It would be irresponsible for the Pirates to win now

It’s a topic to which Pat alluded and Rowdy provided a direct answer: Which is more important to the Pirates: 1. The window of opportunity that exists from having this group together until 2009? 2. The window that exists this year by the division being so down? That was the question Dejan set forth in Wednesday’s Q&A. He, Pat and Rowdy answered the prompt similarly: … why should the Pirates wait until 2008 or...

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Indians Can’t Catch Up to Bison

boxscore (photos by NancyZ )
Sean Burnett -- photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians had the tables turned on them this afternoon at Victory Field. After pounding the Bison 10-3 yesterday, the Indians found themselves on the losing end of an 11-6 score today. The Indians did do better at putting hits on the board today (11 ) than the Bison did yesterday (5 ), but it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Bison’s 15 hits for 11 runs.
Indians starter Sean Burnett (photo ) did well in the first inning, retiring the first three batters in the line up. He did give up a walk to RF Franklin Gutierrez, but then picked him off base and threw him out as he tried to make it to second base.
The second and third innings were trouble for Burnett. League-leading hitter CF Ben Francisco led off with a single up the middle. He moved to third on 1B Ryan Mulhern’s single to right. LF Jason Cooper smashed a double to deep center field, which Tribe CF Rajai Davis couldn’t quite get to, and both Francisco and Mulhern scored. In the third inning, SS Luis Rivas hit a sharp grounder to third which bounced high off Tribe 3B Jose Hernandez’s glove and into left field. With DH Shin-Soo Choo batting, Rivas stole second base. Choo followed with an infield single towards first. Brad Eldred fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw to Burnett, who ran over to cover first, was a little behind Burnett as he ran, and Burnett couldn’t hold onto the ball. Choo also stole second base as Ben Francisco was batting, and both runners held their positions at second and third when Francisco grounded out to third. Then 3B Andy Marte lofted a high fly that bounced on the top of the wall as it went over in left center field, for a 3-run homer.
David Parrish -- photo by NancyZ
At the end of three innings, Burnett had thrown 86 pitches (50 for strikes ). He was relieved as Jesse Chavez started the top of the 4th inning. Chavez also gave up a leadoff hit, a double up the middle by Franklin Gutierrez. Another hit by Choo moved Gutierrez to third, and Francisco’s sacrifice fly to deep center field scored the run.
The Indians started a comeback in the bottom of the 5th. Bison pitcher Bubbie Buzachero, usually a reliever, made a spot start because the previously scheduled starter, Rafael Perez, was called up to the Cleveland Indians a few days ago. Buzachero pitched 4 innings, giving up only two hits, and hitting Brad Eldred with a pitch. Another reliever, Jake Dittler entered the game in the 5th inning. With one out, LF Luis Matos walked. David Parrish (photo ) hit a long fly ball that sailed over the left field wall, not far from the foul pole, for his first home run with the Indians. “It felt pretty good”, said Parrish in a statement after the game. “He [pitcher Jake Dittler] started me off with a first-pitch curveball, and then he came back with an inside sinker. I was able to get a hold of it and the wind was blowing out, so that always helps.”

