Bullington Removed Early, Tribe Loses

boxscore (photos by NancyZ )
Bryan Bullington
The Indianapolis Indians had to play catch-up ball against the Charlotte Knights in last night’s game at Knights’ Stadium, but they fell just one run short, as the Knights beat the Indians by a score of 4-3. Perhaps the most worrisome part of the loss was the loss of Tribe starter Bryan Bullington (photo ) after just one inning, due to shoulder soreness.
Bullington started the game by walking Knight’s LF Scott Podsednik. 2B Jason Bourgeois grounded into a fielder’s choice, forcing Podsednik out at second base, and leaving Bourgeois safe at first base. A double by CF Ryan Sweeney moved Bourgeois to third base, and an intentional walk to SS Tomas Perez loaded the bases. Bourgeois scored when a Bullington threw a wild pitch.
Bullington had thrown only 24 pitches in the inning, but shortly after he came back to the dugout at the end of the inning, pitcher Michael Tejera was seen running down to the bullpen and starting a warm-up. Tejera was given all the warm-up time he needed, and he entered the game to pitch in the bottom of the 2nd inning. The official word came from the Indians’ clubhouse: Bullington had been taken out of the game as a precaution, complaining of right shoulder discomfort. Since it is just his first year — first few months — back to pitching after missing a season due to surgery, the Indians and the Pirates want to be very careful with Bullington.
Michael Tejera -- photo by NancyZ
Michael Tejera (photo ) pitched 5 innings for the Indians. He allowed only three hits and didn’t walk any Knights. Two of the hits he allowed, though, were solo home runs by 3B Gustavo Molina, one in the 2nd inning and one in the 5th inning.
“(Gustavo) Molina had a really good day at the plate, and you have to tip your cap to a guy like that”, said Tejera after the game. “The first home run was a pitch over the middle of the plate, and he took advantage of it. The second home run was actually a pretty good pitch — down and in — and he just got it. Molina really gave Charlotte a big lift today.”
Brian Rogers relieved Tejera for the 7th, with a perfect inning. Jesse Chavez pitched the 8th inning and allowed the Knights’ final and winning run. With one out, Scott Podsednik doubled, and he scored when Jason Bourgeois singled to left field.
Knights’ starter Gavin Floyd held the Indians to 5 hits scattered over 7 innings. He walked 3 and struck out 8 Indians’ batters. It took the Indians until the 5th inning to put a run on the board. LF Michael Ryan reached base when Knights’ 2B Bourgeois made a fielding error on a ground ball. 1B Chris Truby’s single moved Ryan to second, and SS Nick Green’s single scored Ryan.

Nick Green  -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians added another run in the 6th. RF Yurendell de Caster doubled into center field, and advanced to third when 3B Russ Johnson grounded out to shortstop. C Einar Diaz lined an RBI single into center field to bring in de Caster.
The Tribe entered the 9th inning behind by two runs. Things started looking hopeful when DH David Parrish lined a double to left field with one out. Nick Green’s (photo ) single to center plated Parrish, and the Indians were only down by one run. But the game ended on an odd double play. With 2B Brian Bixler batting, Nick Green was leading off first, looking as if he was thinking about stealing second base. On the 3-2 pitch, Bixler swung and missed for a strike out. Green broke for second base late, and was caught in no-man’s-land about a third of the way from first to second base, and was easily tagged out to end the game.
Yurendell de Caster  -- photo by NancyZ
Bryan Bullington took the loss, despite having only pitched one inning. It was his 3rd loss of the season. Bullington still leads the International League with 9 wins. His ERA is not 2.83. Gavin Floyd earned the win, making his record now 4-3, with a 3.58 ERA. David Aardsma, who pitched the last two innings for the Knights’, earned his first save.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Yurendell de Caster and Nick Green each had two hits in the game, with a double for de Caster and 2 RBI for Green. De Caster is currently the International League batting leader, with a .348 AVG. He also has a league-leading on-base percentage (OBP ) of .457. His OPS is .932, fourth in the league.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: The double play by Knights’ Craig Wilson to end the third inning, going Nick Green to Brian Bixler to Chris Truby (6-4-3 ).
Masumi Kuwata -- photo by NancyZ
No news yet today (Monday) about Bryan Bullington’s shoulder status.
Sean Burnett is expected to start throwing again in the next few days, with the hope that he’ll be back pitching before the end of the month.
Dream come true: Masumi Kuwata (photo ) pitched in his first US Major League game yesterday. Wearing #18, the number he wore for 20 years with the Yomiuri Giants, Kuwata pitched two innings for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their game against the New York Yankees in New York. Kuwata pitched a perfect 5th inning. He had some trouble in the 6th inning, though. Kuwata first got Johnny Damon to fly out and Derek Jeter to line out to shortstop. Then Bobby Abreu took a 3-2 pitch for a walk. Alex Rodriguez took the first pitch he saw from Kuwata over the right field wall for a 2-run homer. Kuwata then walked former Yomiuri Giants teammate Hideki Matsui before getting Robinson Cano to pop up to end the inning.
Trent Jewett -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ manager Trent Jewett (photo ) has a blog on the Indianapolis Star site. In his first entry, he talks about Masumi Kuwata being on the team.
Don’t forget to vote our Indy Indians onto the International League All-Star Team! Vote at either of these two sites:
Go Tribe!

