Game #66 vs. Texas

PNC Park | 7:05 | Gorzelanny vs. Kameron Loe | Box Jerry Hairston led off the game with a homer, and that’s all the run support Kameron Loe would need Thursday night. The Rangers shut out the Bucs, 6-0, in one of the most frustrating games of the season. Travis Metcalf and Gerald Laird also took Tom Gorzelanny deep. Metcalf’s blast was the first hit of his major-league career. The Pirate offense never got started. Chris...

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A Few Minutes With Bryan Bullington

In his last start, Tribe starter Bryan Bullington was able to go only one inning before being removed due to shoulder stiffness and arm tiredness. The plan at this point is for him to miss one start, and then (hopefully) be able to get right back into the rotation. Bullington’s record is currently 9-3, with a 2.83 ERA. He is leading the International League in wins, and is third in the league with 76.1 innings pitched. The 26-year old right-hander has given up 63 hits and struck out 46.
Prior to that last start, Bullington had won his last 3 starts, and was particularly tough on his May 31st start, when he pitched 8 innings. A few days ago (but before that last start), Bullington was kind enough to sit down with me and answer some questions.
The game on May 31st was an excellent outing.
BB: Thanks! It was one of the better nights I’ve had as far as having all my pitches, throwing strikes, and getting ahead of guys… When we’re swinging the bat well, you want to get out and back off the field quick so our guys can keep swinging. It was a team effort.
Bryan Bullington on the mound -- photo by NancyZ
Did you wish you could go out there and swing the bat too?
BB: (laughing) No, I’ll let those guys take care of that. That’s their job.
How did it feel to face Buffalo outfielder Brad Snyder, who had been your teammate at Ball State?
BB: It was fun. We played at their place (in Buffalo, earlier in May)… We’d gone against each other a few times during fall ball and in college, so this wasn’t the first time we’d faced each other in a game situation. He’s had a good start to his minor league career these past couple of years, and now he’s become a very good player, and has a chance of being a good one in the big leagues as well.
Who has the advantage when you face each other? Does he know what pitches you’re throwing?
BB: I don’t know…. I’d always rather be in my shoes, because I know what I’m going to throw and what’s coming. He’s a good hitter, and he’s doing a good job at the plate. It’s a good challenge. He’s seen me pitch a few times, so yeah, he knows what I’ve got.

Bryan Bullington --photo by NancyZ
What about these long road trips, and days off on the road?
BB: Long, really long…. it starts to drag on a bit, that’s for sure…. Any time you have a day off on the road, it’s not a lot of fun. We were able to get out and hit the golf ball a little bit, so it wasn’t a lost day.
What do you do on the road, on the bus?
BB: On the bus, it’s usually a movie going, listen to music, talk on the phone here and there, catch up with friends and family, hope that time passes. On the road, I try to go to a gym in the morning and get a bite to eat and get to the field. I try to keep myself as busy as possible.
How was it to have Masumi Kuwata on the team?
BB: “Nico” is his nickname. He’s a great guy. I got to know him in spring training. He’s a hard worker, and he takes his training very seriously… I’m sure he’s going to pitch well. I’m sure he’s excited about the opportunity.
It won’t be long until you get the opportunity to pitch in the majors.
BB: I hope so. I’m going to pitch as well as I can here in Indianapolis, and hopefully force their hand so that they have to make a decision. Keep pitching well, and have the option. We have a couple of guys down here who are throwing the ball really well right now also. Just keep working, keep getting better each time out.
Bryan Bullington  -- photo by NancyZ
How does it feel to be pitching in Indianapolis, your home town?
BB: It’s a fun experience. If you’re not going to be in the big leagues, if you’re going to be in AAA, then this is definitely the place I’d like to be. My parents live 20 minutes from the ballpark. They get down here to see me start. They are going to get down here during the summer quite a bit. My wife and I had our first daughter in the off-season. So it’s been nice. We have a lot of friends and family in the area, so it’s been fun.
Does your daughter get to come to the ball games?
BB: She makes it down for the day games, and stays for a couple of innings at some of the night games. It’s past her bedtime.
What’s your favorite thing about Indianapolis?
BB: We lived here when I was younger, and then my parents moved back here when I was at Ball State. I like it. It’s the perfect size town in my mind. There’s plenty to do. There’s lots of activity. But you don’t have the terrible traffic, and you don’t have the overpopulation. My wife and I live in Chicago now, so it’s a little different. It’s a little slower paced (in Indianapolis), which is nice. You have all the activity, plenty of nice golf courses and restaurants, plenty of things to do, so I like it.
Thanks to Bryan for his time!
Go Tribe!
(photos by NancyZ)

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Neyer Doesn't Agree with Benching Jack Wilson

ESPN’s Rob Neyer found Dejan’s article on the splinter in Jack Wilson’s behind. Interestingly enough, on his Insider blog—subscription required—Neyer implies that Wilson shouldn’t have been benched: [Jose] Castillo’s no better with the bat than Wilson. [Brian] Bixler’s not been considered a strong defender, and his minor-league OBP entering this season was .356, so he’s not exactly...