Brian Rogers -- photo by NancyZ
That 6-2 bit of hope was short-lived, however. In the top of the 6th, reliever Brian Rogers (photo ) entered the game. He first struck out C David Wallace, but then had to face the top of the Bison’s order, who came up with three straight hits. Franklin Gutierrez hit a grounder deep to short, which Indians SS Nick Green was able to come up with, but not in time to throw out Gutierrez at first. Luis Rivas hit a double to the deep part of left-center field, which bounced off the top of the wall (for the second time in the game ) but landed in the outfield instead of on the grass berm above the outfield. That put runners on second and third bases. Shin-Soo Choo singled up the middle, scoring both Gutierrez and Rivas. Choo moved to second on the throw in from the outfield, and then stole third base. Andy Marte doubled down the left field line to score Choo, and 2B Joe Inglett singled into left field to score Marte, making the score 10-2.
Michael Ryan -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians scored again in the bottom of the 6th. Michael Ryan (photo ) shot a single down the right field line and into the corner, where Bison RF Gutierrez had trouble handling it. Ryan went to second base on the error. Brad Eldred’s fly out to center field allowed Ryan to tag up and go to third base. Then 3B Jose Hernandez grounded a single under SS Rivas’ glove to score Ryan.
Chris Hernandez came in to pitch the 7th and 8th innings. He faced 7 batters over the two innings, but the only batter who did not record an out was Luis Rivas, who homered to left-center field, pushing the score to 11-3. Juan Perez pitched the 9th inning for the Tribe, walking one, but then getting the next three batters out.
The Indians made another attempt to catch up in the bottom of the 8th. Michael Ryan got his second hit of the game when he grounded the first pitch he saw into right field for a single. A single by Brad Eldred moved Ryan to third, and pitcher Jake Dittler hit Jose Hernandez with a pitch to load the bases. That brought up DH Russ Johnson (photo below ). While Johnson was at the plate, Dittler threw a wild pitch, allowing Ryan to score, and Eldred and Hernandez to each advance one base. That put both runners in scoring position, so that when Johnson lined a single into right field, both Eldred and Hernandez scored. That made the score 11-6, and sent Dittler to the showers, in favor of reliever Matt Miller. Miller allowed a single to Luis Ordaz, but struck out Luis Matos and David Parrish to end the rally. Reliever Edwin Mujica pitched a perfect 9th inning for the Bison, to end the game.
Bannister and Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
Sean Burnett took the loss for the Indians, taking his record to 4-4, with a 4.37 ERA. Jake Dittler got the win, his second of the season. Luis Rivas and Shin-Shoo Choo each had 3 hits for the Bison, while Franklin Gutierrez, Andy Marte, and Jason Cooper each had 2 hits. The Indians offense was led by Michael Ryan, who went 2 for 5; Luis Ordaz went 2 for 4 with a double, and David Parrish went 2 for 4 with a homer.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: David Parrish’s 2-run home run in the bottom of the 5th, which started the Tribe’s scoring.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the top of the 6th inning, Ben Francisco hit a stinging line drive right up the middle, which looked like it was going to be a run-scoring hit. 2B Luis Ordaz had other ideas, though. He went to his right and made a diving catch at the very last second for the out.
The Indians’ record stands at 30-21 overall, and 14-11 at home.
NOTES:
Rajai Davis again increased his hitting streak, to 17 straight games.
Beginning on Friday June 1st, fans will be able to vote for which players will be members of the 2007 International League (and Pacific Coast League ) All Star Team. Go to www.indyindians.com or www. milb.com
and look for the place to vote, beginning on Friday.
Pitcher Masumi Kuwata will be in Indianapolis by the end of the week:
www.indyindians.com
Go Tribe!

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Game #53 vs. San Diego

PNC Park | 7:05 | Chacon vs. Greg Maddux | Box Thanks to FSN Final Score, I’ve seen the highlights. After tying the game in the 9th, Mike Cameron homered in the 11th and was, at first, followed by Josh Bard. But, Bard’s poke was ruled a ground rule double since it didn’t clear the railing in dead right. Bard leaped from the dugout like a man possessed and was pitched. Pads skipper Bud Black was also tossed. Khalil...

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Indians Can’t Catch Up to Bison