Read More

Rating the Comedy Central

MVN’s president, Evan Brunell, sent me a link today to ESPN’s player ratings. I’m assuming he was trying—as a Red Sox fan—to point out the fact that Kevin Youkilis is considered to be the best first baseman in baseball. That’s fine, rub it in. I know the Pirates are bad. The more I clicked around, though, the more I got into the ratings. I’m a big fan of the Worldwide Leader’s split...

Read More

Book Review: Roberto! by Bill Christine

This was one of the first books written about Roberto Clemente in the aftermath of his death. It was published in April of 1973. I picked up a badly tattered copy at a baseball card show in Pittsburgh earlier this year for $1.00. Tough to beat that. Christine covered the Pirates while working for Pittsburgh Press in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was the reporter that broke the story about Clemente being abducted at gunpoint by...

Read More

Series Preview: Rangers/Pirates

The Pirates return home after a Bronx Beatdown at the hands of the New York Yankees. The Bucs proved to be just what the doctor ordered for New York, as the previously struggling Yankees pummeled the Pirates by a combined score of 27-13. Next on the agenda for the Pirates are the Texas Rangers and, believe it or not, one of these teams must actually win. The Rangers enter the series with the worst record in baseball (23-40, .365),...

Read More

Tribe Win in Extra Innings

boxscore (photos by NancyZ )
Marty McLeary -- photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians went into the 9th inning of last night’s game against the Charlotte Knights with a solid lead, and thinking that they had the game wrapped up. But in the bottom of the 9th, the Knights rallied to tie the score and send the game into extra innings at Knight’s Stadium. In the 11th inning, the Indians scratched out one more run, and then held the Knights in the bottom of the inning, for the extra inning win.
The Indians started things off against Knights’ starter Heath Phillips by threatening in the top of the first inning. With two out, RF Yurendell de Caster lined a triple to right field. It was de Caster’s first triple of the season. 1B Jose Hernandez walked to put runners on the corners. But DH Russ Johnson hit a grounder to force Hernandez out at second for the third out.
Nick Green -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians had better luck against Phillips in the next inning. 2B Luis Ordaz singled with one out. 3B Chris Truby ground into a fielder’s choice, and so he replaced Ordaz on first base. C Carlos Maldonado, just reactivated from being on the Disabled List with a broken bone in his left hand, walked. LF Nick Green (photo ) lifted a long fly ball over the left field wall to bring in Maldonado and Truby on his 4th homer of the year.
The Tribe made Phillips worry again in the 5th inning. With one out, Phillips gave up back-to-back hits to SS Brian Bixler and Yurendell de Caster. Bixler and de Caster attempted a double steal, and both got to the bases safely. But de Caster was out at second when he came off the bag after running in safely without even a slide. Jose Hernandez walked, and he then stole second base, to put two runners in scoring position with two out. But then Russ Johnson grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.
In the 6th inning, the Indians added 2 more runs. Luis Ordaz singled, and Chris Truby hit his first home run of the year, a 2-run shot to left field. That put the Tribe up by a score of 5-0.
That wouldn’t last long, though. Indians’ starter Marty McLeary had scattered 4 hits and one walk over the first 5 scoreless innings, and had struck out 5 batters. In the bottom of the 6th, though, he started the inning with back-to-back walks to RF Craig Wilson and CF Ryan Sweeney. That ended McLeary’s night, and brought reliever Franquelis Osoria into the game. SS Tomas Perez greeted Osoria by blasting the second pitch he saw over the right field wall, for a 3-run homer, making the score 5-3.