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Indy Indians: Stat Rats

The Indianapolis Indians have a day off today. So, I was perusing the stats pages…..
TEAM STATS–HITTING
Indians are …
#1 in BA — .283; Buffalo is 2nd — .272
#1 in OBP — .354; Buffalo is 2nd — .347
#2 in SLG — .413; Buffalo is 1st — .426
#2 in OPS — .768; Buffalo is 1st — .773
#1 in Runs scored — 329; Buffalo is 2nd — 320
#1 in hits — 611; Louisville is 2nd — 578
#5 in doubles — 115; Toledo is 1st — 130
tied for first with Louisville in triples — 19
#10 in homers — 43; Durham is 1st — 73
#3 in RBI — 298; Buffalo is 1st — 300, and Toledo is 2nd — 299
#9 in walks — 203; Louisville is 1st — 256
#11 in strikeouts (that’s good) — 398; Durham is 1st — 620
#1 in stolen bases — 95; Buffalo, Charlotte, and Richmond are tied for 2nd — 65; Ottawa is last — 30
INDIVIDUAL STATS–HITTING
The team leader in each category (more than just a few at bats) :
AVG: Yurendell de Caster — .342; 1st in the International League
OBP: Yurendell de Caster — .451; 1st in the IL
SLG: Brian Bixler — .481; 16th in the IL (David Parrish has .485 in 33 AB’s, and Chris Truby has .526 in 19 AB’s)
OPS: Yurendell de Caster — .917; 5th in the IL
Runs: Brian Bixler — 44; tied with three others for 1st in IL
Hits: Rajai Davis — 67; 11th in the IL [Brian Bixler has 65, 16th in the IL]
Doubles: Luis Matos — 16; tied for 7th in the IL
Triples: Brian Bixler — 7; tied for 1st in the IL
HR: Jose Hernandez — 6; tied for 32nd in the IL
RBI: Rajai Davis–30 and Brian Bixler — 29; 24th and 28th in the IL
Walks: Yurendell de Caster — 35; 7th in the IL
Strikeouts: Brian Bixler –44; highest in the IL is Mike Hessman (Toledo) with 79
Stolen bases: Rajai Davis –27; Nyjer Morgan — 22; Brian Bixler — 12
Davis is still 1st and Morgan 3rd in the IL, and Bixler is 8th.

TEAM STATS — PITCHING
The Indians are….
#7 in ERA — 3.74; Richmond is 1st — 3.23
#9 in WHIP — 1.40; Rochester is 1st — 1.22
#6 in Innings Pitched — 568.1; Toledo is 1st — 598.2
#11 in Complete games –none; Rochester is 1st — 7
tied for 2nd in shutouts — 6; Richmond is 1st — 8
4th in Saves — 21; Norfolk is 1st — 23
9th in Hits — 551; Norfolk is 1st — 588
11th in Runs — 264; Buffalo is 1st — 317
10th in Earned runs — 236; Buffalo is 1st — 280
13th in Home runs — 40; Columbus is 1st — 65, and Richmond is last — 36
3rd in Walks — 247; Charlotte is 1st — 273
Last (14th) in Strikeouts — 372; Durham is 1st — 528
9th in Hit Batters — 25; Norfolk is 1st — 40
INDIVIDUAL STATS — PITCHING
The team leader in each category (more than just a few innings pitched) :
Wins: Bryan Bullington — 9; 1st in the International League
Losses: Shane Youman — 5; 10th in the IL
Saves: Franquelis Osoria and Dan Kolb — 4; Cory Doyne of Norfolk has 19
ERA (relievers ): Masumi Kuwata — 0, Franquelis Osoria — 2.27
ERA (starters ): John VanBenschoten — 2.73; 4th in IL
WHIP (relievers ): Kuwata –0.69; Brian Rogers — 1.04
WHIP (starters ): Bryan Bullington — 1.22; 11th in IL
Innings Pitched : Bryan Bullington — 76.1; 3rd in the IL
Hits: Shane Youman — 76; 9th in the IL
Runs: Shane Youman — 36; 20th in the IL
Earned Runs: Shane Youman — 34; 18th in the IL
Homers: Bryan Bullington and Michael Tejera — 5; Heath Phillips of Charlotte has 15
Walks: Sean Burnett — 33; tied for 3rd in the IL
Strikeouts: Bryan Bullington — 46; Virgil Vasquez of Toledo has 79
Hit Batters: John VanBenschoten — 5; tied for 6th in IL
NOTES:
To create a roster space for reliever Dan Kolb, the Pirates designated infielder Don Kelly for assignment. The team has 10 days to either trade him, release him, or send him to Indianapolis if he clears waivers.
Don’t forget to vote for the Indians to be named to the International League All-Star Team! Vote at :
www.indyindians.com or
www.milb.com
You may vote up to 25 times.
Go Tribe!

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Game #65 vs. Texas

PNC Park | 7:05 | Snell vs. Robinson Tejada | Box There’s something refreshing about beating a team into oblivion. Of course, that’s exactly what happened when Ian Snell and the Pirates faced off against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday evening. Snell hurled his first career complete game, and Jose Bautista instigated an offensive outburst that saw every member of the Pirates’ starting lineup reach base safely....

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The X-Factor

I’ll be the first to admit that a starting rotation featuring Ian Snell, Tom Gorzelanny and Oliver Perez would be downright scary this year. The trio has combined to throw 247 innings in 2007, allowing 81 earned runs while striking out 191 batters—good for a 2.95 ERA. By comparsion, Brandon Webb pitched 235 innings in 2006, setting down 178 while compiling a 3.10 ERA. Webb won the Cy Young. I’m sure if the...

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