boxscore (photos by NancyZ )
Sean Burnett -- photo by NancyZ
The Indianapolis Indians had the tables turned on them this afternoon at Victory Field. After pounding the Bison 10-3 yesterday, the Indians found themselves on the losing end of an 11-6 score today. The Indians did do better at putting hits on the board today (11 ) than the Bison did yesterday (5 ), but it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Bison’s 15 hits for 11 runs.
Indians starter Sean Burnett (photo ) did well in the first inning, retiring the first three batters in the line up. He did give up a walk to RF Franklin Gutierrez, but then picked him off base and threw him out as he tried to make it to second base.
The second and third innings were trouble for Burnett. League-leading hitter CF Ben Francisco led off with a single up the middle. He moved to third on 1B Ryan Mulhern’s single to right. LF Jason Cooper smashed a double to deep center field, which Tribe CF Rajai Davis couldn’t quite get to, and both Francisco and Mulhern scored. In the third inning, SS Luis Rivas hit a sharp grounder to third which bounced high off Tribe 3B Jose Hernandez’s glove and into left field. With DH Shin-Soo Choo batting, Rivas stole second base. Choo followed with an infield single towards first. Brad Eldred fielded the ball cleanly, but his throw to Burnett, who ran over to cover first, was a little behind Burnett as he ran, and Burnett couldn’t hold onto the ball. Choo also stole second base as Ben Francisco was batting, and both runners held their positions at second and third when Francisco grounded out to third. Then 3B Andy Marte lofted a high fly that bounced on the top of the wall as it went over in left center field, for a 3-run homer.
David Parrish -- photo by NancyZ
At the end of three innings, Burnett had thrown 86 pitches (50 for strikes ). He was relieved as Jesse Chavez started the top of the 4th inning. Chavez also gave up a leadoff hit, a double up the middle by Franklin Gutierrez. Another hit by Choo moved Gutierrez to third, and Francisco’s sacrifice fly to deep center field scored the run.
The Indians started a comeback in the bottom of the 5th. Bison pitcher Bubbie Buzachero, usually a reliever, made a spot start because the previously scheduled starter, Rafael Perez, was called up to the Cleveland Indians a few days ago. Buzachero pitched 4 innings, giving up only two hits, and hitting Brad Eldred with a pitch. Another reliever, Jake Dittler entered the game in the 5th inning. With one out, LF Luis Matos walked. David Parrish (photo ) hit a long fly ball that sailed over the left field wall, not far from the foul pole, for his first home run with the Indians. “It felt pretty good”, said Parrish in a statement after the game. “He [pitcher Jake Dittler] started me off with a first-pitch curveball, and then he came back with an inside sinker. I was able to get a hold of it and the wind was blowing out, so that always helps.”

Brian Rogers -- photo by NancyZ
That 6-2 bit of hope was short-lived, however. In the top of the 6th, reliever Brian Rogers (photo ) entered the game. He first struck out C David Wallace, but then had to face the top of the Bison’s order, who came up with three straight hits. Franklin Gutierrez hit a grounder deep to short, which Indians SS Nick Green was able to come up with, but not in time to throw out Gutierrez at first. Luis Rivas hit a double to the deep part of left-center field, which bounced off the top of the wall (for the second time in the game ) but landed in the outfield instead of on the grass berm above the outfield. That put runners on second and third bases. Shin-Soo Choo singled up the middle, scoring both Gutierrez and Rivas. Choo moved to second on the throw in from the outfield, and then stole third base. Andy Marte doubled down the left field line to score Choo, and 2B Joe Inglett singled into left field to score Marte, making the score 10-2.
Michael Ryan -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians scored again in the bottom of the 6th. Michael Ryan (photo ) shot a single down the right field line and into the corner, where Bison RF Gutierrez had trouble handling it. Ryan went to second base on the error. Brad Eldred’s fly out to center field allowed Ryan to tag up and go to third base. Then 3B Jose Hernandez grounded a single under SS Rivas’ glove to score Ryan.
Chris Hernandez came in to pitch the 7th and 8th innings. He faced 7 batters over the two innings, but the only batter who did not record an out was Luis Rivas, who homered to left-center field, pushing the score to 11-3. Juan Perez pitched the 9th inning for the Tribe, walking one, but then getting the next three batters out.
The Indians made another attempt to catch up in the bottom of the 8th. Michael Ryan got his second hit of the game when he grounded the first pitch he saw into right field for a single. A single by Brad Eldred moved Ryan to third, and pitcher Jake Dittler hit Jose Hernandez with a pitch to load the bases. That brought up DH Russ Johnson (photo below ). While Johnson was at the plate, Dittler threw a wild pitch, allowing Ryan to score, and Eldred and Hernandez to each advance one base. That put both runners in scoring position, so that when Johnson lined a single into right field, both Eldred and Hernandez scored. That made the score 11-6, and sent Dittler to the showers, in favor of reliever Matt Miller. Miller allowed a single to Luis Ordaz, but struck out Luis Matos and David Parrish to end the rally. Reliever Edwin Mujica pitched a perfect 9th inning for the Bison, to end the game.
Bannister and Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
Sean Burnett took the loss for the Indians, taking his record to 4-4, with a 4.37 ERA. Jake Dittler got the win, his second of the season. Luis Rivas and Shin-Shoo Choo each had 3 hits for the Bison, while Franklin Gutierrez, Andy Marte, and Jason Cooper each had 2 hits. The Indians offense was led by Michael Ryan, who went 2 for 5; Luis Ordaz went 2 for 4 with a double, and David Parrish went 2 for 4 with a homer.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: David Parrish’s 2-run home run in the bottom of the 5th, which started the Tribe’s scoring.
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the top of the 6th inning, Ben Francisco hit a stinging line drive right up the middle, which looked like it was going to be a run-scoring hit. 2B Luis Ordaz had other ideas, though. He went to his right and made a diving catch at the very last second for the out.
The Indians’ record stands at 30-21 overall, and 14-11 at home.
NOTES:
Rajai Davis again increased his hitting streak, to 17 straight games.
Beginning on Friday June 1st, fans will be able to vote for which players will be members of the 2007 International League (and Pacific Coast League ) All Star Team. Go to www.indyindians.com or www. milb.com
and look for the place to vote, beginning on Friday.
Pitcher Masumi Kuwata will be in Indianapolis by the end of the week:
www.indyindians.com
Go Tribe!