The Indians added two more runs in the top of the 8th inning. With former Indian Jason Childers on the mound, Luis Ordaz singled and then stole second base, his 7th steal of the year. Carlos Maldonado lined a double to left field to score Ordaz. Nick Green followed with a single to left field, moving Maldonado to third base. A ground ball single into right field by Brian Bixler scored Maldonado, and sent Childers to the showers. Carlos Vasquez entered the game in relief for the Knights, and he struck out Michael Ryan to end the inning.
All appeared under control for the Tribe going into the bottom of the 9th inning. With one out, Juan Perez walked the first two batters, Ryan Smith and Scott Podsednik. Manager Trent Jewett decided to go with reliever Dan Kolb. Kolb gave up a single to Jason Bourgeois, to load the bases, and then struck out Craig Wilson for the second out. Then Ryan Sweeney hit an RBI single into left field, scoring Smith and leaving the bases still loaded. Tomas Perez was next — he hit a single into center field for two RBI, bringing in Podsednik and Bourgeois, and moving Sweeney to third base. Brian Anderson singled into left field, to score Sweeney and tie the score. Casey Rogowski lined out to Indians’ shortstop Brian Bixler, and the game headed into extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning, the Indians threatened again. Luis Ordaz got his fourth hit of the night and his 10th double of the season. Chris Truby struck out and Carlos Maldonado walked. Nick Green lined a ball into center field, which Knight’s CF Ryan Sweeney caught — surprising Ordaz, who couldn’t get back to second base in time, and was doubled off to end the inning. Tribe pitcher Dan Kolb set the Knights down in order in the bottom of the 10th, and the Indians had another chance.
The top of the 11th started with Brian Bixler lining out to second base. The Knights then changed pitchers, with Shaun Babula relieving Ehren Wassermann. Michael Ryan walked, and advanced to third when Jose Hernandez singled. Russ Johnson, who had been 0 for 5 on the night, then lifted a fly ball into center field for the sacrifice, allowing Ryan to score the go-ahead run. Tribe reliever Jesse Chavez pitched the bottom of the 11th, allowing a single to Jason Bourgeois and a walk to Ryan Sweeney with one out. Tomas Perez blasted a line drive — that went right to Tribe 3B Chris Truby for the second out. Truby was then able to reach out and tag Bourgeois who was running from second to third, for the final out of the game.
Luis Ordaz had 4 hits for the Tribe, including a double. Nick Green, Brian Bixler, Yurendell de Caster, and Chris Truby each had two hits.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: It would have to be Russ Johnson’s timely long fly ball for the sacrifice, scoring the game-winning run. Chris Truby and Nick Green also had home runs in the game.
Indians’ defensive gem(s) of the game: Chris Truby, who had three great plays. He ended the game by stabbing a hard line drive and then tagging the runner going past him for a double play. He also charged to the left of the mound to scoop up an infield hit and throw out the runner, and snagged a hit down the third base line and threw to first in time for another out.
Japanese pitching legend Masumi Kuwata has been called up to Pittsburgh, after just over a week with the Indians. In three appearances with the Tribe, Kuwata pitched scoreless 4.1 innings in relief. He allowed three hits, one in each appearance, and struck out three batters. He will take the roster spot that was opened up when Pirates’ reliever Salomon Torres went on the DL.
Carlos Maldonado was reactivated from the Tribe’s DL.
Don’t forget to vote for our Indians to be named to the International League All-Star Team. Go to:
www. indyindians.com or
to vote.
Go Tribe!

Read More

Amateur Draft Analysis – Rounds 6-10

6. Matt Foust, RHP, Nebraska - Foust, despite being a college junior, had thrown only 12.2 innings for the ‘Huskers before the 2007 season. Foust redshirted in 2004 following shoulder surgery, but barely took the field in ’05 and ’06 due to poor conditioning. Foust got himself in shape prior to the 2007 season, dropping 20 pounds to a more reasonable 225 on his 6-3 frame. Foust throws an 90-94 MPH fastball as well as...

Read More