvin Dorta scored Broadway. Pitcher Joel Hanrahan hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Don Kelly, who stopped the ball, but then fell down, allowing Hanrahan to reach first before the throw. CF Roger Bernadina lined a double into right field, which scored Harper and moved Hanrahan to third base. Brandon Watson smashed a grounder right back to McLeary, who stabbed it and threw to first, for the inning’s second out. Then Brent Abernathy lined a single to center, to score both Hanrahan and Bernadina. The bases were loaded again with back-to-back walks to Kory Casto and Abraham Nunez. Finally, Broadway, at the plate for the second time in the inning, flied out to left field to end the inning. That put the Clippers up by a score of 5-1.
McLeary was able to put the Clippers down in order with three fly outs in the 3rd inning, but the 4th inning brought more trouble for him. Roger Bernadina led off with a double, and he moved to third on Brandon Watson’s sacrifice bunt. A walk to Brent Abernathy meant the end of the day for McLeary. Reliever Mark Corey (photo) came in for McLeary, and he was able to strike out Kory Casto and get Abraham Nunez to ground out to end the inning without any runs scoring.
Corey pitched a scoreless 5th inning, making use of his teammates’ double-play to erase a single by Larry Broadway. Jonah Bayliss pitched a scoreless 6th inning, in his first appearance for the Indians since being optioned down from the Pirates.
Meanwhile, the Indians’ batters were being held to only 4 more hits after Hernandez’s homer, plus one walk by Columbus’ starter Joel Hanrahan. He also struck out 6 batters. The biggest threat that the Indians came up with was in the top of the 6th inning, when SS Brian Bixler and pinch hitter Matt Kata hit back-to-back singles with two out. But Kata was caught stealing second base, to end the inning without a run scoring.
Joel Hanrahan took the win for the Clippers, his 3rd this season. Reliever Chris Booker, who came in to finish the 9th inning for Hanrahan. With two out in the 9th, CF Luis Matos singled and C Einar Diaz walked. Booker pitched to just one batter, striking out 2B Luis Ordaz on three pitches to end the game and get the save.
Marty McLeary took the loss for the Tribe, his 3rd of the season. He gave up 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 5 walks in 3.1 innings.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Jose Hernandez’s home run to right field in the second inning, which was the Indians’ only run of the game.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: The inning-ending double play in the 1st inning, with four runs in and two runners on base. It was Luis Ordaz to Brian Bixler to Jose Hernandez, 4-6-3, and they kept runs from scoring and kept the inning from being extended. They also turned a double play in the 5th inning, going Bixler to Ordaz to Hernandez.
Michael Ryan extended his hitting streak to 10 games, with a hit in each of the two games.
Brian Bixler’s two stolen bases moves him up to 19 steals, leading the Indians.
Alay Soler, the Cuban pitcher signed by the Pirates during spring training after the NY Mets released him, has now been released by the Pirates. Soler had been playing with Altoona, where he had appeared in 14 games for the Curve, including 5 starts. His record was 1-1, with a 6.00 ERA.
The Pacific Coast League All-Star Roster was announced yesterday. It includes former Indianapolis Indian (2004) C Mark Johnson, currently of the Tucson Sidewinders. Vincennes, Indiana native Clint Barmes, who attended Indiana State, was also named to the team. He is playing middle infield for Colorado Springs, the Colorado Rockies’ AAA affiliate. The AAA All-Star Game, featuring Indy Indians’ Bryan Bullington, Brian Bixler, and Yurendell de Caster, will be on Wednesday July 11th, in Albuquerque. Watch it on ESPN2.
PNC Park | 7:05 | Snell vs. Matt Chico | Box Rarely do you see the Pirates erupt with a show of such sheer jubilation as you did on Friday night. Jose Bautista’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth scored Jose Castillo, and the Pirates walked off with a 3-2 win. As Castillo trotted home from third, Ian Snell vaulted the dugout railing and led his teammates down the first base line. The Pirates mobbed Bautista in a display...
The Pirates’ starting rotation has contained highly touted, homegrown arms Ian Snell, Tom Gorzelanny, Zach Duke, and Paul Maholm for a few years now. Several years ago, the Pirates had another group of promising young pitchers, each selected in the first round in a three year period. Sean Burnett (2000), John Van Benschoten (2001) and Bryan Bullington (2002) we once hailed as the future nucleus of the big league rotation, but...