Notes from a Road Trip to PNC Park

For each of the last seven seasons my brother and I have driven across Ohio to the confluence of the Three Rivers to see a pair of Bucco games – a Saturday night game followed by a Sunday afternoon game. The trip is always fun and entertaining. Unfortunately, the Pirates rarely play well. In the history of this annual trek, the Bucs have never won both contests we’ve witnessed. And in a couple of seasons, the Pirates have...

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Game #25 vs. Chicago

PNC Park | 7:05 | Armas vs. Ted Lilly | Box I’m sorry the game coverage has been spotty for the past few days; when Randy takes over after this series, I’m sure things’ll pick back up. I’ve been focusing my attention elsewhere, cheating on Pittsburgh Lumber Co. with the hot new blog that moved in down the street. MVN’s The Pitch is a blog/podcast hybrid that covers all of Major League Baseball, and its...

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Our Killer “B’s” — Bixler and Bullington

boxscore
Brian Bixler and Bryan Bullington led the Indianapolis Indians to victory over the Ottawa Lynx this afternoon in Ottawa, by a score of 4 -0.
SS Brian Bixler was in charge of offense and scoring. His double to right field in the top of the 5th batted in 2B Jose Hernandez, who had also doubled, to score the Tribe’s first run. Bixler then scored on C Einar Diaz’s line drive single. In the 7th inning, Hernandez again doubled. RF Luis Matos bounced a pitch back to Lynx starter Brian Mazone, who threw to third to tag out Hernandez. Matos reached first on the fielder’s choice, and went to second on the throw. Then Brian Bixler took a 3 and 1 pitch out over the left field wall at the 380 ft mark for his first home run at the AAA level. Matos also had two hits in the game. Bixler accounted for three RBI, and Diaz had one RBI.
Brian Mazone went 7 innings for the Lynx, and gave up 6 hits for those 4 earned runs. He took the loss, making his record now 2 – 2, with a 2.64 ERA. Joe Bisenius pitched the last two innings for the Lynx, giving up one hit and 2 walks.
Meanwhile, Bryan Bullington was keeping the Lynx bats quiet. He went 7 innings, scattering 5 hits and two walks, while striking out one. His record is now 4 – 0, with a 1.17 ERA. The Lynx threatened in the 3rd inning, when Mazone and CF Chris Roberson led off with back-to-back singles. But Bullington showed his usual poise, and got 2B Joe Thurston to pop out on a bunt attempt and C Jason Jaramillo to fly out. 1B Gary Burnham then grounded back to Bullington, who tossed to Tribe 1B Yurendell de Caster to end the inning. 3B Russ Johnson helped by catching two line drives at third base, and 2B Jose Hernandez made two excellent stops at second, including one to start a double play.
Bryan Bullington pitched 7 scoreless innings -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ relievers Juan Perez and Franquelis Osoria pitched perfect 8th and 9th innings to complete the Tribe’s shutout. Osoria now owns a 0.71 ERA.
Today’s game was the last regular season game the Tribe will play in Ottawa. (If the Lynx and the Tribe were to play against one another in the playoffs in September, then the Tribe would return. ) The Philadelphia Phillies, the Lynx major league affiliate, will be moving their AAA team to Allentown, PA in 2008. A stadium is under construction there.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Brian Bixler’s first home run of the season, in the top of the 7th inning. (No surprise there. )
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Also no surprise– Bryan Bullington’s seven scoreless innings, for his fourth win of the season.
NOTES:
Yurendell de Caster’s hitting streak ended at 11 games, as he was unable to get a hit today.
Carlos Maldonado will be reporting back to the Indians tomorrow when they play in Pawtucket.

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Our Killer “B’s” — Bixler and Bullington

boxscore
Brian Bixler and Bryan Bullington led the Indianapolis Indians to victory over the Ottawa Lynx this afternoon in Ottawa, by a score of 4 -0.
SS Brian Bixler was in charge of offense and scoring. His double to right field in the top of the 5th batted in 2B Jose Hernandez, who had also doubled, to score the Tribe’s first run. Bixler then scored on C Einar Diaz’s line drive single. In the 7th inning, Hernandez again doubled. RF Luis Matos bounced a pitch back to Lynx starter Brian Mazone, who threw to third to tag out Hernandez. Matos reached first on the fielder’s choice, and went to second on the throw. Then Brian Bixler took a 3 and 1 pitch out over the left field wall at the 380 ft mark for his first home run at the AAA level. Matos also had two hits in the game. Bixler accounted for three RBI, and Diaz had one RBI.
Brian Mazone went 7 innings for the Lynx, and gave up 6 hits for those 4 earned runs. He took the loss, making his record now 2 – 2, with a 2.64 ERA. Joe Bisenius pitched the last two innings for the Lynx, giving up one hit and 2 walks.
Meanwhile, Bryan Bullington was keeping the Lynx bats quiet. He went 7 innings, scattering 5 hits and two walks, while striking out one. His record is now 4 – 0, with a 1.17 ERA. The Lynx threatened in the 3rd inning, when Mazone and CF Chris Roberson led off with back-to-back singles. But Bullington showed his usual poise, and got 2B Joe Thurston to pop out on a bunt attempt and C Jason Jaramillo to fly out. 1B Gary Burnham then grounded back to Bullington, who tossed to Tribe 1B Yurendell de Caster to end the inning. 3B Russ Johnson helped by catching two line drives at third base, and 2B Jose Hernandez made two excellent stops at second, including one to start a double play.
Bryan Bullington pitched 7 scoreless innings -- photo by NancyZ
Indians’ relievers Juan Perez and Franquelis Osoria pitched perfect 8th and 9th innings to complete the Tribe’s shutout. Osoria now owns a 0.71 ERA.
Today’s game was the last regular season game the Tribe will play in Ottawa. (If the Lynx and the Tribe were to play against one another in the playoffs in September, then the Tribe would return. ) The Philadelphia Phillies, the Lynx major league affiliate, will be moving their AAA team to Allentown, PA in 2008. A stadium is under construction there.
Indians’ hitting gem of the game: Brian Bixler’s first home run of the season, in the top of the 7th inning. (No surprise there. )
Indians’ defensive gem of the game: Also no surprise– Bryan Bullington’s seven scoreless innings, for his fourth win of the season.
NOTES:
Yurendell de Caster’s hitting streak ended at 11 games, as he was unable to get a hit today.
Carlos Maldonado will be reporting back to the Indians tomorrow when they play in Pawtucket.

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Game #24 vs. Chicago

PNC Park | 7:05 | Duke vs. Rich Hill | Box Let’s remember what the goal was: The Bucs are in prime position to make a statement. They did it in Houston—they went into Minute Maid Park, knocked the Astros on their asses and made a few headlines. They did it in St. Louis, too, going into Busch and sweeping a short series. It’s time for one more kick to the gut. If the Bucs want to convince me they’re serious about hanging around,...

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Pittsburgh Pirates Roundtable #32

This is the 32nd edition of Pittsburgh Pirates Roundtable, a weekly collaboration of Pirates writers and thinkers from around the Internet. If you’d like to submit a question to our panel, or if you’re interested in learning more about participating, e-mail the moderator here. Question #1: Two months ago, we predicted how the NL Central would finish in 2007. With April nearly in the books, have your opinions changed? Do you think the...

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