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Indians Pound Bison; Eldred Pounds Homer

Marty McLeary  -- photo by NancyZ
boxscore
The Indianapolis Indians took advantage of mistakes made by the Buffalo Bison and had two big innings in a 10-3 win over Buffalo at Victory Field tonight. Brad Eldred, who joined the Indians last week, hit his first home run with the team, a 3-run blast in the second inning.
Indians starter Marty McLeary (photo by NancyZ ) began his effort by allowing only one base runner in the first three innings. Bison DH Keith Ginter led off the second inning with a walk, but was quickly removed from the basepath when the next batter, 3B Andy Marte grounded into a double play.
McLeary allowed one run in the 4th inning. RF Franklin Gutierrez started the inning with a single to center field, the first hit of the game off McLeary. Gutierrez stole second base, and moved to third on a fly out. CF Ben Francisco’s single to left field scored Gutierrez. Francisco was then promptly erased when McLeary picked him off first base.
The Bison scored again in the top of the 6th. With one out, SS Luis Rivas walked and Ben Francisco slammed a 2-run homer. McLeary was relieved at that point by Franquelis Osoria. Osoria finished the 6th inning and also pitched the 7th inning, giving up one hit and hitting one batter, and striking out three straight batters. Lefty Michael Tejera finished things up by pitching scoreless 8th and 9th innings. He gave up one hit and struck out one.
Rajai Davis -- photo by NancyZ
The Indians began their scoring in the bottom of the first inning, against Bison starter Jeff Harris. CF Rajai Davis (photo by NancyZ ) led off with a double that bounced off the left field scoreboard. He scored when 3B Yurendell de Caster looped a single into centerfield for the RBI.
The Tribe put 5 runs on the scoreboard in the second inning, assisted by Bison pitcher Harris. Nick Green, playing right field tonight, took Harris’s first pitch into left field for a single. 2B Luis Ordaz was hit by a pitch from Harris. With C Einar Diaz batting, a wild pitch by Harris moved the runners to second and third. Diaz lined out, but Rajai Davis drove a liner into center field, scoring Green. SS Brian Bixler hit a grounder to short, which looked like a double play. Davis was forced out at second, but the speedy Bixler was able to beat the throw to first, which allowed Ordaz to score and the inning to continue. 3B Yurendell de Caster worked the count full and then took first on the 4th ball. That brought up Big Country, 1B Brad Eldred, who smashed the first pitch he saw high over the left field walk — it bounced on the sidewalk above the grass berm behind left field. His 3-run homer brought the score to 6-0.

Trent Jewett and Nick Green -- photo by NancyZ
(Photo: Manager Trent Jewett and Nick Green — photo by NancyZ )
Harris held the Indians to one hit, a double by Nick Green, over the next three innings. In the 6th inning, Harris was relieved by Jim Ed Warden, and the Tribe also took advantage of Warden’s pitching woes. Luis Ordaz led off with a line drive single up the middle, and Einar Diaz followed with a bouncer just past the glove of Bison 3B Keith Ginter for another single. Rajai Davis put down a sacrifice bunt that advanced the runners to second and third. Warden got Brian Bixler to look at strike three, but then the Bison elected to intentionally walk Yurendell de Caster to load the bases. With Brad Eldred batting, a wild pitch by Warden allowed Ordaz to score, and Diaz and de Caster to move up to second and third. Eldred ran the count full, and fouled off a couple more pitches, then took ball four to load the bases again. LF Chris Aguila bounced a grounder to the Bison 2B Hector Luna, who couldn’t quite get his glove on it. As the ball skipped into center field on the error, Diaz and de Caster came around to score, and Eldred went to third base. DH Russ Johnson (photo below, by NancyZ ) sliced a single just beyond the reach of Bison 1B Ryan Mulhern, to score Eldred easily — that was the only earned run of the inning.
Russ Johnson -- photo by NancyZ
Jim Ed Warden held the Indians scoreless in the bottom of the 7th, giving up a hit to Rajai Davis, but leaving Davis stranded on base. Juan Lara came in to pitch the 8th for the Bison, and he got three fly ball outs to end the inning quickly.
The Indians put a total of 11 hits on the board, led by Rajai Davis’s 3 hits in 4 at-bats, including a double and an RBI.
“I’m not trying to do too much at the plate right now,” said Davis after the game. “I’m just trusting my hands, seeing the ball really well, and the hits are falling for me. I feel more comfortable at the plate right now, compared to last year. My approach is more to right field, and I’m staying on the ball longer. Last year I felt like I was chopping at the ball and running everything out.”
Brad Eldred went one for three with his 3-run homer, and Nick Green went 2 for 4 with a double. Brian Bixler also had a stolen base, his 8th of the year in 8 attempts. Everyone in the Indians’ lineup got at least one hit, except for Brian Bixler, who scored a run and drove in a run, and had a very big role in setting the stage for Eldred’s homer.
Indians hitting gem of the game: Brad Eldred’s three-run homer in the 2nd inning. And, if Brian Bixler had not been fast enough to outrun the throw on what the Bison hoped would be a double play, then the inning would have been over, and Eldred would not have come to the plate with two men on the bases. Rajai Davis had this comment on Eldred’s smash: “We knew Brad was going to come up with a hit and that is what he did. That was definitely the turning point in the game, and hopefully we’ll see more of that in the future.”
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: In the top of the 8th, with Bison Ben Francisco on second base, Andy Marte, just returned to the Bison from the Cleveland Indians, slapped a grounder up the middle that looked like it would score Francisco without much difficulty. Tribe 2B Luis Ordaz had other ideas, though. He made a deep diving stop of the ball just before it got into the outfield, popped up, and threw out Marte at first for the third out. Francisco was nearly to third when Ordaz made the play, and he would have almost certainly scored if Ordaz had not made the stop.
NOTES:
Rajai Davis increased his hitting streak to 16 games. This is the longest hitting streak of his career. He has hit in 14 straight games twice in the past.
Jeff Bannister  -- photo by NancyZ
Jeff Bannister, Pirates’ Minor League Field Coordinator (photo by NancyZ ), and Rusty Kuntz, Pirates’ coach, are with the Indians this week, as Tribe hitting coach Hensley (Bam Bam ) Meulens is away for a few days to attend his daughter’s graduation. Tonight Bannister was coaching first base, a job that it seems has become more dangerous lately: Bam Bam Meulens was hit by a foul ball last night while in the first base coaching box, and tonight Bannister had to duck quickly as another foul ball sailed over his head. Kuntz seems to have decided that his wisest move is going to be to stay in the dugout.
Pitcher Masumi Kuwata is supposed to throw a bullpen/sideline session tomorrow in Bradenton, Florida. If all goes well, he could be reporting to Indianapolis and be activated by the end of the week.
Brian Bixler’s stolen base tonight was his 8th in 8 attempts.
Go Tribe!

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Game #52 vs. San Diego

PNC Park | 7:05 | Maholm vs. Chris Young | Box It was the Chris Young story again. The trade for Matt Herges was a stupid one. Young went seven strong innings, allowing no runs, four hits and one walk. He struck out seven. The Padres offense busted it open late. Khalil Greene hit an 8th inning salami and Mike Cameron had three RBI including a pair in the 9th. Cameron’s pair of RBI came off Josh Sharpless – welcome back to...

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